Returner of Lady Gaga's Dog Arrested; UCLA Death Threat Lecturer Held Without Bail; Courts Sued Over Fees for Parking Tickets; Jurors Can Be Biased Against Police and Other Stories: Monday Morning Memo
Man jailed for mailing 75 racist death threats; Parents of schoolchildren will have to disclose guns; Newsom dismantling death row
February 12, 2022
Los Angeles District Attorney
Gascón recall is being funded by Hollywood power players
The first attempt to recall Los Angeles district attorney George Gascón - a grassroots effort led by right- of-center law-enforcement boosters, political grifters, and MAGA pseudo-activists - went down to resounding defeat last year, without fanfare. But according to early returns from the fundraising effort obtained exclusively by Los Angeles, a new recall attempt against the controversial D.A.has been rapidly gaining steam - with help from some deep-pocketed Democratic donors and Hollywood grandees.
Los Angeles Magazine
Rep. Young Kim blames rise in California crime on L.A. County D.A. Gascon's zero bail policies
Congresswoman Young Kim, representing the 39th district of California joined the Guy Benson Show to react to the rising level of crime in cities across the country and in her state of California. Rep. Kim said, "Furthermore, in the midst of a supply chain crisis and container backlog. At the ports of L.A. and Long Beach, which makes up the San Pedro Port complex, the criminals are breaking into cargo containers on the Union Pacific Railway and stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of goods, and we've seen this in the news all the time."
Fox News Radio
'DA's office failed': Barger criticizes lenient sentence for confessed child molester
Los Angeles County Supervisor Kathryn Barger criticized District Attorney George Gascón on Thursday over the lenient sentence given to a confessed child molester, who is now 26 years old. "The outcome of the Tubbs case is unsatisfactory," said Barger. Hannah Tubbs, who now identifies as a transgender female and is now 26, was just a few days shy of her 18th birthday when she sexually molested a 10-year-old girl in 2014. LA County District Attorney George Gascón has a policy of not charging anyone under 18 as an adult.
Gascón recall: It's about safety
L.A. County residents are getting another bite at the apple. We suggest taking a very large one - because the public's safety literally depends on it. On Thursday, the newly formed Recall District Attorney George Gascón committee announced that it has been approved to proceed to gather 567,000 signatures in 160 days by July 6 to recall Gascón. It's the second time a recall has been attempted. The first recall effort last year failed, never really getting off the ground - not because the public supports Gascón's approach to criminal justice but because of the internal infighting among the leaders of the first recall group.
Second effort to recall LA's soft-on-crime district attorney underway
Fed-up Los Angelenos got the green light to launch a second recall effort against their district attorney over his controversial, soft-on-crime policies. The Los Angeles County Registrar of Voters' Office said it approved the petition drive on Thursday, giving organizers 160 days to collect signatures from 566,857 registered voters, equivalent to 10 percent of the current total. The submission deadline is July 6 to potentially put the measure up for a vote.
New York Post
LA area city council member pushes to ditch liberal DA because he's 'not doing his job'
One Los Angeles area city council member is proposing that his individual city take over the prosecution of misdemeanor crimes, since the county district attorney is declining to prosecute various misdemeanors. Andrew Lara, a council member for Pico Rivera told Fox News Digital that he thinks the measure is warranted because Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón is "not doing his job." "We just can't sit idly behind and do nothing," Lara said.
Courts & Rulings
Judge rules Amazon, Whole Foods can be sued for refusing to hire convicted murderer
A judge ruled Wednesday that Amazon and Whole Foods can be sued for refusing to hire a convicted murderer who served 23 years in prison, Reuters reports. U.S. District Judge Valerie Caproni in Manhattan approved Henry Franklin's request to pursue a class action lawsuit. Franklin was rejected for a grocery delivery job by Cornucopia Logistics, a company that works with Amazon and Whole Foods. The rejection and subsequent lawsuit occurred in New York.
Coronavirus testing company denied substitute service on Villanueva
A judge has denied a request by a coronavirus testing company to permit substitute service on Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva, despite the firm's claim that a process server has been unable to serve him personally with a petition seeking to do discovery ahead of the potential filing of a lawsuit against him for defamation. Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Elaine Lu issued her ruling Friday in the petition brought Jan. 21 by Fulgent Genetics Inc. and its subsidiary, Fulgent Therapeutics LLC.
