Articles and Resources
Date Fairness.com Resource Read it at: Sep 08, 2016 Why Donald Trump and Pam Bondi Probably Won’t Face a Corruption Investigation: The Supreme Court’s McDonnell decision seems to have put a chill on prosecutors.
QUOTE: Why is a charity giving money to aid a pol with whom the foundation’s head has pending legal business?....Reading through the court’s language in McDonnell, the easier hurdle is “official acts.” The justices were not certain that McDonnell’s various phone calls and luncheons represented official acts...
Slate May 02, 2015 Baltimore Prosecutor Faces National History of Police Acquittals
QUOTE: Brutality cases against police officers are notoriously difficult to win...whatever case prosecutors make will have to overcome the inherent deference to police officers that most jurors take with them to the courtroom, experts said.
New York Times Apr 30, 2015 Rules Change on I.R.S. Seizures, Too Late for Some
QUOTE: Under mounting pressure, the Internal Revenue Service and the Justice Department have announced in recent months that they will no longer use a law designed to go after drug dealers and terrorists to seize the bank accounts of small business owners who are not suspected of criminal activity.
New York Times Apr 18, 2015 FBI admits flaws in hair analysis over decades
QUOTE: The Justice Department and FBI have formally acknowledged that nearly every examiner in an elite FBI forensic unit gave flawed testimony in almost all trials in which they offered evidence against criminal defendants over more than a two-decade period before 2000. Of 28 examiners with the FBI Laboratory’s microscopic hair comparison unit, 26 overstated forensic matches in ways that favored prosecutors in more than 95 percent of the 268 trials reviewed so far...
Washington Post Nov 30, 2014 Justice Is Swift as Petty Crimes Clog Courts: Cases Adjudicated in Minutes or Less, Often Without Lawyers
QUOTE: Years of aggressive policing tactics and tough-on-crime legislation have flooded the American court system with misdemeanor cases—relatively small-time crimes such as public drunkenness, loitering or petty theft. The state courts that handle such charges often resemble assembly lines where time is in short supply, according to judges and lawyers who work in the courts. Many poor defendants, despite their right to court-appointed legal counsel, don’t get lawyers, and those who do often receive scant help in the rush to resolve cases.
Wall Street Journal, The (WSJ) Aug 27, 2014 Put More Resources Toward Regulation
QUOTE: the Department of Justice shifted gears in 2003 to leverage resources by offering cooperating companies non–prosecution deals. While corporate fines have skyrocketed, only a handful of financial institutions have pled guilty to criminal behavior.
New York Times Jun 02, 2014 Supreme Court Rejects Appeal From Times Reporter Over Refusal to Identify Source
QUOTE: The Supreme Court on Monday turned down an appeal from James Risen, a reporter for The New York Times facing jail for refusing to identify a confidential source....The case arose from a subpoena to Mr. Risen seeking information about his source for a chapter of his 2006 book, “State of War.” Prosecutors say they need Mr. Risen’s testimony to prove that the source was Jeffrey Sterling, a former C.I.A. official.
New York Times Dec 26, 2013 Prosecutor Overseeing Turkish Graft Inquiry Is Removed From Case
QUOTE: The corruption allegations are centered on claims of bribery involving vast real estate projects, many of them in Istanbul, that have become a hallmark of Mr. Erdogan’s time in power. No one has been convicted, but several people, including two sons of government ministers, have been arrested, and one of the departing ministers on Wednesday said that the prime minister himself had been involved in the real estate deals facing scrutiny.
New York Times Dec 04, 2013 Innocent man: How inmate Michael Morton lost 25 years of his life
QUOTE: a group of attorneys, working pro bono on Morton's behalf, managed to bring the truth to light. Not only was Morton innocent, but the prosecutor, Ken Anderson, was accused of withholding crucial evidence...."an extremely rare instance, and perhaps the first time, that a prosecutor has been criminally punished for failing to turn over exculpatory evidence," the Innocence Project said.
CNN (Cable News Network) Aug 02, 2013 A Cheap Spying Tool With a High Creepy Factor
QUOTE: You could spy on your ex-lover, by placing the sensor boxes near the places the person frequents, or your teenage child, or the residents of a particular neighborhood....“I haven’t done a full deployment of this because the United States government has made a practice of prosecuting security researchers,”...
