Marissa Alexander Released on Bail

Marissa Alexander is the Florida woman who was sentenced to 20 years in prison…

For shooting some drywall.

In the same state where George Zimmerman got “not guilty” for murder – and doesn’t seem to be able to go to jail for shoving guns in the faces of his soon-to-be ex-wife and girlfriend.

At least she gets to spend this Thanksgiving, and possibly Christmas with her kids while awaiting retrial.

Woman Sentenced For Firing Alleged ‘Warning Shot’ At Her Husband Gets Released

The Jacksonville woman awaiting a new trial in a controversial “stand your ground” case is free on bond.

First Coast News (http://fcnews.tv/18q19sa) reports that Marissa Alexander was released from jail Wednesday. According to the Duval County Clerk of Court, she must remain under house arrest while awaiting trial.

In 2012, Alexander was sentenced to a mandatory 20-year prison sentence for firing what she insisted was a warning shot during a fight with her husband. She tried to invoke Florida’s “stand your ground” law, but the judge threw out her self-defense claim.

An appeals court ruled in September that the judge in the case gave improper jury instructions.

Alexander says she fired a bullet at a wall in 2010 to scare off her husband when she felt he was threatening her.

 

Is R. Allen Sanford…Black?

Dayam! They just sentenced Allen Sanford to 110 years – about 1/2 the time they’d sentence a black teenager in Texas for possessing a gram of crack!

Who’d this white, white-collar criminal piss off? He steal some Bush money…Or what?

Ex-Tycoon R. Allen Stanford Sentenced To 110 Years

Former jet-setting Texas tycoon R. Allen Stanford, whose financial empire once spanned the Americas, was sentenced Thursday to 110 years in prison for bilking investors out of more than $7 billion over 20 years in one of the largest Ponzi schemes in U.S. history.

U.S. District Judge David Hittner handed down the sentence during a court hearing in which two people spoke on behalf of Stanford’s investors about how his fraud had affected their lives.

Prosecutors had asked that Stanford be sentenced to 230 years in prison, the maximum sentence possible after a jury convicted the one-time billionaire in March on 13 of 14 fraud-related counts. Stanford’s convictions on conspiracy, wire and mail fraud charges followed a seven-week trial.

Stanford’s attorneys had asked for a maximum of 44 months, a sentence he could have completed within about eight months because he has been jailed since his arrest in June 2009…

Sanford’s 112′ Yacht

Sanford’s “other” Yacht

Stanford was once considered one of the richest men in the U.S., with an estimated net worth of more than $2 billion. His financial empire stretched from the U.S. to Latin America and the Caribbean. But after his arrest, all of his assets were seized and he had to rely on court-appointed attorneys to defend him.

Calling Stanford arrogant and remorseless, prosecutors said he used the money from investors who bought certificates of deposit, or CDs, from his bank on the Caribbean island nation of Antigua to fund a string of failed businesses, bribe regulators and pay for a lavish lifestyle that included yachts, a fleet of private jets and sponsorship of cricket tournaments.

One of 6 jets Owned by Sanford

Defense attorneys portrayed Stanford, 62, as a visionary entrepreneur who made money for investors and conducted legitimate business deals. They accused the prosecution’s star witness James M. Davis, the former chief financial officer for Stanford’s various companies of being behind the fraud and tried to discredit him by calling him a liar and tax cheat.

And to top it all off – one of two Gulfstreams

The jury that convicted Stanford also cleared the way for U.S. authorities to go after about $330 million in stolen investor funds sitting in the financier’s frozen foreign bank accounts in Canada, England and Switzerland.

First Convictions in Philly Abortion Clinic Crimes

The case of the Philadelphia abortion butcher made national news. Operating out of a filthy facility in the city, the Gosnell was responsible for the deaths of at least 7 children, and an unknown number of mothers. This guy escaped scrutiny by medical and regulatory authorities for years. The cases are finally coming to court, with the first guilty pleas by “nurses” who assisted Gosnell in his scam.

Two plead guilty in deaths at Philadelphia abortion clinic

Two women accused of participating in the deadly activities inside a filthy West Philadelphia abortion clinic calmly told a judge Thursday that they were guilty.

