Take a break from the crazy world of criminal “justice” with this feel good story!
Excerpts from the Article:
It started when Finnegan was 3. For some kids, it’s Hess trucks. Others, it’s monster trucks.
Finnegan has some other trucks of interest in his family. His father works for UPS. His uncle works as a firefighter. Neither of those trucks do it for Finn.
“He couldn’t care any less for those things,” said Erin McCullin, Finn’s mother.
Finn, she said, has always been drawn to the trash truck. And not just waving at them when they go by.
The family has a sign outside their home in the Appoquinimink School District that says “I Love Garbage Trucks.” Finn, now 5, was a garbage truck for Halloween a few years ago. He has trash truck toys and a t-shirt that says “Trash Day is the Best Day.”
“We own every trash truck toy you can think of,” McCullin said. “He can tell you every part of the truck.”
So imagine Finn’s reaction when, on his 5th birthday, a local trash company helped him celebrate by sending out a parade of trucks and bringing him a bag of goodies?
After making some phone calls, McCullin got in touch with Republic Services. The company sent out a few trucks. The drivers honked their horns and stopped to give Finn a gift bag. They even let him sit inside a truck.
“It’s a memory like Disney World,” said his mother, an elementary school teacher.
“I just want to recognize this company. They bent over backwards, and they were incredibly kind.”
CAR PARADE: ‘We’re not going to let him fight alone’: Car parade planned for birthday of 5-year-old boy battling cancer
The family’s regular trash company is Waste Industries. Finn sometimes goes outside when they’re picking up and gives water bottles to Phil and Ernie, who honk the truck’s horn when they drive by. Finn writes to them and draws them pictures, too.
“It’s something that’s kind of got us through the year,” McCullin said.
It is long past time to get rid of these idiotic sexist laws allowing RAPE! Several states are changing these laws.
Excerpts from the Article:
The AP does not normally identify victims of sexual assault, but Teeson has shared her story publicly, including during testimony before legislative committees. Democratic state Sen. Karla Bigham credited Teeson’s advocacy for persuading lawmakers to pass the bill.
“She had to relive the trauma every time she shared her story,” Bigham told her colleagues during a debate in the Senate chamber this past week. “Her voice speaks loudly to those women who deserve justice. Let’s do the right thing. Let’s right this wrong.”
AEquitas, a resource for prosecutors, reported last month that 17 states still maintain some form of the exemption for spouses who rape partners when they are drugged or otherwise incapacitated: Alabama, Alaska, Connecticut, Idaho, Iowa, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, Mississippi, New Hampshire, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Washington and Wyoming.
In Ohio, state Rep. Kristin Boggs, a Democrat, said she’s not optimistic the upcoming version of the marital rape bill will be any more successful in the Republican-controlled Legislature than it has been in the past.
But at least one past opponent — the Ohio Prosecuting Attorneys Association — has evolved on the issue. Executive Director Lou Tobin said he expects the group will support a bill that seeks to eliminate the exemption.
“In the past, I know that there’s been some concern that these cases are difficult to prove; they can be a lot of he-said, she-said back and forth,” Tobin said. “But sorting through those things is what prosecutors are for.”
Boggs’ bill would again call for removing references to the marital exemption throughout Ohio’s criminal code. Her argument in favor of it is straightforward.
“Our rationale for introducing this legislation is simply that your legal relationship to another human being shouldn’t give you permission to rape them,” she said.
From $15 million to $0: As racial tensions simmered, Trump administration sought to defund DOJ ‘peacemaker’ unit
Another reminder of what a negative, obstructionist, racist tRump is. We must never let him gain any authority again.
Excerpts from the story:
As racial tensions spilled into America’s streets, the Trump administration repeatedly sought to eliminate a long-standing Justice Department unit that for decades has mediated racial, ethnic and gender clashes that are once again surging across the country.
For four straight years, DOJ’s Community Relations Service, established nearly 60 years ago by the landmark Civil Rights Act, was variously targeted for severe staffing reductions and outright elimination, according to Trump budget proposals.
