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Getting Away With Murder – 10,000 Shootings…13 Convictions

Since 2005, only 13 cops have been convicted of murder. Using this year as a baseline where Police shot over 1,000 citizens…That could be 10,000 shootings in the last decade. We know that a lot of those shootings haven’t exactly been the stereotypical shootout with Bank Robbers. And to update the author of this piece…There is something wrong with this picture.

Here’s How Many Cops Got Convicted Of Murder Last Year For On-Duty Shootings

There’s something strange about this picture.

Many people viewed 2015 as a year of reckoning for police, with continued scrutiny of the use of deadly force spurring momentum for reform. In reality, however, the road to accountability remains a long one.

That point is clearly reflected in the number of police officers who were convicted on murder or manslaughter charges last year for fatally shooting a civilian in the line of duty.

In 2015, that number was zero.

And that’s not unusual. No officers were convicted on such charges in 2014 either.

In fact, since 2005, there have only been 13 officers convicted of murder or manslaughter in fatal on-duty shootings, according to data provided to The Huffington Post by Philip Stinson, an associate professor of criminology at Ohio’s Bowling Green State University. Stinson’s data doesn’t include cases in which civilians died in police custody or were killed by other means, or those in which officers only faced lesser charges.

One of the last successful convictions came in 2013, when Culpeper Town, Virginia, police officer Daniel Harmon-Wright was sentenced to three years in jail for voluntary manslaughter charges in the slaying of Patricia Cook, an unarmed 54-year-old, a year earlier.

On Feb. 9, 2012, Harmon-Wright responded to a suspicious vehicle call and found Cook parked in a local Catholic school parking lot. In court, Harmon-Wright said when he asked Cook for her driver’s license, she rolled up her window, trapping his arm, before beginning to drive away. Harmon-Wright responded by unloading seven rounds into Cook, with fatal shots hitting her in the back and head. But a jury didn’t find the officer’s testimony credible, returning a guilty verdict on three charges in the shooting death. After serving out his sentence, Harmon-Wright was releasedin 2015.

Some officers in these cases have served out yearslong sentences for their crimes. Others were in and out of jail in months. Some even became police officers again. But only a tiny portion of cops who kill while on duty ever face charges for their actions, much less actual punishment.

The inability to convict police on murder or manslaughter charges for fatal on-duty shootings contrasts with a recent increase in prosecution, Stinson said. In 2015, 18 officers faced such charges, a significant increase from an average of around five officers each year over the preceding decade. Many of these cases involved incidents from previous years and have yet to go to trial, but if history is any indicator, it seems unlikely that many of the officers will be convicted.

The tiny number of convictions in fatal police shootings looks even smaller when you consider just how many cases the criminal justice system considers each year. Although there are no reliable government statistics on civilians killed by police, data compiled independently last year by outlets like The Guardian and The Washington Post, or civilian tracker Mapping Police Violence, have led to estimates of roughly 1,000 deadly shootings each year.

Of that total, prosecutors and grand juries around the nation each year have determined that around five of these cases involve misconduct worthy of manslaughter or murder charges. And in the end, the criminal justice system typically concludes that only around one shooting each year is consistent with manslaughter or murder.

This means the overwhelming majority of police shooting cases are ultimately determined to be justified homicides, in which deadly force was used lawfully, often in what police say was an effort to protect an officer’s safety or to prevent harm to the public.

One reason for the lack of prosecution and subsequent conviction begins with the Supreme Court’s legal standard for use of lethal force. According to Graham v. Connor, the landmark 1989 case that established the standard, each “use of force must be judged from the perspective of a reasonable officer on the scene, rather than with the 20/20 vision of hindsight.” The ruling specifically cautions against judging police too harshly for split-second decisions made in “tense, uncertain and rapidly evolving” situations. All of this gives officers plenty of leeway to explain why their actions were legal…Read the rest Here

 
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Posted by on January 13, 2016 in BlackLivesMatter

 

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Correcting History – Free Black Man Convicted of Freeing Slaves in 1840’s Pardoned by Delaware

Righting the historical wrongs. Samuel Burris had titanium plated brass cajones, knowing what would happen to him if he was caught by the slave catchers!