The guilty pleas by Adrienne Moton, 34, and Sherry West, 52, leave seven defendants to be tried in the case that grabbed national headlines due to the shocking nature of the crimes that took place inside Dr. Kermit Gosnell’s Women’s Medical Society.

Gosnell, 70, could face the death penalty if convicted. He is accused cutting the spinal cords of seven babies born alive at his clinic. He is also charged with the third-degree murder of Karnamaya Mongar, 41, a clinic patient who died in November 2009 from an overdose of drugs prescribed by Gosnell.

Moton, of Upper Darby, Pa., was an unlicensed clinic worker. She pleaded guilty to third-degree murder for the death of “Baby D,” one of the seven babies.

She also pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit third-degree murder, participating in a corrupt organization and conspiracy to participate in a corrupt organization.

She entered her plea via a video link because she is incarcerated outside of the city. Tasha Jamerson, a spokeswoman for the district attorney’s office, declined to say why Moton is being held elsewhere and for what reason.

Common Pleas Judge Benjamin Lerner told Moton that he could sentence her to as much as 120 years in state prison and fine her up to $125,000.

The plea came with no agreements with the prosecution, which leaves the sentence up to him, Lerner said.

West, of Newark, Del., was an unlicensed clinic worker who routinely performed illegal operations and administered anesthesia, according to a 281-page grand jury report released in January.

She pleaded guilty to the third-degree murder of Mongar, conspiracy to commit third-degree murder, drug delivery resulting in death, participating in a corrupt organization and conspiracy to participate in a corrupt organization.

Lerner told West that she faced the possibility of being sentenced to 140 years in prison and fined up to $175,000.

Lerner set Dec. 2 as a tentative sentencing date for both women.

Atty. General Holder Suggests Retroactive Reduction of Crack Sentences

BTX3 thinks that if you want to raise the consciousness of existing Rethugly office holders, what you need to do is to tie white collar crime sentences to crack cocaine sentences.I’m sure if old Tom Delay were sentenced like a common criminal down there in Texas, clowns like Lamar Smith would discover a whole new attitude.

Indeed – Bankers steal hundreds of millions from the poor and middle class – and get nothing more than a wrist slap. You are going to tell me the damage to society is greater from one black inner city crackhead than millions of folks losing their homes due to nefarious banking schemes?

And no, Bernie Maddow doesn’t count. He went to jail for who he stole from – not the fact that he stole. The old “Stealing from the wrong folks” Felony.

Atty. Gen. Holder Proposes Retroactive Breaks in Crack Cocaine Convictions

Atty. Gen. Eric Holder Jr.  on Wednesday  revisited a controversial subject Congress remedied last year by changing the disproportionate sentences between powdered cocaine and crack cocaine. Lawmakers stopped short of making the law retroactive.

Enter Holder.

Holder appeared before the U.S. Sentencing Commission and urged that the law be made retroactive. He did not advocate retroactivity for those whose crimes involved guns or who have long rap sheets.

The Los Angeles Timesreported that thousands of federal prisoners could have an average of three years shaved off their prison terms under Holder’s proposal.

Congress last year changed the law , which critics say unfairly targeted African Americans. Under the 1986 law, a person selling crack got the same sentence as someone selling 100 times the amount of powdered cocaine. The ratio was changed to 18 to 1.

The LA Times reported that Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas), chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, said he was “disappointed by the Obama administration’s position” on early releases for drug offenders and might move for Congressional action if the U.S. Sentencing Commission makes the change.

“It shows they are more concerned with the well-being of criminals than with the safety of our communities.”

Sen. Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa) called it a “bad idea.”

“There is simply no just or logical reason why their punishments should be dramatically more severe than those of other cocaine offenders,” Holder testified. Continue reading

Chandra Levey Murderer Gets 60 Years

Now…If the Republicans (and Faux News) who falsely accused Democrat Gary Condit of Murder in the case, ruining his career each got 10 years to serve right next to the scumbag who actually murdered Levy…

Justice might indeed be served.

Convicted murderer gets 60 year sentence in Chandra Levy case

Convicted murderer Ingmar Guandique was sentenced on Friday to 60 years in prison for the death of former federal intern Chandra Levy, a court official said, capping off a controversial, decade-long case.

