Criminal Justice

Virginia’s New Sentencing Procedure Catches Up with Other States
State News
Virginia’s New Sentencing Procedure Catches Up with Other States
2020-10-26 17:28:27
by Tom Ramstack

RICHMOND, Va, - Virginia’s General Assembly passed a jury sentencing reform bill this week that is revolutionary for the state but is already being done nearly everywhere else. The bill allows juries to decide whether a criminal defendant is guilty... Read More

Proposition 25 Would End Cash Bail in California. Is the Replacement Any Better?
Criminal Justice
Proposition 25 Would End Cash Bail in California. Is the Replacement Any Better?

SAN JOSE, Calif. - When the push to eliminate California's cash bail system began in the state Legislature several years ago, the battle lines were clearly drawn. On one side were civil rights groups and criminal justice reform advocates arguing that cash bail... Read More

Immigration Detention Centers Are Emptying Out as the US Cites Coronavirus for Deportations
Immigration
Immigration Detention Centers Are Emptying Out as the US Cites Coronavirus for Deportations

DALLAS — The Pakistani immigrant was desperate. COVID-19 was spreading through the Prairieland compound, an isolated immigrant detention center about an hour southwest of Dallas. The diabetic man’s time in the facility became too much. He made a tough decision:... Read More

2 Arrested in 2002 Cold-Case Killing of Run-DMC’s Jam Master Jay
Criminal Justice
2 Arrested in 2002 Cold-Case Killing of Run-DMC’s Jam Master Jay

After nearly 20 years of disappointment and dead ends, authorities charged two men with murder in the cold-case killing of hip-hop pioneer Jam Master Jay, who was gunned down in his Queens music studio in 2002 during what prosecutors described... Read More

The LAPD Branded These Two Brothers MS-13 Gang Members. Prosecutors Say They Were Deliberately Framed
In The News
The LAPD Branded These Two Brothers MS-13 Gang Members. Prosecutors Say They Were Deliberately Framed

LOS ANGELES — Early on a Thursday morning in February, two men in suits rapped on the door of the South Los Angeles apartment that Gadseel Quiñonez shares with his little brother. The men were from the Los Angeles Police... Read More

Michael Flynn Faces Skeptical Appeals Court in Fight to Have Case Dismissed
Dep. of Justice
Michael Flynn Faces Skeptical Appeals Court in Fight to Have Case Dismissed

WASHINGTON — A federal appeals court grilled former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn’s lawyer about his claim that a trial-court judge has no choice but to grant the U.S. Justice Department’s surprise motion to dismiss the criminal case. During a... Read More

Feds Begin Prosecuting Fraudulent PPP Coronavirus Loans. Some Cases Will Be Hard to Win
Business
Feds Begin Prosecuting Fraudulent PPP Coronavirus Loans. Some Cases Will Be Hard to Win

WASHINGTON — One Los Angeles business owner allegedly went to Las Vegas and gambled away some of the $9 million he received in emergency government loans earmarked for his employees. A Texas man is accused of using his $1.5 million... Read More

Convicted by Software? Not so Fast, Says California Lawmaker
Criminal Justice
Convicted by Software? Not so Fast, Says California Lawmaker

WASHINGTON — Amid a national debate over bias and discrimination in the criminal justice system, Rep. Mark Takano, D-Calif., is pushing legislation that he says will level the playing field for criminal defendants whose lives may depend on the conclusions... Read More

Federal Executions to Resume Amid Due Process, COVID-19, and Protocol Concerns
Capital Punishment
Federal Executions to Resume Amid Due Process, COVID-19, and Protocol Concerns
2020-07-10 14:13:22
by Kate Michael

WASHINGTON - In a few days, the U.S. Justice Department is set to resume federal executions after what has essentially been a 17-year moratorium. The men scheduled to die by lethal injection starting next week at a prison in Terre... Read More

Supreme Court Holds Large Piece of Oklahoma Belongs to Native American Tribe
Supreme Court
Supreme Court Holds Large Piece of Oklahoma Belongs to Native American Tribe
2020-07-09 19:12:57
by Dan McCue

