Nice try by his clever lawyers, seizing on the B L M movement to get an appeal, but it won’t work.
I predict the Court will NOT reverse his conviction, nor should they. The decisions made at trial were legally correct, and Cosby is a lying DANGEROUS SEXUAL PREDATOR!
Cosby has enough money to hire all sorts of lawyers and PR people to “muddy the waters”, but he will die in prison, as he should.
Excerpts from the Article:
Pennsylvania’s Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that Bill Cosby is allowed to appeal two key issues in his 2018 conviction on sexual assault charges. Cosby, the 82-year-old actor and comedian, is less than two years into a 3-to-10-year sentence at a prison outside Philadelphia for drugging and sexually assaulting a former Temple University employee at his home in 2004.
Tuesday’s ruling grants Cosby the ability to appeal two issues in the case. One issue focuses on the “prior bad act” witnesses who testified about alleged assaults that were not part of the charges, and the second focuses on the prior district attorney’s decision not to charge Cosby a decade ago.
At his criminal trial, Montgomery County Judge Steven O’Neill allowed five other women, including supermodel Janice Dickinson, to testify that Cosby had incapacitated and assaulted them in other incidents. Prosecutors said these “prior bad act” witnesses showed Cosby had a pattern in his assaults.
Cosby’s legal team has argued that their testimony was dated and dissimilar from the criminal accusations and should not have been allowed in court.
In addition, the trial featured Cosby’s deposition in his civil case in which he admitted that he procured Quaaludes for women he wanted to have sex with.
Cosby’s attorneys have argued that he only answered deposition questions because Bruce Castor, the district attorney at the time, promised to never bring a criminal case based on the allegations.
The criminal case centered on a former Temple University employee, Andrea Constand, who told police about the assault in 2005. Prosecutors initially declined to press charges, and Constand and Cosby settled the case in civil court a year later.
But a decade later, dozens of women came forward to say Cosby similarly drugged and sexually assaulted them over his years as a powerful media figure. Constand’s was the only one of those allegations that occurred within the statute of limitations.
A new team of prosecutors took up the case and, relying on Constand’s and Cosby’s statements in the civil deposition, arrested him in December 2015.
A first criminal trial against Cosby ended in a hung jury. But in April 2018, Cosby was convicted of three counts of aggravated indecent assault for drugging and assaulting Constand in the first high-profile celebrity criminal trial of the #MeToo era.
Cosby spokesman Andrew Wyatt said they were “extremely thankful” to the court for agreeing to review the appeal and linked Cosby’s plight to the ongoing protests against systemic racism in the justice system.
“America and the world is witnessing the 23rd day of protests regarding the abuse and murder of Black people, not just at the hands of corrupt police officers; but these extremely vital and important protests are exposing the corruption that lies within the criminal justice system (District Attorneys & Judges),” he said in a statement.
“As we have all stated, the false conviction of Bill Cosby is so much bigger than him — it’s about the destruction of ALL Black people and people of color in America.”
In a statement, Constand asked the court to consider the perspectives of the women who “selflessly put themselves in harm’s way” and spoke up against him.
“I have no doubt that the Supreme Court of PA will do the right thing and not allow Cosby’s wealth, fame and fortune to win an escape from his maleficent, malignant and downright criminal past and seek justice at all costs.”
In an interview from prison last November, he said he doesn’t expect to show remorse at a parole hearing. “When I come up for parole, they’re not going to hear me say that I have remorse,” he said, according to National Newspaper Publishers Association’s BlackPressUSA.com. “I was there. I don’t care what group of people come along and talk about this when they weren’t there. They don’t know.”
City manager makes room for additional police training – Good! – kra – With Letter to Editor – kra PUBLISHED
Donna Mitchell, City Manager of my home town, Dover, DE, proves the importance of having the right person in the job! Her action in allocating funds for further police training could save/improve many lives.
Update: My Letter to Editor was PUBLISHED by our state’s largest paper, The Wilmington News Journal, on 6/26/20. The paper combined it with my Letter about our A G, Kathy Jennings …. so both of my Letters saw ink, and thousands of eyeball.
Excerpts from the Article:
Dover City Manager Donna Mitchell said she knew that she had to do her part to add new tools and additional training for Dover Police Department officers, especially amid the outcry for police reform following the death of George Floyd at the hands of police officers in Minneapolis on May 25.
That’s why she decided to make a last-minute change to the city of Dover’s FY21 budget, adding $83,300 to it so that Dover police officers can conduct new training initiatives, before the ordinance’s final reading took place at the Dover City Council meeting on Monday night.
The budget was passed by a 7-2 vote, with Councilmen Tim Slavin and Roy Sudler Jr. voting against it.
Mrs. Mitchell said that she had met with Dover Police Chief Thomas Johnson and agreed that a response was needed in order to show that the city was serious in doing its due diligence in response to police issues that have been taking place around the country.