In November, Guandique, a 29-year-old Salvadoran immigrant, was convicted on two counts connected to Levy’s death.

Levy disappeared on May 1, 2001, launching a wide search that turned up few details about her whereabouts but did bring allegations the 24-year-old Levy had an affair with then-Congressman Gary Condit of California.

The married Condit acknowledged having a “close relationship” with Levy but maintained he had nothing to do with her disappearance or death.

Despite never being named a suspect, media coverage of the investigation contributed to his reelection loss in 2002.

Guandique isn’t the only one who deserves an Orange Jumpsuit here. This is a story of how political vindictiveness effectively derailed an investigation and let a murdering scumbag wander the streets to rape and kill again.

Republican Tom Delay Gets Wrist Slap for Money Laundering

I think, considering the damage Delay did – about 10 years would have been more appropriate for this one. At least, the guy doesn’t get to go to “Club Fed” if he is ever put in jail. And as a reminder of what happened the last time Republicans had a majority in the House…

DeLay Sentenced to 3 Years in Money Laundering Case

Some Cute Orange Ballet Flats for Tom "DeLiar"

Tom DeLay, the former House majority leader, was sentenced to three years in prison on Monday after convictions for money laundering and conspiracy stemming from his role in a scheme to channel corporate contributions to Texas state races in 2002.

Mr. DeLay, once one of the most powerful and polemical Republican congressmen in the state’s history, was ushered out of Travis County Court after the sentencing and was taken by sheriff’s deputies to the county jail, where he was expected to post a $10,000 bond and be released pending an appeal.

After listening to Mr. DeLay say he felt he had done nothing wrong, Judge Pat Priest sentenced him to three years in prison for the conspiracy count and 10 years’ probation for the money laundering count. The judge rejected arguments from Mr. DeLay that the trial had been a politically motivated vendetta mounted by an overzealous Democratic District Attorney.

“Before there were Republicans and Democrats, there was America, and what America is about is the rule of law,” the judge said just before pronouncing the sentence.

In November, a jury convicted Mr. DeLay of money laundering and conspiracy to commit money laundering in an unusual trial. It was the first time the money-laundering law had been used in Texas against a politician who had circumvented the state ban on corporate money.

The evidence at the trial showed that Mr. DeLay and two associates illegally channeled $190,000 in corporate donations in 2002 to several Republcian candidates for the state legislature, using the Republican National Committee as a conduit. Texas bans corporations from giving directly to political campaigns.

The donations were seen as critical in the Republican takeover of the state legislature that year. Once they had control, Texas Republcian leaders pushed through a controversial congressional redistricting plan — engineered by Mr. DeLay — that sent more Texas Republicans to Congress in 2004 and helped to consolidate his power in Washington.

Before his sentencing, Mr. DeLay said he was perplexed about how the criminal code could be applied to what he did. The practice of swapping corporate contributions given to state committees for individual contributions given to national parties was commonplace in 2002, he said. “I never intended to break the law — I have always played by the rules,” he told the judge.

“I cannot be remorseful for something I didn’t think I did,” he said. Continue reading

Looking at 3 1/2 Years in Leavenworth – Birther Suddenly Discovers He’s In the Army!

Lt. Col. Terrence Lakin

Disobeying the orders of a superior in the Military is a career limiting, if not prison ending exercise outside of some very narrow circumstances. Disobeying your commander because you don’t think he or she is qualified to be a commander…

Isn’t one of those exculpatory situations.

Faced with 3 1/2 years in the slammer – this “Birther” discovers he’s in the Army!

Army ‘Birther’ Changes Course, Says He’d Deploy

The View at Leavenworth, Which Lt. Col Lakin May Have Bought Himself a Ticket To See... From the Inside

An Army doctor who disobeyed orders to deploy to Afghanistan because he questioned President Barack Obama’s eligibility to be commander in chief told a jury Wednesday he was wrong to do so and would now deploy if he could. Lt. Col. Terrence Lakin of Greeley, Colo. was speaking during a court martial hearing Wednesday at Fort Meade.

He faces up to 3 1/2 years in a military prison and dismissal from the Army after being found guilty of missing a flight that would have gotten him to his eventual deployment and pleading guilty to disobeying orders to meet with a superior and to report to Fort Campbell in Kentucky. He asked the jury to let him remain in the Army when it decides his punishment, and jurors are expected to begin deliberating on his sentence on Thursday.