Delaware Governor to Pardon Man Who Helped Slaves Escape

Not even the threat of being sold into slavery could stop Samuel Burris, a conductor on the Underground Railroad, from helping slaves to freedom in the 19th century.

A free black man, Burris was caught helping a slave try to escape from Delaware in 1847. After Burris was tried and found guilty of enticing slaves to escape, part of his sentence was that he be sold into slavery for seven years. Instead, a Pennsylvania anti-slavery society raised the money to purchase him and set him free. And Burris went right back to helping slaves escape.

Now, Delaware Gov. Jack Markell has decided to posthumously pardon Burris for that long ago conviction, according to two people who have sought that step.

Ocea Thomas of Atlanta said in a telephone interview Tuesday that she received a phone call last weekend letting her know Markell would pardon Burris, who died in the 1860s and was one of Thomas’ ancestors. Phone and email messages left Tuesday for Markell’s spokeswoman, Kelly Bachman, were not immediately returned.

Thomas says she became emotional after learning that Burris, the brother of her great-great grandmother, would be pardoned.

“I stood there and cried. It was pride. It was relief. I guess justification. All of that,” Thomas said.

Robin Krawitz, a historian at Delaware State University who is writing a book about Burris, said historians don’t know exactly how many slaves Burris helped escape but they do know he continued his work even after his conviction, at great personal risk. Slaveholders and sympathizers eventually complained to the state legislature, saying Burris hadn’t stopped enticing slaves to leave their masters. Burris left the state when lawmakers responded with a law that could have brought a lashing so severe it would have been tantamount to a death sentence.

Thomas, Burris’ relative, says she was told the pardon will take place on Nov. 2, the anniversary of Burris’ conviction. The state had already been planning to unveil a historical marker honoring Burris that day. The marker will be placed in Delaware’s Kent County, near where Burris grew up.

Robert Seeley, of Havertown, Pennsylvania, who had asked the governor earlier this year to pardon Burris and two other men, confirmed that he’d also been contacted about the pardon.

“It’s a victory. It brings honor to the Burris family and it brings justice for Samuel Burris and his descendants. It’s making a wrong a right finally,” Seeley said.

Seeley had asked the governor to pardon Burris as well as two others who had worked to get slaves to freedom: John Hunn and Thomas Garrett, one of Seeley’s relatives who is credited with helping more than 2,000 slaves escape. Seeley says he got the idea after outgoing Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn granted clemency to three abolitionists convicted for hiding and helping escaped slaves.

Seeley says he’s been working with Markell’s office but that the governor can’t issue a pardon in Hunn and Garrett’s cases because they were tried in federal court, not state court. He says President Barack Obama would need to pardon them and that he plans to continue to work on a pardon in their case.

“Even if it comes out to be a proclamation or a declaration or not an official presidential pardon, so be it. We’ll see what we can do,” he said, adding there is “a lot of red tape.”

 
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Posted by on October 21, 2015 in Black History, Giant Negros

 

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A Little Bit of Justice – Judge Overturns Marissa Alexander Conviction And 20 Year Sentence

 

Under the category “Special Laws for certain people”…

Marissa Alexander at sentencing

JUSTICE: COURT FINALLY OVERTURNS MARISSA ALEXANDER’S 20 YEAR SENTENCE

A Florida woman who claimed to be a victim of abuse was sentenced to 20 years behind bars for allegedly firing a warning shot during an argument with her husband was granted a new trial.

The appellate court ruling erased a decision by a jury that took just 12 minutes to convict Marissa Alexander, a mother of three, of aggravated assault.

The conviction of Alexander, who is black, sparked outrage and cries of a racial double standard in light of the exoneration of George Zimmerman, a white Hispanic, for the death of Trayvon Martin, who was black. In particular, outrage aired on social media and among some lawmakers on Capitol Hill.

Alexander unsuccessfully tried to invoke Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law as the same prosecutors who unsuccessfully worked to put Zimmerman behind bars told the court that she did not act in self-defense.

In granting the new trial, Judge James Daniel also seemed unmoved by the Stand Your Ground defense.

“We reject her contention that the trial court erred in declining to grant her immunity from prosecution under Florida’s Stand Your Ground law, but we remand for a new trial because the jury instructions on self-defense were erroneous,” wrote Daniel.

