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News Scan


Illegal Held in Rape/Murder was on Probation:  One of the two men charged in last month's home invasion, rape and fatal bludgeoning of a 64-year-old California woman was an illegal immigrant out on probation.  Paul Gonzalez of the Santa Barbara News-Press reports that 29-year-old Victor Aureliano Martinez Ramirez, charged along with his 20-year-old accomplice Jose Fernando Villagomez, attacked Marilyn Pharis on the morning of July 24 in her Santa Maria home, beating her with a hammer and sexually assaulting her.  Ramirez was out on probation for committing battery in 2014 while in possession of methamphetamine.  Both offense are considered "low level" crimes under Realighment.  This year, he was charged twice for violating probation, once for possessing a concealed knife, and the other for drugs, but under Realignment he was allowed to enter a substance abuse program in lieu of jail.  Villagomez also has a history of battery, drug possession and probation violations, and was similarly diverted to a substance abuse program.  They are due in court on August 13.

Nashville Theater Attacker Had Mental Issues:  The suspect who entered a movie theater in Nashville on Wednesday with pepper spray, an airsoft pellet gun, an ax and a fake bomb in his backpack was a homeless man with a history of psychological issues.  The AP reports that 29-year-old Vincente David Montano, who was killed by police when they mistook his gun for a real weapon, had been committed for psychiatric treatment at least four times, twice in 2004 and twice in 2007, and was arrested in 2004 for assault and resisting arrest.  Montano entered a near-empty theater on midday Wednesday where only seven others were present and began spraying them with pepper spray.  He was fatally shot by police officers, who arrived quickly, when he fired his pellet gun, which looked and sounded like an authentic firearm.  One man received a superficial cut on his shoulder from the ax, but no one else was seriously injured or killed.

Shreveport Police Officer Shot and Killed:  A police officer in Shreveport, Louisiana was shot multiple times while responding to a call of a suspicious person in a neighborhood around 9:15 p.m. on Wednesday.  The killer is still at large.  Melissa Chan and Jason Silverstein of the NY Daily News report that 27-year-old Grover Cannon is wanted in connection for the murder of 29-year-old Officer Thomas LaValley, a four-year veteran of the Shreveport Police Department who graduated at the top of his class.  Cannon is also a suspect in a shooting that took place last month.  LaValley was dispatched to the neighborhood after receiving a call from a person reporting that an armed man was threatening a family member inside a home, and was met with a barrage of bullets when he arrived.  LaValley is the first Shreveport officer to be fatally shot since 2010, and Police Chief Willie Shaw vows to "scour the earth" until Cannon is found.

Extra Million Alien Work Permits Issued Annually:  More than 7.4 million work permits have been issued to foreign nationals from 2009 to 2014 by the Obama administration, which exceeds the approximately one million lawful permanent residents and 700,000 foreign guest workers admitted to the U.S. each year.  Caroline May of Breitbart reports that work authorizations are being issued to some categories of immigrants that Congress never intended to work in the U.S., such as immigrants granted Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) or Temporary Protective Status (TPS), spouses of guest workers, various types of foreign students, immigrants granted voluntary departures, as well as parolees, asylees and refugees.  Additionally, over 113,800 individuals with final orders of deportation were also granted work permits in the six-year period.  Jessica Vaughn of the Center for Immigration Studies says that "the Obama administration has been abusing what should be considered a very limited authority to issue work permits."


Question: What does the last blurb in this News Scan have to do with criminal law? Because the answer to me appears to be "nothing."

Entering the United States illegally is a crime. Steps by the executive branch to loosen the rules in order to grant more illegals work permits enables more illegal immigration.

I don't take this blog as simply being about "criminal law," but rather criminal justice generally. Where the Executive Branch is doing all it can to welcome in illegal immigrants in contravention of law, that seems an appropriate subject for a blog about criminal law.

And that's not even getting into the "mistakes" the Administration has made with respect to who was allowed to remain here--mistakes that have gotten innocent Americans killed. Think all those recipients of work visas are squeaky clean? How many have used bogus SSNs in the past?

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