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Hometown: Atlanta
Home country: US
Member since: Sat Jun 1, 2013, 01:19 AM
Number of posts: 3,889

Journal Archives

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

French protesters riot in Paris, accuse Macron of "hot air"

Source: Associated Press

French yellow vest protesters set life-threatening fires, smashed up luxury stores in Paris and clashed with police Saturday in the 18th straight weekend of demonstrations against President Emmanuel Macron. Large plumes of smoke rose above the rioting on Paris’ landmark Champs-Elysees avenue, and a mother and her child were just barely saved from a building blaze.

Protest organizers had hoped to make a splash Saturday, which marks the 4-month anniversary of the yellow vest movement, which started Nov. 17, and the end of the “Great Debate” that the French president organized to respond to protesters’ concerns about sinking living standards, stagnant wages and high unemployment.

They claimed Macron failed in that aim.

“It was hot air. It was useless and it didn’t achieve anything. We’re here to show Macron that empty words are not enough,” said yellow vest demonstrator Frank Leblanc, 62, from Nantes.

“We’re marking the end of the great debate ... Macron has given us no great solutions,” said protester Francine Sevigny from Lyon.

Read more: https://www.apnews.com/73e7376d4ada4675bd31ea3ae4034c8d

Neil deGrasse Tyson Will Return to TV After Misconduct Investigation

Source: New York Times

The astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson will return to television after the broadcasters of his shows announced Friday that they had completed their investigation into sexual misconduct allegations against him.

“The investigation is complete, and we are moving forward with both ‘StarTalk’ and ‘Cosmos,’” Fox Broadcasting and National Geographic said of his two shows. “‘StarTalk’ will return to the air with the remaining 13 episodes in April on National Geographic, and both Fox and National Geographic are committed to finding an air date for ‘Cosmos.’ There will be no further comment.”

The statement did not say what investigators concluded about the complaints. Dr. Tyson was accused in December of behaving inappropriately with two women, in an article published by the website Patheos.

One accusation came from Ashley Watson, his assistant on “Cosmos,” who said that during a visit to his apartment, which she took to be a work visit, he made her feel uncomfortable by holding her hands and looking into her eyes in what he called a Native American handshake. As she was leaving, she said, he told her, “I want you to know that I want to hug you so bad right now, but I know that if I do I’ll just want more.” She quit the show.

Read more: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/03/15/arts/neil-degrasse-tyson-sexual-misconduct.html

Jussie Smollett Case: Grand Jury Returns 16 Counts Against 'Empire' Actor

Source: CBS Chicago

CHICAGO (CBS) — Jussie Smollett is now facing deeper legal troubles after a grand jury returned 16 felony counts against the actor for falsely reporting a hate crime attack against him in January.

The grand jury returned the disorderly conduct charges on Thursday. He is scheduled to be arraigned on March 14. The specific allegations–“false report of offense”– are Class 4 felonies.

“Jussie Smollett knew that at the time … there was no reasonable ground for believing that such offenses had been committed,” according to the indictment.

The indictment expands the case against the actor. The counts focus on allegedly false statements he made to two different Chicago Police officers. Each count covers various alleged acts that Smollett falsely described to the officers–including that he was hit by two men, that they yelled racial and homophobic slurs and poured a chemical on him.

Read more: https://chicago.cbslocal.com/2019/03/08/jussie-smollett-grand-jury-indictment/

Georgia puppy mill operator arrested after 700 dogs are rescued

Source: NBC News

A Georgia man has been arrested after more than 700 dogs were found at a puppy mill in conditions that police described as “out of control and inhumane.”

Reason Craig Gray, 58, of Nashville, was facing charges of animal cruelty and obstruction, the Berrien County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement late Thursday.''

Gray ran a licensed pet-breeding business known as Georgia Puppies. It sold sold miniature breeds including teacup Yorkies and toy poodles for up to $600 per dog.

Releash Atlanta, an organization caring for eight of the rescued animals, said they "flinch at the feeling of grass under their feet" and were used to sleeping standing up.

Read more: https://www.nbcnews.com/news/crime-courts/georgia-puppy-mill-operator-arrested-after-700-dogs-are-rescued-n980851
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