Crime & Legal

Marcellus Williams Faces Execution Despite New Evidence

by Yarno Ritzen – Marcellus Williams is due to be executed on Tuesday despite new DNA evidence supporting his claim to innocence. On Tuesday night, the US state of Missouri is planning to execute Marcellus Williams despite a new report from a DNA expert that his lawyers argue supports his claim to innocence. In 2001, Williams, who is now 48, was convicted of the 1998 killing of Lisha Gayle. But his lawyers say new DNA evidence could exonerate him. The Missouri Supreme Court, however, has refused to review that evidence. Williams’ lawyer, Kent Gipson, has described the Supreme Court’s decision as “baffling”. “We petitioned the court to look at the new evidence on August 14th, and less than 24 hours later they decided based on the court files that the execution should go ahead anyway. This is unprecedented,” Gipson told Al Jazeera. Williams, who has always claimed he is innocent,...

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Oregon Sets Major Precedent. Will No Longer Treat Drug Possession As A Felony

by True Activist – Oregon just passed a law to stop locking up people caught with drugs, including cocaine, heroin, and meth, and the drug warriors are furious. Oregon — A wise person once said that insanity can be defined by doing the same thing over and over again while expecting a different result. If we apply this definition to the war on drugs, then every proponent of it needs to be locked in a psychiatric hospital. Not only has kidnapping and caging people for possessing arbitrary substances not worked — but it’s made it far worse.Using government force, ie the police, to curb addiction has had disastrous results. Not only has the drug war given the United States the world record for the largest prison population but it’s also given rise to one hellish police state. Luckily, however, a very small group of bureaucrats has been able to chip...

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Death Toll Continues to Rise in Duterte’s War on Drugs (VIDEOS)

Police claim killing of 25 criminals in Manila’s week of bloodshed as President Duterte continues crackdown. Twenty-five criminals were killed, including 14 in anti-drug operations, overnight in the Philippine capital Manila in a second night of heavy bloodshed this week as President Duterte’s fierce war on drugs intensified. Thursday’s killings across Manila followed 32 deaths in near-simultaneous police operations on Monday night through to Tuesday in Bulacan province, marking the deadliest period of Duterte’s controversial crackdown that has killed thousands of Filipinos. Philippine police ‘dumping bodies’ of drug war victims Joel Napoleon Coronel, director of Manila Police District, told reporters the 14 were killed in sting operations and 11 other deaths were robbers who were also involved in narcotics. The identity of the killers of the 11 people were not known and the incidents were under investigation, police reports said. On Wednesday, President Duterte praised the operations, adding that he will order the...

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Police Kill ‘terrorists’ in Cambrils, Near Barcelona (GRAPHIC VIDEO)

Seven people also injured after a car drove into them in Spanish town, hours after a similar attack in nearby Barcelona. Spanish police early on Friday said they had killed alleged perpetrators of a suspected “terrorist attack” in the town of Cambrils, south of Barcelona. Six civilians and one police officer were hurt when a car drove into people in the Spanish seaside resort of Cambrils early on Friday, the regional government said, just hours after a similar deadly attack in nearby Barcelona. Two of the people injured were in a serious condition, emergency services in Catalonia said. Police shot four of the attackers dead and injured another one, saying they were “working on the hypothesis that the terrorists shot dead in Cambrils could be linked to what happened in Barcelona”. The news came hours after police launched a manhunt for the driver of a van who ploughed into...

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New York Times: “There is no such thing as the ‘alt-left.'”

by raptavio –  Like to say “Alt-left”? This is you  The New York Times today: Researchers who study extremist groups in the United States say there is no such thing as the “alt-left.” Mark Pitcavage, an analyst at the Anti-Defamation League, said the word had been made up to create a false equivalence between the far right and “anything vaguely left-seeming that they didn’t like.” Some centrist liberals have taken to using this term. “It did not arise organically, and it refers to no actual group or movement or network,” Mr. Pitcavage said in an email. “It’s just a made-up epithet, similar to certain people calling any news they don’t like ‘fake news.’” “Some centrist liberals”, of course, includes our own Markos Moulitsas, a choice which I hope he’s come to regret in the wake of Tangerine Palpatine’s press conference today. When used by centrists and some liberals, of course, this...