While congressional intervention kept the unit afloat, the persistent budgetary attacks and the Trump administration’s pursuit of harsh immigration policies along with a rollback of some civil rights protections prompted some wary communities to refuse its help.
Good, and may they win every penny of it! TRUTH MATTERS!
Excerpts from the Article:
Dominion Voting Systems filed a $1.6 billion defamation lawsuit against Fox News on Friday, arguing the cable news giant, in an effort to boost faltering ratings, falsely claimed that the voting company had rigged the 2020 election.
The lawsuit is part of a growing body of legal action filed by the voting company and other targets of misleading, false and bizarre claims spread by President Donald Trump and his allies in the aftermath of Trump’s election loss to Joe Biden. Those claims helped spur on rioters who stormed the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 in a violent siege that left five people dead, including a police officer. The siege led to Trump’s historic second impeachment.
Dominion argues that Fox News, which amplified inaccurate assertions that Dominion altered votes, “sold a false story of election fraud in order to serve its own commercial purposes, severely injuring Dominion in the process,” according to a copy of the lawsuit obtained by The Associated Press. “The truth matters. Lies have consequences,” the lawsuit said. “… If this case does not rise to the level of defamation by a broadcaster, then nothing does.”
Even before Dominion’s lawsuit on Friday, Fox News had already filed four motions to dismiss other legal action against its coverage. And anchor Eric Shawn interviewed a Dominion spokesperson on air in November.
There was no known widespread fraud in the 2020 election, a fact that a range of election officials across the country — and even Trump’s attorney general, William Barr — have confirmed. Republican governors in Arizona and Georgia, key battleground states crucial to Biden’s victory, also vouched for the integrity of the elections in their states. Nearly all the legal challenges from Trump and his allies were dismissed by judges, including two tossed by the Supreme Court, which has three Trump-nominated justices.
Still, some Fox News employees elevated false charges that Dominion had changed votes through algorithms in its voting machines that had been created in Venezuela to rig elections for the late dictator Hugo Chavez. On-air personalities brought on Trump allies Sidney Powell and Rudy Giuliani, who spread the claims, and then amplified those claims on Fox News’ massive social media platforms.
Dominion said in the lawsuit that it tried repeatedly to set the record straight but was ignored by Fox News.
The company argues that Fox News, a network that features several pro-Trump personalities, pushed the false claims to explain away the former president’s loss. The cable giant lost viewers after the election and was seen by Trump and some supporters as not being supportive enough of the Republican.
Attorneys for Dominion said Fox News’ behavior differs greatly from that of other media outlets that reported on the claims.
“This was a conscious, knowing business decision to endorse and repeat and broadcast these lies in order to keep its viewership,” said attorney Justin Nelson, of Susman Godfrey.
Though Dominion serves 28 states, until the 2020 election it had been largely unknown outside the election community. It is now widely targeted in conservative circles, seen by millions of people as one of the main villains in a fictional tale in which Democrats nationwide conspired to steal votes from Trump, the lawsuit said.
Dominion’s employees, from its software engineers to its founder, have been harassed. Some received death threats. And the company has suffered “enormous and irreparable economic harm,” lawyers said.
One employee, Eric Coomer, told the AP he had to go into hiding over death threats because of the false claims. He has sued the Trump campaign, conservative media columnists and conservative media outlets Newsmax and One America News Network.
Dominion has also sued Giuliani, Powell and the CEO of Minnesota-based MyPillow over the claims. A rival technology company, Smartmatic USA, also sued Fox News over election claims for a similar sum of money. Unlike Dominion, Smartmatic’s participation in the 2020 election was restricted to Los Angeles County. Fox News has moved to dismiss the Smartmatic suit.
Dominion lawyers said they have not yet filed lawsuits against specific media personalities at Fox News but the door remains open. Some at Fox News knew the claims were false but their comments were drowned out, lawyers said.
