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Hometown: Atlanta
Home country: US
Member since: Sat Jun 1, 2013, 12:19 AM
Number of posts: 3,783

Journal Archives

Former Minneapolis police officer found guilty in Justine Ruszczyk's death

Source: CNN

Former Minneapolis Police Officer Mohamed Noor was found guilty Tuesday of third-degree murder and manslaughter for fatally shooting Justine Ruszczyk while responding to her 911 call.

The jury of ten men and two women acquitted Noor on an additional count of second-degree murder in the killing.

Noor, a 33-year-old Somali-American, is believed to be the first police officer to be convicted of murder in Minnesota in recent memory, Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman said.

Noor sat quietly with his hands clasped as the verdict was read. He was immediately taken into custody and led of the courtroom in handcuffs.

Read more: https://www.cnn.com/2019/04/30/us/minneapolis-officer-noor-trial-verdict/index.html

NRA sues city of L.A. over its new contract disclosure law

Source: LA Times

The National Rifle Assn. filed a lawsuit Wednesday challenging a new Los Angeles law requiring companies that seek contracts with the city to disclose whether they have ties to the gun rights group.

The suit was filed in federal court on behalf of the NRA, including a John Doe, who is described in court documents as an NRA member and business operator with several L.A. city contracts.

“Plaintiff Doe participates in this action as a Doe participant because he reasonably fears retribution from the city and the potential loss of lucrative contracts should Doe’s identity be known,” the lawsuit says.

City Councilman Mitch O’Farrell championed the new law, arguing in a motion he presented last year that city residents and stakeholders “deserve to know” whether taxpayer funds are being spent on contractors with ties to the NRA.

Read more: https://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-nra-sues-los-angeles-disclosure-law-20190424-story.html

Rod Rosenstein Breaks Silence on Barr's Handling of the Mueller Report, Calls Criticism 'Bizarre'

Source: Law & Crime

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein was the person who appointed Robert Mueller as Special Counsel in the first place, due to then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions recusal from overseeing the Russia probe. Ever since William Barr was installed as Attorney General, Rosenstein has been an increasingly invisible figure, even though he apparently agreed with Barr that the evidence “wasn’t sufficient” to allege that President Donald Trump obstructed justice.

Rosenstein, having witnessed the backlash over Barr’s four-page letter detailing Mueller’s “principal conclusions,” decided to comment on recent events Thursday in the Wall Street Journal.


Rosenstein stated the idea that Barr is trying to be deceptive is off-base and “bizarre.”

“He’s being as forthcoming as he can, and so this notion that he’s trying to mislead people, I think is just completely bizarre,” he said.

Read more: https://lawandcrime.com/high-profile/rod-rosenstein-breaks-silence-on-barrs-handling-of-the-mueller-report-calls-criticism-bizarre/

Waco biker shooting: Prosecutors drop all charges in deadly shootout

Source: NBC News

No one will be convicted or otherwise held accountable for the 2015 shootout between rival biker gangs in Waco restaurant parking lot that left nine people dead and at least 20 injured, prosecutors in Central Texas said Tuesday.

In a statement announcing all charges will be dropped in the deadliest biker shooting in U.S. history, McLennan County District Attorney Barry Johnson said any further effort to prosecute the case would be a "waste of time, effort and resources."

"In my opinion, had this action been taken in a timely manner, it would have, and should have, resulted in numerous convictions and prison sentences against many of those who participated in the Twin Peaks brawl," Johnson said. "Over the next three years the prior district attorney failed to take that action, for reasons that I do not know to this day."

The shooting outside a Twin Peaks restaurant in Waco on May 17, 2015, involved rival biker gangs, the Bandidos and Cossacks, and occurred as bikers from various groups were gathering to talk over matters of concern. Fights and gunfire broke out. Waco police officers monitoring the gathering also fired on the bikers, killing at least two.

Read more: https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/waco-biker-shooting-prosecutors-drop-all-charges-deadly-shootout-n990341

Judge Won't Be Sanctioned for 'Embarrassing' Treatment of Mueller Prosecutors During Manafort Trial

Source: Law & Crime

U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis III–who famously oversaw Paul Manafort‘s trial in the Eastern District of Virginia last summer–won’t be facing disciplinary action over the way he treated Special Counsel Robert Mueller‘s prosecutors during that closely-watched endeavor.

A four-page court order filed in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit by Chief Judge Roger Gregory reveals that Ellis was the subject of four distinct judicial complaints–but stops short of admonishing Ellis over his often caustic remarks to government attorneys.

“Each of these four complaints was filed by a different complainant, each of who apparently read or heard media reports regarding a criminal matter tried before the district judge,” the filing notes. “That criminal matter ultimately resulted in the conviction of the defendant.”

Judge Gregory was entirely unconvinced by the evidence marshaled against Ellis:
"Reviewing the relevant transcripts in the case, and considering the district judge’s remarks in their overall context, the record does not support the conclusion that [Ellis] engaged in misconduct. One might say that the judge may have been injudicious in his tone or choice of words, but one cannot say that his comments were so discourteous, uncivil, or “bullying” as to “transcend … the expected rough-and-tumble of litigation.” The judge was sometimes strident with counsel, to be sure, and especially the prosecution. But judges have wide latitude to manage cases in the way that seems best to them."

