When the Obama Administration sent in a team to investigate civil rights violations in the 2012 shooting death of Trayvon Martin, some of us expressed doubt over the basis for such a charge as well as the timing of the federal move into the case. Indeed, I was highly skeptical of how the case was charged and prosecuted. Now the Washington Post is reporting that, after two years of investigation, Justice officials do not believe that they have sufficient evidence to bring federal charges.
Archive for the ‘Justice’ Category
b>Submitted by Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor
We previously reported HERE and HERE what many believe to be a grave miscarriage of justice where Montana School Teacher Stacey Dean Rambold was sentenced to Fifteen Years in prison with all but thirty one days suspended after being convicted of the child rape of a fourteen year old student. The victim later committed suicide.
After a public outcry and pressure placed upon the former judge and the prosecutor’s office Judge Randal Spaulding resentenced Rambold, this time to 15 years in prison, with five years of suspended, according to a prosecutor in the case. The court remanded Rambold to custody. He will receive credit for time served under his original sentence.
Submitted by Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor
Prosecutors before the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia in The Hague are expected to present closing arguments in the years long trial of Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadžić for eleven counts of war crimes, including genocide charges for his involvement in the massacres of Bosnian Muslims and Ethnic Croats during his reign as the President of the Republika Srpska in the Bosnian war that was waged in the aftermath of the breakup of Yugoslavia.
Karadžić was a fugitive from justice from 1996 until his arrest in Belgrade in 2008 where shortly thereafter he was extradited to The Netherlands pending charges before the ICTY. He was preceded in trial by Slobodan Milošević, the former President of Serbia but who died prior to the conclusion of his trial. General Ratko Mladić, a Bosnian Serb military official, is also standing before the ICTY for events during the Srebrenica Massacre.
The prosecution expects that if most of the charges result in convictions, Karadžić likely will remain imprisoned for life.
Submitted by Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor
In what promises to be a sign of holding executives liable for their involvement in putting poisonous products into the food supply a Federal Jury convicted former Peanut Corporation of America owner Stewart Parnell of Conspiracy, Obstruction of Justice, Wire Fraud, and other crimes relating to a nationwide outbreak of salmonella that sickened over seven hundred individuals in forty three states and likely killed nine. Federal investigators in 2009 traced tainted peanut butter supplied by Parnell’s business to several producers who then packaged it into peanut butter containing foods according to the Centers for Disease Control.
The seven week trial, the culmination of a five year ordeal, has perhaps in measure brought closure and justice for those suffering damages from executives who knowingly and intentionally conspired to endanger so many.
Below is my column on the resignation of Eric Holder as United States Attorney General. For civil libertarians, Holder’s tenure as Attorney General under President Obama has been one of the most damaging periods in our history with a comprehensive attack on various constitutional rights and principles from free speech to the free press to international law. In recent polling by NBC and the Wall Street Journal, Holder was the second most unpopular government official after the positively radioactive Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio.
As someone who previously called for Holder’s firing after the investigation of various journalists under national security powers, I am hardly one who can offer congratulatory sentiments for such a record. However, much like President Obama, one has to wonder what could have been if Holder had chosen a more principled and less political approach to his office. Holder is resigning the same week that a federal judge ordered the release of “Fast and Furious” documents after the Justice Department was accused of a pattern of delay and obstruction. Holder was previously held in contempt by Congress for his withholding documents and conflicting accounts to an oversight committee looking into the scandal. Indeed, Holder was looking at an even more aggressive period with the possible loss of the Senate and increased GOP seats in the House.
Ironically, Holder came into office trying to distinguish himself from such disastrous predecessors as Alberto Gonzales but proved no less political or blindly loyal to his own president. Indeed, both men fought aggressively to expand the powers of the presidency and national security laws over countervailing individual rights and separation of powers principles. It will be civil liberties and not civil rights that will be the lasting, and troubling, legacy of Eric Holder. The column is below:
Posted in Congress, Courts, Criminal law, Free Speech, International, Justice, Lawyering, Military, Politics, Religion, tagged 9/11 Commission Report, House Intelligence Committe, Philip Zelikow, Stephen Lynch, Walter Jones on 1, September 14, 2014 | 71 Comments »
Respectfully submitted by Lawrence E. Rafferty (rafflaw) Weekend Contributor
In light of the recently observed 13th anniversary of the events on 9/11/01, I read an article this week that caught my eye. According to reports, there is a 28 page section of the 9/11 Commission report that has never been released publicly and remains secret to this day. Indeed, Congressmen must go through numerous security reviews before they can read the document in a secure room in Washington, D.C.
What kind of secret and clandestine information can be found in such a guarded document? Since it is top-secret, we can only go by the reviews of people who have read the report. What is found in that report may surprise you in light of its level of secrecy. (more…)
Respectfully submitted by Lawrence E. Rafferty (rafflaw)-Weekend Contributor
I guess I should not be surprised anymore, but it still saddens me to read that our old friend, Halliburton, has pled guilty to destroying evidence concerning their participation in the BP Deepwater Horizon oil rig explosion and the subsequent environmental disaster in 2010. If they pled guilty why should I be upset? I am upset that the Department of Justice agreed to a $1.1 Billion fine instead of jail time. Once again a corporate “citizen” has committed a crime and no one is going to jail. (more…)