Recently in News Scan Category

News Scan

| No Comments
Texas Court Upholds Death Penalty:  The death sentence of a Texas ex-con who murdered his wife five years ago was upheld Wednesday in an 8-1 decision by the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals.  Tommy Witherspoon of the Waco Tribune reports that Carnell Petetan Jr. had only been out of prison for a few months when he broke into his estranged wife's home and shot her dead in front of her daughter.  The victim had befriended Petetan and became his pen pal while he was serving a prison sentence for shooting two men and attacking a third with a chair when he was 16.  On appeal Petetan raised 30 claims of trial and sentencing error including that he was ineligible for execution because of a mental impairment.  While in prison for his previous crimes Petetan sexaully assaulted three other inmates and attacked guards.  

News Scan

| No Comments
9 Refugees Arrested In Austria Gang-Rape:  Nine asylum-seeking refugees have been arrested and charged in connection with the New-Years gang-rape of a 28-year-old teacher.  Jon Lockett at The Sun reports that the victim was visiting Vienna with a friend. They were indulging in a night of heavy drinking during which, four Arab-speaking men escorted her from a bar without her friend's knowledge. She was taken to a nearby apartment where five more men were waiting to assault her. All but one of the men denied the allegations of rape in spite of DNA evidence of six of the men recovered in and on the victim. They face up to 15 years each in prison.

It's PC to Let Them Riot: Heather Mac Donald at the City Journal has this piece on police complacency in the face of rioting and violence in the name of political correctness.  The recent rioting at UC Berkley to stop a scheduled lecture by right-wing provocateur Milo Yiannopolous, provided a clear example of police standing down to avoid confrontation, while masked rioters set fires, destroyed property, and attacked opponents. 

2 DC Officers Injured in Shooting: Two D.C. Police officers suffered gunshot injuries Thursday night during a shootout with an unnamed suspect.  According to Ellison Barber at USA Today, both officers sustained non life-threatening injuries during the shootout with the suspect, just 2 miles from the Nation's Capital. The suspect was killed in the exchange. The two officers are receiving treatment for their injuries. It is unclear who fired first, although the two officers are reportedly a part of a crime-suppression unit operating in D.C.

Refugee Murder Suspect Poorly Vetted:  An Afghan asylum-seeking immigrant is being tried as an adult for the rape and murder of a young German coed following the discovery that he had been lying about his age. Emily Chan at Daily Mail reports that "Hussein Khavari was arrested for the rape and murder of 19-year-old medical student Maria Ladenburger in Freiburg, south-west Germany" last December. The European Union's inability (or unwillingness) to thoroughly vet refugees admitted into Western Europe allowed Khavari to claim that he was 17 years old at the time of the murder, ensuring that he would be tried as a juvenile, facing a maximum sentence of 10 years. Fortunately, he didn't get away with this. A subsequent investigation revealed that Khavari was at least 22 years of age at the time of the rape and murder, and will now be tried as an adult for the crime.  The investigation also revealed that Khavari was sentenced to ten years in jail in Greece after he threw a 20-year-old coed off a cliff on the island of Corfu in May 2013.  Unfortunately he was placed in a youth detention center and released at least 7 years early.  Tough luck for the German girl.

News Scan

| 4 Comments
Seven Murders in Chicago on Wednesday:  Chicago set a one day murder record for the year Wednesday with seven shooting deaths.  The Sun Times reports that this makes 92 murders so far in 2017, with 400 people injured since since January 1.  Among the victims was a yet-unidentified pregnant woman who was shot in the abdomen and side.  So far this year there have been 3 days where five people have been murdered.   The city's strict gun control law and restraints on proactive policing don't appear to be working very well. 

Did Cop Die Due to CA Sentencing Laws?  The murder of a Los Angeles area police officer by a habitual felon last Monday has sparked a statewide discussion about California's alternative sentencing scheme.  Currently California law considers property and drug criminals as being "low risk" for violence, even if they have violent priors, and substitutes prison time for most new felony convictions for short stays in a country jail and local rehabilitation programs.  CJLF participated in a discussion of these policies on Wednesday's John & Ken show on KFI in Los Angeles.    

