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Archive for the ‘Legal System’ Category

(SHOCKING) READ: Chicago Day-Care Home Used for Dogfights…

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296414-1-20090924131854.image(Newser Summary) – Chicago police raided an Illinois day-care center that apparently doubled as a brutal dogfighting operation. Ten children were being watched at the private home at the time of the raid. A swing set used by the kids was only 10 feet from a bloody garage where a “vicious” pit bull was found, said the county sheriff. Three people were arrested and nine abused dogs recovered.

Nick McMaster

Source: Chicago Tribune And Newser

Written by dnnnewshound

September 26, 2009 at 10:42 am

(CRIME) READ: Australian Man Charged With Raping Daughter For 30 Years…

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s-HANDCUFFS-largeAn Australian man accused of raping his daughter almost daily for 30 years and fathering her four children has been charged by police.

The man, who has been called “Australia’s Fritzl” after the notorious Austrian incest case, allegedly began raping his daughter in the 1970s when she was 11 years old, and had threatened her with violence if she ever revealed the abuse.

According to a report in Melbourne’s Herald Sun newspaper, the man was arrested in February after the victim approached police and said that she had been kept a virtual prisoner in the family home in a country town in the southern state of Victoria.

The newspaper said that all of the woman’s four children were born with birth defects in Melbourne hospitals. One of them died.

According to the report, the woman had reported the abuse to police in 2005 but then refused to co-operate further because she feared for her safety.

However, she went to police again in June last year and gave a statement against her father. Police conducted DNA tests on the father and laid 83 charges of sex abuse against him in February.

The case has been likened to that of Josef Fritzl, who was jailed for life in May for imprisoning and raping his daughter for 24 years and murdering one of the seven children he had with her.

The Victorian Premier, John Brumby, to demand an immediate investigation into how the case had gone unnoticed for so long.

The Herald Sun interviewed the woman’s mother, who is still married to the alleged rapist, and who lived with them in the house in rural Victoria. She claims that she was not aware of any abuse, despite sharing the house with her husband, daughter and grandchildren until 2005. READ MORE

Written by dnnnewshound

September 17, 2009 at 10:50 am

Posted in Crime, World

Tagged with , ,

(ENVIRONMENT) READ: Informant: Italian Mafia Sank Ship Carrying Nuke Waste…

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1268792_45d1_625x625(Newser Summary) – Italian authorities are investigating an informant’s claim that the mafia sank a ship containing nuclear waste off the country’s southwest coast, the BBC reports. Underwater cameras show the ship intact, with barrels nearby marked as containing toxic contents; the informant says that organized crime has gotten into the nuclear waste-disposal business, but rather than go the usual routes, sank the ship, and two others, off the Calabrian coast.

 

W. McCahill

Source: BBC

Written by dnnnewshound

September 15, 2009 at 4:55 pm

(CRIME/WORLD) READ: Peru Flooding US With Counterfeit Bills…

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About $8 million in fake greenbacks found in U.S., another $18 million in Peru

Fist of Money(Newser Summary) – American officials have seized some $8 million in high-quality counterfeit US bills made in Peru, reports the Los Angeles Times. South American raids have uncovered another $18 million. The massive number of fake bills costs businesses and individuals millions, and threatens to undermine confidence in US currency, warn officials. “It’s a form of economic terrorism,” said a Secret Service agent.

Early this year, US officials launched a special task force to train Peruvian police and bankers to identify and capture counterfeiters. Columbia used to print about 70% of fake dollars passed in the states until a similar crackdown cut production to about 5%—which still accounts for millions of fake bills. Police action may have driven some Columbian counterfeiters to Peru. Human “mules” bring the money across borders, often with it strapped to their bodies.

Mat Probasco

Source: Los Angeles Times

Written by dnnnewshound

September 13, 2009 at 5:23 pm

Posted in Crime, Economics

Tagged with , , ,

(CRIME) READ: FBI Opens Probe Into ‘Stolen’ Jackie O Letter…

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292957-1-20090913180938.image(Newser Summary) – The FBI has opened a criminal investigation into a condolence letter written by Jackie Kennedy on the day after Robert Kennedy died, the Dallas Morning News reports. Sent to Ethel Kennedy, the two-age letter soon disappeared—and turned up 10 years ago in the home of the Kennedy family plumber. The plumber’s son ended up selling it to a dealer for $6,000.

The letter changed hands three more times, for prices up to $30,000, until a buyer consigned it for sale at an auction house—where it sat for 3 years until the FBI seized it with a search warrant. Now buyers and sellers of the letter are deflecting blame, and Max Kennedy, Robert and Ethel’s son, wants a prosecution if laws were in fact broken. “The efficient running of society requires that criminals be prosecuted,” he said.