“The buck stops with Fox on this,” attorney Stephen Shackelford said. “Fox chose to put this on all of its many platforms. They rebroadcast, republished it on social media and other places.”
The suit was filed in Delaware, where both companies are incorporated, though Fox News is headquartered in New York and Dominion is based in Denver.
The GOP moves in GA are an absurdly racist move, nothing more. INTENDED to prevent poor people and people of color from voting. Let them know you are not going to take it!
When the politicians are so afraid of the people that they do not want them to vote, you know it is time to get their butts out of office! 🙂
CLICK HERE, ON EACH PICTURE, TO CALL AND EMAIL EVERY ONE OF THOSE DUMB-ASS GEORGIA LAWMAKERS: https://www.legis.ga.gov/members/house
Steve does a great job in suing prison officials!
My friend and great attorney Steve Hampton filed this complaint in superior court yesterday, and says: “but I will not be surprised if the defendants remove it to federal court. Paragraph one of the complaint pretty much explains what this case is all about. Given the reports that I keep getting on medical care in the DOC prisons, it doesn’t seem to have improved since this happened.”
1. Julius S. Johnson died at the age of 31, on July 4, 2019 a week after he was admitted to the James T. Vaughn Correctional Center (JTVCC) infirmary. Julius suffered from paraplegia and a pressure wound on his sacrum when admitted to the infirmary, yet during that week preceding his death he was denied the necessary medical care needed to keep him alive by the medical staff employed by Connections Community Support Programs, Inc. (CCSP). CCSP is a corporation that was contracted with the Department of Correction (DOC) to provide medical services to inmates such as Julius S. Johnson in DOC level 4 and 5 prisons, including JTVCC.
Grady and Hampton LLC
6 N. Bradford St.
Dover, DE 19904
Here is the entire Complaint: http://www.citizensforcriminaljustice.net/wp-admin/post-new.php
My friend, Kathy Jennings, our AG, continues to do a great job. As she says here: “Police have a difficult job, but at a bare minimum we expect honesty,” said Attorney General Jennings. “Police who break the law commit two injustices: the crime itself, and damage to the public trust that lingers long after a trial. These cases deserve the highest level of scrutiny and independence, and are precisely why we established and expanded the Division of Civil Rights and Public Trust. We cannot, do not, and will not tolerate this kind of conduct from anyone – let alone those we trust to enforce the law.”
Excerpts from the Article:
Attorney General Kathy Jennings and the DOJ’s Division of Civil Rights & Public Trust announced Tuesday that a grand jury has indicted James MacColl, formerly a corporal of the Wilmington Police Department, on two felonies and one misdemeanor.
MacColl, 39, is charged with Providing a False Statement to Law Enforcement, Tampering with Physical Evidence, and Official Misconduct for his actions in the aftermath of a police-involved shooting on February 2, 2019.
“Police have a difficult job, but at a bare minimum we expect honesty,” said Attorney General Jennings. “Police who break the law commit two injustices: the crime itself, and damage to the public trust that lingers long after a trial. These cases deserve the highest level of scrutiny and independence, and are precisely why we established and expanded the Division of Civil Rights and Public Trust. We cannot, do not, and will not tolerate this kind of conduct from anyone – let alone those we trust to enforce the law.”
In February 2019, MacColl responded to a 911 call reporting an armed carjacking, pursuing and ultimately shooting Yahim Harris, of Wilmington. During an ensuing use of force investigation by the Division of Civil Rights and Public Trust1, DOJ investigators became aware of a ballistics analysis that revealed discrepancies between the bullets fired from MacColl’s service weapon and the barrel of his gun. At the time, MacColl – who had previously been the subject of a use of force investigation following the 2015 shooting of Jeremy McDole – denied changing the barrel on his weapon.
The ballistics discrepancy did not affect DCRPT’s conclusion as to the legality of MacColl’s use of force, since it was undisputed that MacColl had fired his weapon at Harris. However, DCRPT disclosed the discrepancy in a public report issued in November 2019.