Expert: Sex Offenders Are Low Risk:  In the aftermath of the arrest of repeat sex offender Brian Golsby for the rape and murder of a 21-year-old Ohio State co-ed earlier this month, an expert on sex offenders maintains that they present a very low risk of re-offending.  John Futty of the Columbus dispatch reports that Professor Melissa Hamilton of the University of Houston Law Center cites Justice Department data showing that only 5.3% of sex offenders were arrested for re-offending within three years of their release.  She blames media reports of horrible sex crimes by repeat offenders for stoking public fear of sex offenders.  But an official from the DOJ agency that monitors sex offenders said that "we don't know the true recidivism rate" because many sex crimes go unreported.  A 2015 study on sexual assault in Texas found that more than 90% of assaults are not reported to police.

News Scan

| No Comments
Officers Injured During Immigration Protest: In the course of an immigration protest in Arizona Thursday evening, rising tensions led to three police officers sustaining injuries. Carmen Duarte at The Arizona Daily Star reports that the protest in Tuscon, Arizona was being held to oppose the recent executive orders regarding the regulation of immigration. Tensions ran high as protesters began assaulting police officers, striking one of the officers in the face and another in the back. None of the officers sustained serious injury although three men have been arrested on suspicion of aggravated assault on a peace officer.

More Fatalities in The Windy City: The number of casualties continues to rise as gun violence continues to run rampant in the streets of Chicago. According to ABC's Stacey Baca and Charles Thomas, "11 people were killed and 11 wounded in shootings over a 48-hour period in Chicago from Tuesday afternoon to Thursday morning, Chicago police said." The highest profile incident among these shootings was the triple shooting which took the life of a 2-year-old boy and his uncle while being streamed on Facebook live.

BYOD (Bring Your Own Drugs): The state of Arizona has disclosed a new plan to solve the problem it has had acquiring the most effective drugs for executions. Tom Dart at The Guardian reports that new execution protocol would call for a death row inmate's lawyer to supply the drugs with which to euthanize his client. "With drugs that can legally be used for lethal injections in short supply, the Arizona department of corrections' latest execution protocol states that attorneys for death row inmates are welcome to bring along their own." Legal scholars are calling this new policy absurd, citing the inability of legal counsel to obtain the proper chemicals in a lawful way, let alone their ability to transport it into the department of corrections.

AI Powered Body Cams?:  The body camera industry is moving toward joining the growing trend of utilizing artificial intelligence in their products. According to Joshua Kopstein at Vocativ, Taser, the leading manufacturer of stun guns, has announced its intent to open an artificial intelligence division to develop a new and unprecedented type of body cam in response to the recent controversy regarding police involved shootings. The idea is to create a camera that operates on an algorithm that allows it to recognize and categorize different objects such as firearms, knives, etc. This would allow police personnel to redact the footage from body cameras with relative ease as they would be able to search through what the camera identified as relevant footage. "Taser predicts that in a year's time, their automation technology will reduce the total amount of time needed to redact faces from one hour of video footage from the current 8 hours to 1.5 hours."

News Scan

| 2 Comments
Federal Judicial Appointments:  While partisan battles swirl around the President's nomination of Judge Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court, as noted by Kent Scheidegger in a recent post, appointments to federal district courts and courts of appeal are also of great importance.  Josh Katz of the New York Times discusses the opportunity the new administration will have to reshape the federal judiciary over the next four years.  While Senate Republicans have been blamed for obstructing confirmation of President Obama's judicial appointments, Mr. Katz notes that over the past eight years Obama's appointments have replaced about 40% of today's federal judiciary.  This suggests that much of the reshaping has already been done. 