Neal Colgrass

Source: Dallas Morning News

Written by dnnnewshound

September 13, 2009 at 5:16 pm

(ECONOMY) READ: Cash-Strapped States To Set Inmates Free…

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www.huffingtonpost.com_Inmates_s-INMATES-largeMandatory sentencing laws are relaxed, parole is accelerated, and time off for good behavior is increased as states scramble to save money.

Reporting from Denver – After decades of pursuing lock-’em-up policies, states are scrambling to reduce their prison populations in the face of tight budgets, making fundamental changes to their criminal justice systems as they try to save money.

Some states are revising mandatory-sentencing laws that locked up nonviolent offenders; others are recalculating the way prison time is counted.

California, with the nation’s second-largest prison system, is considering perhaps the most dramatic proposal — releasing 40,000 inmates to save money and comply with a court ruling that found the state’s prisons overcrowded.

Colorado will accelerate parole for nearly one-sixth of its prison population. Kentucky has already granted early release to more than 3,000 inmates. Oregon has temporarily nullified a voter initiative calling for stiffer sentences for some crimes, and has increased by 10% the time inmates get off their sentences for good behavior.

The flurry of activity has led to an unusual phenomenon — bureaucrats and politicians expressing relief at the tight times. “The budget has actually helped us,” said Russ Marlan, a spokesman for the Corrections Department in Michigan, which increased its parole board by 50% this year to speed up releases.

“When you’re not having budget troubles, that’s when we implemented many of these lengthy drug sentences and zero-tolerance policies [that] really didn’t work,” he said.

Though prison budgets grew steadily over the last 20 years, a recent survey found that 26 states cut their corrections budgets this year. The reductions range from the small-scale — such as putting in energy-efficient lightbulbs — to sweeping changes like the early releases.

“States are saying, ‘We can’t build our way to public safety, especially when budgets are tight,’ ” said Adam Gelb, head of the Pew Center on the States’ Public Safety Performance Project. “For the most part, state leaders are not holding their noses and making these changes just to balance their budgets. They’re beginning to realize that research-based strategies can lead to less crime at far less cost than prison.”

Many states have expanded credit for good behavior. Others have made legal tweaks, such as raising the minimum amount of damage required for a property crime to be a felony. Some, like New York, have overhauled long-criticized mandatory sentencing laws that sent nonviolent, first-time drug offenders to state prison. READ MORE

Written by dnnnewshound

September 5, 2009 at 10:25 am

(CRIME) READ: Dying Manson Killer Pleads Today for ‘Sympathy’ Parole…

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Manson killer(Newser Summary) – The Charles Manson cult member who held down pregnant actress Sharon Tate and stabbed her 16 times will plead for sympathy today at her 13th parole hearing, reports CNN. Susan Atkins, 61, is suffering from brain cancer and is 85% paralyzed, according to her husband. The hearing may be held at her bedside at Chochilla prison in central California, officials said.

Gov. Arnold Schwazenegger earlier this summer denied Atkins’ request for compassionate release. Tate’s sister, Debra, wants Atkins behind bars. “The Manson Family murderers are sociopaths, and they can never be rehabilitated,” she said. “They should all stay right where they are—in prison—until they die.”

Mary Papenfuss

Source: CNN

Written by dnnnewshound

September 2, 2009 at 7:01 pm

Posted in Crime, Legal System

Tagged with , ,

(NOT SURPRISING) READ: Pfizer Pays Record $2.3B Fine for False Marketing…

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phizer pharma(Newser Summary) – Pfizer will shell out $2.3 billion—a record for a health care fraud settlement—over deceptive marketing of its drugs, the Los Angeles Times reports. Pfizer and one of its subsidiaries marketed four drugs based on off-label uses specifically prohibited by the FDA. The settlement with the Justice Department includes a $1.3 billion criminal fine and $1 billion to settle civil claims.

As part of the settlement—which resolves allegations that Pfizer gave doctors kickbacks to prescribe the drugs for the unspecified off-label uses—six whistleblowers who brought the fraud to the government’s attention will receive $102 million. Pfizer will also have to enter an HHS program designed “to avoid and promptly detect” criminal conduct. The four drugs in question were Bextra, Geodon, Zyvox, and Lyrica.

Harry Kimball

Source: Los Angeles Times

Written by dnnnewshound

September 2, 2009 at 6:44 pm

(LEGAL SYSTEM) READ: Montana May Be 1st to Make Suicide a Right…

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bahairants.com__judge-gavel(Newser Summary) – The Montana Supreme Court tomorrow will take up the issue of—and likely affirm the right to—assisted suicide, the New York Times reports. The case is being brought on behalf of Robert Baxter, who died last year from leukemia after fighting for the right to end his own life. “He yearned for death,” his daughter says. Montana’s high court has a history of holding up rights to privacy and personal choice outlined in its 1972 constitution.

