Friday, September 19, 2008
How much misery was appropriate to inflict on a promising 19-year-old, who himself had inflicted misery on society by dealing drugs, the judge asked himself out loud.
“It’s almost an impossible calculus,” said Justice Farber, who sits in State Supreme Court in Manhattan.
Thursday, September 18, 2008
The penalties mark a significant step in the Los Angeles Police Department's effort to recover from an incident that Bratton called "a phenomenal black eye." LAPD officers were videotaped wielding batons and shooting rubber bullets in an attempt to disperse a largely peaceful crowd. A scathing internal investigation into the incident blamed poor leadership and overly aggressive tactics by officers in the field.
There were two police shootings in Portland in 2007, the fewest in a decade.
At the same time, police discipline is up, indicating that Portland officers are being held more accountable, according to an annual report by the city's Independent Police Review Division.
Division director Mary-Beth Baptista, who will release the 61-page report today, called the numbers a positive trend.
"This is a good indication we're on the right track," she said.
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
After making minor changes to the bill, regarded as the biggest change to the state's criminal-justice system in many years, the Senate approved it yesterday, 48-2.
Under its key provisions, nonviolent drug offenders in prison could be resentenced to an addiction-treatment program, and nonviolent offenders who behaved well and completed certain programs could be paroled more quickly.
"It's a blessing," says Terrell, 17, fingering the ring he earned for passing his GED exam with 1,000 points to spare.
He was awarded the ring at a cap-and-gown ceremony last month in the facility's gym, where he was cheered on by 29 other teens also serving sentences for serious and sometimes violent crimes.
Anew, privately owned medium-security prison in Shelby County that is scheduled to be dedicated today by Gov. Bob Riley will try to do something public prisons can't: Keep inmates from coming back.
The prison, built in an old factory in Columbiana at a cost of at least $8 million, will provide life coaching and job-skills training to inmates near the ends of their sentences.
"It's a very intensive program," said Alabama prisons Commissioner Richard Allen. "From the time they get up in the morning until the time they go to bed at night, they're busy."
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
Data released Monday by the FBI show violent crime dipped slightly nationwide in 2007. That ended two years of increases in murders, robberies and other kinds of the worst crime in U.S. cities.
An estimated 1.4 million violent crimes were reported across the country last year - about 10,000 fewer, or a 0.7 percent drop, than 2006.
Sunday, September 14, 2008
WASHINGTON -- The Justice Department is finalizing rules that would allow FBI agents to solicit informants and use other new techniques to bolster the agency's intelligence-gathering operation in the United States, officials said Friday.
The changes would expand rules the department enacted after the Sept. 11 attacks that permitted the FBI to conduct "assessments" of threats of terrorism and espionage even in instances where little or no proof existed of criminal activity.
Thursday, September 11, 2008
Bank robberies are up 50% this year, and the NYPD says it's the banks' fault, the Daily News has learned.
The number of bank jobs hit 265 by Sept. 2, compared with 177 by the same time last year.
Police say the problem isn't that crooks are working harder - it's that banks aren't doing enough to protect their money.
Monday, September 8, 2008
A lawsuit filed Friday in federal court accuses the Sonoma County Sheriff's Department of unlawful detentions and racial profiling of Latinos suspected of being undocumented immigrants.
Attorneys for the American Civil Liberties Union and the Committee for Immigrant Rights of Sonoma County say the Sheriff's Department collaborates with federal immigration officials to stop and search people who appear to be Latino, interrogate them about their immigration status and jail them without legal basis.
"I would say that's all untrue," Sheriff Bill Cogbill responded Friday, though he had not yet seen a copy of the lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court.
Sunday, September 7, 2008
TRENTON — More than 125 local elected officials from mostly rural New Jersey towns signed up to attend a meeting Thursday night to demand that the state continue to pay for State Police services in rural communities without police departments.
The meeting came a month after 89 towns received a prospective bill in the mail from the state Department of the Treasury, detailing what they would owe the state in order to keep receiving State Police response to calls for police service. The towns have until Dec. 15 to make a decision about staying with the State Police or making other arrangements.
