Criminal Justice

Whitmer Signs Order Establishing Michigan Forensic Science Task Force
In The States
Whitmer Signs Order Establishing Michigan Forensic Science Task Force
2021-04-02 19:15:38
by Reece Nations

LANSING, Mich. — Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed an executive order Friday instituting a forensic science task force as an advisory body within the Michigan Department of State Police.  The task force’s role will be to provide recommendations to improve... Read More

Jan. 6 Insurrectionists May Get No More than Slap on the Wrist
Criminal Justice
Jan. 6 Insurrectionists May Get No More than Slap on the Wrist
2021-03-30 20:17:29
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON -- Arrests of Jan. 6 insurrectionists at the U.S. Capitol are continuing this week even as the zeal to throw the defendants in prison with severe sentences begins to subside or run into stumbling blocks of criminal law. In... Read More

Justices May Reinstate Death Sentence for Boston Marathon Bomber
Supreme Court
Justices May Reinstate Death Sentence for Boston Marathon Bomber
2021-03-22 15:25:40
by Dan McCue

WASHINGTON - The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday agreed to consider reinstating the death sentence for Boston marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.  As is their custom, the justices did not explain their rationale for taking up the appeal filed by the... Read More

Jail Suicide Rates High Due to Inadequate Mental Health Care
Criminal Justice
Jail Suicide Rates High Due to Inadequate Mental Health Care
2021-02-26 16:47:10
by Daniel Mollenkamp

The failure of the prison system to provide adequate mental health care is causing people to kill themselves at high rates, according to a new report.  The report, published in February in the peer-reviewed journal The Lancet, reviewed data from... Read More

Northam to Sign Death Penalty Repeal Bill
In The States
Northam to Sign Death Penalty Repeal Bill
2021-02-22 21:22:27
by TWN Staff

RICHMOND, Va. - Virginia lawmakers gave final approval Monday to a bill that will end capital punishment in the Commonwealth. The legislation now heads to Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam, who has said he will sign it into law, making Virginia... Read More

Biden Signs Executive Order to End Corporate Prisons
Criminal Justice
Biden Signs Executive Order to End Corporate Prisons
2021-01-27 21:55:54
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON -- President Joe Biden issued an executive order Tuesday to end the Justice Department's use of private prisons. The order tells the Justice Department not to renew contracts with the corporations that incarcerate more than 120,000 people in the... Read More

Virginia Lawmakers Set to Abolish Long-Standing Death Penalty
State News
Virginia Lawmakers Set to Abolish Long-Standing Death Penalty
2021-01-22 16:42:28
by Tom Ramstack

RICHMOND, Va. - A Virginia General Assembly bill introduced last week to abolish the death penalty has the added backing of the governor in a state that has led the nation in the number of convicts given capital punishment. At... Read More

FBI, ATF Increase Reward Leading to Arrest of Capitol Hill Pipe Bomb Suspect
Crime
FBI, ATF Increase Reward Leading to Arrest of Capitol Hill Pipe Bomb Suspect
2021-01-21 20:24:12
by Dan McCue

WASHINGTON - The FBI and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms have increased the reward for information that could help identify a suspect who placed pipe bombs outside the headquarters of the Democratic and Republican National Committee offices Jan.... Read More

MIT Professor Charged with Fraud in Chinese Trade Secret Theft Case
Criminal Justice
MIT Professor Charged with Fraud in Chinese Trade Secret Theft Case
2021-01-15 21:35:17
by Tom Ramstack

A Massachusetts Institute of Technology professor is facing federal fraud charges after allegedly lying about transferring nanotechnology research to organizations associated with the Chinese government. On grant applications and tax forms, MIT professor Gang Chen allegedly did not disclose that... Read More

Whitmer Signs Bipartisan State Jail Reform Package
State News
Whitmer Signs Bipartisan State Jail Reform Package
2021-01-05 18:27:25
by Reece Nations

LANSING, Mich. – Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed a comprehensive package of criminal justice reform bills Monday that stemmed from policy recommendations by the Michigan Joint Task Force on Jail and Pretrial Incarceration.  The year-long study from key stakeholders and... Read More

Biden’s High-Stakes Attorney General Pick Slides to Back of Line
Justice
Biden’s High-Stakes Attorney General Pick Slides to Back of Line

Less than a month before he is sworn in, President-elect Joe Biden has not yet selected his attorney general, a key role given how politicized the department became under President Donald Trump and while federal officials are investigating Biden’s son.... Read More

US Probing Potential Bribery, Lobbying Scheme for Pardon
Political News
US Probing Potential Bribery, Lobbying Scheme for Pardon

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Justice Department is investigating whether there was a secret scheme to lobby White House officials for a pardon as well as a related plot to offer a hefty political contribution in exchange for clemency, according to... Read More

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
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

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