Florida Court Upholds Death Sentence:  The Florida Supreme Court has upheld a jury's unanimous 2008 verdict to sentence the murderer of a corrections officer to death.  Orlando Sentinel journalist Gal Tziperman reports that the court's 5-2 opinion held that because the sentencing jury was unanimous in sentencing murderer Enoch Hall to death, his sentence did not violate the Supreme Court's Ring v. Arizona requirement that the authority to impose a death sentence rest with the jury.  In 2008, while serving a life sentence for kidnapping and sexual battery, Hall attacked and killed Donna Fitzgerald, a 50-year-old corrections officer, stabbing her 22 times with a metal shank.  Other officers found Office Fitzgerald's body with her pants and underwear pulled down to her knees.  

Ohio Swamped With Overdose Deaths:  Following a narrative that is playing out across the country, the state of Ohio is being overwhelmed with fatal overdoses of heroin and fentanyl.  KTLA5 reports that the Montgomery County Coroner is running out of space to hold the bodies of overdose victims.  In January 2017 the county, which includes the city of Dayton, had already had 145 overdose deaths, representing over 60% of the total autopsies for that month.  In Cuyahoga County, which includes Cleveland, there were 517 overdose deaths last year, up from 228 in 2015. This is compelling evidence that America needs to reduce sentences for the "non-violent" crime of drug dealing.     


News Scan

| No Comments
27 Shootings, Including 2 Young Girls, Another Chicago Weekend: Between Saturday and Sunday this past weekend, 27 shootings occurred in the city of Chicago. Elvia Malagon at the Chicago Tribune reports that among the over two dozen shootings in Chicago last weekend.  Two of the victims were young girls, ages 11 and 12, both receiving gunshot wounds to the head. As of now both girls are in critical condition and on life support.    Nereida Moreno and Katherine Rosenberg-Douglas report local residents have expressed their belief that the police just don't have the manpower to combat the violence at this point, and that they would support the National Guard coming to Chicago to patrol the streets.

Parolee Fires on Police Officers: A 28-year-old parolee received multiple gunshot wounds Friday afternoon after firing a pistol at police officers. According to Anita Chabria at the Sacramento Bee, officers from the Sacramento Police Department approached the suspect at the 2900 block of Del Paso Blvd. under suspicion that he was a dangerous parolee-at-large. The suspect drew a pistol and fired at a K-9 officer and 3 officers returned fire. The suspect sustained multiple injuries but survived the shooting and is in stable condition.

Execution Date Set For Fort Worth Murderer:  An execution date has been set for a man convicted of murder in 2004.  According to Mitch Mitchell at the Star-Telegram Tilon Lashon Carter, 37, was scheduled to be put to death Tuesday but received a stay of execution Friday on a legal technicality. His new execution date is May 16, according to an order signed by state District Judge Mollee Westfall, who presides over the 371st District Court in Tarrant County. Carter was convicted for the robbery and the 2004 murder of an 89-year-old Bell Helicopter retiree.

News Scan

| No Comments
Bill Would Split 9th Circuit:  Legislation to divide jurisdiction of the nation's largest federal appellate circuit has been introduced in both houses of Congress this year.  Barnini Chakraborty of Fox News reports that the Senate bill, introduced by Senators Jeff Flake and John McCain would leave Oregon, California, Hawaii, Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands in the 9th Circuit, and put Nevada, Washington, Idaho, Montana, Arizona and Alaska in a new 12th Circuit.  A House bill introduced by Rep. Andy Briggs and four other Arizona Republicans would leave Washington in the 9th Circuit.  The current circuit presides over 20%  of the U.S. population and 40% of the nation's land mass.  Because of its size, according to Senator Flake, it can take the court 15 months to hand down a decision. 