WASHINGTON - The Supreme Court ruled Thursday that a large part of eastern Oklahoma belongs to Native American tribes - a significant victory for a reservation that challenged the state's authority to prosecute crimes on its land. Writing for the... Read More

Supreme Court Refuses to Block Federal Executions
Supreme Court
Supreme Court Refuses to Block Federal Executions
2020-06-29 18:14:07
by Dan McCue

WASHINGTON - A divided Supreme Court on Monday refused to block the execution of four federal prison inmates -- executions that will mark the first use of the death penalty on the federal level in nearly 20 years. A majority... Read More

Senate Told That Fraudsters Prey on Pandemic Victims
In The News
Senate Told That Fraudsters Prey on Pandemic Victims
2020-06-10 17:47:03
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON - Federal law enforcement officials pledged a vigorous crackdown Tuesday during a Senate hearing on fraudsters who are trying to make easy money off vulnerable people during the coronavirus pandemic. They accused con artists of selling fake vaccines and... Read More

Federal Prison Officials Tell Senate About Their Coronavirus Control
Criminal Justice
Federal Prison Officials Tell Senate About Their Coronavirus Control
2020-06-03 19:50:25
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON - The further move this week by cities to reopen as coronavirus infections subside is raising concerns about a resurgence of the disease, particularly in jails. The worries were heightened by protests this week against police brutality that drew... Read More

Hoyer Says House May Return Early to Consider Policing Reforms
In The News
Hoyer Says House May Return Early to Consider Policing Reforms
2020-06-02 19:24:34
by Dan McCue

WASHINGTON - The House could return to Capitol Hill early to consider legislation to overhaul policing policies in response to the killing of George Floyd while in Minneapolis police custody and the nationwide protest and violence that has followed. Last... Read More

Former Elections Judge Pleads Guilty to Accepting Bribes to Fix Primary Results
Criminal Justice
Former Elections Judge Pleads Guilty to Accepting Bribes to Fix Primary Results
2020-05-22 19:45:13
by Dan McCue

A former elections judge in Philadelphia pleaded guilty to accepting cash and "other things of value" in return for tampering with the results of city primary elections over several years, the Justice Department announced Thursday. Domenick J. Demuro pleaded guilty... Read More

Paul Manafort Released to Home Confinement Over Virus Fears
In The News
Paul Manafort Released to Home Confinement Over Virus Fears

Paul Manafort, the former campaign chairman for Donald Trump who was convicted of financial crimes and illegal lobbying, was released from prison to home confinement, according to his lawyer, Kevin Downing. Manafort, 71, was released from a low-security prison in... Read More

Justices Consider Whether Large Swath of Oklahoma Is Still An Indian Reservation
Supreme Court
Justices Consider Whether Large Swath of Oklahoma Is Still An Indian Reservation
2020-05-11 21:27:13
by Dan McCue

WASHINGTON - In recent years most arguments before the U.S. Supreme Court regarding political divisions have involved racial and partisan gerrymandering. On Monday, the justices considered a case that asks, at its heart, whether a large swath of eastern Oklahoma... Read More

Justice Department Sees Early Fraud Signs in SBA Loan Flurry
Criminal Justice
Justice Department Sees Early Fraud Signs in SBA Loan Flurry

The Justice Department has begun a preliminary inquiry into how taxpayer money was lent out under the Paycheck Protection Program and has already found possible fraud among businesses seeking relief, a top official said. Assistant Attorney General Brian Benczkowski, who... Read More

Prosecutors Oppose Inmate Releases Despite Jails Spreading Coronavirus
Criminal Justice
Prosecutors Oppose Inmate Releases Despite Jails Spreading Coronavirus
2020-04-27 14:25:59
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON - Some federal prosecutors are opposing the trend of granting inmates supervised release from jail to prevent the spread of coronavirus. In U.S. District Court filings, federal prosecutors argue most of the inmates asking for home confinement instead of... Read More

Justices Decline to Revisit Case Involving 60s Black Militant
Supreme Court
Justices Decline to Revisit Case Involving 60s Black Militant
2020-04-06 17:57:10
by Dan McCue