City News Service
New court proceedings ordered for man convicted of off-duty deputy's murder in Long Beach
A state appeals court panel ordered new court proceedings Friday for one of two men convicted of the murder of an off-duty Los Angeles County sheriff's deputy in Long Beach nearly 16 years ago. The ruling by a panel from California's 2nd District Court of Appeal reversed a trial court's order denying Justin Ashley Flint's petition for re-sentencing, but the justices wrote that they "disagree that Flint is entitled to immediate re-sentencing" for the March 28, 2006, shooting death of Maria Cecilia Rosa.
City News Service
LA judge denies defense bid to have Huizar search results tossed
A federal judge on Monday, Jan. 31, denied a bid by Jose Huizar to suppress evidence that the former Los Angeles city councilman was removed from a Las Vegas casino after refusing to reveal the source of tens of thousands of dollars of gambling money he was using when he was identified as an elected city official.
City News Service
Judge denies access to rioter's community service records
A federal judge has denied a news media coalition's request for public access to records of court-ordered community service by one of the rioters who stormed the U.S. Capitol last year. U.S. District Judge Royce Lamberth ruled Wednesday that Anna Morgan-Lloyd's community service records are not "judicial records" subject to public disclosure because they played no role in the judge's decision-making process.
California court sued for charging 'hidden tax' on the poor
California's courts are charging the state's poorest residents millions of dollars in hidden fees for unpaid traffic tickets and missed response deadlines, creating a conflict of interest that violates constitutional due process, a civil rights group claims in state court. "We are funding the courts on the backs of the poorest people," said Manuel Galindo, an organizer with the nonprofit Debt Collective, a plaintiff in a lawsuit filed Thursday against San Mateo Superior Court challenging its practice of automatically imposing a $300 "civil assessment" charge every time someone misses a payment or deadline in a traffic case.
Courthouse News Service
Appeals court rules that Bubba Harkins' lawsuit against Angels and MLB can proceed
The Orange County 4th District Court of Appeals reversed a Superior Court decision to dismiss Brian "Bubba" Harkins' defamation complaint against the Angels and Major League Baseball on Wednesday, sending the case back to the lower court for a jury trial. "I was thrilled, and Bubba is as well," said Daniel L. Rasmussen, an attorney representing Harkins. "The appeals court recognizes that this case deserves to have its day in court, that it was premature to dismiss it at an early stage.
Los Angeles Times
Federal judge bucks prosecutors, jails CA man who mailed 75 racist death threats to anti-Trump politicians
In a rare rebuke of prosecutors, a federal judge handed down a jail sentence to a California man who spent some four years sending dozens of racist death threats on personalized, handmade postcards, court records show. Michael Anthony Gallagher, 71, pleaded guilty last August to mailing a threatening postcard to Rep. Maxine Waters, signed "KKK," but his crimes from 2016 to 2020 went well beyond that single offense. The U.S. Department of Justice argued a one-year probation term, and no jail, was a sufficient consequence.
Bay Area News Group
7th Circuit rejects lawyer's libel claims over negative online reviews
A Chicago-based lawyer can't pursue libel claims against people who posted negative online reviews on his firm's social media pages in response to a comment he made about Ukrainians, a federal appeals court ruled Jan. 28. The case stemmed from a Facebook comment lawyer David Freydin made in 2017 in which he wrote "Did Trump put Ukraine on the travel ban list?! We just cannot find a cleaning lady!" among other comments that were viewed as disparaging Ukrainians.
National Law Journal
Ninth Circuit rules university not liable under Title IX for football player's off-campus assault
On January 25, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed a district court order in Brown v. State of Arizona et al., granting the University of Arizona summary judgment to dismiss Title IX claims asserted against the university by a plaintiff female student. The plaintiff claimed the university was liable where a football player assaulted her in an off-campus apartment.
Former Howard law prof can proceed with 4th Amendment claims against Maryland police
A Maryland district court judge has allowed a former Howard University law professor to proceed with allegations of unreasonable search and seizure against Montgomery County police officers over an incident that occurred at the professor's home, but dismissed several other claims.
Lady Gaga dognapping: How cops cracked attempted murder case
When Lady Gaga's French bulldogs were recovered two days after armed assailants stole them and nearly killed the pop star's dogwalker last February, Los Angeles police said the woman who returned the dogs appeared to be an "uninvolved" good Samaritan. Two months later, that same woman, Jennifer McBride, was arrested and charged in the case alongside three alleged dognappers and the father of one of the suspects.