Read more: https://lawandcrime.com/high-profile/judge-wont-be-sanctioned-for-embarrassing-treatment-of-mueller-prosecutors-during-manafort-trial/

The Plague Killing Frogs Everywhere Is Far Worse Than Scientists Thought

Source: New York Times

On Thursday, 41 scientists published the first worldwide analysis of a fungal outbreak that’s been wiping out frogs for decades. The devastation turns out to be far worse than anyone had previously realized.

Writing in the journal Science, the researchers conclude that populations of more than 500 species of amphibians have declined significantly because of the outbreak — including at least 90 species presumed to have gone extinct. The figure is more than twice as large as earlier estimates.


Scientists first noticed in the 1970s that some frog populations were declining quickly; by the 1980s, some species appeared to be extinct. The losses were puzzling, because the frogs were living in pristine habitats, unharmed by pollution or deforestation.

In the late 1990s, researchers discovered that frogs in both Australia and Panama were infected with a deadly fungus, which they named Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis — Bd, for short.

Read more: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/03/28/science/frogs-fungus-bd.html

Lead Michael Cohen Prosecutor at SDNY Stepping Down

Source: Law & Crime

Another high-profile prosecutor connected to a case involving President Donald Trump‘s former associates is stepping down. Robert S. Khuzami, who led the Southern District of New York’s prosecution of Michael Cohen, is leaving soon, according to The New York Times.

Khuzami, successfully secured a guilty plea from Cohen for a variety of charges, including campaign finance violations for hush payments he arranged to women who claimed to have had affairs with Trump. Cohen said he did this at Trump’s direction to benefit the campaign. Cohen also pleaded guilty to bank and tax fraud allegations.


Khuzami has served as the deputy to U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman for 15 months. He is expected to be replaced by senior counsel Audrey Strauss, according to the Times‘ sources. Strauss would then head up any ongoing investigations related to Cohen, as Berman recused himself from those matters.

Read more: https://lawandcrime.com/high-profile/lead-michael-cohen-prosecutor-at-sdny-stepping-down/

Colin Kaepernick, Eric Reid collusion settlement: Duo reportedly split less than $10 million

Source: CBS Sports

When Colin Kaepernick's attorney Mark Geragos announced in February that the quarterback's collusion case with the NFL had been settled, one small detail was left out of the announcement: the amount of money Kaepernick would be getting from the NFL.

Although all parties in the case were subject to a confidentiality agreement, it appears we now have a better idea of what the settlement number was. According to the Wall Street Journal, Kaepernick and Eric Reid settled their collusion case for less than $10 million.

One thing that's not clear is how much each player will receive in the settlement. As the WSJ noted, there was no information on how the $10 million would be divided between the players or how much they will be paying in legal fees.

Kaepernick originally filed his grievance against the NFL back in October 2017. The case then made its way through the league's arbitration system for a period of nearly 16 months before the settlement was announced in February.

Read more: https://www.cbssports.com/nfl/news/colin-kaepernick-eric-reid-collusion-settlement-duo-reportedly-split-less-than-10-million/

Thomas asks question for second time in a decade at Supreme Court

Source: The Hill

Justice Clarence Thomas, who is known for his silence, shocked spectators in court Wednesday when he asked a question during arguments in a dispute over racial discrimination in jury selection.

Thomas's question, which marks the second time in a decade the court's leading conservative has spoken during arguments, came in the case of a Mississippi man who has been tried six times for the 1996 murders of four people inside a furniture store.

Thomas last spoke in February 2016 when he asked several questions during oral arguments in a gun rights case.

On Wednesday, Thomas waited until the very end of the hour-long arguments to ask if the defense for defendant Curtis Flowers, who is black, had struck any jurors from the sixth trial and, if so, what their races were.

Read more: https://thehill.com/regulation/court-battles/434933-thomas-asks-question-in-supreme-court-for-second-time-in-a-decade

Supreme Court to consider whether Beltway sniper Lee Boyd Malvo deserves new sentencing

Source: Washington Post

The Supreme Court on Monday said it will consider whether Lee Boyd Malvo, the teenage half of the Beltway snipers who terrorized the Washington region 16 years ago, may challenge his sentence of life in prison without parole.

Malvo, 34, was a 17-year-old when he and John Allen Muhammad committed what Virginia officials called “one of the most notorious strings of terrorist acts in modern American history.” Between Sept. 5 and Oct. 22, 2002, Muhammad and Malvo killed 10 people and wounded others in sniper attacks in Virginia, Maryland and the District of Columbia.

Muhammad was executed in 2009, but Malvo received sentences of life without parole in Virginia and Maryland.

The Supreme Court’s actions announced Monday involve the Virginia sentences and will be heard in the term that starts in October. After a 2003 trial in which Malvo was convicted of shooting FBI analyst Linda Franklin outside a Fairfax County Home Depot store, a jury decided against the death penalty. Instead, it recommended life imprisonment without the possibility of parole.

Since then, the Supreme Court’s jurisprudence on juvenile murderers has changed. It said the death penalty was off-limits for juveniles, and in 2012 said that mandatory life sentences without the possibility of parole were unconstitutional for those under 18.

Read more: https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/courts_law/supreme-court-to-consider-whether-beltway-sniper-lee-boyd-malvo-deserves-new-sentencing/2019/03/18/b69cfc1e-0f9c-11e9-84fc-d58c33d6c8c7_story.html?noredirect=on&utm_term=.040308b60669
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