Friday, September 5, 2008
Impeachable Offenses?: Why Civil Parties in Quasi-Criminal Cases Should Be Treated Like Criminal Defendants Under the Felony Impeachment Rule
John Marshall Law School
With one exception, every Federal Rule of Evidence dealing with propensity character evidence or evidence which can be misused as propensity character evidence makes it either: (a) as difficult to admit such evidence in civil trials as it is in criminal trials, or (b) more difficult to admit such evidence in civil trials than it is in criminal trials. The "mercy rule" falls into this latter category as it allows criminal defendants to inject the issue of character into their trials while a similar luxury is not afforded to civil parties. Before 2006, however, a substantial minority of courts extended the "mercy rule" to civil parties in quasi-criminal cases because they were in most respects similar to criminal cases. Congress finally shut the door to this practice based upon the serious risks of prejudice, confusion, and delay that propensity character evidence engenders.
Tuesday, September 2, 2008
TRENTON - New Jersey is in the midst of an ambitious pilot program to find out what combination of services works best at keeping ex-inmates from returning to state prisons.
The $2 million program, called Another Chance, is part of the state's stepped-up effort to lessen the percentage of ex-cons who re-enter state prison. It's also a key component of Gov. Corzine's strategy to combat gang and gun violence.
Sunday, August 31, 2008
When Latin songwriter Estefano testified against the handyman accused of shooting him, it wasn't that his story was so unbelievable.
Jurors just wanted more.
That's according to two jurors who acquitted Francisco Oliveira Jr. of shooting Fabio ''Estefano'' Salgado.
A sexual assault that leaves a victim pregnant may be punished more severely than one that does not result in pregnancy, the California Supreme Court ruled unanimously Thursday.
The state high court said a pregnancy may be considered "great bodily injury."
Wednesday, August 27, 2008
U.S. District Judge Susan Dlott praised the Cincinnati Police Department for improved relations with the community on Tuesday while presiding over the last hearing of the Collaborative Agreement.
Dlott said outside monitoring of the department will end with one final report in October. The monitoring started in 2001 to improve relations between police and the community, spurred by the fatal shooting of an unarmed black suspect fleeing police that sparked rioting .
Monday, August 25, 2008
The city's Department of Investigation successfully investigated Bernard Kerik, former police commissioner and Homeland Security chief nominee. It exposed the largest tax fraud in municipal history, investigated corruption in the crane industry, and helped indict lawmakers, union bosses and numerous high-ranking city officials.
Sunday, August 24, 2008
Normally we don't give much credence to allegations hurled by candidates at their opponents during a political campaign. That said, the accusations from Peoria County State's Attorney Kevin Lyons that challenger Darin LaHood acted improperly and perhaps unethically by injecting himself into an ongoing rape investigation and pending trial do give us pause.
Let us first lay out the dueling versions of what transpired.
Lyons charges that LaHood showed up "unannounced and uninvited" last week at the South Side home of a teen sexual assault victim. There he talked with the girl's mother, indicated he had "read all the police reports in this case," made some disparaging remarks about how it had been handled, and left his business card, Lyons says. He claims LaHood initially misrepresented himself to the family as "the new prosecutor of the case."
Thursday, August 21, 2008
Lake County Sheriff Mark Curran walked into the county jail in Waukegan on Wednesday wearing a gray suit and necktie, but before long he changed into the outfit he'll wear for the next week: a navy blue inmate uniform and a pair of ill-fitting, plastic jail slippers.
"It's somewhat surreal," said Curran, who was elected to his post in 2006 after stints as a county, state and federal prosecutor.
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
Wisconsin’s tough-on-crime policy of placing 17-year-old criminal offenders in adult court is a failed experiment that only increases the likelihood the teens will commit more crimes, according to a study released Tuesday.
The study by the Wisconsin Council on Children and Families also finds racial bias in the policy's implementation, citing statistics showing that African-American youth are far more likely to be incarcerated than white youths.