“I don’t want it to end this way,” said Lakin, a 17-year veteran of the Army. “I want to continue to serve.”

Under questioning by his defense attorney, Neal Puckett, Lakin expressed remorse for disobeying orders. He said he now understands that the Army cannot answer his question about Obama’s eligibility to be president and that it was not the appropriate place to raise the issue.

“I was wrong for trying to push this issue within the Army,” he said.

In videos posted on YouTube earlier this year, Lakin aligned himself with the so-called “birther” movement, which questions whether Obama is a natural-born citizen as the U.S. Constitution requires for presidents. Lakin had said he would “gladly deploy” if Obama’s original birth certificate were released and proved authentic.

On Wednesday, however, Lakin reversed course, saying he would now deploy even with his question unanswered. Puckett asked him why.

“That’s my duty. It’s what I’ve trained for. I’m in the Army,” he replied.

“Are we done disobeying orders, Lt. Col. Lakin?” his attorney asked him.

“Yes,” Lakin replied.

 

First Prosecution Under New Hate Crimes Law

A New Mexico town is the honorary home of 3 men who will be the first prosecuted under the new Hate Crimes Legislation. The town is trying to get past a bloody history of Hate Crimes. Perhaps this prosecution, like the first successful prosecution of KKK criminals during the Civil Rights era will serve notice to the scumbags …

Swastika Brand

Swastika case another race issue for NM town

Three friends had just finished their shifts at a McDonald’s when prosecutors say they carried out a gruesome attack on a customer: They allegedly shaped a coat hanger into a swastika, placed it on a heated stove and branded the symbol on the arm of the mentally disabled Navajo man.

Authorities say they then shaved a swastika on the back of the 22-year-old victim’s head and used markers to scrawl messages and images on his body, including “KKK,” ”White Power,” a pentagram and a graphic image of a penis.

The men have become the first in the nation to be charged under a new law that makes it easier for the federal government to prosecute people for hate crimes.

The case also marked the latest troubling race-related attack in this New Mexico community, prompting a renewed focus among local leaders on improving relations between Navajos and whites.

The defendants are accused of violating the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act and could face 10 years in prison if convicted. The sentences could be extended to life if the government proves kidnapping occurred.

Federal prosecutors say they were able to bring the case because the 2009 law eliminated a requirement that a victim must be engaged in a federally protected activity, such as voting or attending school, for hate crime charges to be leveled.

The law also expanded civil rights protections to include violence that is based on gender, disability, sexual orientation or gender identity.

The swastika branding has also put the spotlight back on Farmington, a predominantly white community of about 45,000 residents near the Navajo Nation.

Farmington leaders signed a historic agreement earlier this month with the Navajo Nation in which both sides pledged to work toward improving race relations.

The signing ceremony was held at City Hall and included a blessing by a Navajo medicine man who prayed for a strong, stable and long-running agreement. City officials sat cross-legged on the floor alongside Navajos during the service.

“Mistreatment of fellow humans is a learned behavior. The only thing that will address that directly is education,” said Duane “Chili” Yazzie, chairman of the Navajo Nation Human Rights Commission and a participant in the signing ceremony.

The signing was significant because it put into writing what both sides have long expressed. Negotiations took almost a year as the parties discussed wording and language.

Navajo and city leaders agree race relations have improved dramatically since May 1974, when the beaten and burned bodies of three Navajo men were found north of town. Three white high school students were linked to the crime and sent to reform school, outraging the Navajo community.

More recently there were other events.

There was the 2006 kidnapping and beating of a Navajo man by three young white men. Six days later, a Navajo man was shot to death in a Walmart parking lot by a Farmington police officer responding to a domestic violence call.

The shooting was ruled justified by sheriff’s investigators and the Justice Department determined there was no basis for a civil rights investigation. Still, the incident touched off a round of protests by angry Navajos.

When a New Mexico advisory committee to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights visited Farmington in 2004 to assess the city’s progress 30 years after the canyon murders, several speakers at a forum complained that harassment of Indians by white youth continues.