Trio indicted on federal charges alleging six SoCal cell phone stores robbed with hammers during store hours
Three Southern California men were charged today in a federal grand jury indictment for allegedly robbing six cell phone stores in Los Angeles and Ventura counties during store hours on the same day, using hammers to smash display cases to steal iPhones and other merchandise. The indictment charges each of the following defendants with one count of conspiracy and six counts of interference with commerce by robbery (Hobbs Act.)
Department of Justice Press Release
California AG to review sheriff's department cases deemed 'politically motivated' by L.A. county lawyers
California's attorney general will review several investigations conducted by the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department amid allegations by county officials that Sheriff Alex Villanueva is abusing his power by investigating his critics. In a letter last month, Los Angeles County Counsel Rodrigo Castro-Silva urged Atty. Gen. Rob Bonta to take control of the "intimidating, politically motivated investigations initiated or threatened" by Villanueva.
Los Angeles Times
Altadena man arrested on federal gun charge in connection with BB gun shootings at Planned Parenthood in Pasadena
An Altadena man who allegedly shot at Planned Parenthood in Pasadena with a BB gun several times in the past two years was arrested Friday on a federal gun charge. Richard Royden Chamberlin, 53, was arrested Friday morning by the FBI on charges of being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm. His arrest follows the filing of a one-count criminal complaint that charged Chamberlin with the illegal possession of a .22-caliber handgun during one of the attacks on the women's reproductive health clinic.
UCLA threat suspect faces federal charges (Video)
Federal prosecutors in Denver have charged a former UCLA lecturer with transmitting threats across state lines - prompting a one-day halt to in-person instruction on the Westwood campus - and a judge ordered him held without bail. Eric Leonard reports for the NBC4 News on Thursday, Feb. 3, 2022.
Six suspects indicted for scheme to provide high-powered firearms and ammo to a violent Mexican drug cartel
A federal grand jury indictment alleging a scheme to smuggle weapons and ammunition to one of the world's most violent and dangerous transnational criminal organizations has led to the arrest of four defendants, the Justice Department announced today. The arrests on January 19 are the result of Operation Semper Infidelis, a Los Angeles Strike Force investigation that targeted a domestic weapons trafficking organization that provided firearms and ammunition to the Cártel Jalisco Nueva Generación (CJNG), one of the largest and most violent drug cartels in Mexico.
Department of Justice Press Release
2 men arrested in connection with 2020 shooting on Venice Beach Boardwalk: DA's office
Two men have been arrested and face multiple charges in a 2020 shooting that left a 28-year-old mother of two dead in Venice Beach, Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón announced Wednesday. The Dec. 1, 2020, shooting killed Ky Thomas as she waited outside a bike rental store near the Venice Beach Boardwalk with her boyfriend, her sister and her sister's boyfriend, Gascón said in a press release.
Why some cities want to take over prosecuting misdemeanors from LA County DA's Office
Upset that Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón isn't prosecuting some misdemeanor charges, drug cases in particular, Pico Rivera, Santa Fe Springs and Whittier city officials are considering taking over the prosecution of such lesser crimes from the DA's office by hiring a city prosecutor. A spokesman for the D.A.'s office defended Gascón's policies and said his staff is eager to meet with local officials to resolve their concerns.
Whittier Daily News
In a time of rising crime, Los Angeles moves to further hamstring the police
An interesting exchange took place on Twitter Tuesday. It began when Los Angeles Times editor Mitchell Landsberg posted regarding recent personnel moves at the paper, which he felt would lead to "noticeable, positive changes ahead." Responding to this, a Twitter user who goes by the handle @darkblue714 posed a question: "Will it's [sic] policing coverage become more professional?" Landsberg replied thus: "I would argue that it already is quite professional."
Jack Dunphy/PJ Media
California Senate aims to limit 'junk science' in courtrooms
California lawmakers on Wednesday moved to deter the use of what a legislator called "junk science" in the courtroom and give those convicted with questionable expert testimony a way out of prison. Senators approved changing the state's definition of false testimony to include expert court opinions based on flawed scientific research or outdated technology, or where a reasonable scientific dispute has emerged over its validity.
