Posts tagged ‘Legal Issues’

2011/03/02

Circumcision Ban Making The Cut In SF

San Francisco voters, fresh off their victorious efforts to ban Happy Meals at McDonald’s, are likely to vote this year on outlawing circumcision on any male under the age of 18, according to San Francisco resident and self-described human rights activist Lloyd Schofield who is spearheading the ballot initiative.

If enacted, the law would assess a fine of up to $1,000 and possible jail-time for someone who performs a circumcision.

According to the World Health Organization, 75 percent of American males are circumcised in infancy.

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2011/02/19

Judge Found Guilty In ‘Kids-For-Cash’

A federal jury in Pennsylvania on Friday found former Luzerne County Judge Mark Ciavarella Jr. guilty in the infamous “kids-for-cash scheme,” in which he and another judge received kickbacks of up to $2.8 million for putting juveniles into detention centers owned by friends.

Children as young as 10 were jailed and at least one killed himself as a result of harsh sentences that ruined their lives. A child’s guilt or innocence rarely, if ever, was considered by the judges.

Ciavarella left the bench in disgrace two years ago after the allegations came to light and is expected to be jailed for at least 13 years. But instead of being caged immediately he was allowed to walk out of court – right into a barrage of abuse from the mother of an all-star wrestler who committed suicide after he sent him to jail. Edward Kenzakoski, 17 was never the same after being jailed for a first-time minor drug offense, his mother Sandy Fonzo raged.

“Do you remember my son? Do you remember my son? He was an all-star wrestler and he’s gone,” she screamed. “He shot himself in the heart. You scumbag, you ruined my fucking life.” Fonzo continued yelling as she was moved away, “I’d like him to go to hell and rot there forever.”

Following the verdict, Assistant US Attorney Gordon Zubrod said the court system during the time of Ciavarella and the other judge, Michael Conahan, was a “criminal enterprise.”

In 2009, both judges were offered plea agreements that would have resulted in 87 months in prison but those offers were nullified by US District Judge Edwin Kosik, who deemed them insufficient. Kosik presided over the Ciavarella case.

More than 70 juveniles and their families have filed a class-action lawsuit against the two former judges claiming they “used kids as commodities that could be traded for cash.”

The judges did little to hide their activities. Detention centers were notified of the number of incoming juveniles to expect each day – prior to the juvenile hearings to determine guilt or innocence. Records showed that the average length of a juvenile hearing in their courtrooms was under two minutes per juvenile.

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has thrown out thousands of juvenile convictions issued by Ciavarella, saying he disregarded the constitutional rights of the defendants.

In the video below, Sandy Fonzo, whose son committed suicide, screams at former judge Mark Ciavarella after he’s found guilty in the “kids-for-cash” scheme (profanity).
Vodpod videos no longer available.

2011/02/17

Why Isn’t Anyone From Wall St. In Jail?


Financial crooks brought down the world’s economy — but the feds are doing more to protect them than to prosecute them.

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2011/02/17

Texas: There’s No Justice Here

The Texas Comptroller’s Office has denied state compensation to Anthony Graves, who spent 18 years behind bars before a special prosecutor determined he was innocent and authorities dropped capital murder charges against him, Graves’ attorney said today.

The state determined that Graves, 45, who would have received $1.4 million had he been deemed eligible, should receive nothing because the word “innocence” was not used in the document ordering his release, according to Graves’ attorney, Nicole Casarez.

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2011/02/09

US Prisoners Await Verizon iPhone

In California, prison guards are the main source of the smuggled cell phones that allow inmates to run crime rings from behind bars.

The phones fetch about $1,000 a piece and rumors of prison guards taking in $150,000 on the side.

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2011/02/09

Prosecutors: Berlusconi Sex Trial Now

New York Times

A defiant Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi said on Wednesday that he would continue to govern Italy even as Milan prosecutors filed a request to try him on criminal charges related to prostitution and abuse of office.

Prosecutor Edmondo Bruti Liberati announced on Wednesday that his office had enough evidence to ask a judge to waive preliminary hearings and call for an immediate trial of Mr. Berlusconi on charges that he paid for sex with a 17-year-old and abused his office by calling the police to intervene on her behalf after she was detained for petty theft in May.

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2011/02/05

Banks Stealing Our Money? No Way!

Bank of America, the largest U.S. lender by assets, agreed to pay $410 million to settle lawsuits alleging deceptive practices in the management of customer accounts that led to excessive fees for overdrafts.


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2011/02/05

Bikini Coffee-Shop Owner May Get Jail

The naked truth is that in one Washington State city, it just got more difficult to serve coffee with a bit of bare skin.

A jury in Yakima on Friday found the owner of the Dreamgirls Expresso stand guilty of violating the city’s indecent exposure ordinance for having one of her “bikini baristas” wear sheer shorts while serving up coffee.

Dreamgirls’ owner faces a term of up to 90 days in jail when she is sentenced on February 18. The case stems from a visit last year to the coffee stand by police officers, who found a barista’s sheer shorts did not cover enough of her buttocks.

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2011/02/03

Jimmy Carter Sued By Supporters of Israel

Five readers of Jimmy Carter’s book, “Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid,” have filed a $5 million dollar federal lawsuit against the former US president for “falsely marketing as true and accurate a book that is neither” and “violating consumer protection laws by knowingly publishing inaccurate information while promoting a book as factual.”

Segments of Carter’s book described harsh conditions under which Palestinians have lived during the 44-year Israeli occupation.

Two of the five claimants hold dual-citizenship in Israel and the US.

via Jerusalem Post

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