New York Times Jul 13, 2013 Law and Justice and George Zimmerman: The exoneration of Travyon Martin's killer is a stark reminder of the limitations of our judicial systems and the choices we make about the laws under which we li
QUOTE: what the acquittal of George Zimmerman means -- to the nation, to its rule of law, to its politics, to its racial divide, to its deadly obsession with guns, to Florida's ALEC-infused justice system, and to probably 100 other things....To me, on its most basic level, the startling Zimmerman verdict -- and the case and trial that preceded it -- is above all a blunt reminder of the limitations of our justice system. Criminal trials are not searches for the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. They never have been. Our rules of evidence and the Bill of Rights preclude it. Our trials are instead tests of only that limited evidence a judge declares fit to be shared with jurors, who in turn are then admonished daily, hourly even, not to look beyond the corners of what they've seen or heard in court.
Atlantic Online, The (Atlantic Monthly) Feb 28, 2013 Breuer Reflects on Prosecutions That Were, and Weren’t
QUOTE: The 54-year-old prosecutor, with a Rolodex as thick as his Queens dialect, will leave the Justice Department on Friday, emboldened after mounting recent cases against banking giants. But Mr. Breuer, the department’s criminal division chief, also leaves somewhat bruised, having taken criticism for not throwing Wall Street executives behind bars after the financial crisis.
New York Times Jan 03, 2013 Write Gambling Software, Go to Prison
QUOTE: In a criminal case sure to make programmers nervous, a software maker who licenses a program used by online casinos and bookmakers overseas is being charged with promoting gambling in New York because authorities say his software was used by others for illegal betting in that state....Stuart, who has been charged along with his wife and brother-in-law with one felony count for promoting gambling in New York through their software firm, says that his company sells the software only to entities outside the U.S...
Wired Dec 18, 2012 When is social-media use a crime?
QUOTE: Despite the disturbing nature of some social-media messages about the shootings, several legal experts contacted by CNN questioned whether Connecticut authorities could successfully bring charges against whoever posted them.
CNN (Cable News Network) Apr 17, 2012 DOJ review of flawed FBI forensics processes lacked transparency
QUOTE: Attorney General Janet Reno and FBI Director Louis J. Freeh decided to launch a task force to dig through thousands of cases involving discredited agents, to ensure that “no defendant’s right to a fair trial was jeopardized,”...The task force took nine years to complete its work and never publicly released its findings. Not the results of its case reviews of suspect lab work. Not the names of the defendants who were convicted as a result. And not the nature or scope of the forensic problems it found. Those decisions more than a decade ago remain relevant today for hundreds of people still in the U.S. court system, because officials never notified many defendants of the forensic flaws in their cases and never expanded their review to catch similar mistakes.
Washington Post Mar 19, 2012 Mets’ Owners Agree to Settle Madoff Suit for $162 Million
QUOTE: the owners agreed to pay the trustee $162 million, but that figure is likely to be reduced or wiped out altogether as the complex bankruptcy litigation involving Mr. Madoff’s investment operation plays out. The trustee, Irving H. Picard, had initially sought $1 billion, declaring that the owners had enriched themselves over many years of profitable investing with Mr. Madoff while ignoring repeated warnings that he might have been a fraud.
New York Times Feb 28, 2012 Judge’s dismissal of atheist's harassment claim against Muslim makes waves
QUOTE: A blog post by the group American Atheists disagrees. "That a Muslim immigrant can assault a United States citizen,” it says, “in defense of his religious beliefs and walk away a free man, while the victim is chastised and insulted... is a horrible abrogation."
CNN (Cable News Network) Dec 19, 2011 Exonerated of Murder, Texan Seeks Inquiry on Prosecutor
QUOTE: A Texas man wrongfully convicted in 1987 of murdering his wife is scheduled to be officially exonerated on Monday. That is no longer so unusual in Texas, where 45 inmates have been exonerated in the last decade based on DNA evidence. What is unprecedented is the move planned by lawyers for the man, Michael Morton: they are expected to file a request for a special hearing to determine whether the prosecutor broke state laws or ethics rules by withholding evidence that could have led to Mr. Morton’s acquittal 25 years ago.