DOJ later learned of an interview in which MacColl admitted that he had switched the standard issue five-twist barrel on his service weapon with an aftermarket six-twist barrel in 2017. MacColl claimed that he had not changed his barrel when he shot Yahim Harris, but did not explain how the barrel of his weapon would have changed prior to its analysis. It was the first time that the DOJ became aware of any such admission.
MacColl’s total lack of candor during DOJ’s investigation forced prosecutors to drop then-pending charges against Harris for the alleged carjacking, as the State detailed in a memo filed in Superior Court on March 3, 2020.
As DCRPT describes in a Rule 9 Warrant, the State alleges that MacColl – who would have known from his prior involvement in the McDole use of force investigation that his firearm would be seized and would be produced in an official proceeding – knowingly and unlawfully attempted to conceal the use of an aftermarket barrel by swapping out his weapon’s barrel. MacColl’s alleged conduct not only misled investigators in the DOJ and in Wilmington Police Department, but derailed and terminated the prosecution of an alleged violent crime.
If convicted, MacColl will face a maximum of five years in prison. The DOJ reminds the press and public that an indictment is a formal accusation and that MacColl is presumed innocent until his is convicted at a trial, at which the State will bear the burden of proof.
1 At the time of the use of force investigation, the Division of Civil Rights and Public Trust was still organized as the Office of Civil Rights and Public Trust.
I have seen hundreds – yes, hundreds – of articles about an inmate who died because jail intake officials did not do their job in screening the inmate for withdrawal symptoms; I bet that is what happened here.
The Whole Article:
An inmate at the Downtown Spokane County Jail died while being transported to the jail’s medical services division on Monday afternoon.
According to county spokesperson Jared Webley, the inmate became unresponsive while being transported at about noon on Monday. Staff at the jail began treating the inmate before being relieved by Spokane City Fire and AMR, but the inmate was pronounced dead at 12:30 p.m., according to Webley.
Two doses of Narcan were administered to the inmate before they died, Webley said. Spokane County Detention Services requested assistance from the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office, which stopped overseeing detention services in 2013, to carry out the investigation, Webley said. Major Crimes detectives and member of the Forensic Unit responded to process the scene and conduct interviews, according to Webley.
The Spokane County Medical Examiner’s Office will release the name of the inmate and their cause and manner of death “when appropriate to do so,” Webley said.
At least 10 inmates at the jail have now died since June 2017.
Pray that this order will be enforced. Prison officials routinely ignore Court Orders!
Excerpts from the Article:
A federal judge has ordered that correctional officers wear body cameras and that surveillance cameras be installed at five California prisons, citing repeated abuse of inmates with disabilities.
U.S. District Judge Claudia Wilken’s order was issued Thursday in a disabilities rights case. It requires the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation to place the cameras at L.A. County State Prison in Lancaster; Corcoran State Prison and the Substance Abuse Treatment Facility in Corcoran; the California Institution for Women in Chino; and Kern Valley State Prison in Delano. The judge gave the prisons 21 days to make plans for instituting the cameras and 90 more days to get them operational.
“The Court finds that body cameras are likely to improve investigations of misconduct by staff and to reduce the incidence of violations of disabled inmates’ rights,” Wilken wrote. The judge also mandated reforms related to tracking disabled inmates’ complaints and the use of pepper spray.
The judge made her ruling after reviewing dozens of declarations submitted by prisoner and disability rights lawyers on behalf of inmates.
“Some of the incidents involve the use of force against mentally or physically disabled inmates even though the disabled inmates appear to have posed no imminent threat to the safety of staff or other inmates,” the judge wrote. “The descriptions in these declarations of the behavior of staff toward disabled inmates are remarkably consistent,” she wrote. “Further, the declarants appear to lack any incentive to fabricate the incidents they describe with such great detail.”