SF police chief ends investigation pact, questions DA impartiality
San Francisco's police chief said Wednesday that he is terminating an agreement allowing the district attorney's office to investigate police shootings and in-custody deaths, citing serious concerns over the office's impartiality. In a letter sent Wednesday by Police Chief Bill Scott to District Attorney Chesa Boudin, the police chief cited court testimony last week by an investigator with the DA's office who said she felt pressured to sign an affidavit against an officer that left out evidence that could have possibly helped the officer.
San Bernardino County sheriff, FBI accused of breaking law by seizing marijuana cash
The driver of an armored car carrying $712,000 in cash from licensed marijuana dispensaries was heading into Barstow on a Mojave Desert freeway in November when San Bernardino County Sheriff's deputies pulled him over. They interrogated him, seized the money and turned it over to the FBI. A few weeks later, deputies stopped the same driver in Rancho Cucamonga, took an additional $350,000 belonging to legal pot stores and gave that cash to the FBI too.
Los Angeles Times
New legislation would repeal law that lessens California penalties for criminal violations
As crime continues to escalate in California, a new bill would repeal most of Proposition 47, the law that has lessened penalties for many offenses, including classifying theft of less than $950 as a misdemeanor. The legislation, AB 1599, would get to the root of the problem, which is that Proposition 47 essentially decriminalized retail theft and certain drug violations, the bill's sponsor, Assemblymember Kevin Kiley, R – Rocklin, told the Northern California Record.
Northern California Record
Los Angeles County/City
Law enforcement personnel leaving, losing jobs due to vaccine mandate
Law enforcement personnel are leaving Los Angeles departments like LAPD and the LA County Sheriff's Office due to COVID vaccine mandates. Some are retiring, others asking for transfers. Yet others like Michael McMahon are in the middle of hearings - losing their jobs. Many of the officers explain they are losing jobs and retirements. Those transferring to other departments will lose seniority. Most have lost relationships with friends, even family and have faced stinging criticism.
Super Bowl security plan in place (Video)
A security plan is in place for the Super Bowl. Eric Leonard reports for the NBC4 News on Monday, Jan. 31, 2022.
Murdered officer's lieutenant says 'enough is enough,' slams California's 'woke narrative' in eulogy
A Los Angeles police lieutenant ripped into the "woke narrative" fueling an "anti-police climate" in California and prosecutors' reluctance to hold criminals accountable Wednesday while eulogizing an officer under his command who died last month when attacked off-duty by suspected gang members. Hundreds of police turned out Wednesday morning to mourn Fernando Arroyos, who died on Jan. 10 when attacked by a group of suspected gang members in an alleged gunpoint robbery while he was out house hunting with his girlfriend.
Despite Vision Zero traffic deaths in LA are soaring
In 2015, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti launched Vision Zero, intended to eliminate traffic deaths by 2025. More than five years after the launch of this program, traffic deaths in the city are soaring, reaching their highest number in nearly 20 years. 294 people were killed in traffic collisions in 2021, LA List recently reported on Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) data. Not only does this represent a 22 percent increase from 2020, but it is also the highest toll since 2003. Around half of those killed in these collisions were not in vehicles themselves, including 132 pedestrians and 18 cyclists.
The evil side of Amazon's unchecked monopoly
Amazon - same bad dog, same bad behavior. Consequences don't deter the e-commerce juggernaut's retail apocalypse; the unchecked monopoly draws lawsuits and fines while leaving a tsunami of destruction on Amazon third-party sellers, bullied retail partners, crushed manufacturers, and deceived consumers. Amazon is a destructive mercenary with a strategy to own the infrastructure that other businesses rely on to get to market through three channels: Amazon's retail marketplace, Amazon Prime, and Amazon Web Services.
The Counterfeit Report
LAPD arrests fifth man allegedly tied to murder, follow-home robberies
Police Saturday announced the arrest of a fifth suspect in connection with a spate of follow-home robberies that occurred in Los Angeles, Beverly Hills, Glendale and Fontana, as well as the fatal shooting of a man near a Hollywood restaurant. Detectives located and arrested Marquis Ford, 24, of Los Angeles, for his alleged involvement in the Nov. 23 shooting death of Jose Ruiz Gutierrez in Hollywood. Ford was booked on suspicion of murder and was being held in lieu of $2 million bail, the Los Angeles Police Department reported.
