Category: Criminal law

San Francisco Declares That Convicted Felons Will Now Be Called “Returning Residents” Or “Justice-Involved Persons”

We have previously discussed how the effort to control language that has been prominent on college campuses has now spread to city and state legislation like Berkeley getting rid of “manholes” in favor of “maintanence holes.” Now San Francisco has mandated that the use of felons, offender, and criminals is no longer correct. Instead, a convicted felon will now be referred to as a “justice-involved person” or “returning resident.” A juvenile “delinquent” will now be called a “young person impacted by the juvenile justice system.”

Continue reading “San Francisco Declares That Convicted Felons Will Now Be Called “Returning Residents” Or “Justice-Involved Persons””

New York Man Allegedly Impersonates Police Officer In Pulling Over Van . . . Full Of Real Detectives

According to police, Valiery Portlock’s career as a faux police officer came to a crashing end on a street in Hicksville, Long Island when he pulled over a van only to watch as real detectives stepped out of the vehicle. What happened next was

Continue reading “New York Man Allegedly Impersonates Police Officer In Pulling Over Van . . . Full Of Real Detectives”

Line Up or Cover Up? Portland Police Alter Line Up Picture In Bank Robbery Case

In decades of criminal defense work, I have never seen a case like this one. In Portland, police suspected Tyrone Lamont Allen of robbing four banks and credit unions. However, none of the tellers reported seeing his prominent facial tattoos. In a decision that should result in serious disciplinary action, the police photoshopped out the tattoos before showing the picture in a photo line up. The witnesses then identified Allen.

Continue reading “Line Up or Cover Up? Portland Police Alter Line Up Picture In Bank Robbery Case”

California Woman Convicted For Assault On Trump Supporters

Prosecutors said Jessica Aguilar’s jail sentence will be dropped if she completes community service.

I recently wrote about the limited coverage of violence by anti-Trump individuals and groups. A number of such cases are pending in Orange County where Trump supporters were attacked while trying to attend a rally. One conviction was recently handed down again for Jessica Aguilar, 23, of Sacramento. She slapped a man twice across the face during the March 25, 2017 rally at Bolsa Chica State Beach and was found guilty Wednesday of one misdemeanor count of battery. This is clearly a problem on both sides and it is continuing to spread, including 13 arrests in Oregon at the rallies this weekend with the seizure of various weapons.

Continue reading “California Woman Convicted For Assault On Trump Supporters”

A$AP Rocky Found Guilty In Sweden Despite Trump Intervention

I was previously critical of the intervention of President Donald Trump in the criminal case of American rapper A$AP Rocky  Trump not only demanded that Sweden grant bond (which is not available in Sweden) but tied the continued prosecution of the rap star to the status of diplomatic relations with our long-standing ally, Sweden. Now Rocky, whose real name is Rakim Mayers, and his two friends have been found guilty of assault.

Continue reading “A$AP Rocky Found Guilty In Sweden Despite Trump Intervention”

Blaming Trump For Triggering The Recent Shootings Is More About Controlling Speech Than Violence

Below is my column in The Hill newspaper on the continuing recriminations following the recent massacres. The effort to blame the massacres on Trump reflect an ongoing effort to control speech by declaring certain words to be “triggering.” In this case, the meaning is literal.

Here is the column:

Continue reading “Blaming Trump For Triggering The Recent Shootings Is More About Controlling Speech Than Violence”

Jeffrey Epstein Is Dead, But Questions Remain Very Much Alive

Jeffrey Epstein is dead. Few will likely mourn his passing but some will publicly regret it and others will privately celebrate it. The suicide comes a day after the release of documents implicating an array of powerful figures around the world. Epstein catered to friends from Bill Clinton to Prince Andrew. The timing has already caused some to question whether this was a true suicide or an effort to get rid of a man who was becoming a major threat to major players in politics and business. Close friends have already said that they believe that he was murdered. Given the low likelihood of success for Epstein, 66, in his criminal case and the prospect of spending the rest of his life in jail, a suicide attempt was likely. However, that raises the question of how a man who was once on a suicide watch could be allowed the material, let alone the opportunity, for a suicide. It appears that guards broke protocols during the night.

Continue reading “Jeffrey Epstein Is Dead, But Questions Remain Very Much Alive”

“Screaming Into The Void”: Why Gun Control Is So Hard To Enact

Washington appears to be settling around background checks as the response to the latest massacres in Texas and Ohio despite the fact that such background checks would not have stopped most of the past mass shootings. What politicians will not admit to the public is that there is a very limited range of actions that Congress can take in curtailing an individual constitutional right.