Baltimore Looking For Answers:  With over a killing a day in Baltimore so far this year, the city's mayor announced "We've got a crime problem in our city."  The city suffered a record 344 murders in 2015 and another spike in violent crime over the first six months of last year, according recent FBI statistics.   Luke Broadwater & Allison Knezevich of the Baltimore Sun report that while the Mayor has authorized the hiring of an additional 100 police officers to patrol the city, some believe that restoring pro-active policing will be necessary to reduce the violence.  John Jay College of Criminal Justice professor Peter Moskos, a former Baltimore police officer, noted that a Justice Department report on policing in Baltimore released last Summer contained nothing about preventing crime.  He believes that officers need to be allowed to "confront criminals again.  What's been harmful is the idea the police shouldn't enforce quality-of-life issues." 

Repeat Felons Preying on Women:  Sacramento police arrested parolee David Hamilton Tuesday, for the burglary and rape of a 48-year-old mother of two.  Bill Lindelof of the Sacramento Bee reports  that Hamilton entered the victim's home through a window and raped her in her bed at knifepoint.  The victim was able to text a relative to call 911.  Police arrived just as Hamilton was entering the bedroom of one of the children and arrested him.  In another story, LIndeof reports that habitual felon Jerry West was convicted Tuesday for sexual assaults, robberies, kidnapping and carjackings involving four women in August and September of 2015.  West, who had two priors for carjacking, was nonetheless armed and back on the streets to commit these new crimes.  Under California's groundbreaking alternative sentencing policies 66% of the state's largest cities had increased violent crime last year, according to the FBI's Preliminary Uniform Crime Report for 2016.     

News Scan

| No Comments
CA Sex Trafficking Crackdown: Hundreds of arrests have been made state-wide over the past two days in the course of a concerted effort to combat sex trafficking. According to San Diego Union-Tribune reporter Dana Littlefield the third annual "Reclaim and Rebuild" operation took place across California resulting in hundreds of arrests. More than 160 law enforcement personnel from 16 agencies worked together on the operation.  Officers recovered  28 minors who had been sexually exploited and 27 adult female victims. 142 men were arrested and on charges of solicitation, and 238 women were cited for prostitution.

Judge Upholds Inmate's Death Sentence:  A federal judge upheld the death penalty Thursday in the case of a man who assaulted and murdered a corrections officer. Joe Dolinsky at Times Leader reports that  habitual felon and gang member Jessie Con-ui, 39, faces trial later this year for the 2013 murder of 34-year-old corrections officer and Nanticoke resident Eric J. Williams. Williams was stabbed death at the base of a stairway inside U.S. Penitentiary Canaan in Wayne County. Defense counsel claims thatt there is insufficient evidence but prosecutors note that surveillance footage clearly shows the defendant assaulting the officer and stabbing him with multiple handmade "shanks". 

Missouri Executes 1998 Murderer: One of the men responsible for the 1998 murder of a woman and her two children was put to death Tuesday in Missouri. Jim Salter at the St. Louis Post Dispatch writes that in 1998 Mark Christeson and his cousin approached the home of 36-year-old Susan Brouk, her 12-year-old daughter, Adrian, and 9-year-old son, Kyle, armed with shotguns with the intention of stealing the mother's vehicle. Finding the woman and her children at the home, Christenson took the mother into a bedroom and raped her, while his cousin tied up her daughter and son with shoelaces. The men then took their three victims to a pond where Christeson slit the mother's throat.  As the mother lay bleeding Christeson cut the son's throat and drowned him in the pond, then choked the girl to death.  The men then tossed the still alive mother in the pond where she drowned.  Christenson's death by lethal injection took eight minutes...far less time or suffering than his victims.

Alaska May Reverse Alternative Sentencing Law:  Provisions of a sentencing reform law passed last year to reduce the consequences for co-called low level offenders are being targeted for repeal in the Alaska legislature.  Zaz Hollander of Alaska Dispatch News reports that, according to law enforcement, last year's reforms which sharply cut sentences for thieves, bail jumpers and some felonies, are already causing increased crime.  While the state's Sentencing Commission promised last year that it was only recommending reforms that were "evidence based and backed by data,"  the short term effect has been negative.  Like California and other states which have embraced "evidence based" alternative sentencing, the money saved by the projected reduction in prison and jail inmates is supposed to be used to fund rehabilitation programs.  In California, the projected savings for its massive sentencing reforms never materialized and the state's prison budget has actually increased significantly, along with the crime rate and the operating cost for local jails.  