Official says video shows fight left 49ers fan left in coma as questions mount over response
Inglewood officials on Thursday released new details about a violent altercation in a parking lot at SoFi Stadium on Sunday that left a San Francisco 49ers fan in a coma as they faced mounting questions about why they didn't inform the public about the incident sooner. It took three days and an inquiry from The Times before authorities in Inglewood acknowledged the incident, which left 40-year-old restaurant owner Daniel Luna in a medically induced coma.
Los Angeles Times
How bad is crime in L.A.?
Los Angeles is working hard to be the crime capitol of America. Yes, Chicago is currently the leader - but Portland and Seattle are also in the running. But, L.A. has had a 94% increase in murder, a 300 % increase in car jacking - and a DA that loves criminals on the streets. "People have lost faith in institutions, whether it's the government, universities, or law enforcement," notes Meghan Daum, a former columnist at the L.A. Times and author of the book The Problem with Everything: My Journey Though the New Culture Wars.
California Political Review
New twist in Covid relief fraud case: Third fraudster is on the run
A third member of a California fraud ring accused of stealing more than $18 million in Covid-19 relief loans has gone on the run, the FBI said Thursday. Tamara Dadyan, 42, was supposed to report to prison Jan. 28 to start serving a 10-year sentence, but she never showed up, and her whereabouts are unknown. "She is now considered a fugitive," FBI spokeswoman Laura Eimiller said. Dadyan's lawyer, Joseph Benincasa, said he was in the dark over her whereabouts.
How bad is crime in L.A.?
On a crisp Friday evening in early December, dozens of guests were milling about the backyard of a $5 million Spanish revival home perched high above the sloping chaparral of Temescal Canyon. It was a holiday event for a financial firm, but despite the flowing booze and endless tray sof appetizers, a pall hung over the festivities. Throughout the fall and into the winter, a wave of inexplicable violence and mayhem seemed to have descended on the city, and it appeared to be getting worse.
Los Angeles Magazine
Chaos and crime are not homeless
New Yorker Michelle Go was pushed in front of a moving subway train, Sandra Shells was waiting for a bus in Los Angeles and Brianna Kupfer was working in a furniture store when their lives were taken from them. All three victims of these random killings were women. All three suspects were homeless. And the scene of the crime was a blue state with a progressive approach to crime. "Three women killed in random attacks by homeless men: What does it reveal about America's crime wave?" read a headline in The Independent.
More than 80 guns stolen from LA cargo trains in recent months, sources say
More than 80 newly-manufactured guns were among the items stolen from cargo trains near Los Angeles in recent months, according to two law enforcement sources familiar with the matter. The pilfered firearms, which included at least 36 pistols and 46 semi-automatic shotguns, were taken from a container car that was burglarized last August. The shipment's destination was Tennessee, the sources said. Only two have been recovered thus far, according to the sources.
La Habra Heights assistant fire chief arrested for allegedly impersonating officer, detaining people
The assistant chief of the La Habra Heights Fire Department was arrested Thursday after an investigation by the Sheriff's Public Corruption Unit found he allegedly unlawfully detained an unknown number of people. Timothy Peel allegedly used a white 2020 Chevrolet Silverado 2500 HD pickup truck equipped with lights and a siren to conduct traffic stops, according to the Deputy Alejandra Parra of the Sheriff's Information Bureau.
City News Service
Orange County authorities warn Latino community about car theft ring
Orange County authorities Friday warned the public about a car theft ring that hooks victims through a Facebook ad. Investigators suspect the thieves are targeting the Latino community because they may be less inclined to report the con. The thieves post Spanish-language ads on Facebook Marketplace and other social media platforms ostensibly looking to hire people to transport money. There have been about 50 cases in Orange County since July.
City News Service
Chilean gang burglarizing wealthy Atherton homes
At least six burglaries of wealthy Atherton homes in January have been linked to Chilean gang members in a crime spree stretching from Northern California to San Diego County. "They particularly target affluent communities just like Atherton," said Atherton Chief of Police Steven McCulley. Chief McCully posted a warning to local residents on his agency's website to be extra careful. "Of the eight burglaries this month, we suspect six were committed by organized Chilean gang members operating out of the Los Angeles area," said Chief McCully.