New York Times Nov 25, 2011 The Prosecution’s Case Against DNA
QUOTE: Garrett pointed out another, striking detail in the false confessions: in 38 of 40 false confessions, the authorities said defendants provided details that could be known only by the actual criminal or the investigators, thus corroborating their own admissions of guilt by revealing secret information about the crime that could only have been provided by them. The issues raised by DNA exonerations have led to an overhaul of the criminal-justice system. Some states now require that evidence be preserved; others require mandatory videotaping of interrogations.
New York Times Aug 09, 2011 Pimps feed on twisting Californian dream
QUOTE: the fight against prostitution has been refocused and now the prostitutes are treated as victims..."With us changing our focus to trying to arrest the pimps, pimping carries a three year mandatory sentence here in California, so to us we have more of an impact because if we can arrest one pimp we can in theory shut down three or four girls because if their pimp's out, it gives them the opportunity to escape the life that they're in."
CNN (Cable News Network) Jul 25, 2011 This Is Considered Punishment? (Op-Ed)
QUOTE: for anyone still hoping for justice in the wake of the financial crisis, the news was hardly encouraging. First, the Fed did not force Wells Fargo to admit guilt — and even let the company issue a press release blaming its wrongdoing on a “relatively small group.” The $85 million fine was a joke; in just the last quarter, Wells Fargo’s revenues exceeded $20 billion.
New York Times Jun 04, 2011 Drug Makers’ Feared Enemy Switches Sides, as Their Lawyer
QUOTE: a year and a half ago, Mr. Loucks, a Republican, left the United States attorney’s office in Boston after he was passed over for the top post and President Obama appointed a Democrat. Instead, Mr. Loucks joined Skadden, Arps last July, and has startled former allies by emerging in recent months as zealous a corporate defender as he was a prosecutor, complete with proposals seeking more lenient treatment for the medical companies he once vilified.
New York Times May 13, 2011 U.S. Scrutinized Ensign, but Senate Dug Deeper
QUOTE: the Senate’s harsh report — contrasted with the Justice Department’s inaction — provided further evidence for those who complain that the agency has seemed skittish about taking on public officials following the fiasco that resulted from the 2008 corruption case against the late Senator Ted Stevens of Alaska, which was ultimately dropped amid charges of prosecutorial misconduct.
New York Times Apr 23, 2011 What About American Girls Sold on the Streets?
QUOTE: So even when they’re 14 years old, we often arrest and prosecute them — even as the trafficker goes free... Homegrown American girls are also trafficked, and they deserve sympathy and social services — not handcuffs and juvenile detention.
New York Times Jan 18, 2011 Former Haitian Dictator to Face Charges
QUOTE: The charges filed on Tuesday seemed to be a modest list for a man who is widely blamed for one of the darkest chapters in the country’s history — and whose government has been accused of kidnapping, torturing and murdering thousands of political opponents. But the case against Mr. Duvalier represents a bold step by a country with a long history of impunity, and one where leaders have rarely faced prosecution.
New York Times Jan 09, 2011 1986 Privacy Law Is Outrun by the Web
QUOTE: Many Internet companies and consumer advocates say the main law governing communication privacy — enacted in 1986, before cellphone and e-mail use was widespread, and before social networking was even conceived — is outdated, affording more protection to letters in a file cabinet than e-mail on a server...a patchwork of confusing standards that have been interpreted inconsistently by the courts, creating uncertainty.
New York Times Dec 18, 2010 Wrestler Sees Legal Move; Prosecutor Sees Assault
QUOTE: used a maneuver informally known as a “butt drag” — which involves grabbing the haunch of an opponent to gain leverage — to roughly and intimately assault a smaller, younger wrestler on his team in retaliation for a supposed affront....accusations of both lax supervision by coaches and overzealousness by prosecutors. It has also cast an unwelcome pall on high school wrestling, and again raised questions about bullying in schools, particularly in the often macho arena of sports.