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Trump Blames ‘alt-left’ for Violence at White Supremacist Rally

by Melanie Schmitz – “I think there’s blame on both sides.” President Donald Trump on Tuesday condemned the counter-protesters who showed up at Saturday’s white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, stating that they had attacked the other group and were partially responsible for the violence that ensued. His comments drew swift criticism from those who saw the president’s remarks as an attempt to justify the initial rally, organized to protest the removal of a Confederate monument and unite white supremacists and Nazi-sympathizers behind a common cause. “What about the alt-left that came charging at the, as you say, ‘alt-right’? Do they have any semblance of guilt?” Trump said, during the televised news conference, which was originally intended to address infrastructure. “What about the fact that they came charging with clubs in their hands? Do they have any problem? I think they do.” Trump then claimed that the counter-protesters initiated the...

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NY Times Editorial Board Lambasts Trump

by teacherken – It is a signed editorial.   Signed by the editorial board.  Meaning all of the board. Its title is blunt  The Hate He Dares Not Speak Of. It begins as bluntly as any Times editorial I can remember: Let’s discard the fiction that President Trump wasn’t placating white supremacists by responding so weakly to the neo-Nazi violence that killed Heather Heyer, a 32-year-old counterdemonstrator in Charlottesville, Va., on Saturday. The neo-Nazis heard his message loud and clear. They they quote the response in The Daily Stormer  to  Trump’s weak response to what happened. They quote it.  I will not. The make sure we know that Trup’s advisers wanted him to make a more forceful statement, and that he did. They set the stage for their final pronouncements with this paragraph: Mr. Trump is alone in modern presidential history in his willingness to summon demons of bigotry and intolerance in service to himself. He began...

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Father Disowns Son In Powerful Open Letter After Learning He Marched In Charlottesville

by Amanda Froelich – Pearce Tefft publicly denounced his son’s discriminative behavior in an open letter you need to read. If you seek to make the world a better place, be compassionate, be humble, and do good. Such is a message millions of parents have shared with their children. A man named Pearce Tefft took the same care when raising his son, Peter Tefft. Unfortunately, Pearce no longer recognizes the same boy he raised. This was made evident when spotting him in the Unite the Right rally — a protest which occurred over the weekend and turned shockingly violent. As a result, Pearce made the hard decision to disown his son. “Peter Tefft, my son, is not welcome at our family gatherings any longer,” he wrote in a powerful open letter published on August 14th. In his hometown of Fargo, North Dakota, Peter has been labeled a “Nazi” by locals. This developed six months ago,...

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DOJ Wants Info on Every Person Who Visited Anti-Trump Protest Site

by Julia Conley – Web hosting company vows to protect users from ‘overreach’ and ‘abuse of government authority’. Decrying it as “investigatory overreach” and a “clear abuse of government authority,” web hosting provider DreamHost is challenging a request it received from the Justice Department for information about visitors to a client’s site used to organize protests against President Donald Trump on his Inauguration Day. In a blog post titled “We Fight for the Users,” the DreamHost wrote on Monday evening that the DOJ had demanded personal information of more than 1.3 million people who visited disruptj20.org, where they could find information about where anti-Trump events were taking place on January 20. In a July 12 search warrant the DOJ said it was looking for information about violations of riot laws in Washington, D.C., by requesting “names, addresses, telephone numbers and other identifiers, e-mail addresses, business information, the length of service (including start date), means...

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Democrats Want to Force Trump to Reveal How Much He is Pocketing From His New ‘job’

by Mark Sumner – With Donald Trump taking a 17-day vacation from the strenuous 53 days of golfing over his first seven months “on the job,” it’s hard to think of anything he’s done as work. But while he may be spending his time obsessing over Fox & Friends and waiting for his twice daily ego massage, that doesn’t mean he’s not making money, money, money off this sweet gig. Donald Trump’s company turned a $1.97 million profit at its opulent Trump International Hotel so far in 2017, dramatically beating its expectations and giving the first hard numbers to critics who charge that Trump is profiting from his presidency. The Trump Organization had projected that it would lose $2.1 million during the first four months of 2017 as it established a new hotel and convention business in the nation’s capital, according to newly released federal documents. That’s a $4 million turnaround based off Trump’s ability to...