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court did not add any new cases to its docket Monday morning, declining, among other things, to revisit the murder conviction of the 1960s black militant formerly known as H. Rap Brown. A native of Baton... Read More

Supreme Court Rules States Can Bar Insanity Defense
Criminal Justice
Supreme Court Rules States Can Bar Insanity Defense

WASHINGTON - The Supreme Court ruled Monday that states can prevent criminal defendants from pleading insanity without violating their constitutional rights. The justices' 6-3 decision came in the case Kahler v. Kansas. As recounted in the decision, James Kraig Kahler... Read More

Florida Senate Reverses Course, Moves to Ban Arrests of Children Under 7
State News
Florida Senate Reverses Course, Moves to Ban Arrests of Children Under 7

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — One week after a Florida Senate panel failed to take up a measure to prohibit the arrests of children under 10 in most cases, the full Senate voted Wednesday to approve a compromise version of a bill... Read More

Saudis Sentence 5 People to Death for Khashoggi's Killing
Crime
Saudis Sentence 5 People to Death for Khashoggi's Killing

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia (AP) — A court in Saudi Arabia sentenced five people to death Monday for the killing of Washington Post columnist and royal family critic Jamal Khashoggi, whose grisly slaying in the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul drew international... Read More

Can People With Criminal Records Become Lawyers? These Michigan Attorneys Did It
Law
Can People With Criminal Records Become Lawyers? These Michigan Attorneys Did It

DETROIT — Becoming a lawyer in Michigan after a felony conviction is challenging, but it’s not impossible. Tenisha Yancey did it, before she was elected to the state House, even though law school admissions officials warned that she probably wouldn’t... Read More

Trump Lawyers Ask Supreme Court to Let Federal Executions Resume
Criminal Justice
Trump Lawyers Ask Supreme Court to Let Federal Executions Resume

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump’s administration asked the U.S. Supreme Court to clear the federal government to resume executions as soon as next week. The emergency filing on Monday urged the court to lift a hold that a trial judge... Read More

Trial to Determine Sanity for Capital Gazette Gunman Rescheduled for March
Criminal Justice
Trial to Determine Sanity for Capital Gazette Gunman Rescheduled for March

ANNAPOLIS, Md. — Anne Arundel County Judge Laura Ripken has set a new date for the trial to determine whether the Capital Gazette shooter was sane at the time of the mass shooting, according to the Maryland Judiciary. Slated to... Read More

Roger Stone Faces Jury Pool in Trial for Lying About Clinton Leaks
Law
Roger Stone Faces Jury Pool in Trial for Lying About Clinton Leaks

WASHINGTON — Roger Stone, the Republican political operative who famously predicted a dump of embarrassing documents on the Clinton campaign in 2016, got his first glimpse on Tuesday of the jurors who’ll decide whether he lied to a congressional committee... Read More

Federal Authorities Struggle to Counter ‘Sextortion’ Trend
Crime
Federal Authorities Struggle to Counter ‘Sextortion’ Trend

MINNEAPOLIS — Barton Scott found the girl on Snapchat. He pretended to be her friend and persuaded her to give up her password. Then Scott took what he really wanted: the photos marked “My Eyes Only.” Scott, in his mid-30s... Read More

A Sock and a Snapshot: How a Temple Professor Helped State Police Crack a Cold-Case Murder
Criminal Justice
A Sock and a Snapshot: How a Temple Professor Helped State Police Crack a Cold-Case Murder

PHILADELPHIA — In 2015, Byron Wolfe helped a Pennsylvania State Police detective enhance 24-year-old photographs. The work took two hours, and Wolfe promptly forgot about the case, chalking it up as a simple favor, he recalled recently in his office... Read More

He Started Murdering Women in South Florida — Then Became the Worst Serial Killer in US History
Crime
He Started Murdering Women in South Florida — Then Became the Worst Serial Killer in US History

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — Samuel Little, a 79-year-old man with a penchant for storytelling and drawing chalk pastel portraits in his California prison cell, was recently labeled by the FBI as the United States’ most prolific serial killer. Over the... Read More

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