“When Chief Johnson explained his need to me, I didn’t feel that stating we would find the money in the upcoming budget would send the right message and it needed to be taken care of now,” Mrs. Mitchell said. “I reduced the general fund budget balance to increase the training and consulting expenses Chief Johnson requested in his recent revision.
“The police training budget is now $88,300, as compared to the proposed $55,000 (about a 60 percent increase), and an additional amount has been added for consulting in the amount of $50,000 to assist with expert training to be done on-site. The increase in total budget is $83,300.”
To cover the budget increase Mrs. Mitchell said the city will decrease the general fund budget balance, or the cash used to pay bills while waiting for utility or other payments to come in. She added that all city departments were originally asked to reduce their budgets to account for losses due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic this year.
Chief Johnson said the new training measures will involve every sworn-in member of the police department.
“Under stress and critical moments police officers’ behaviors revert back to their training,” Chief Johnson said. “Simultaneously, you’re considering a myriad of factors — what you’re trying to do, what the overall situation is, the backdrop, the environment, time and distance, and one of the things that isn’t part of muscle memory yet is — looking at the (George Floyd) video that prompted all this reflection in all of us I believe, is the mere fact that the (Minneapolis) officers lost some situational awareness and also did some other things that regrettably we all hated to see happen. “They also probably didn’t have knowledge to the degree that’s now necessary about body positioning, about pressure, about responses that physiologically occur when two human beings are involved in a physical struggle. I thought that the biggest representation of the biggest professional failure that occurred in Minneapolis was the total lack of awareness of that person’s physical demise underneath the use of force being applied by those officers, so our goal is to find training.”
City Councilmen David Anderson and Sudler said they were encouraged that these new training measures are being taken, but also pushed for Dover police to add body cameras to their arsenal to add some transparency and accountability to interactions between police and citizens.
The police chief promised that his department would be fiduciary responsible and will return any money not used for the training to the city’s coffers. As for body cameras, Mayor Robin Christiansen said that he believes funding for those will soon come from other sources.
“I definitely concur with the proposal for body cams,” the mayor said. “I think that after an incident that we had (in Dover) I’ve always been supportive of (body camera) and I’d like to inform members of council that I believe that through the attorney general’s office and the governor’s office that we’re going to accomplish a statewide purchase of those body cams. That seems to be one of their initiatives.”
With Mrs. Mitchell prepared to leave her post as Dover’s city manager this fall, the search is just beginning for her replacement.
In her search to help the city fill the position, Kim Hawkins — director of human resources — sent the following statement out to recruiting firms to help expedite the process. “Dover is beginning its search for our next City Manager as the current City Manager is retiring on October 30, 2020. City Council as directed me to obtain price quotes from several executive recruiting firms to assist in this process. We are seeking an executive firm to provide the following services: Post the position and obtain a diverse pool of qualified applicants; Pre-screen the applicants and provide, hopefully, eight applicants to the city for review.”
Five consulting firms have expressed interest in helping Dover find its next city manager, including: Colin Baenziger and Associates; GovHRusa; HCSmith; Mercer and Novak.
Letter to the Editor: The Right Person for the Job – 6/25/20 – kra
Donna Mitchell, City Manager of my home town, Dover, DE, proves the importance of having the right person in the job! Her action in allocating funds for further police training could save/improve many lives.
She did not dilly dally; she acted swiftly at a critical time [these are indeed critical times for our nation] to do the right thing. Her shoes will be hard to fill when she departs her post this Fall.
Ken Abraham, former prosecutor, and founder of Citizens for Criminal JUSTICE, Dover, DE 302-423-4067
The Whole Story:
22 Camden protestors won’t face prosecution – Good for Kathy! Good for Delaware! – kra Letter to Editor – PUBLISHED!
My friend, Kathy Jennings, Delaware’s AG, shows once again how an Attorney General should behave, and proves that she is the best AG we have had in a long, long time. I have known her for decades, and I have known many of her predecessors. Not only did Ms. Jennings do the right thing in dropping these charges, but she did it the right way: after thorough review of the facts and thoughtful discussion with all involved.
Protesters have every right to demand reforms, and they should. And critical to the goal of FAIRNESS, is the understanding by authorities that this is not criminal.
Excerpts from the Article:
Seeking expanded common ground in a time of ample social unrest, Delaware’s attorney general announced on Wednesday that 22 people arrested during a June 9 protest in Camden will not be prosecuted.
AG Kathy Jennings said the determination followed evidence review including videos and photos from the scene, 911 recordings, dispatch records and police reports. Citizen generated video that was reviewed was posted online at attorneygeneral.delaware.gov.
Also, Justice Department officials had several hours of meetings with Dover- and Camden-area protesters, police and community advocates to gain greater perspective on their viewpoints, AG Jennings said. “We discussed the disparate role of race that pervades America — no more or less with prosecutors and police than in all corners of our society,” the attorney general said. “We heard compassion and empathy for the community. But what struck me was their overlapping message: everyone — protesters and police — wants the same things. Equal treatment under the law. A decent life for their families. A fair chance at the American Dream.”