New York Times Nov 29, 2010 In U.S. Sting Operations, Questions of Entrapment
QUOTE: The arrest on Friday of a Somali-born teenager who is accused of trying to detonate a car bomb at a crowded Christmas tree-lighting ceremony in Portland, Ore., has again thrown a spotlight on the government’s use of sting operations to capture terrorism suspects. Some defense lawyers and civil rights advocates said the government’s tactics, particularly since the Sept. 11 attacks, have raised questions about the possible entrapment of people who pose no real danger but are enticed into pretend plots at the government’s urging.
New York Times Jun 24, 2010 Justices Limit Use of ‘Honest Services’ Law Against Fraud
QUOTE: The justices were unanimous in calling a broad interpretation of the law, which makes it a crime “to deprive another of the intangible right of honest services,” unconstitutionally vague.
New York Times Jun 03, 2010 Russia Turns a Deaf Ear as Killing Cries for Justice
QUOTE: Magomed Yevloyev was openly feuding with the region’s leader, Murat M. Zyazikov, when the two men happened to board the same flight from Moscow. Barely half an hour after the police escorted Mr. Yevloyev, 36, off the plane, he was dropped off at a hospital with an execution-style wound....Almost two years later, the case serves as a lesson in how the legal process can be strangled.
New York Times May 27, 2010 Anti-whaling activist goes on trial in Japan
QUOTE: Bethune's case is the first time a Sea Shepherd activist has been tried in a Japanese criminal court in the group's long-running battle with Japan's whalers in the icy waters of the Antarctic. Japan annually hunts whales in the Antarctic, despite a worldwide moratorium on whaling, under the loophole that a country may legally do so if its purpose is scientific research.
CNN (Cable News Network) May 21, 2010 Defiant Judge Takes On Child Pornography Law
QUOTE: the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit vacated a 20-year child pornography sentence by ruling that the sentencing guidelines for such cases, “unless applied with great care, can lead to unreasonable sentences.” The decision noted that the recommended sentences for looking at pictures of children being sexually abused sometimes eclipse those for actually sexually abusing a child.
New York Times May 18, 2010 Somalia pirates' clash with Russian navy reveals a gap in rule of law
QUOTE: Pirates are hard to convict because evidence at sea is hard to collect, because ship captains have other priorities and because the nearest working courts, in Kenya and the Seychelles, are overwhelmed by pirate cases. Pirates are also being released because they are learning to work the international legal system...
Washington Post Mar 29, 2010 9 Teenagers Are Charged After Classmate’s Suicide
QUOTE: It is not clear what some students at South Hadley High School expected to achieve by subjecting a freshman to the relentless taunting described by a prosecutor and classmates. Certainly not her suicide. And certainly not the multiple felony indictments...
New York Times Nov 03, 2009 At Supreme Court: Can prosecutors be sued for framing defendants? Two African-American men wrongly imprisoned for 25 years filed a lawsuit against prosecutors for fabricating evidence against them...
QUOTE: The US Supreme Court on Wednesday is set to consider an unusual question: Do Americans who have been framed by unscrupulous prosecutors for crimes they did not commit have a right to sue the prosecutors when the fraud is finally exposed?
Christian Science Monitor Oct 28, 2009 Probably guilty: Bad mathematics means rough justice
QUOTE: probabilistic pitfalls are not limited to crime fiction. "Statistical errors happen astonishingly often," says Ray Hill, a mathematician at the University of Salford, UK, who has given evidence in several high-profile criminal cases. "I'm always finding examples that go unnoticed in evidence statements."
New Scientist Oct 11, 2009 Justice Dept. to Review Bush Policy on DNA Test Waivers
QUOTE: Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. has ordered a review of a little-known Bush administration policy requiring some defendants to waive their right to DNA testing even though that right is guaranteed in a landmark federal law, officials said.
Washington Post Sep 16, 2009 Where are the subprime perp walks?: Three years after the housing bubble popped, prosecutors have yet to bring a major case tied to the subprime fiasco. What gives?
QUOTE: Three years after the housing bubble popped, federal prosecutors have yet to bring a case against the executives whose firms took part in some of the worst excesses of the subprime mortgage market.
Fortune Aug 11, 2009 Transcripts, E-Mails Detail Campaign to Oust U.S. Attorney
QUOTE: The dismissal of New Mexico U.S. Attorney David C. Iglesias in December 2006 followed extensive communication among lawyers and political aides in the White House who hashed over complaints about his work on public corruption cases against Democrats, according to newly released e-mails and transcripts of closed-door House testimony by former Bush counsel Harriet Miers and political chief Karl Rove.
