Saturday, November 29, 2008
A federal court of appeals on Thursday overturned the conviction of a West Valley man found guilty of killing nine people at a Buddhist temple west of Phoenix in 1991.
Jonathan Doody was one of two youths convicted of the infamous temple murders, and he has been serving nine life sentences in state prison since his conviction in 1994.
But, on Thursday, a panel of three judges from the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that detectives from the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office forced a confession from Doody. The judges sent the case back to Maricopa County Superior Court for a new trial.
Friday, November 28, 2008
WIth the historic election of Barack Obama, the nation finally has an opportunity to enact sensible national gun policy. Obama should look to big cities, especially Boston, for guidance.
Big-city mayors know all too well the devastating impact a failed national gun policy has had on people living in urban America. Most of the 83 Americans who die every day from gun violence live in cities. The average annual US death toll from guns is 34,000 Americans. Comparatively, over the past 30 years, 1,035,000 Americans have died from guns in the United States versus 655,000 US service men and women killed in all foreign wars combined.
The United States' war on drugs has failed and will continue to do so as long as it emphasizes law enforcement and neglects the problem of consumption, a Washington think tank says in a report co-chaired by a former president of Mexico.
The former president, Ernesto Zedillo, in an interview, called for a major rethinking of U.S. policy, which he said has been "asymmetrical" in demanding that countries such as Mexico stanch the flow of drugs northward, without successful efforts to stop the flow of guns south. In addition to disrupting drug-smuggling routes, eradicating crops and prosecuting dealers, the U.S. must confront the public health issue that large-scale consumption poses, he said.
A high-profile Internet legal case that just concluded here will have a chilling effect on users of social networking sites such as MySpace and Facebook if the verdict holds up on appeal, legal experts say.
A Los Angeles jury on Wednesday convicted Lori Drew – the defendant in the so-called "MySpace Suicide Case" – of three counts of illegally accessing computers. But the six-man, six-woman panel could not reach a unanimous verdict on the single count of conspiracy.
The case drew national attention because Ms. Drew had created a phony MySpace profile of a teenage boy who criticized a 13-year-old girl who subsequently hung herself.
Thursday, November 27, 2008
Local law enforcement officials are still in a haze about Question 2 as it winds its way through the bureaucratic process.
There are a number of logistical issues that stand between the ballot initiative that would decriminalize the possession of small amounts of marijuana and the enforcement of the new policy throughout the commonwealth. In the meantime, possession of less than an ounce of marijuana is still a criminal offense, even though some districts are suspending their pursuit of such cases.
Wareham police aren’t changing their approach to criminal possession yet.
For nearly eight weeks in the late spring and summer of 1993, he was Juror No. 3 in the trial of a young man accused of the worse mass murder in Arizona history.
When deliberations ended on July 13, the eight-woman, four-man panel of which Richard Noel was a part found then 19-year-old Johnathan Andrew Doody guilty of the execution-style slaughter of nine people at a Buddhist temple west of Phoenix.
"We didn't talk to reporters afterwards," Noel told me. "We were so emotionally drained it was like everyone just wanted to go home and cry."
A suburban mother was found guilty today of minor misdemeanor charges for her role in an online hoax that prosecutors said led to the suicide of her teenage neighbor.
Lori Drew, 49, was convicted on three misdemeanor counts of unauthorized access to computers in a case that drew nationwide attention both for its novel use of a computer hacking law to combat alleged cyberbullying and for its tales of suburban neighborhood rivalries and teenage suicide.
The jury could not reach a verdict on a single felony conspiracy charge. Drew, who lives in a suburb of St. Louis, was acquitted of several felony counts of unauthorized access to computers in order to inflict emotional distress on 13-year-old Megan Meier.
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
The separate stays were issued Tuesday by judges in federal court in Yakima and in Clallam County Superior Court.
U.S. District Judge Lonny Suko issued his order in a conference call with lawyers. State Attorney General Rob McKenna said his office was asking an appeals court to vacate Suko's order and allow the execution to proceed as scheduled.
Hispanic advocates claimed Tuesday that the Long Island police department that investigated the killing of an Ecuadorean immigrant fails to adequately investigate crimes committed by whites against Latinos.
Police and county officials did not immediately respond to a request for comment, but they have repeatedly said since the Nov. 8 killing of Marcelo Lucero that crime victims are not asked about their residency status.
In May, a Los Angeles Police Department motorcycle officer stopped a car for speeding. He noticed that the driver was sweating and gripping the steering wheel nervously, while refusing to answer basic questions. In May, a Los Angeles Police Department motorcycle officer stopped a car for speeding. He noticed that the driver was sweating and gripping the steering wheel nervously, while refusing to answer basic questions.