Ultimately, despite demands to investigate police and prosecute protesters, the attorney general said neither action would assist in building better overall relations between the community and law enforcement. “I may be demonized equally by those who push criminal convictions against protesters who were aggressive but non-violent, or against police who made arrests,” AG Jennings said.
“Perhaps this is as good a sign as any that we must put June 9 behind us and find common ground.” Dover Police Chief Thomas Johnson Jr. met with the attorney general on Tuesday afternoon “and agreed it was in the best interest of our community to move forward and work together to make positive changes in our community.
“We look forward to working with government leaders and community stakeholders to improve our community,” spokesman Master Cpl. Mark Hoffman said.
On Wednesday, the Disrupt to Focus group which includes, among others, those taken into custody during the Camden protest, issued a statement that read, in part:
“During detainment, several officers antagonized protesters by insisting that they had been waiting for the opportunity to detain our group. During the three weeks of protesting, we never intended to endanger the public. According to the Attorney General, we should not have been arrested for acts of civil disobedience which is contradictory to the statements made by arresting officers that the arrest was ordered by the AG.
At the top of the news release was another quote from Dr. King:
“We must develop and maintain the capacity to forgive. He who is devoid of the power to forgive is devoid of the power to love …
“There is some good in the worst of us and some evil in the best of us. When we discover this, we are less prone to hate our enemies.” Since the incident, AG Jennings said she knew of no arrests or physical harm as peaceful protests have continued statewide.
“Police departments up and down our state — including Dover Police — have taken unprecedented action to increase transparency,” she said.
“Our governor used his executive powers to bring important reforms to Delaware State Police. And the General Assembly is moving reform bills as we speak.”
The AG did note vandalism to the Delaware State Police Law Enforcement Memorial and Delaware Law Enforcement Memorial, both in Dover. Describing the actions as “reprehensible” she vowed to prosecute those responsible.
According to the Associated Press, 20 persons were charged with four separate disorderly conduct offenses involving refusing to disperse, obstructing vehicular traffic, obstructing pedestrian traffic and “fighting or violent tumultuous or threatening behavior.”
Four individuals were also charged with resisting arrest, and three with hindering prosecution.
One of those taken into custody was Dover Post reporter Andre Lamar, who live-streamed the incident on Facebook and questioned why officers were arresting people; he repeatedly yelled, “I’m with the press!” as officers took him into custody, the AP reported. AG Jennings’ office said Mr. Lamar had been with the protesters for several protests “sometimes in his personal capacity, other times as a reporter.” Dover Police said drone footage shows that Mr. Lamar did not put on his press credential lanyard until after police started making arrests, and that an officer rushed him after seeing Mr. Lamar rummaging through his backpack, not knowing that he was a journalist or what was in the backpack, the AP reported.
The DOJ detailed findings in its review including:
• The two weeks of protests were mostly peaceful displays of civil disobedience. Law enforcement had fielded numerous 911 calls over several days from residents concerned about particular protest tactics (for example, being surrounded in a parking lot with children in the car). Dover Police and the protesters had met on multiple occasions.
• On June 9, approximately 50 protesters were permitted to walk on U.S. 13 and in the median. The protesters marched in the northbound and southbound lanes for about 25 minutes, with police officers escorting some of the protesters. Traffic was blocked for the most part during this time, as an act of civil disobedience, to commemorate the time George Floyd was pinned to the ground with an officer’s knee on his neck as he lay dying.
• In the hour or so before the arrests, the only tense moments between police and protesters were when police were attempting to allow some cars on U.S. 13 to move around the protesters. Otherwise, the protest to that point was similar to peaceful demonstrations that we’ve seen all over our state.
• No protesters were arrested for protesting in the roadway. That is consistent with DOJ’s advice to the agencies: that no one should be arrested for civil disobedience, and police should step in only when public safety is endangered.
• While protesters were proceeding down U.S. 13, a Dover officer entered his patrol vehicle with the intent of closing down a nearby intersection so that the protesters could continue on the highway.
One of the protesters stood in front of the patrol car and refused to allow him to proceed (DOJ said it is not aware of any video of this particular interaction, so the facts come from interviews and police reports). When the officer exited his vehicle and began talking with the protester, a second protester approached him and, according to police witnesses, “began to use profanity towards [him]” prompting an order for both protesters to move so that the officer could move his vehicle.
• After they would not move, officers began to place the second protester under arrest. At this point, according to police, several protesters “began running in our direction. Protesters approached officers and [were] attempting to prevent the arrest” of other protesters.
The police report continues, “Due to the overwhelming possibility of injury and violence to everyone,” the officer used his radio to call a 10-40 (officer in trouble). Police officers are trained, when they hear another officer call a “10-40” on the radio, to respond immediately to the scene and render assistance to the officer in trouble. At that point, officers and protesters were rushing to the area of the original arrest, and several protesters were arrested.
