Archive for the ‘Justice’ Category

Gloria Eun Hye Lee

Gloria Eun Hye Lee

By Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor

There are crimes where a defendant’s depraved actions almost beg for a strong sentence. Torching a pet store and pouring kerosene on puppies certainly qualifies.

Just over a year ago we reported the case of Gloria Eun Hye Lee who, along with codefendant Kirk Bills were accused of conspiracy, insurance fraud, arson, and animal cruelty for an outrageous event where the two set fire to Gloria’s Las Vegas Prince and Princess Pet Botique.

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department-of-justice-logo1Zimmermanx-inset-communityYesterday, the Justice Department closed the book on the George Zimmerman case with the announcement that it will not file federal civil rights charges. When Attorney General Eric Holder ordered in federal investigators soon after the shooting of Trayvon Martin, some (including myself) questioned the legal basis for entering the case based on the still developing evidence. The Justice Department usually allows state or city prosecutors and police to finish their investigation before entry into a case. Holder was viewed as responding to political pressure in ordering the premature entry in the case. That investigation will now end shortly before Holder leaves his very controversial tenure as Attorney General.

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Bruce_Rauner_August_2014

Respectfully submitted by Lawrence E. Rafferty (rafflaw) Weekend Contributor

I have to give Governor Bruce Rauner credit for not taking long to show his hand and publicly attack the Higher Education system in Illinois.  It has only been a few weeks since he was inaugurated and he recently unveiled his budget.  A budget plan that slashes over $200 million just from the University of Illinois alone.

At the very time Gov. Rauner announced he wants to slash the Higher Education budget for all universities in the State of Illinois by almost a third, he claimed that his budget makes education a priority!  (more…)

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220px-HK_HSBC_Main_Building_2008

Respectfully submitted by Lawrence E. Rafferty, (rafflaw) Weekend Contributor

British banking giant, HSBC reached an agreement in 2012 with the Department of Justice that kept it from being hauled in to court on criminal charges due to its systemic assistance in laundering money for drug cartels and allegedly terrorists.  HSBC, with its Hong Kong headquarters shown above, is now in trouble again for alleged problems prior to the settlement agreement in 2012.

“The US Department of Justice is considering bringing criminal charges against HSBC and its executives as part of its investigation into whether the bank’s Swiss subsidiary helped US clients evade taxes.

Democratic senator Elizabeth Warren called on prosecutors to “come down hard” on HSBC if the bank is found to have colluded with tax evaders on Tuesday.

Her intervention came as US government officials with knowledge of the DoJ’s investigation provided the Guardian with new details about the inquiry.

Renewed focus has been placed on the long-running investigation into HSBC Switzerland by the department, after a huge leak of secret bank data – passed to the DOJ’s tax division almost five years ago – was obtained by the Guardian and other media.

It shows that HSBC Switzerland helped some clients conceal millions of undeclared assets, and has immediately raised questions on Capitol Hill about the response from prosecutors and tax authorities.  US government officials said the investigation is not merely looking at HSBC’s US clients, and could also result in criminal indictments against the bank itself. “That has not been ruled out,” one official said, when asked if HSBC or its executives could be criminally indicted. “It is certainly something that is under consideration.” ‘ Reader Supported News  (more…)

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by Charlton (Chuck) Stanley, weekend blogger:

SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF MISSISSIPPI_color3In the summer of 2011, James Craig Anderson, an African-American man, was the victim of one of the most brutal murders one could imagine. It was all caught on security cameras in a parking lot in Jackson, Mississippi. Ten white teenagers, motivated by blood lust and blind hatred of black people, set out to find someone to kill.  They went to Jackson, MS, which they called, “Jafrica'” Their paths crossed that of James Craig Anderson that evening.

 

The crime is well documented, and those security camera videos are horrific. I am not going to embed them here. If the morbidly curious want to see them, they exist if you know where to look. This post is not about the single murder, but about a single Federal District Court Judge. The Honorable Carlton Reeves presides over his courtroom for the Southern District of Mississippi. He is the second African-American to be appointed to the Federal District Court in Mississippi. The other is Judge Henry Wingate, who was appointed by Ronald Reagan.

 

Last Tuesday, February 10, 2015, Judge Reeves pronounced sentence on three of the convicted killers. It was a long speech. He told them to sit down while he read what has been called an “unflinching account” of Mississippi’s troubled past, making a direct connection between that past to the three defendants before him.

 

Judge Reeves’ sentencing remarks are reproduced in their entirety below the fold. He is blunt, honest, and willing to look into the abyss of Mississippi’s history. It is worth reading.

 

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By Mike Appleton, Weekend Contributor

“That no person whatsoever in this Jurisdiction shall joyn any persons together in Marriage but the Magistrate, or such other as the General Court, or Court of Assistants shall authorize in such places where no Magistrate is near.”

-Lauues and Libertyes of Massachusetts (1648) (Legal Classics Library Ed. 1982)

First Things is a highly regarded ecumenical journal on religion and society. Its editor, R.R. Reno, recently posted online a document entitled “The Marriage Pledge.” The pledge is a reaction to the expansion of same-sex marriage recognition across the country, a phenomenon which conflicts “with the Christian understanding of marriage between a man and a woman.” To protest these changes, Christian ministers who sign the pledge agree that they “will no longer serve as agents of the state in marriage” and “will no longer sign government provided marriage certificates.” As of this writing, the pledge has attracted over 400 signatories.

The Marriage Pledge is an unfortunate document, however, and more than a little ironic. It is ineffectual because it presumes a level of importance that the clergy does not have in the formation of lawful marriages, and it abandons religious believers in the process. Those who understand something of the history of marriage will correctly perceive the pledge as a form of witless moral witness.

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Loretta_LynchI will have the honor of appearing today as part of the confirmation hearings in the Senate Judiciary Committee for Loretta Lynch, nominee to serve as United States Attorney General. Below is my written testimony for the hearing today.

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