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Due to a projected $90 million shortfall for 2009 in the King County General Fund, criminal justice agencies in the county are experiencing a blanket 11.4 percent budget cut.
The budget cut has caused a change in filing and disposition standards and the way the King County prosecutor's office prosecutes crimes.
According to a letter from King County Prosecuting Attorney Daniel Satterberg to county police chiefs and commanders, the cut is equivalent to 41 of the 190 deputy prosecutors paid for by the general fund.
Most were black women or girls, the youngest just 14. The latest was found last year, shrouded in a garbage bag.
On Monday, May 12, 2008, the Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement led an immigration raid at the Agriprocessors, Inc. meatpacking plant in Postville, Iowa. The local U.S. Attorney's Office pursued criminal complaints against approximately 300 migrant workers. The raid at Postville remains the nation's largest criminal immigration raid. I aim to provide a detailed and accurate account of the investigation of Agriprocessors, the raid, the criminal prosecutions, the sentencings and the aftermath. In so doing, I argue that a confluence of factors explain the number of individuals arrested and the accelerated criminal proceedings.
Monday, November 24, 2008
A federal appeals court in Manhattan upheld the convictions on Monday of three Al Qaeda operatives in a ruling that bolsters the government’s power to investigate terrorism by holding that a key Constitutional protection afforded to Americans does not apply overseas.
The unanimous decision by a three-judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit holds for the first time that government agents may obtain admissible evidence against United States citizens through warrantless searches abroad.
The searches must still be reasonable, as the Constitution requires, Judge José A. Cabranes wrote, adding that the government had met that standard in its search of the home and monitoring of the telephone of one defendant, Wadih El-Hage, a close aide to Osama bin Laden, who was a naturalized American citizen living in Nairobi, Kenya.
“The Fourth Amendment’s requirement of reasonableness — but not the Warrant Clause — applies to extraterritorial searches and seizures of U.S. citizens,” the judge wrote.
A dozen billboards around the state that urge Georgians to "Get Married, Stay Married" are sponsored not by a church or family-values group but by the Supreme Court of Georgia through its Commission on Children, Marriage and Family Law.
Chief Justice Leah Ward Sears said that the 48-foot-wide, 14-foot-tall billboards are one of the few things a jurist can do to battle high crime rates, high divorce rates and low numbers of fathers raising their kids.
Along with the "Get Married, Stay Married" slogan, each sign shows a happy-looking mother, father and child and one of two messages: "Children do better with parents together" or "For Children's Sake."
The cuts include treating drug-related felony crimes as misdemeanors, dismantling specialty units that prosecute domestic violence and child abuse, and placing prosecutors and staff on unpaid leave to save money.
There are few outlaws in the United States as famous as Bonnie and Clyde — a young couple, with no jobs or prospects, driving across the country robbing banks and killing police officers to make ends meet during the Great Depression.
It's an indelible image of what people will do during desperate times. For a while, Bonnie and Clyde were almost American heroes.
There's only one problem: The Depression years had very little crime.
The video of the now-infamous 8-year-old in St. Johns is chilling.
"Did you shoot your dad?" a sheriff's deputy asks the pajama-clad boy, at the end of an hourlong interview in which he was led ever-so-gently down the primrose path.
The boy rubs his eyes and he covers his face. "I think so," he says softly.
Sunday, November 23, 2008
Professor Hoffmann is an award-winning scholar and law teacher. He holds the Harry Pratter Professorship, and is a past recipient of the Law School Gavel Award and the university-wide Outstanding Young Faculty Award. In addition to courses in criminal law and procedure and seminars on death penalty law and the psychology of criminal law, Hoffmann teaches seminars on the law and society of Japan and Asia.
A nationally recognized authority on the death penalty, he has also written extensively about criminal procedure and habeas corpus law. Hoffmann is a co-author of one of the leading casebooks in criminal procedure law, Comprehensive Criminal Procedure (Aspen 2nd ed. 2005) (with Allen, Livingston, and Stuntz). He served as Co-Chair and Reporter for the Massachusetts Governor's Council on Capital Punishment, and has spearheaded successful death penalty reform efforts in Illinois and Indiana. Professor Hoffmann is also on the faculty of the National Judicial College, where he teaches about death penalty law.
Hoffmann has been a Fulbright Professor in 1996 at the University of Tokyo, and in 1997-98 was a Visiting Professor at its International Center for Comparative Law and Politics. In 2003-04, he was a Fulbright Professor at the Universities of Erlangen and Jena in Germany.