News Scan

| No Comments
Acting AG Fired:  An Obama appointee serving as acting attorney general was fired Monday, after announcing that the Department of Justice would not enforce the President's executive order placing a temporary suspension of immigration from seven terror-plagued Middle Eastern countries.  Edward DeMarche of Fox News reports that shortly after acting Attorney General Sally Yates was fired, Dane Boente, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia was sworn in as her replacement.  Last Friday, the President ordered the delay for admitting immigrants from seven countries identified as hotbeds for terrorism by the Obama Administration. 

California to Become Sanctuary State?  The California Legislature will today consider a bill to prohibit state law enforcement agencies from cooperating with federal immigration authorities which, if enacted, would effectively make California a sanctuary state.  CBS News LA reports  that SB54, introduced by Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de Leon, would protect illegals in the state from the President's promised crackdown on those who have been convicted of commiting crimes in the U.S.  The Senate committee  will also consider other legislation today which would provide state tax-payer funds to provide lawyers for illegals facing deportation.

  

News Scan

| No Comments
Consent Decrees May Be Re-Negotiated: Emboldened by the newly appointed Trump administration, police chiefs and police union officials are beginning to discuss the possibility of a re-negotiation of consent decrees that were issued during the Obama administration. Julia Harte and Timothy McLaughlin at Reuters report that due to growing complaints of police abuse of power during the Obama administration, numerous consent decrees were put into effect to ensure that the use of force by police officers is being closely monitored. Officials have criticized these decrees as ineffective and frivolous in their spending. Numerous police officials want to discuss these decrees with Jeff Sessions, Trump's pick for attorney general, in hopes of renegotiating the terms of the decrees to hopefully make them more effective and economically sound. Sessions has been an open critic of such decrees in the past.

Chicago Shooting Numbers Continue to Climb: Over the course of an eight-hour period this Sunday, two people were killed and three were injured in incidents involving shootings in Chicago. Liam Ford and Megan Crepeau from the Chicago Tribune report that the gun violence death toll in Chicago continues to rise with this recent series of shootings that resulted in the loss of two lives. As of today, the total number of shooting victims in the city of Chicago for 2017 is 295.

News Scan

| No Comments
Trump Follows Through on  Immigration Promises: President Donald Trump is set today to make good on his promise to order the construction of a wall along the border or Mexico to stem the flow of illegal immigrants into the U.S.  David E. Sanger at the New York Times reports that the wall is the first in a list of actions that the President intends to take to address the issue of illegal immigration and to improve national security.  According to Julia Edwards Ainsley from Reuters, the President is also expected to sign executive orders to put a temporary ban on refugees from most countries and suspend visas for citizens of Syria as well as six other Middle Eastern and African countries.

Teen Crime in D.C. is Rising: A troubling number of suspects between the ages of 12 and 17 have been arrested for violent crimes in the nation's capital over the last few months. According to Paul Wagner at Fox News, since October, D.C. police officers have charged 69 juvenile offenders with the crime of robbery alone, three of these suspects were only twelve years of age. Colbert King at the Washington Post gives an in-depth look into the growing problem of crime committed by adolescents in the city.

More Shootings in Chicago: Since yesterday morning, another life has been lost in a shooting on the streets of Chicago and 6 more people were injured.   As reported by the Chicago Tribune, multiple shootings have taken place in the last twenty-four hours in Chicago.  This seems to be a continuance of the trend of gun violence in the "gun controlled" Windy City.  During the fist three weeks of 2017 there have been nearly 250 shootings and 37 murders in Chicago according to Jessica D'Onofrio at ABC News.