The latter portion of these events, showing protesters running toward the officers, is shown on video.
• After the 10-40 call, officers began detaining protesters in the immediate vicinity, attempting to keep others away, and moved several across U.S. 13 into the median.
• Officers also arrested Mr. Lamar, who had been with the protesters for several protests (sometimes in his personal capacity, other times as a reporter, the DOJ said).
The AG said upon learning that a person with press credentials was arrested, a request was made to Delaware State Police to release him immediately.
See my Letter to Editor here: https://wilmingtonnewsjournal-de.newsmemory.com/?token=2e81d54b80a5baf91d0867dd9392dffe&cnum=2717809&fod=1111111STD-0&selDate=20200626&licenseType=paid_subscriber&
Letter to Editor – by kra
The right people at the right time
Donna Mitchell, city manager of my hometown — Dover — proves the importance of having the right person in the job. Her action in allocating funds for further police training could save/improve many lives.
Mitchell did not dilly-dally. She acted swiftly at a critical time — these are indeed critical times for our nation — to do the right thing.
Her shoes will be hard to fill when she departs her post this fall.
Meanwhile, my friend, Kathy Jennings, Delaware’s attorney general, shows once again how an Attorney General should behave, and proves that she is the best AG we have had in a long, long time. I have known her for decades, and I have known many of her predecessors. Not only did Jennings do the right thing in dropping charges against Dover-area protesters who were arrested in Camden earlier this month, but she did it the right way: after a thorough review of the facts and thoughtful discussion with all involved.
Protesters have every right to demand reforms, and they should. And critical to the goal of fairness is the understanding by authorities that this is not criminal.
Prosecutors everywhere, federal and state, could learn a thing or two from our AG.
— Ken Abraham, Dover
If convicted, lock him up and throw away the key!
Excerpts from the Article:
An Army private confessed to sharing secret information with a satanic neo-Nazi-group in a plot to attack his own unit while it was overseas and cause “the deaths of as many of his fellow service members as possible,” federal prosecutors in Manhattan said on Monday. The private, Ethan Phelan Melzer, was charged in an indictment unsealed this week with collaborating with the Order of the Nine Angles, or O9A, a group that prosecutors described as “an occult-based neo-Nazi and racially motivated violent extremist group.”
“Ethan Melzer, a private in the U.S. Army, was the enemy within,” said Audrey Strauss, the acting United States attorney in Manhattan, a job she moved into over the weekend after her predecessor, Geoffrey S. Berman, resigned under pressure from Attorney General William P. Barr.
Private Melzer, Ms. Strauss added, had tried “to orchestrate a murderous ambush on his own unit by unlawfully revealing its location, strength and armaments to a neo-Nazi, anarchist, white supremacist group.”
The F.B.I. and the Army foiled the plot in late May before it could be carried out, prosecutors said, and Private Melzer, 22, of Louisville, Ky., was arrested on June 10.
While he was in custody, he declared himself to be “a traitor against the United States” and said his plan to stage an assault against an unidentified military base was “tantamount to treason,” prosecutors said.
Federal prosecutors said that O9A, which, like other extremist groups, often communicates via encrypted apps like Telegram, espoused “a diabolical cocktail of ideologies laced with hate and violence.” Experts have said the group, which is based in Britain, overlaps to some degree with better-known neo-Nazi organizations like the Base and Atomwaffen, whose members have also been prosecuted by the federal government. O9A’s followers have expressed admiration not only for Hitler but also for Islamic terrorists like Osama bin Laden, prosecutors said.
Prosecutors said he enlisted in the Army in 2018 and joined O9A the next year, not long before he and his unit were deployed overseas. Before planning the attack on his base, he steeped himself in O9A propaganda and literature published by the Islamic State, or ISIS, prosecutors said. As part of their inquiry, federal agents later found an iCloud account that Private Melzer used to store an ISIS document describing the murders of U.S. military personnel, prosecutors said.
The top charge against Private Melzer — conspiring to murder U.S. nationals — carries a maximum sentence of life in prison. The other charges against him include conspiring to murder U.S. military service members and providing material support to terrorists.
Prosecutors did not disclose how federal agents and the Army thwarted Mr. Melzer’s plot. But they said he had confessed to it almost immediately during an interview on May 30 while in custody.
Cases involving U.S. service members who are accused of conspiring with neo-Nazis are rare, but organizations that monitor extremist activity have warned that the armed forces can be a training and recruiting ground for hate groups.
In February 2019, Christopher Hasson, a Coast Guard lieutenant and self-described white nationalist, was arrested in Maryland and charged with plotting to kill a long list of prominent journalists and Democratic politicians, as well as professors, judges and what he called “leftists in general.” He was sentenced to 13 years in prison after pleading guilty to federal gun and drug charges.
The Whole Story
Qualified immunity should see the dustbin of history! It makes it nearly impossible for those abused by police to win a civil suit against them. This judge gets it.