Alexander testified that, on Aug. 1, 2010, her then-husband, Rico Gray Sr., questioned her fidelity and the paternity of her 1-week-old child.

She claimed that he broke through a bathroom door that she had locked and grabbed her by the neck. She said she tried to push past him but he shoved her into the door, sparking a struggle that felt like an “eternity.”

Afterwards, she claimed that she ran to the garage and tried to leave but was unable to open the garage door, so she retrieved a gun, which she legally owned.

Once inside, she claimed, her husband saw the gun and charged at her “in a rage” saying, “Bitch, I’ll kill you.” She said she raised the gun and fired a warning shot into the air because it was the “lesser of two evils.” The jury rejected the self-defense claim and Alexander was sentenced under the state’s 10-20-life law, sparking outrage over how self-defense laws are applied in the state.

A Florida appellate court ruled that jury instructions, which unfairly made Alexander prove “beyond a reasonable doubt” that she was acting in self-defense, were wrong — and that there were other incorrect instructions that self-defense only applied if the victim suffered an injury, which Gray had not.

The Lynching of Laura Nelson. The Old Jim Crow…Just Like the New Jim Crow

 
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Posted by on October 16, 2014 in The New Jim Crow

 

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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.

 
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Posted by on June 14, 2012 in American Greed

 

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Jennifer Hudson Family Killer Conviction

One of the most dispicable lies told by black conservatives about the black community has to do with crime. That somehow the black community has failed in policing it’s own. This is despite the fact that more black men have been incarcerated sine Raygun’s “War on Drugs” than were held in slavery in 1860, at the start of the Civil War.

Because 90% of crime is intra-racial – this means that it’s within the community, AND if the Justice System is selecting a “Jury of Peers”…

That many of the jurors are black.

So the community that is supposedly doing nothing, or in the most racist screeds by the Uncle Tom black conservative set is acquiescent to the criminality…

Is the same one that has put 1.5 million black men in jail for their crimes.

Hardly “doing nothing”.

The problem is – the “Criminal Industrial System” in America is a failure – taking small time users, giving them sentences with hard core felons…

And making more felons.

Indeed the sole purpose of the “War on Drugs” is to suppress the vote. There is an excellent book on the subject by Michelle Alexander – “The New Jim Crow – Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness”.

Read it.

Jennifer Hudson Family Murder Trial: William Balfour found guilty on all counts

After three days of deliberation, jurors found William Balfour guilty in the October 2008 shooting deaths of the Oscar-winner Jennifer Hudson’s mother, brother and nephew.

Balfour has been convicted on all seven counts against him, which include three counts of first-degree murder, one count of home invasion, one count aggravated kidnapping, one count residential burglary, and one count possession of a stolen motor vehicle.

Hudson, who expressed her undisguised disdain for William Balfour when she took the witness stand and who endured weeks of excruciating testimony about the October 2008 killings, was visibly overcome with emotion as the verdict was read. Hudson’s eyes filled with tears and she shook her head and bit her lip. Afterward, she looked over at her sister, Julia Hudson, and smiled.

Balfour, the ex-husband of Hudson’s sister, killed 57-year-old Darnell Hudson, 29-year-old Jason Hudson and 7-year-old Julian King. Prosecuters believe that Balfour shot the family in a jealous rage because ex-wife Julia Hudson was dating another man.

Balfour, 31, now faces a life sentence in prison.

Just for the heck of it… One of my favorite artists, Howard Hewitt…

 
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Posted by on May 12, 2012 in Domestic terrorism

 

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Hispanics Now Majority of Felony Convictions

Looks like Immigration “Enforcement” is doing for Hispanic communities what Drug “Enforcement” did to black communities.

Anything some folks can do to keep ’em from voting.

More bad news for black conservatives, as how are they going to sell that black dysfunction pimp driving white fear, and assuaging white conservative guilt…

If black folks aren’t public enemy “number one”?

Looks like there will be a lot of job openings in the conservative “think tank” and “talking head” sphere for “Tio Thomas” lawn ornaments…

And some of the black stalwarts of the right…

Better start looking for honest jobs.

File this one under “Domestic Terrorism”.