News Scan

| No Comments
Speculation Heats Up About SCOTUS Appointment:  David Savage at the Los Angeles Times reports this morning on the emergence of 10th Circuit Judge Neil Gorsuch as the presumed front runner for appointment to the U.S. Supreme Court.  Gorsuch, 49 and a Colorado native, was appointed to the 10th Circuit in 2006 by President George W. Bush and won easy confirmation in the then Democrat-controlled Senate.  After earning degrees from Columbia, Harvard Law and Oxford, Gorsuch clerked for Justices Byron White and Anthony Kennedy, before serving in President Bush's Justice Department.  According to the Times, an appointment to replace Justice Scalia could be announced as early as next week.

Released Drug Dealer Murdered:   A drug dealer whose sentence was commuted last November by President Obama was executed at a federal halfway house in Detroit on Monday.  CBS Detroit reports that Damarlon Thomas, a former Saginaw gang member, had served 9 years of a 19 year sentence when he became one of 79 federal drug offenders whose sentences were commuted by the President on November 22, in order to remedy what he called onerous sentencing of non-violent drug offenders. On Monday night, two masked men with automatic weapons entered the Bannum Place halfway house and held roughly two dozen men at gunpoint while Thomas was shot several times.    

DNA Links Ex-Con to CA Murder:  A suspect has been arrested for the December murder of David Wick, a popular resident of the small Northern California town of Burney.  Nathan Solis & John J. Longoria of the Record Searchlight report that habitual criminal Manual Venegas has been arrested for the murder.  On December 22,  surveillance video recorded a man on a bicycle riding to the Rocky Ledge Shell, where Wicks was working, at the time of the murder.  Video shows the suspect entering the store and spraying a flammable liquid on Wicks and setting him on fire, then spraying more liquid on the victim as he was burning.  DNA testing of partially burned clothing found nearby, worn by the suspect, linked Venegas to the murder.  Venegas' criminal record spans over 20 years with several convictions for crimes considered "low risk" under California law.   

News Scan

| No Comments
Louisiana Police Officer Shot: A woman and a Westwego, Louisiana  police officer lost their lives in a shooting this morning. Bun Choum from WDSU News reports that the shooting took place during the response to a domestic disturbance involving Sylvester Holt, the man that investigators believe to be the shooter. The situation led to a vehicular accident and the officer, Michael Louviere, was shot while attempting to render assistance. He is survived by his wife and two children.

Colorado Bill Would Repeal Death Penalty: The top Democrat in the Colorado Senate has introduced a bill that would to repeal the the state's death penalty law. According to Brian Eason at the Denver Post, Senate Bill 95, introduced by Senate Minority Leader Lucia Guzman, seeks to repeal the Colorado death penalty, removing it as an option for punishment after July 1st. Guzman has stated her belief that the death penalty is a "failed public policy" and has reportedly been waiting "all the years she has been in legislature" to gain passage of a repeal.  A 2015 poll found that 63% of Colorado residents supported the death penalty for James Holmes, the Aurora Theater shooter who killed 12 people and injured 70.

Obama Cuts Sentences of 330 Criminals in Single Day:  On his last day in office, President Obama made history by commuting the sentences of 330 federal criminals, the most ever granted in a single day.  Bill Horwitz of the Washington Post reports that during his presidency, Obama has commuted the sentences of 1,715 criminals, including 568 serving life sentences.  This is more than the last 12 presidents combined. Most of those receiving commutations were defined as "non-violent" drug offenders.  A 2015 study by the Urban Institute found that 99.5% of drug offenders in federal prisons are drug dealers.   

News Scan

| No Comments
Mass Murderer Dislikes Confinement:  Anders Behring Breivik, the Norwegian neo-nazi who murdered 77 people, most of them teenagers at a summer camp, told judges Thursday that his confinement in prison is damaging him.  The Associated Press reports that since 2012, Breivik has been in solitary confinement in a high security prison as he serves a 21-year prison sentence for the 2011 murders.  The murderer is housed in a three room suite with television and video games with coffee and newspapers served to him each morning.  While he is allowed visits from family and friends, nobody has visited since his mother died.  Last year he sued the government arguing that his solitary confinement violated his human rights and an Oslo court accepted his claim.  That holding is now under appellate review.  And US prison inmates think they've got it tough.