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The Subtle Dogwhistle in Trump’s Belated Condemnation of White Supremacists

by Addy Baird – He’s still equivocating. President Donald Trump finally condemned by name members of the KKK, neo-Nazis, and white supremacists who rallied in Charlottesville, Virginia over the weekend. But despite finally doing so two days after an anti-white supremacist protester was murdered, Trump’s statement still leaned into “all lives matter” rhetoric he used on Saturday. It took two days for Trump, who often criticized former President Barack Obama for not saying “radical Islamic terrorism,” to explicitly condemn white supremacists, neo-Nazis, and the KKK. Trump said Monday those who cause violence in the name of racism “including the KKK, neo-Nazis, white supremacists and other hate groups,” are “criminals and thugs.” It’s unclear who he was referring to by mentioning “other hate groups,” but many understood it as a veiled reference to anti-fascist groups and groups like Black Lives Matter. “To anyone who acted criminally in this weekend’s racist violence, you will be held fully...

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Proud Mother Says Charlottesville Victim Heather Heyer ‘Was About Stopping Hatred’

by Jon Queally – “I want her death to be a rallying cry for justice and equality and fairness and compassion,” says mother of Heather Heyer. “No mother wants to lose a child, but I’m proud of her.” Though there is much more to learn about the lone victim—identified by family and friends on Sunday as Heather Heyer, a 32-year-old paralegal from Virginia—who lost her life in the vicious attack in Charlottesville on a group of anti-racist demonstrators, the last public message she left behind offered at least a semblance of what inspired her to march against hate on Saturday: “If you not outraged, you’re not paying attention.” The well-worn but still evocative saying is the banner image on Heyer’s public Facebook page, receiving increased attention since her horrific death on Saturday afternoon when an individual—the police have arrested and charged 20-year-old James Fields Jr. with murder—intentionally slammed a car into people protesting a rally...

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Heather Heyer, Charlottesville, and the Awful Trajectory of Political Violence

by Eric Boehm – Ultimately, individuals are responsible for their actions, no matter how heated the socialistic us-versus-them political rhetoric becomes. Heather Heyer, a 32-year-old paralegal, has been identified as the woman killed Saturday when a car slammed into another vehicle and a group of pedestrians on streets crowded with protesters in Charlottesville, Virginia. According to police, at least 20 people were injured in Saturday’s attack, which appeared to be directed at a group of counter-protesters marching against the white supremacists, white nationalists, and Nazis gathered in Charlottesville over the weekend. Video of the attack shows a silver Dodge Challenger being driven at high speed down a crowded street, sending pedestrians jumping out of the way. The car slammed into the rear of two other vehicles, sending cars and bodies flying. The driver of the car quickly reversed course, driving backwards up the same street. Police later found the car abandoned and arrested James...

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Hiring the Formerly Incarcerated as a Business Model (VIDEO)

by Jessica Wang – Fair chance hiring gives businesses dedicated workers and the formerly incarcerated a chance to get beyond stereotypes. For nearly two decades, filmmaker Katie Galloway has documented and exposed the flaws in our country’s criminal justice system, with investigative documentaries ranging from a trio of award-winning films for PBS Frontline — Snitch, Requiem for Frank Lee Smith and The Case for Innocence — to the impact of the prison building boom on rural America in Prison Town, USA. Her latest documentary, The Return, examined the effects of California’s Proposition 36, when thousands of people serving life terms under California’s three-strikes law were released after the legislation was amended in 2012. Both aired on PBS’s POVdocumentary film series. Galloway recently collaborated with The Marshall Project on Hot Chicken, Fair Chance, which focuses on a Columbus, Ohio restaurant that practices “fair chance” hiring of formerly incarcerated men and women. Filmmaker Jessica Wang recently interviewed Galloway about her latest project for BillMoyers.com.   Jessica Wang: You’ve built...

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Does it Really Matter if Netanyahu Ends Up behind Bars? (VIDEOS)

by Neve Gordon – Benjamin Netanyahu’s potential downfall and imprisonment will not change Israel’s colonial policies. “Background noise” was the way Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu characterised the decision of his former chief of staff, Ari Harow, to become a state witness. The following day, the prime minister’s press officer declared – for the 100th time – that “Nothing will happen, because nothing happened.” Despite his relentless effort to paint a business-as-usual atmosphere, this time it looks as if Netanyahu is actually going down. WATCH: Israeli PM Netanyahu under investigation for bribery (2:18) At least two probes dealing with serious allegations of bribery, breach of trust and fraud seem likely to end with an indictment against Israel’s premier. In “Case 1,000”, police suspect Netanyahu accepted lavish gifts from wealthy businessmen, while, in certain instances, he even provided services in return. “Harow is the game changer,” as one prominent Israeli columnist explained. Before becoming chief of staff, he was responsible...