Prisons - Now a Cheaper Labor source than in either China or India

Feds: Hispanics comprise majority of all people sent to federal prison for committing felonies

More than half of all people sent to federal prison for committing felony crimes so far this year were Hispanic, a major demographic shift swollen by immigration offenses, according to a new government report released Tuesday.

Hispanics already outnumber all other ethnic groups sentenced to serve time in prison for federal felonies.

Hispanics reached a new milestone for the first time this year, making up the majority of all federal felony offenders sentenced in the first nine months of fiscal year 2011, according to the U.S. Sentencing Commission.

Hispanics comprised 50.3 percent of all people sentenced in that time period, blacks 19.7 percent and whites 26.4 percent.

In comparison, last year Hispanics made up just 16 percent of the whole U.S. population.

The commission’s statistics also reveal that sentences for felony immigration crimes _ which include illegal crossing and other crimes such as alien smuggling _ were responsible for most of the increase in the number of Hispanics sent to prison over the last decade.

The demographic change in who is being sent to federal prison has already prompted debate among commissioners and experts studying the impact of expedited court hearings along the border.

“Statistics like this have to start drawing attention to this country’s immigration policies and what we’re doing, if this is one of the results,” said Fordham University Law School professor Deborah Denno, an expert on racial disparities in the criminal justice system. “The implications for Hispanics are huge when you think of the number of families affected by having their breadwinners put away for what in some cases would be considered a non-violent offense.”

 
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Posted by on September 7, 2011 in Domestic terrorism

 

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5 NOPD Officers Guilty in Katrina Murders

danziger-defendants.jpg

Five current or former New Orleans police officers were convicted in the Danziger Bridge murder case, and subsequent cover up. They are, from top left: Kenneth Bowen, Robert Faulcon, Robert Gisevius, Arthur Kaufman and Anthony Villavaso.

The wheels of Justice turn slow, and they are often out of alignment, and way too often can be bought –

But every once in a while they actually produce justice…

5 NOPD officers guilty in post-Katrina Danziger Bridge shootings, cover-up

A jury this morning convicted all five New Orleans police officers accused in the Danziger Bridgeshootings, which took place amid the chaos after Hurricane Katrina and claimed the lives of two civilians, and a cover-up of startling scope that lasted almost five years.

The verdicts were a huge victory for federal prosecutors, who won on virtually every point, save for their contention that the shootings amounted to murder. The jury rejected that notion, finding that the officers violated the victims’ civil rights, but that their actions did not constitute murder.

Sentencing for the five officers, all of them likely facing lengthy prison terms, has been set for Dec. 14 before U.S. District Judge Kurt Engelhardt.

Four of the five officers — Kenneth Bowen, Robert Gisevius, Robert Faulcon and Anthony Villavaso — have been in custody since their arraignment.

The fifth, retired Sgt. Arthur “Archie” Kaufman, who was not involved in the shootings but headed the police investigation into them, remains free on bail.

In remarks on the courthouse steps shortly after the verdicts were rendered, lead prosecutor Barbara “Bobbi” Bernstein said she was “in awe” of the relatives of the bridge shooting victims. Without their persistence, she said, the truth about the incident would never come to light.

Lance Madison, whose brother, Ronald, was shot and killed on the bridge, and who was jailed for allegedly shooting at police, thanked the jury and the federal authorities who brought the case, while noting he will never get his brother back.

“We’re thankful for closure after six long years of waiting for justice,” Madison said.

The landmark civil-rights case — one of four major federal cases involving use of force by New Orleans police to result in indictments so far — has been closely watched around the nation.

Because of its sheer magnitude, the Danziger case was the most high-stakes of the nine civil-rights probes into the NOPD the Justice Department has confirmed. Before today’s verdicts, five other former officers, all of whom testified during the six-week trial, had already pleaded guilty to various roles in the shootings and the subsequent cover-up.

The two other cases to go to trial so far — involving the deaths of Henry Glover and Raymond Robair at the hands of police — both resulted in convictions, although two officers accused of different roles in the Glover case were acquitted, and a third officer who was convicted recently had that verdict vacated.

While today’s verdicts close the book on most aspects of the Danziger case, one officer charged in the cover-up still faces charges: retired Sgt. Gerard Dugue, who is set to be tried Sept. 26…

 
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Posted by on August 5, 2011 in Domestic terrorism, News, The New Jim Crow

 

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