Washington Post Aug 03, 2009 In Colorado, judges as prosecutors: How far is too far?
QUOTE: Under a 19th century [Colorado] state law, obscure until recently, two judges have been asked to decide whether four men should be tried in rape and murder cases.
Los Angeles Times Jul 15, 2009 Lab Analyst Decision Complicates Prosecutions: High Court Requires Scientists to Testify
QUOTE: Legal experts and prosecutors are concerned about the results of last month's U.S. Supreme Court ruling that requires lab analysts to be in court to testify about their tests.
Washington Post Jul 08, 2009 Justice Dept. Whistle-Blower in Alabama Case Is Fired
QUOTE: A Department of Justice whistle-blower who accused prosecutors of misconduct in the closely watched federal corruption trial of former Gov. Donald E. Siegelman of Alabama has been fired, and claims retaliation is the reason.
New York Times May 17, 2009 Prosecutors Block Access to DNA Testing for Inmates
QUOTE: The laws were enacted after DNA evidence exonerated a first wave of prisoners in the early 1990s, when law enforcement authorities strongly resisted reopening old cases. Continued resistance by prosecutors is causing years of delay and, in some cases, eliminating the chance to try other suspects because the statute of limitations has passed by the time the test is granted.
New York Times Mar 25, 2009 Students Sue Prosecutor in Cellphone Photos Case
QUOTE: When a high school cheerleader in northeastern Pennsylvania learned that she might face criminal charges after investigators reported finding a nude photo of her on someone else’s cellphone, she was more confused than frightened at being caught up in a case of “sexting”...
New York Times Dec 02, 2008 Guantanamo 'a stain on US military'
QUOTE: The tribunals used for putting suspects on trial at Guantanamo Bay are a "stain on America's military", a former military prosecutor has told the BBC in his first interview since resigning.
British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) Nov 28, 2008 An Amicus Brief: Issues in the Cyberbullying Case That Affect You - Updated
QUOTE: I was trying to figure out how to explain to you all that is involved in the case of the U.S. v. Lori Drew, the cyberbullying case that so many lawyers are expressing concerns about....I don't think it's overstating it a bit to say that unless this case is overturned, it is time to get off the Internet completely, because it will have become too risky to use a computer. At a minimum, I'd feel I'd need to avoid signing up for membership at any website, particularly MySpace.
Groklaw.net Nov 24, 2008 Schools, fools, and the tools of ignorance: If not for help from a handful of geeks, Connecticut school teacher Julie Amero would be in prison right now for crimes she didn't commit. What's wrong with
QUOTE: Amero's "crime": In October 2004, the substitute teacher from Norwich, Conn., was surfing the Net on a computer inside a middle school classroom when porn ads began popping up all over the screen. She didn't turn the computer off, because school officials expressly told her not to....Amero isn't totally exonerated. She agreed to plead guilty to "disorderly conduct" (a misdemeanor), pay $100, and have her teaching credentials revoked. The state still refuses to acknowledge it was mistaken.
InfoWorld Nov 22, 2008 D.C. Police Agitate For Flood Of E-Mails: Teen Freed Twice, Neighbors Informed
QUOTE: Exasperated by the third arrest of the same suspect in a string of 21 robberies, a D.C. police official sent an electronic bulletin to residents of Columbia Heights pleading for them to flood Peter Nickles, the city's top attorney, with calls and e-mails demanding that the suspect not be released.
Washington Post Nov 11, 2008 Supreme Court Argument Report: Jack the Ripper in His Armchair
QUOTE: The Supreme Court on Monday considered a case involving whether a defendant's failure to report for confinement after conviction constitutes a "violent crime" under the Armed Career Criminal Act. The justices weighed arguments concerning whether failure to report is an aggressive or a passive act...
Law.com Sep 30, 2008 Politics Over Prosecutors
QUOTE: The Justice Department released a nearly 400-page report with this jaw-dropping bottom line: "Our investigation found significant evidence that political partisan considerations were an important factor in the removal of several . . . U.S. attorneys."
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