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Stunning Report Helps Explain Trump’s ‘Indebtedness’ to Russia (VIDEO)

by jamess –  Say What !? Trump owes them. A lot. … A LOT, a lot. Why wasn’t this ‘bigly’ News back when this story broke in mid-July? Report:  Russian mob money helped build Trump business empire The 11th Hour with Brian Williams, msnbc.com — 7/17/17 A stunning report in The New Republic alleges that, whether Donald Trump knew it or not, for decades he made a large portion of his personal fortune from Russian mobsters & oligarchs.    Duration: 4:51 … That can’t be good Here is the core of it.  WILLIAM:  Is there a Quid vs a Pro Quo?  I mean with Trump having been accused of being so ‘transactional’ — is there a long … umm Debt — this reason to bend over backwards, to show Russia and Putin the benefit of the doubt?  What’s the active extortion, compromise-threat that you allege that you’ve found? UNGER:  Well I...

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New York City Throws Out 640,000 Outstanding Warrants and Freed These People From Fear of Arrest

by Tevye – On Wednesday, in a single afternoon, 640,000 people who hadn’t paid their fines for minor offenses such as parking violations, drinking in public, spitting, littering, walking a dog without a leash,…will no longer have to fear arrest. Many were homeless and that were given tickets…for being homeless. Sleeping in their cars or in the park. Panhandling. Not having a fixed abode. Over 90,000 of these were dismissed. In Brooklyn, the court erupted in applause as the D.A. dismissed close to 144,000 cases. Said Brooklyn D.A. Eric Gonzalez, “Someone who owes a $25 fine should not be arrested and brought down to central booking and spend 20 or 24 hours in a cell next to a hardened criminal. That’s not fair, and that’s not justice.” In the Bronx, 160,000 cases. “The people who have these warrants have not been in trouble with the law for a decade or more, and...

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FBI Carried Out Warrant On Republican Congressman Duncan Hunter

by Justin Acuff (Isaacs) – The LA Times is reporting that the Federal Bureau of Investigation carried out a search warrant on the campaign office of Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-CA) in relation to misappropriated funds during the campaign. Specifically, they searched the campaign treasurer’s office for documents and electronic records related to campaign spending. This is far from the first time Duncan Hunter has made his way into the news cycle for misusing campaign funds, so it should come as no surprise that the investigation has gone this far. As the LA Times reports: It was the more than $1,300 in video game purchases by Hunter’s campaign that first drew the attention of federal election officials and the San Diego Union-Tribune. Hunter blamed his son for the video game purchases, saying he had used the wrong credit card. Other unusual spending by Hunter’s campaign included a now-infamous airplane ride for the family rabbit and payments to nail salons, his...

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In Louisiana, a Private Company is Operating a Court-Approved Shakedown

by Brandon Buskey, ACLU Criminal Law Reform Project – Imagine being arrested. You haven’t been convicted of a crime, but you are told you have to pay bail to be released. If you don’t have enough money to pay the full bail amount, you could pay a bail bondsman, who will keep 10 percent of your bail fee as profit. Either way, if you cannot afford to purchase your freedom, you stay in jail. But in East Baton Rouge Parish, Louisiana, it’s worse than that. Here Judge Trudy White has for years been assigning people to a for-profit company, Rehabilitation Home Incarceration, to supervise the conditions of a person’s release — for a price. RHI then charges people who post bail a $525 fee simply to be released. And it doesn’t stop there. You then have to pay the company a monthly $225 “supervision” fee while awaiting trial. If you...

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How Close is Devin Nunes to Obstructing Justice? Sometimes the Fish Rots From the Tail Up

by pollwatcher – So there’s this very strange story about a couple of House Intelligence committee staff members going to London and trying to reach out to British spy Christopher Steele.  The strangeness comes from the fact that few if anyone else on the committee knew about it. Two congressional staffers traveled to London last month — reportedly at the direction of a longtime aide to Nunes — to question former British spy Christopher Steele about a memo he wrote about Trump campaign ties to Russia… Democratic lawmakers were angry they hadn’t been consulted about the two staffers’ London trip, while Republicans have accused their colleagues of maintaining back-channel contacts with Steele about the explosive, 35-page dossier. Nunes, who was on Trump’s transition team, was also involved in a fake story about secret intelligence that ended up having to have himself recused from the Russian investigation.  And the importance of Christopher Steele’s dossier can be...

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