Archive for December, 2007

In a nightmare befitting Homer Simpson, doughnut thief Scott A. Masters, 41, was facing 30 years in jail for stealing a doughnut and shoving a store employee. The case produced a national outcry and the court recently sentenced him to a five-year suspended sentence, five years of probation and 90 days in the county jail, including time he has served since Sept. 19. He was released this month. (more…)

Read Full Post »

Americans have always been defined by their robust views of individual autonomy and privacy. However, in the last ten years, privacy has suffered massive reductions in the United States due to both governmental and private surveillance, data mining, and searches. Now an international privacy groups ranks for the United States and England as some of the worst “endemic surveillance societies.” (more…)

Read Full Post »

Another member of the Long Island jury that found John White guilty of manslaughter in Long Island has emerged to claim coercion or pressure in reaching the verdict. Previously, a white juror in a racially controversial murder case has gone public with a claim that he felt pressured by the judge and fellow jurors to convict John White, a black man found guily of killing a white teen, Daniel Cicciaro. It is a claim that is likely to produce more of a political and social response than a legal response. Instead, the defense is likely to challenge the judge’s instructions in the case. (more…)

Read Full Post »

For years, unnamed government officials have acknowledged that they use “extraordinary renditions” to send suspects to other countries to be tortured. Our ally Egypt is a favorite destination of such flights. Now, videos of Egyptian torture have forced Americans to see what such “special treatment” is like for suspects. In one video, a woman is forced to strip and is abused by a police officer and in another Egyptian mini-bus driver, Emad el-Kabir, 21,l is shown screaming on the floor as officers sodomize him with a wooden pole. The police then sent the video to el-Kabir’s friends to humiliate him. These videos remove the abstract quality of the debate over U.S. torture policies, both in terms of waterboarding and extraordinary renditions. (more…)

Read Full Post »

The meaning of standard immorality clauses in teaching contracts has long been a source of controversy. Such clauses tend to be very ambiguous and can sweep protected (but unpopular) activities within their scope. Now, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court has issued an opinion upholding an interpretation of the clause for that state, ordering a new hearing for Sherie Leigh Vrable, 49, of Washington Township in Fayette County, who was fired as a teaching assistant in an emotional support class with the Westmoreland Intermediate Unit. The immorality cited was her overdose of a drug at the school. (more…)

Read Full Post »

A six-year-old girl won an essay contest for Hanna Montana ticket beginning with the fraudulent claim that “My daddy died this year in Iraq.” What is astonishing is the amoral attitude of the mother, Priscilla Ceballos, who said “We did the essay and that’s what we did to win . . . We did whatever we could do to win.” The question is now whether prosecutors will do whatever they can to criminally charge on what may constitute a fraud. It could be a close question. (more…)

Read Full Post »

Former major leaguer Jim Leyritz was arrested Friday on charges of driving under the influence and killing a driver after his car crashed into 30-year-old Fredia Ann Veitch. (more…)

Read Full Post »

In an important ruling, the Seventh Circuit overturned a $156 million award against the Holy Land Foundation charity for their alleged involvement in the terrorist death of 17-year-old David Boim, an American teenager killed in the West Bank. (more…)

Read Full Post »

The Chinese government has been accused to rigging pollution figures to secure the upcoming Olympics, but pollution in the city reached the maximum stage five level this week — forcing the city to encourage people to stay indoors. This is likely to increase the unease of various countries to have their top athletics compete in the unhealthy environment. (more…)

Read Full Post »

It may have been the booze, the Christmas blues, or cabin fever, but two men manning the U.S. Amundsen-Scott Pole station in Antartica were airlifted out of the remote location after a brawl that left one with a broken jaw. (more…)

Read Full Post »

Larry Green’s nightmare in 2005 only began when he was struck by a car while crossing a highway. After he was mistakingly declared dead, he was put into a body bag and sent to the morgue — only to be discovered as alive hours later. His family is now suing the state. Remarkably, this is not a unique case. (more…)

Read Full Post »

The legal status of the San Francisco Zoo appears to be worsening. The zoo’s director admitted on Thursday that a wall that separated the public from the zoo’s tigers is nearly 6 feet lower than initially reported — and nearly 4 feet lower than industry standards. In the meantime, the father of the teen killed by the tiger has accused of the zoo of negligence. (more…)

Read Full Post »

It is said that justice delayed is justice denied. For Martin Tankleff, 36, justice was 17 years in coming when an appellate court overturned his conviction of the murder of his parents and ordered a retrial. Regardless of whether Tankleff is guilty or innocent, he clearly was deprived of a fair trial by police and prosecutors. (more…)

Read Full Post »

As Congress deals with rising complaints over junk mail clogging mailboxes, it might want to start by reducing its own contributions to the scourge. Last year, U.S. House members spent $20.3 million to spend unsolicited mail to constituents on subjects ranging from car care to advice on job interviews. It is one of the reasons why incumbents are so difficult to unseat — members have created a constructive public subsidy for campaigns, but only for incumbents. (more…)

Read Full Post »

In the competition for worst Christmas ever, it is a tie this year between Robert Schoff who got stuck in his sepic tank or Roger Goswell who put his dead wife under his Christmas tree or Shawn Johnson who paid for opening his present early by being stabbed by his wife. (more…)

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 13,693 other followers