California bill would require students' parents to detail gun ownership
A newly proposed California bill would require parents of public and charter schools students to disclose whether any guns are kept at their homes as well as how they are stored. State Senator Anthony Portantino, a Democrat, introduced the bill that he said prioritizes student safety by increasing available information on gun access and safe at-home storage of firearms. The bill also would require schools to search a student's property on campus for firearms if there's a credible threat of violence.
Courthouse News Service
Governor refers Parker Chamberlin's parole grant to entire parole board
Gov. Gavin Newsom has referred the granting of parole for Parker Chamberlin - who stabbed his mother to death at 15 - to the entire Board of Parole Hearings for review. Chamberlin, now 36, was recommended for parole in August by a two-member panel. Newsom's referral, made Tuesday, will require the full board to review the decision. The board can either agree with the parole grant, modify it or order a hearing to determine whether it should be rescinded. If the board affirms or modifies the decision, Chamberlin will be readied for release, according to the board's website.
Oakland man who talked of killing thousands has sentence cut, may be freed
An Oakland man who talked online of killing thousands of people, but whose increased prison term for terrorism was found by an appeals court to be unjustified, has had his sentence cut by more than half, to 6 years and 9 months in prison, and may be released this year. Amer Alhaggagi, a Berkeley High graduate, pleaded guilty in July 2018 to attempting to provide material support or resources to a foreign terrorist organization, the Islamic State, also known as ISIS.
San Francisco Chronicle
Two statewide races to watch this year
Gavin Newsom is arguably re-elected as Governor of California for the second term this year. Given the near certainty, the most important state-wide competition in 2022 will be bid by Attorney General Rob Bonta for the entire period amid growing public anxiety about crime. Newsom appointed Bonta last year after Xavier Becerra resigned as Secretary of Health and Welfare from the Cabinet of Joe Biden.
Long Beach Press-Telegram
Man pleads guilty to fatally shooting officer in 2015
A San Francisco Bay Area man charged in the fatal shooting of a police officer during a traffic stop pleaded guilty Tuesday, a week before his trial was set to start, prosecutors announced. Mark Estrada also admitted to using the firearm that killed Hayward Police Sgt. Scott Lunger on July 22, 2015, as part of a plea agreement, the Alameda County District Attorney's Office said in a statement. Lunger was on patrol when he saw a pickup truck swerving and driving erratically and decided to stop the driver.
Medical imaging companies CEO sentenced to 5 years in prison for $250 million health care fraud run via state workers' comp system
The CEO of several Southern California-based medical imaging companies was sentenced today to 60 months in federal prison for running a scheme that submitted more than $250 million in fraudulent claims through the California Workers' Compensation System for medical services procured through bribes and kickbacks to physicians and others. Sam Sarkis Solakyan, 40, of Glendale, was sentenced by United States District Judge Cynthia A. Bashant.
Department of Justice Press Release
Firearms rights group sues San Jose over proposal to make gun owners carry insurance and pay annual fee
A firearms rights group has sued the California city of San Jose over a proposal that would require many of the city's gun owners to carry liability insurance for accidents and negligence - which would be a first in the nation - as well as pay a new annual fee. The city council preliminarily approved the proposed ordinance on Tuesday. The Colorado-based National Association for Gun Rights filed the suit the same day, asking the US District Court in San Jose to prevent the city from enforcing the proposed ordinance on numerous constitutional grounds, including alleging infringements on the Second Amendment.
Corrections & Parole
Newsom moves to dismantle California's death row by moving all condemned inmates to other prisons
California Gov. Gavin Newsom, who three years ago placed a moratorium on executions, now is moving to dismantle the nation's largest death row by moving all condemned inmates to other prisons within two years. The goal is to turn the section at San Quentin State Prison into a "positive, healing environment." "We are starting the process of closing death row to repurpose and transform the current housing units into something innovative and anchored in rehabilitation," corrections department spokeswoman Vicky Waters told The Associated Press.
Alabama inmate executed after Supreme Court erases 11th Circuit blockade
Overturning two courts that had put the execution on ice, the Supreme Court handed Alabama a 5-4 ruling late Thursday night that would let it administer lethal injection on an inmate with intellectual disabilities. Matthew Reeves was put to death at Holman Prison later that evening for the robbery and murder of Willie Johnson in November 1996. The majority offered no explanation for their decision, as is typical in orders on the emergency docket, but Justice Amy Coney Barrett said she would deny the application, putting her in league with Justices Stephen Breyer and Sonia Sotomayor who joined a dissent by Justice Elena Kagan.