If it does so here, it would make make Montana the first state to sanction assisted suicide in its constitution. Similar laws in Oregon and Washington came about through voter referendums. Arguments against assisted suicide in Montana are myriad—some say health care for underserved rural residents should be addressed first, and religious groups are up in arms. Though not all: “I don’t think God created us to be string puppets,” says one Episcopal deacon.

Harry Kimball

Source: New York Times

Written by dnnnewshound

September 1, 2009 at 1:23 pm

Posted in Legal System

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(READ): Bernanke Victimized by Identity Fraud Ring…

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Source: Newsweek

If ever there were living proof that identity theft can strike the mighty and powerful as well as hapless consumers, look no further than the nation’s chief banker: Ben Bernanke. The Federal Reserve Board chairman was one of hundreds of victims of an elaborate identity-fraud ring, headed by a convicted scam artist known as “Big Head,” that stole more than $2.1 million from unsuspecting consumers and at least 10 financial institutions around the country, according to recently filed court records reviewed by NEWSWEEK.

Last summer, just as he was dealing with the first rumblings of the financial crisis on Wall Street, Bernanke learned that a thief had swiped his wife’s purse—including the couple’s joint check book. Days later, someone started cashing checks on the Bernanke family bank account, the documents show. “It’s fair to say he was not pleased,” said one close associate of Bernanke, who asked not to be identified discussing what the Fed chairman considers a private matter. Read More

Written by dnnnewshound

August 26, 2009 at 7:51 pm

Posted in Crime, Economics

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(READ): Big Business Wants to Put Global Warming on Trial…

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smogSource: Newser.com/Los Angeles Times

Reporting from Washington – The nation’s largest business lobby wants to put the science of global warming on trial.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, trying to ward off potentially sweeping federal emissions regulations, is pushing the Environmental Protection Agency to hold a rare public hearing on the scientific evidence for man-made climate change.

Chamber officials say it would be “the Scopes monkey trial of the 21st century” — complete with witnesses, cross-examinations and a judge who would rule, essentially, on whether humans are warming the planet to dangerous effect.

“It would be evolution versus creationism,” said William Kovacs, the chamber’s senior vice president for environment, technology and regulatory affairs. “It would be the science of climate change on trial.”

The goal of the chamber, which represents 3 million large and small businesses, is to fend off potential emissions regulations by undercutting the scientific consensus over climate change. If the EPA denies the request, as expected, the chamber plans to take the fight to federal court.

The EPA is having none of it, calling a hearing a “waste of time” and saying that a threatened lawsuit by the chamber would be “frivolous.”

EPA spokesman Brendan Gilfillan said the agency based its proposed finding that global warming is a danger to public health “on the soundest peer-reviewed science available, which overwhelmingly indicates that climate change presents a threat to human health and welfare.”

Environmentalists say the chamber’s strategy is an attempt to sow political discord by challenging settled science — and note that in the famed 1925 Scopes trial, which pitted lawyers Clarence Darrow and William Jennings Bryan in a courtroom battle over a Tennessee science teacher accused of teaching evolution illegally, the scientists won in the end.

The chamber proposal “brings to mind for me the Salem witch trials, based on myth,” said Brenda Ekwurzel, a climate scientist for the environmental group Union of Concerned Scientists. “In this case, it would be ignoring decades of publicly accessible evidence.”

In the coming weeks, the EPA is set to formally declare that the heat-trapping gases scientists blame for climate change endanger human health, and are thus subject to regulation under the Clean Air Act. The so-called endangerment finding will be a cornerstone of the Obama administration’s plan to set strict new emissions standards on cars and trucks. Read More

Written by dnnnewshound

August 26, 2009 at 12:05 pm

Posted in Economics, Legal System

Tagged with ,

(READ): 9 men in tuxedos charged in Boston beating death…

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Source: AP, TBO.com

BOSTON (AP) — Nine men who had just attended a funeral and were wearing tuxedos when they beat a man to death outside a nightclub were charged Monday with assault and battery, prosecutors said.

 

Jose Alicea was beaten Friday after an argument and died of his injuries Monday, police said. Nine of his 12 attackers were wearing black tuxedos with red vests and red ties because they had been to the funeral of a friend killed last week in a motorcycle accident, they said.

 

The 12 men had gone to the club to celebrate their friend’s life, and Alicea was there with a small group of his friends.