Excerpts from the Article:
George Floyd’s unconscionable killing has properly brought renewed attention to the Supreme Court’s doctrine of “qualified immunity,” which shields law enforcement officers from civil lawsuits alleging excessive force. The judge-made law of qualified immunity subverts the Civil Rights Act of 1871, which Congress intended to provide remedies for constitutional violations perpetrated by state officers. Eliminating the defense of qualified immunity would improve our administration of justice and promote the public’s confidence and trust in the integrity of the judicial system.
I am not alone in my concerns about qualified immunity. Commentators — and justices — from across the ideological spectrum rightly contend that this doctrine has wandered far afield from the text of the Civil Rights Act. That landmark statute, enacted during Reconstruction, allows individuals to bring civil actions against state actors — including state and local law enforcement officers — for violating their constitutional rights. But two lines of Supreme Court precedent have rendered qualified immunity an increasingly insurmountable obstacle to individuals seeking legal redress for violations of their constitutional rights.
First, the Supreme Court has ratcheted up the standard a plaintiff must meet to bring a claim by requiring the plaintiff to show that the violation of his or her constitutional rights was “clearly established.” This means a plaintiff must demonstrate that the law enforcement officer’s challenged conduct was virtually identical to the facts of a previous Supreme Court or Court of Appeals decision finding a constitutional violation. The slightest factual variations can render a constitutional right not “clearly established” — meaning that the officer faces no civil liability for the violation.
Second, the Supreme Court has allowed, and even encouraged, lower courts to dismiss cases once they determine that a law enforcement officer’s challenged conduct did not violate a “clearly established” constitutional right — without ever deciding whether the conduct did in fact violate the Constitution. As a consequence, there are few judicial decisions against which to measure whether a law enforcement officer’s conduct amounted to a “clearly established” violation of constitutional rights.
In effect, those who allege that police officers have used excessive force are trapped in a never-ending self-fulfilling prophecy: They cannot sue officers who harm them because the harmful conduct has never been “clearly established” as a constitutional violation in a factually similar case. But because so many cases are dismissed without addressing whether the challenged conduct was in fact a constitutional violation, it is rarely “clearly established” that there was a violation.
This cycle prevents plaintiffs from pursuing their claims, gives officers little guidance on the contours of individuals’ rights and excuses ever more egregious conduct from liability. There are, of course, other avenues for punishing police misconduct, including criminal prosecutions of officers, but criminal cases can be difficult to bring and win, and in any event civil lawsuits can add an important layer of consequence and deterrence.
Congress enacted the Civil Rights Act to deter the unlawful use of excessive force by law enforcement officers. It provides that police officers and other officials “shall be liable” for “the deprivation of any rights” secured by the Constitution. The Supreme Court’s creation and expansion of qualified immunity not only diminishes the law’s intended effect; it also harms individuals who are booted out of court before they can ever bring claims of excessive force before a jury.
And it strains the separation of powers. By creating a defense unmoored from the text, the Supreme Court has undermined Congress’s intent to provide remedies to those whose rights have been violated.
When the judiciary effectively nullifies congressional legislation specifically designed to provide a remedy to those who have been subjected to constitutional violations, it necessarily moves our society closer to a Hobbesian state ungoverned by predictable rules. Violence and looting are neither constitutionally protected nor morally acceptable. But when the judiciary strips individuals’ constitutional rights of legal protection — when, for example, law enforcement officers can take lives unjustifiably, without legal consequence — it can be expected that the public will take matters into its own hands.
In my work as a judge, I follow the decisions of the Supreme Court because judges apply the law as it is, not as they believe it should be. The Framers embodied that concept by carefully and thoughtfully drafting each of the Constitution’s 7,600 words with the intention and expectation that the judiciary — the branch constitutionally entrusted and obligated to interpret the Constitution — would give effect to each and every one. We, as judges, must uphold that obligation. When we fail to do so, our communities bear the consequences.
Unlike so many who have trouble with drugs and/or the law, I had the world’s best parents.
If you have alienated your family by committing a crime, I urge you to reach out – and reach out again – to try to restore that relationship.
On this and every Fathers’ Day, tell Dad you love him.
You get the idea … and, yes, I am proud to be a former Hippy.
“Abe” was my Dad’s name; everyone called him Abe. Nobody calls me Abe. It is thanks to my great parents that I was raised in a way to enable me to bounce back from my COLOSSAL disaster.
Dad was a little unusual. Always working so hard; I remember seeing him come home with piles of papers many a night. No computers then. He ran the hospital. Busy he was, but he made time to toss a baseball with us.