In the current case, defendants William Hatch of Fruitland and Paul Beebe and Jesse Sanford, both of Farmington, have pleaded not guilty. Their court-appointed lawyers have declined comment. They have also been charged with state crimes.

Yazzie and Mayor Tommy Roberts said despite the history of problems, there is evidence of substantial progress in Farmington, including the recent agreement between city and tribal leaders.

 

Oscar Grant Verdict

Following the announcement of sentencing of BART Officer Johannes Mehserle for the murder of Oscar Grant, there were protests in Oakland. While most of the protest was peaceful, a group did break off and started a riot, resulting in 152 arrests.

Now it will undoubtebly be conveyed in the MSM that it was black folks protesting (and rioting) – but as you will see from the video, the people protesting came from a large cross section of the local population.

How this will be distorted in the MSM…

Is indeed part of the problem.

Now, being a sports shooter myself, owning weapons of similar capacity as the BART Police use, and having also handled a Taser – I’m not sure I buy the Defense line of confusion between the two. There are a lot of differences between the weight, grip, trigger placement, and color of the weapons – which seem to me to make confusion pretty difficult, if not impossible. Near as difficult as confusing the feel of a revolver with a semi- auto. The manufacturers of Taser weapons in fact, go out of their way to design the weapon to be distinguishable, to prevent such confusion.

While I think the full 15 years would have been excessive…

I think the 2 year sentence was a bit on the light side.

 

First NOPD Officer Sentenced for Katrina Murders

Justice is slow – but at least in this case… It’s getting there.

NOPD Officer Gets Three Years For Cover-Up of Danziger Bridge Shootings

Former New Orleans Police Officer Jeffrey Lehrmann was sentenced Wednesday to three years in federal prison for his part in the cover-up of the Danziger Bridge shootings, our partners at the New Orleans Times-Picayune reported today.

Lehrmann is one of 11 officers who have been charged in the Sept. 4, 2005 incident, in which police officers opened fire on unarmed civilians, killing two and wounding four others. He was the first of five officers to cooperate with federal investigators.

Lehrmann pleaded guilty in February to concealing a crime, after coming forward and disclosing his role in an extensive cover-up that followed the shootings. According to the bill of information filed by the U.S. Department of Justice, Lehrmann “participated in the creation of false reports” and provided “false information to investigating agents.” He is the first to be sentenced in the case and is expected to testify in the trial of other officers.

ProPublica, the Times-Picayune and PBS Frontline have been investigating the circumstances around the shooting of 10 unarmed civilians by NOPD in the days after Hurricane Katrina. In addition to theDanziger Bridge case, the killings of Henry Glover,Danny Brumfield, and Matthew McDonald, and the shooting of Keenon McCann remain open federal investigations.

In August, in response to reports by ProPublica, the Times-Picayune and PBS Frontline, federal investigators also launched an inquiry into allegations that high-ranking officers in the NOPD gave orders authorizing police to shoot looters in the chaotic days after the hurricane .

In all, there are at least nine open federal investigations into misconduct by the NOPD, most dealing with incidents that took place after Katrina. So far, 16 NOPD officers have been charged. Another two have been charged in a case from July 2005.

Congress Mends, But Doesn’t End Crack Cocaine Sentencing Disparity

Something of an improvement – but since the two are chemically identical, any disparity is completely political.

Congress Approves Crack Cocaine Sentencing Changes

Washington…Addressing what both Democrats andRepublicans agreed was a quarter-century old injustice in drug sentencing, Congress gave final approval Wednesday to a bill reducing the penalty for crack cocaine offenders.

The legislation, which was welcomed by the Obamaadministration, reduces the disparities between sentences for powdered cocaine and crack cocaine based on the heavier weight of crack, which is often sold in crystals. Crack cocaine is used disproportionately by blacks, leading to complaints of discrimination.

“By sending the bill to the President, the House has taken an important step toward more just sentencing policies while enhancing the ability of law enforcement officials to protect our communities from violent and dangerous drug traffickers,” said Attorney General Eric HolderThe White House said Obama would sign the bill.

In an effort to stem rampant crack cocaine use, a law was passed in 1986 that had the effect of giving crack cocaine offenders the same jail sentence as a someone who possessed 100 times the same amount of powder cocaine. The bill narrows that ratio to 18 to one and eradicates the mandatory five-year jail sentence for first-time offenders charged with possessing five grams of crack cocaine.