 

There was no problem inside the club, but as it was closing Alicea had a conversation with some of the men, prosecutors said. The conversation escalated into a verbal altercation, with shouting and cursing from both sides, and then turned physical, they said.

 

Alicea, 22, was set upon by the men and was severely beaten, Assistant District Attorney Cory Flashner said during the men’s arraignment Monday in Municipal Court. Significant portions of the incident were captured on video from security cameras on nearby buildings, Flashner said. Read More

Written by dnnnewshound

August 24, 2009 at 5:10 pm

Posted in Crime

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(READ): Judge rules against “Octo-Mom” on child finances

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blindjusticeSource: Reuters

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – A judge on Friday ruled that an advocacy group for child actors can seek to have a guardian appointed to oversee the financial interests for the octuplets of Nadya Suleman, dubbed “Octo-Mom,” in connection with a television show about the family.

Judge Gerald Johnston ruled that California law allows former child actor Paul Petersen, president of the group A Minor Consideration, to make the financial guardianship petition, even if he has no direct relation to the children. Read More

Written by dnnnewshound

August 22, 2009 at 6:08 pm

Posted in Legal System

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(SHOCKING) READ: 9-year-old boy booked for rape

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indiaSource: The Huffington Post, The Times of India:

INDORA(Kangra): In a shocking incident, a nine-year-old boy earned the dubious tag of being the country’s youngest rape suspect after he was booked

 

for the alleged rape of a six-year-old girl after subjecting her to violent assault.

Charged under section 376 (rape) of IPC, the accused was granted bail by a juvenile court after spending a night in a police lockup.

And in what is getting to be a disturbing trend, the violation was reported days after three 10-year-olds in a Haryana school were booked for molesting a four-year-old girl studying in the same school.

Children of daily wagers from Jalora Mohalla near here, the two minors were home alone when the disturbing act apparently played out. They’ve known each other for years and used to play together. On Sunday, too, they were playing at the girl’s residence while their parents were out for work. The boy apparently dragged the girl inside the bathroom and restrained her there. When she fought back, he allegedly beat her up before assaulting her, Indora police station (Himachal Pradesh) SHO Ramesh Rana said on Tuesday.
Read More

Written by dnnnewshound

August 19, 2009 at 8:03 am

Posted in Legal System, World

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READ: Aussie quadriplegic man granted right to die…

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blindjusticeSource: AP

CANBERRA, Australia – Christian Rossiter has proven his legal right to die and declared himself a champion of other quadriplegics who no longer find life worth living.

An Australian state Supreme Court ruled Friday that a nursing home in the west coast city of Perth must respect the 49-year-old patient’s decision to starve to death.

His case adds to international arguments among euthanasia advocates, religious groups, lawyers and ethicists about where the state’s duty to preserve life ends. Read More

Written by dnnnewshound

August 14, 2009 at 6:34 pm

Posted in Legal System

Tagged with ,

READ: New Rule; Afghanistan passes ‘barbaric’ law diminishing women’s rights…

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blindjusticeSource: Guardian.co.uk

Rehashed legislation allows husbands to deny wives food if they fail to obey sexual demands

Afghanistan has quietly passed a law permitting Shia men to deny their wives food and sustenance if they refuse to obey their husbands’ sexual demands, despite international outrage over an earlier version of the legislation which President Hamid Karzai had promised to review.

The new final draft of the legislation also grants guardianship of children exclusively to their fathers and grandfathers, and requires women to get permission from their husbands to work.

“It also effectively allows a rapist to avoid prosecution by paying ‘blood money’ to a girl who was injured when he raped her,” the US charity Human Rights Watch said.

In early April, Barack Obama and Gordon Brown joined an international chorus of condemnation when the Guardian revealed that the earlier version of the law legalised rape within marriage, according to the UN.

Although Karzai appeared to back down, activists say the revised version of the law still contains repressive measures and contradicts the Afghan constitution and international treaties signed by the country.

Islamic law experts and human rights activists say that although the language of the original law has been changed, many of the provisions that alarmed women’s rights groups remain, including this one: “Tamkeen is the readiness of the wife to submit to her husband’s reasonable sexual enjoyment, and her prohibition from going out of the house, except in extreme circumstances, without her husband’s permission. If any of the above provisions are not followed by the wife she is considered disobedient.” Read More

Written by dnnnewshound

August 14, 2009 at 2:25 pm

READ: Gucci sues credit processing cos for sales of fakes

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NEW YORK (Reuters) – Gucci America sued several credit card processing companies for trademark infringement on Thursday on grounds those companies facilitated the sale of counterfeit Gucci bags on the Internet.
Read More

Written by dnnnewshound

August 10, 2009 at 2:15 am

Posted in Financial, Legal System

Tagged with ,