Mom was more the typical great Mom, always encouraging, correcting, teaching us. But they BOTH taught us a lot at that dinner table! Dad never said “I love you” until I was about 30. I remember it because Mom made him say it! 🙂 We were somewhere, I cannot recall where or what the circumstances were (at ALL – could have been something with my brother) but somehow the subject came up and Mom said: “Of course Dad loves you, tell them Abe”, and he did. I remember it because he had never said it before! I attribute this to his being British, and “oh so conservative”! 🙂
But everything he did always made it clear that he loved us; most significant, perhaps, is the huge financial sacrifice he made so that we could be educated in America. We were living in Venezuela where he was working for Shell Oil. When we were 5 he quit Shell and moved to the U S A, where (I learned later when I saw his pension check) he was grossly underpaid for running that hospital. But he made the move for us, so we could go to American schools. All his friends retired YEARS before Dad did, riding around the English countryside in their Rolls Royces with their fat Shell pensions.
Mom knew the value of a great education; she went to a great school – Smith College. Dad, on the other hand, could not afford college, so he had his first job at age 12, riding his bike several miles to work to save 3 cents bus fare. But he read like a fiend (two or three books every week, on all sorts of subjects!) and knew more than most professors I met! And they did indeed give me a great education.
As I say in my talk on drugs … “I had a solid middle class youth, great parents, nice gifts at Christmas, etc. … but the most valuable thing my parents ever gave me was a great education” Yes … I am lucky and grateful for my parents. Well, I have rambled. “Abe” sparked it!
It was nice to awaken to an email like this:
You are the best! We are all so fortunate to be in touch with all your hard work! My humble gratitude is sent your way with prayers for God’s best to come to you in all you do! Thank you my dear friend!
and to another comment saying: “Thank you, Ken. I appreciate all the information you have shared with me. It has helped a lot.”
THANK YOU GOD for giving me such wonderful parents. I miss them.
In response to remarks like those above I can only say what I replied to Cathy: “Thanks. I am just glad that I am able to help so many.”
I guess it’s an attitude,
A consciousness of how fortunate we are,
Compared with so many, here in “the US of A” and afar,
Not just our possessions, our Gucci and our Benz,
But our acquaintances, family and our friends,
You see, one thing that registered in 5 years of isolation,
Is that humans are social creatures, in all populations,
So relish what we too often take for granted,
Harvest those seeds which God has planted.
Wonderful news! I have supported the DACA beneficiaries for years. Innocent victims of tRump’s racist, crazy, unfair immigration policies!
Excerpts from the Article:
The Supreme Court on Thursday rejected the Trump administration’s attempt to dismantle the program protecting undocumented immigrants brought to the country as children, a reprieve for nearly 650,000 recipients known as “dreamers.”
The 5 to 4 decision was written by Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. and joined by the court’s four liberals. It was the second, stunning defeat this week for the Trump administration, as the Supreme Court begins to unveil its decision in marquee cases.
It will likely elevate the issue of immigration in the presidential campaign, although public opinion polls have shown sympathy for those who were brought here as children and have lived their lives in this country. Congress repeatedly has failed to pass comprehensive immigration reform.
President Trump responded to the decision by tweeting his displeasure and turning it into a call for his reelection, with a specific focus on gun-rights supporters: “These horrible & politically charged decisions coming out of the Supreme Court are shotgun blasts into the face of people that are proud to call themselves Republicans or Conservatives. We need more Justices or we will lose our 2nd. Amendment & everything else. Vote Trump 2020!”
The administration has tried for more than two years to “wind down” the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, announced by President Barack Obama in 2012 to protect from deportation qualified young immigrants. Former Attorney General Jeff Sessions advised the new Trump administration to end it, saying it was illegal.
But, as lower courts had found, Roberts said the administration did not follow procedures required by law, and did not properly weigh how ending the program would affect those who had come to rely on its protections against deportation, and the ability to work legally.
“We do not decide whether DACA or its rescission are sound policies,” Roberts wrote.
He added: “We address only whether the [Department of Homeland Security] complied with the procedural requirement that it provide a reasoned explanation for its action. Here the agency failed to consider the conspicuous issues of whether to retain forbearance and what if anything to do about the hardship to DACA recipients. That dual failure raises doubts about whether the agency appreciated the scope of its discretion or exercised that discretion in a reasonable manner.”
He was joined by Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen G. Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan in the most important parts of the opinion.
The court’s four most conservative justices dissented. Justice Clarence Thomas said the program was illegal, and that the court should have recognized that rather than extending the legal fight.
He said Congress should “permanently fix our broken immigration system and secure a pathway to citizenship.”
Obama responded on Twitter as well: “Eight years ago this week, we protected young people who were raised as part of our American family from deportation. Today, I’m happy for them, their families, and all of us. We may look different and come from everywhere, but what makes us American are our shared ideals,”
And he put in a plug for presumptive Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden, his vice president. He said future reform depends on electing Biden “and a Democratic Congress that does its job, protects DREAMers, and finally creates a system that’s truly worthy of this nation of immigrants once and for all.”
Nearly 800,000 people over the years have participated in the program, which provides a chance for enrollees to work legally in the United States as long as they follow the rules and have a clean record.
More than 90 percent of DACA recipients are employed and 45 percent are in school, according to one government study. Advocates recently told the Supreme Court that nearly 30,000 work in the health care industry, and their work was necessary to fighting the coronavirus pandemic.