Here is the column:

Continue reading ““Screaming Into The Void”: Why Gun Control Is So Hard To Enact”

“A Sense Of Remorse”: Michigan Judge Gives Husband Just 60 Days For Repeatedly Poisoning Wife’s Coffee

In one of the most bizarre sentencing decisions in recent memory, visiting Judge Anthony Viviano sentenced Brian Kozlowski, 46, to just 60 days for a crime warranting 180 months. Kozlowski’s ex-wife suspected he was poisoning her and caught him on camera spiking her coffee. She was lucky but nearly not as lucky as he was in getting this ridiculously low sentence for a 12-year felony. Vivano said that he gave him the low sentence because Kozlowski showed some remorse.

Continue reading ““A Sense Of Remorse”: Michigan Judge Gives Husband Just 60 Days For Repeatedly Poisoning Wife’s Coffee”

“Army Tied My Mum’s Body To Chair And Blew It Up”: Body Donated for Alzheimer’s Research Used For Blast Testing

We have previously discussed cases involving abuses of corpses, particularly bodies donated for science or organ donation. Now there is a highly disturbing case out of Arizona where Jim Stauffer donated his mother’s body for Alzheimer’s research only to find out later that the body of Doris Stauffer was used for military testing and blown up

Continue reading ““Army Tied My Mum’s Body To Chair And Blew It Up”: Body Donated for Alzheimer’s Research Used For Blast Testing”

Trump Rescinds Medals For Prosecutors In Gallagher Case

President Donald Trump took a highly extraordinary — and in my view a highly inappropriate — step on Wednesday in ordering the Navy to rescind the achievement medals awarded to military prosecutors in the case against Navy SEAL Eddie Gallagher. Gallagher was accused of murder and other crimes in his killing of a teenage ISIS fighter who was his prisoner in 2017 in Iraq. It is hard not to view the President’s intervention as retaliation against prosecutors who took an unpopular case and carried out their duties despite being publicly ridiculed by the Commander in Chief. The move undermines the professionalism and independence of the military justice system.

Continue reading “Trump Rescinds Medals For Prosecutors In Gallagher Case”

“Entirely Divorced” From The Facts: Court Dismisses DNC Lawsuit Against Trump

I have written previously about the often frivolous lawsuits brought by Democratic leaders that not only threaten to create bad precedent but undermine legitimate claims against President Donald Trump. One such meritless action was filed by the Democratic National Committee, an action that came perilously close to crossing the line of Rule 11 on meritless or vexatious actions. Judge John Koeltl, a Clinton appointee, was scathing in dismissing the action against key members of the Trump Administration and Wikileaks as “entirely divorced” from the facts.

Continue reading ““Entirely Divorced” From The Facts: Court Dismisses DNC Lawsuit Against Trump”

American ISIS: “I Want To Be The Beheading Person”

Two Somali-Americans were arrested at Tucson International Airport for conspiring to join the Islamic State. What is striking about the arrest is how images that repulse ordinary people will attract those people with extremist or twisted mentalities. Ahmed Mohamed and Abdi Hussein were arrested at the airport on July 26th and the FBI released communications from the men, including Mohamed telling the undercover agent, “[I]f I go to Syria I want to be the beheading person.”

Continue reading “American ISIS: “I Want To Be The Beheading Person””

The Mysterious Mister Mifsud And Why No One Wants To Discuss Him

Below is my column in The Hill newspaper on the name that came up repeatedly in the Mueller hearings to the surprise of many viewers. The name is Joseph Mifsud and we still know little about him because Mueller, like so many others, refuses to discuss him. It is an example of how much of the origins of the Russian investigation remain largely walled off from public discussion.

More of such information arose this week after former Trump Adviser George Papadopoulos announced that he is heading back to Greece to retrieve $10,000 that “he suspects was dropped in his lap as part of an entrapment scheme by the CIA or FBI.” Once again, few people have heard of this money or the underlying allegation.

Here is the column:

Continue reading “The Mysterious Mister Mifsud And Why No One Wants To Discuss Him”

The Media Brushes Over Mueller Contradictions After “Blockbuster” Turns Into Bomb

Below is my column in the Hill Newspaper on the aftermath of the Mueller hearings. This week, the Democrats belatedly moved to get a court order to release Grand Jury material withheld in the Mueller Report. That material represents a tiny percentage of text and the request is months too late. I testified many weeks ago that, if the Democrats were really serious about impeachment, they would have filed soon after the report was issued. Every indication remains that the Democratic leadership is still running out the clock on impeachment while trying to convince voters that they really do want to impeach Donald Trump.

Democrats are now insisting that it was not Mueller but really McGahn that they expected to put away Trump. It would be a sequel to a colossal flop and they are not exactly moving with dispatch . . . as time ticks by.

Here is the column:

Continue reading “The Media Brushes Over Mueller Contradictions After “Blockbuster” Turns Into Bomb”