Under the new bill, a person in possession of 28 grams of crack cocaine would trigger that five-year jail sentence, said Julie Stewart, president of the advocacy group Families Against Mandatory Minimums.

“This is certainly a victory,” said Stewart. “Earlier attempts to correct the stiff sentences for crack cocaine defendants have failed, so this is the first time there has been bipartisan support for significant reform to crack penalties.”

The bill was sponsored in the Senate by Senator Richard Durbin (D-Ill.), who teamed up with colleague Jeff Sessions (R.-Ala.) to pass the legislation unanimously through the Senate in March. Republican senators Orrin Hatch of Utah and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina were also vocal supporters of the bill.

That same bipartisan support was echoed in the House, with only Texas representative Lamar Smith voicing opposition during the voice vote Wednesday.

“Why are we coddling some of the most dangerous drug traffickers in America?” said Smith, who argued that passing the bill could increase drug violence to the same levels as the 1980s, when crack cocaine use was rife.

But some said the legislation does not go far enough because it still treats crack and powder cocaine differently.

“It ultimately came down to politics as opposed to research on what would work best,” said Matt Mauer, executive director of the Sentencing Project. “And many organizations and many members of Congress had been pushing for a 1 to 1 ratio, but that was just not going to happen this year.”

The New Jim Crow – Why the US Justices System is an Injustice

Hat Tip to Truthout for this marvelous analysis and dissection of Justice in America.

The New Jim Crow, Just Like The Old Jim Crow - Just Fashionable

Fourteen Examples of Systemic Racism in the US Criminal Justice System

The biggest crime in the US criminal justice system is that it is a race-based institution where African-Americans are directly targeted and punished in a much more aggressive way than white people.

Saying the US criminal system is racist may be politically controversial in some circles. But the facts are overwhelming. No real debate about that. Below, I set out numerous examples of these facts.

The question is – are these facts the mistakes of an otherwise good system, or are they evidence that the racist criminal justice system is working exactly as intended? Is the US criminal justice system operated to marginalize and control millions of African-Americans?

Information on race is available for each step of the criminal justice system – from the use of drugs, police stops, arrests, getting out on bail, legal representation, jury selection, trial, sentencing, prison, parole and freedom. Look what these facts show.

One. The US has seen a surge in arrests and putting people in jail over the last four decades. Most of the reason is the war on drugs. Yet, whites and blacks engage in drug offenses, possession and sales at roughly comparable rates – according to a report on race and drug enforcement published by Human Rights Watch in May 2008. While African-Americans comprise 13 percent of the US population and 14 percent of monthly drug users, they are 37 percent of the people arrested for drug offenses – according to 2009 Congressional testimony by Marc Mauer of The Sentencing Project. Continue reading

Orange Jumpsuit Award – Kilpatrick Headed to Prison

kwame kilpatrick

Ex Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick At Sentencing

Kilpatrick Headed to Prison

Former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick is heading to prison…

Wayne County Judge David Groner sentenced him to one-and-half to five years.

Kilpatrick was escorted out of the courtroom in handcuffs and will be transported to Jackson where he will be processed and soon learn which prison will become his new home.

Before the sentencing, Groner spent more than twenty minutes discussing what led them to this court hearing in the first place. Continue reading

The New Jim Crow – Racial Disparities in Sentencing Rise

Racial Disparities in Sentencing Rise After Guidelines Loosened

Washington – Black and Hispanic men are more likely to receive longer prison sentences than their white counterparts since the Supreme Court loosened federal sentencing rules, a government study has concluded.

The study by the U.S. Sentencing Commission reignited a long-running debate about whether federal judges need to be held to mandatory guidelines in order to stamp out what might appear to be inherent biases and dramatically disparate sentences.

The report analyzed sentences meted out since the January 2005 U.S. v. Booker decision gave federal judges much more sentencing discretion.

For years, legal experts have argued over the disparity in sentencing between black and white men. The commission found that the difference peaked in 1999 with blacks receiving 14 percent longer sentences. By 2002, however, the commission found no statistical difference. Continue reading

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