The justices ended their most recent term in June by stopping the administration’s plan to put a citizenship question on the 2020 Census. Even census experts said such a question was likely to deter noncitizens from returning the forms and impede an accurate population count.
The court ended its 2018 term by approving the president’s travel ban on visitors from a handful of mostly Muslim countries.
The consolidated cases are Department of Homeland Security v. Regents of the University of California, Trump v. NAACP and McAleenan v. Vidal.
My friend, Kathy Jennings, now A G of Delaware, strikes again with words of wisdom. I print her Commentary submission in its entirety, highlighting some parts.
Commentary from Kathy Jennings:
Thousands of Americans have poured into the town squares and city streets across our state and nation to protest George Floyd’s horrifying, senseless killing under the knee of a Minneapolis police officer.
Americans know the protests are not solely about George Floyd. We know they are a reckoning with something that has been broken in our country from its inception. They’re a reaction against the complicity of American institutions – and indeed, of Americans – in a system of black and brown repression that continues to pervade every corner of our society: from police brutality and criminal justice outcomes to economic opportunity, life expectancy and the effects of COVID-19.
Protest is righteously in our DNA as Americans. From the destruction of British property in Boston Harbor, to the civil rights movement, to today’s protests over systemic racism, mass protest is an indispensable instrument of progress when more conventional institutions fall short.
And yet, despite how endemic it is to our civic culture, protest makes us uncomfortable – and that discomfort is the point. Even though the nonviolent acts of civil disobedience that Martin Luther King Jr. and others carried out in the 1950s and 1960s are held today to be the holy grail of peaceful protest, polls from that time show that the American public believed the movement’s methods were more harmful than helpful to the cause of integration. They were wrong. Discomfort is a feature, not an accident. The very point of protest is to remove us from our comfort zones and to confront us with conversations we’ve avoided or ignored.
As an attorney and a longtime prosecutor, I also believe in the rule of law. And we are confronted with questions today – not least in the Department of Justice – about when protest violates the rule of law and how we answer that violation.
By and large, police throughout Delaware have shown excellent restraint by giving protesters room to demonstrate peacefully, while also making selective arrests when serious crimes were committed. With demonstrations in Delaware now entering their fourth week – and with disturbing examples of brutality against demonstrators in other states – our law enforcement’s rank and file deserve credit for knowing the wisdom of restraint.
Some of what’s come to light since the Camden protest raises legitimate questions. Prosecutors are actively reviewing all videos in the custody of the police departments that were present in Camden, and we are examining video that was sent to us by the public, including protesters. We’re also reviewing every arrest of every protester, both in the Camden incident and in protests throughout the state.
I have already spoken out about some of what occurred in Camden – I do not believe, for instance, that a photojournalist should have been detained and I was vocal in my insistence on his release from police custody – and I will have more to say about the demonstration when our review of the evidence is complete.
For now, I will say this: What happened in Camden clearly struck at something larger than the individual acts of any protester or police officer. This is a conversation about trust, about civil rights, about accountability and about the relationship between law enforcement and the community. It is not an indictment of every police officer to acknowledge that we need to recalibrate that relationship, just as it was not an indictment of every prosecutor or every judge when we set out to reform the criminal justice system.
On Friday, I met separately with both protesters and the Dover Police Department for several hours. I’ll continue to do everything in my power to help bridge the conversation between protesters and law enforcement. This is a time of incredible tension, but for many of us, it is also a time of hope for mutual understanding, healing and ultimately progress. The road ahead can lead to real growth for all of us, as a state and as a nation, but it will require some hard conversations. My personal hope is to see people of good faith come together to have those conversations and ultimately to effect and inform the change that we so desperately need.
And for all the good work that individual officers and departments do – and I am keenly familiar with that work – it is clear to many that the time for change is here. I was glad to see, and proud to endorse, the Delaware Black Caucus’ commitment to what I hope is only the beginning of a larger reform effort. And I continue to advocate for reasonable steps to ensure accountability for bad actors, giving the public greater buy-in and oversight of the police and honoring the public’s trust without penalizing good police officers.
I’ve called for 15 reform efforts inside the DOJ and in the Delaware Code, including an objective use-of-force standard, a statewide civilian review board, universal body cameras and a state law parallel to the federal law prohibiting the deprivation of civil rights. I’ve discussed them with law enforcement, with reform advocates and with policymakers, and there is broad common ground. These policies will not cure systemic racism or undo 400 years of oppression, but they would be tremendously beneficial steps forward for our state; they will not be easy to pass, but oftentimes, the right things to do are also the hardest; and they will not bring back George Floyd, Breonna Taylor or any of the lives lost to excessive force, but they may prevent these tragedies from reoccurring.
Kathy Jennings is attorney general of Delaware.
The Whole Story:
Standard for so many prisons! They ignore the law, they ignore their own rules, and inmates DIE!
AND IT CONTINUES BECAUSE NOBODY IS PROSECUTED!