Illegal Suspected of Assaulting Child:  Southern California police are searching for an illegal immigrant from El Salvador suspected of sexually assaulting a 5-year-old girl.  Fox News reports that 30-year-old Rigoberto Arevalo Cubias is suspected of  engaging in sexual intercourse and sodomy of the child in December.  Police believe that Cubias may have a fake California Driver's license.  Cubias also has a $50,000 warrant for his arrest for a 2014 DUI, and uses four different aliases.  According to the San Jose Mercury News, California has issued 800,000 driver's licenses to illegal aliens over the past two years.  Two of the state's largest cities, Los Angeles and San Francisco, have designated themselves as "sanctuary cities."

Sex Trafficker Charged With Murder:  After a four-hour standoff on Tuesday, police in Lubbock, Texas arrested Dimitrise Lyghts on sex-trafficking charges.  After Lyghts was taken into custody,. evidence was obtained implicating him in the murder last Sunday of 32-year-old Gabriel Salazar, and the additional charge of murder was filed against him.  NBC11 reports that  police have information connecting Lyghts and three others to the stabbing, shooting and baseball bat murder of Salazer, whose dead body was found at a local inn Sunday morning.  Three suspects have been arrested so far.  Police are still searching for a fourth suspect.

News Scan

| No Comments
Chicago Murder Numbers Higher Than We Thought: The record-setting violence in Chicago last year is even worse than previously believed as new data show that an additional fifty homicides took place in the city. Sean Kennedy at AMI News reports that per the records of the Cook County Medical Examiners office, the city of Chicago reported 812 homicides for the year of 2016. The majority of these homicides in gun-controlled Chicago are gun-related with some 725 of the victims receiving at least one gunshot wound. We see a discrepancy in the numbers due to the fact that the medical examiners office only reports on homicides which is the loss of life of an individual at the hands of another.  This can include killings self defense and police killings of criminal suspects. The city's police agencies count murder as an event where human life is lost in a way that is subject to criminal prosecution.

Roofs Death Penalty Marks Upward Trend: The pending capital case on Dylan Roof for his murder of 9 people in a Charleston church is marking what some are calling a "national departure from the downward trend in capital punishment cases." According to Rick Jervis at USA Today, the overall number of capital cases across the nation has been declining over the past few decades, often attributed to the fortification of capital defense counsel and the growing budgetary concerns that are inherent to capital cases.  In Roof's case, he defended himself, admitted guilt, and alluded to the intention of killing again.  He should be formally sentenced on Wednesday.

Police say BLM Complicates the Job: Police officers throughout the nation believe that the hysteria and controversy surrounding high-profile shootings, such as the Mike Brown and Eric Gardner cases, has made their ability to enforce the law much more difficult.  According to Thomas Tracy at the New York Daily News, nine out of ten police officers say that they are more concerned for their own safety in the current era of the Black Lives Matter movement.  Fully 72% of these officers have reported that they are less wiling to stop a suspicious looking individual for questioning due to the current scrutiny and escalating danger currently associated with policing. The statistics cited in the story were taken from a survey of eight-thousand police officers across the country.

Ft. Lauderdale Shooter a Radical Islamist?:  According to new information, the man who committed a mass shooting in the Fort Lauderdale Airport has been a follower of radical Islam. Judicial Watch reports that the shooter was a Muslim convert who, years before joining the U.S. military, took on an Islamic name (Aashiq Hammad), downloaded terrorist propaganda, and recorded Islamic religious music online. Judicial Watch notes that this information is largely unreported in traditional news outlets, although it is mentioned in one ABC story.  That story reports that while the FBI is claiming no evidence of any ties to terrorism, "according to John Cohen, an ABC News consultant and former acting undersecretary for intelligence at the Department of Homeland Security, in these instances, 'investigators aren't asking the right questions.' "

Monthly Archives