March 12, 2006
Case Western CrimProf Maxwell Mehlman is quoted in this article from the PA Centre Daily Times about how the Combined DNA Index System (CODIS) and improved DNA technology have aided in solving cold cases throughout Ohio. With a recent grant worth more than $600,000, the Ohio Attorney General's Office is funding what it calls "cold case squads.'' The teams allow police to identify older, DNA-related cases and spend more time re-examining evidence with the help of crime labs.
Loyola CrimProf Laurie Levenson is quoted in this article from the San Jose Mercury News about the difficulty prosecutors face in securing death sentences for victims who were serving prison time for violent crimes. If prosecutors use a jailhouse informant, and jurors hate the informant, they won't vote for the death penalty, she says, referring to federal prosecutors' efforts to secure death sentences for members of the violent Aryan Brotherhood prison gang.
Duquesne CrimProf Ken Hirsch is quoted in this article from the Pittsburgh Post Gazette about a PA Commonwealth Court's decision to allow money with high concentrations of drug residue to be seized and ultimately forfeited, even though no drug charges were filed against its owners, yet. "Confiscation has become a more valuable tool in the drug trade than criminal charges," Hirsch said. "You take the money away, you put a dent in their business."
Cleveland State CrimProf Adam Thurschwell is quoted in this article from the Cleveland Plain Dealer about a Cleveland city service called Employment Connection. The service is part of a larger, two-year old program, Providing Real Opportunities for Ex-Offenders to Succeed, run by Cleveland's Workforce Development Division. Employment Connection has been criticized for part of its free service, which provides employers with letters about candidates who are qualified to fill the employers' vacancies. But the letters don't mention the candidates' status as ex-offenders, in hopes of getting employers to at least evaluate the ex-offenders in person before rushing to judgment based on their past records.
South Texas CrimProf Susan Crump is quoted in this article from the Houston Chronicle about the defense and prosecution's use of the former Enron CFO's (Andrew Fastow) wife (Lea Fastow) in the Enron (Lay/Skilling) Trial. Lea Fastow has been used by both the government to get her husband on the stand and the defense to try to discredit him once he got there. Crump notes that usually the use of a spouse triggers settlements; so she considers this instance an exception to the norm.
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