Courthouse News Service
Articles of Interest
CA law authorizes biased jurors
A California law which took effect in January prohibits prosecutors from removing people who are biased against police officers from juries in criminal trials. The California jury selection process in criminal cases allows the prosecutor and the defense attorney 10 peremptory challenges for most felony trials, and 20 each for capital cases. Prior law allowed these challenges to be exercised for any reason other than solely on the potential juror's race, which is unconstitutional.
Crime & Consequences
Sarah Palin, New York Times clash at trial testing defamation protection for media
Sarah Palin, the former Alaska governor and 2008 Republican U.S. vice presidential candidate, went to trial against the New York Times on Thursday, in a highly anticipated defamation case that could test long-standing protections for American news media. Palin, 57, is suing over a 2017 editorial that incorrectly linked her political rhetoric to a 2011 Arizona mass shooting that left six dead and U.S. Representative Gabby Giffords seriously wounded, and which the newspaper later corrected.
Take the money and run: These fugitives accused of white-collar crimes are among the world's most wanted
When one is accustomed to traveling by private jet, luxuriating aboard a superyacht, living in mansions and partying with rock stars, the prospect of life in a 7-by-10-foot prison cell can be pretty unappealing. That may help explain why some of the most wanted fugitives in the world are people charged with financial crimes. The sentences for white-collar offenses can be severe, with U.S. federal guidelines calling for increased sentences based on the amount of money lost.
Elon Musk says California's insurance commissioner should be 'voted out of office' over car insurance prices
Elon Musk said on Thursday that Ricardo Lara, California's insurance commissioner, should be "voted out of office" over car insurance prices. The billionaire's comment came in response to Lara's tweet about what Musk said in Tesla's fourth-quarter earnings call on Wednesday. On the topic of Tesla Insurance, Musk said in the earnings call: "We are pushing very hard for California to change the rules to allow informatics, which basically means that you're as safe as you're driving is measured."
The rude Trump judge who's writing the most bonkers opinions in America
The federal judiciary is pretty big. There are between 800 and 900 federal judges working across the United States on any given day. Federal district courts hear more than a quarter-million new cases each year. Tens of thousands of decisions are reviewed by the federal appellate courts every year, and the Supreme Court itself reviews fewer than 100 of those courts' decisions in full.
A Philly committee spent 18 months examining the city's gun violence crisis. Here's what it found
Almost half of the shootings in Philadelphia in recent years were sparked by arguments. Most of the guns used in crimes in the city were bought in Pennsylvania. And both suspected shooters and victims had previously witnessed violence. As gun violence has reached record heights in Philadelphia - a crisis that has overwhelmingly affected communities of color - thousands of cases remain unsolved, while gun posession prosecutions increasingly fail in court.
Surf-by disability plaintiff loses Colorado motel appeal at 10th Circuit
Randy and Cindy Looper sold the Elk Run Inn in December 2020, but the retirees still had the shadow of a disability lawsuit related to the Craig motel hanging over their heads. In August 2020, they'd received notice that they were facing a federal lawsuit over alleged violations of the Americans With Disabilities Act at the Elk Run, a 23-unit motel that typically catered to hunters and workers, with a full kitchen in every room.
Who writes the rules for cops?
Nicholas Pimentel, a twenty-seven-year-old restaurant cook, was driving his pickup truck home from a bar in Ceres, California, when police pulled him over for a traffic stop. But Pimentel didn't stop, instead leading the cops on a high-speed chase, which ended when police blocked his path around the corner from his house. His truck spun out. After Ceres police officer Ross Bays rammed the driver's side with his patrol car, body-cam footage from another officer shows Pimentel's engine continuing to rev and the truck's wheels spinning in place as it was stuck between Bays's cruiser and a parked car. Bays fired his gun into the vehicle at Pimentel, then another officer did, too.
US public pension funds may turn to more 'aggressive' investment, report says
U.S. public pension funds will likely have to switch to more aggressive investment strategies in the coming years to fill funding gaps despite assets held by sovereign investors having grown to record levels amid the 2021 equity market boom, a new report said. On average, the difference between assets and liabilities at U.S. public pension funds, known as the "funded ratio," remains "unsatisfactory" at less than 75%, sovereign investor specialist Global SWF said in a report.
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