Excerpts from the Article:
Andrew Jones died while being held in segregated conditions without essential medication or access to exercise, showers or phone calls as he awaited a hearing into an incident. He was not informed that his case had been delayed after earlier hearings overran.
Senior Coroner Dr James Adeley found that Jones, 37, was being “unlawfully segregated” beyond the permitted four-hour period. He added that while prisoners could legitimately be segregated while awaiting a hearing, there was “no legitimate reason” to segregate Jones given that no-one else was involved in the original incident, and thus there was no danger that he could collude or intimidate anyone.
While segregated, he had his prescribed supplies of Quetiapine, a mood stabilisation medication, and Tramadol, an opiate for severe back pain, taken away. Because healthcare was not informed that he had been moved to a different wing while segregated, the medication was not resumed, leading to withdrawal symptoms.
Dr Adeley estimated that over a three or four year period leading up to Jones’s death in November 2018, between 600 and 700 prisoners at Garth had been isolated beyond the de facto four hour period allowed under segregation laws.
Senior prison staff admitted at the inquest that the segregation was illegal and that Jones should have been returned to his wing after the four hours were up. The inquest jury found that “prolonged confinement in his cell was detrimental to Andrew Jones’ mental health and contributed to his death”. It found that there had been a “gross failure to provide even basic care for a fully dependent person”, and that “every opportunity to provide this care was missed”.
It concluded that his death “was contributed to by gross neglect”.
In his report, Dr Adeley also condemned an investigation into the death by NHS England which concluded that the prisoner’s medications “were prescribed appropriately” and that he “received healthcare equivalent to that which he could have expected to receive in the community”. The coroner said: “This statement is almost entirely inaccurate and is based upon inadequate medical evidence.”
A consultant psychiatrist who assessed the case found that factors including stopping Jones’s medication; denying him access to a shower, phone call or exercise; the delay to the hearing; and a lack of distraction activities had created a “perfect storm” which contributed to his death.
The Whole Story:
Company Hawking Prison Phone Monitoring Technology as Way to Discover Coronavirus Infections – Stupid Idea – kra
As the article points out, this is a stupid idea, invades inmates’ privacy, and does not accomplish its intended goal!
Prison IS the worst place to get coronavirus because (1) the health care workers are lazy, incompetent, or worse, (2) they and prison staff have NO clue what they are doing, and (3) staff often ignore protocol and the law.
Excerpts from the Article:
A Los Angeles-based company has been selling to jails and prison systems phone-monitoring technology that searches for keywords, touting it as a way to discover COVID-19 infections early.
LEO Technologies developed the Verus system, which has already been deployed in at least 26 facilities in 11 states, including the Georgia prison system, at least seven Alabama county jails, and at least one facility in California. Some use LEO for non-COVID-19-related purposes. The prisons implement Verus by asking their prison phone service provider to share call data with LEO, which routes the data though Amazon Web Services (AWS), the cloud-computing division of Amazon. AWS sends LEO transcripts and the transcripts are read for keywords such as “coughing,” “sick,” “sneezing” or “COVID-19” by LEO staff. Could anything go wrong?
“Obviously, people talking about COVID-19 on the phone does not necessarily mean they are infected with COVID-19. The whole world is talking about the virus right now,” said Shilpi Agarwal, a senior attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California. “It’s not at all clear that any of the monitoring and analysis would be accurate; we know that voice recognition technology is deeply biased. Moreover, we also know that this kind of recording technology has been misused in the past to financially exploit inmates and to spy on their conversations with attorneys.”
LEO Technologies CEO Scott Kernan is a former California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation secretary who sits on the board of GEO Group, one of the largest private prison companies in the world. LEO Technologies is funded by Elliott Broidy, a former national deputy finance chairman of the Republican National Committee whose office was raided by the FBI in 2018 in conjunction with an investigation of money laundering and influence peddling. In 2009, Broidy pleaded guilty to New York felony bribery charges, admitting to providing payments to staffers in the state’s comptroller’s office.
Kernan admits Verus is not subject to any outside auditing for accuracy and there is no “hard and fast rule” about who handles prisoners’ call data and for how long. He said Verus has already transcribed over 84 million minutes of calls at a cost of 6 to 8 cents a minute.
But who is going to pay those 6 to 8 cents per minute? It will not be the prisons and jails, and LEO certainly is not going to provide the service for free. That leaves prisoners–or rather their families—who will be stuck with a bill just to be able to spend a few minutes on the line with their loved ones.
“While this may be well intentioned, it’s absurd to rely on eavesdropping on prisoners’ phone calls to identify those who may have COVID-19,” said David Fathi, director of the ALCU’s National Prison Project. “If prisons and jails want sick prisoners to self-identify, they should stop charging them for medical care, and eliminate the many other barriers and disincentives to seeking care that currently exist.”
“To be clear, the way we can actually protect folks from COVID-19 is to decarcerate the prisons and jails,” said Agarwal.