The judge also ordered that there be a significant increase in the number of supervisory staff by “posting additional sergeants on all watches on all yards” at the five prisons.
“CDCR has taken steps to improve conditions for people in our care to accommodate for both physical and mental disabilities, including holding staff accountable for behavior that goes against the department’s values,” the department stated.
Michael Bien, whose law firm represents the inmates, said the order “is the beginning of a long process to fix” abuse and violations of inmates with disabilities.
The order comes after officials at Richard J. Donovan Correctional Facility near San Diego were ordered in September to install cameras amid accusations that disabled inmates were repeatedly abused by guards. Officers there began wearing body cameras in January. Attorneys for inmates with disabilities had asked the judge to require cameras at seven prisons, but the judge found insufficient evidence of abuses at Salinas Valley State Prison and the California Correctional Institution in Tehachapi.
In the 71-page ruling, the judge documented several incidents of abuse in justifying the need for cameras and other reforms. The judge noted that some inmates were too afraid to seek help.
At the Lancaster prison, an inmate with bipolar disorder was struck after complaining of hallucinations in June 2019, according to Wilken. “After a mental health evaluation, he was being returned to his cell, while handcuffed, by two officers when the officers and the inmate had a verbal altercation; once they reached his cell, the officers slammed him to the ground face-first and punched him in the head,” the judge wrote.
In December 2019, an inmate experiencing a “manic episode” at the state prison at Lancaster was taken to the ground by several correctional officers and then one officer used an entire can of pepper spray on him and “beat the inmate,” the judge noted.
Wilken said she found the dozens of declarations submitted from the prisons by inmates credible.
Under the judge’s order surveillance cameras are required to be installed in housing units, exercise yards, gyms, dining areas and other areas. Video must be kept for 90 days. Wilken wrote that without surveillance cameras, mistreatment of disabled inmates is “likely to continue.”
Rebecca Stewart: 513-479-3335
H.R. 1620 Would Vitiate a Fundamental Due Process Right. Lawmakers Are Urged to Act Now.
WASHINGTON / March 15, 2021 – A bill recently introduced in Congress, H.R. 1620, would remove the right of defendants to an impartial and fair investigation, thereby removing a key due process right and increasing the risk of a wrongful conviction. H.R. 1620 seeks to promote so-called “victim-centered” and “trauma-informed” investigations, which are known to remove the presumption of innocence and sharply bias the investigation in favor of the complainant (1).
H.R. 1620 defines “victim-centered” as asking questions of a complainant “in a manner that is focused on the experience of the reported victim.” This description is an admission of the one-sided nature of such investigations, because it says nothing about focusing on the experiences of the defendant, or on the objective facts of the case.
A recent report from the National Registry of Exonerations found that investigative misconduct accounts for 35% of all wrongful convictions. The investigative misconduct includes concealment of evidence, fabrication of evidence, witness tampering, misconduct in interrogations, and making false statements at trial (2). To date, 2,754 wrongful convictions have been documented (3), a number that is believed to substantially underestimate the actual number.
Settlement agreements typically involve compensation payments to exonerees in the range of $50,000 to $100,000 for each year of wrongful imprisonment (4).
Black male defendants are often targeted by such “victim-centered” methods. A recent article by Wendy McElroy reported that 73.6% of wrongful convictions involved Blacks who were victimized by Officer Misconduct (5).
Ethics codes admonish police officers to conduct investigations that are impartial, fair, and honest (6). The Law Enforcement Code of Ethics of the International Association of Chiefs of Police states, for example, “As a law enforcement officer, my fundamental duty is …..to respect the constitutional rights of all to liberty, equality, and justice.” (7)
The Center for Prosecutor Integrity urges lawmakers to contact the bill sponsor, Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, and tell her to remove the unconstitutional provisions from H.R. 1620, found at Sections 206 and 303. The full text of H.R. 1620 is available online (8).
A vote on H.R. 1620 is expected to take place later this week. Jackson Lee’s telephone number is 202-225-3816.