Category Archives: law enforcement

Emotions connect old OJ acquittal, new conviction

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Jurors had been told to ignore what they knew about O.J. Simpson’s past, but for many observers, the line connecting the former NFL star’s murder acquittal last decade and his new conviction for robbing memorabilia peddlers couldn’t have been clearer.

 

The attorney for the family of Ronald Goldman — who was killed along with Simpson’s ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson in Los Angeles in 1994 — said he thought his hounding of Simpson for years to collect a $33.5 million wrongful death judgment pushed him to a desperate gambit to recover personal items he had lost.

“We drove him into that room to grab the sports memorabilia before we could seize the stuff,” said David Cook, who represents Goldman’s father, Fred. “Going to jail for beating Fred Goldman out of footballs and family mementos. Is this closure for Fred Goldman? No. Is this closure for America? Yes.”

Simpson lawyer Yale Galanter said Saturday, the day after Simpson and Clarence “C.J.” Stewart were convicted of all 12 charges against them in the hotel room confrontation, that the Las Vegas jury was “on an agenda” to make up for Simpson’s murder acquittal. The two face up to life in prison.

“This was just payback,” Galanter said.

“A lynching from the first second to the end,” agreed Thomas Scotto, a close Simpson friend who testified and was overcome by emotion in the courtroom after the verdicts were read. “It’s a total injustice.”

Scotto later told reporters he would remain in Las Vegas to seek out witnesses and show they were forced into their testimony.

“I need these witnesses to come forward and start telling the truth,” he said.

The case against Simpson was won the moment the jury was chosen, according to the consultant who helped prosecutors pick the panel.

“That was the best possible jury prosecutors could ever have,” said Howard Varinsky, who drafted a questionnaire for the prosecution that formed the basis of a survey used to cull 12 jurors and six alternates from a pool of 500 prospects.

“I was surprised that we got all the counts,” he said Saturday. “But it wasn’t an accident that the jury wound up looking like that.”

Whatever the jury was thinking, Fred Goldman praised the verdict.

“We’re absolutely thrilled to see the potential that he could serve the rest of his life in jail where the scumbag belongs,” he told CNN.

Brown Simpson’s relatives said in a statement that they want to be left alone as they “work through many mixed emotions.” They said they are primarily concerned about the children from the marriage, Sydney and Justin.

The jury that convicted Simpson consisted of three men and nine women, including one woman who identified herself as Hispanic, a court spokesman said. The jury contained no blacks, the race of both defendants.

Jurors declined interviews and avoided the media after the verdicts were read.

According to jury questionnaires released Saturday, five of the 12 jurors wrote that they disagreed with the 1995 verdict that cleared Simpson of murder. Most others claimed to be uncertain or did not answer the question.

Redacted versions of the questionnaires were made public by Clark County District Judge Jackie Glass after The Associated Press and Stephens Media LLC, owner of the Las Vegas Review-Journal, petitioned for their release.

Prosecutors have declined to comment throughout the trial.

Lawyers and jury analysts recalled that prosecutors succeeded in removing two black jurors from the final panel.

Varinsky insisted that Simpson and Stewart got fair trials, saying jurors answered several questions attesting to their ability to set aside their feelings about the Los Angeles case.

But he acknowledged the questions also reminded jurors about that case.

AP Special Correspondent Linda Deutsch and writers Kathleen Hennessey in Las Vegas and Christina Hoag in Los Angeles contributed to this report.

13 years on, O.J. Simpson’s luck runs out in Vegas

Sat Oct 4, 2008 3:14pm EDT 

By Dan Whitcomb

 

Photo
«»1 of 11Full Size

LAS VEGAS (Reuters) – O.J. Simpson, who more than a decade ago stunned much of America by beating murder charges, found himself in a Las Vegas jail on Saturday, facing the possibility of life in prison after a jury found him guilty of kidnapping and robbery in a dramatic late-night verdict.

 

The former football star who walked away from his “Trial of the Century” a free man amid widespread views he had stabbed and slashed his ex-wife and her friend to death, was handcuffed and led to jail on Friday night after he and a co-defendant were convicted of robbing a pair of sports memorabilia dealers at a Las Vegas hotel.

 

A court clerk quickly rattled off a dozen guilty verdicts against him and co-defendant Clarence “C.J.” Stewart that jurors returned after 13 straight hours of deliberations, 13 years to the day after his October 3, 1995 acquittal in Los Angeles.

 

Simpson’s family members were left sobbing in the front row of the courtroom and his sister, Carmelita Durio, was treated by paramedics after collapsing.

 

Clark County District Court Judge Jackie Glass summarily rejected requests by lawyers for Simpson, 61, and Stewart, 54, that they be allowed to remain free until the December 5 sentencing.

 

Both men, who were found guilty of conspiracy, burglary, kidnapping, robbery and assault, face mandatory minimum penalties of five years in prison but could end up with life terms.

 

FEW SCREAMING HEADLINES

 

In contrast to the murder case which captivated much of the world, divided Americans sharply along racial lines and ushered in a new age of celebrity journalism, Simpson’s three-week Las Vegas trial drew few screaming headlines and none of the circus-like atmosphere.

 

But prosecutors told jurors during opening statements that the armed confrontation at the Palace Station hotel and casino grew out of grudges Simpson had nursed since his murder trial and civil case, and suggested that they could right a wrong by convicting him.

 

“You will be able to write that final chapter, the chapter of arrogance and hypocrisy and that will be the true verdict. The verdict you can feel good about,” prosecutor Christopher Owens said at the time.

 

Witnesses said the former star athlete once known as “The Juice” and five sidekicks stormed into Room 1203 of the Palace Station and held sports memorabilia dealers Bruce Fromong and Alfred Beardsley at gunpoint, making off with thousands of dollars in collectibles.

 

Defense lawyers argued that much of the property belonged to Simpson and that he wasn’t aware that two of his cohorts were carrying guns. Four of Simpson’s accomplices that day agreed to plead guilty and testified against him at the three-week trial.

 

Simpson’s ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ron Goldman were found stabbed and slashed to death on June 12, 1994.

 

Simpson was quickly charged and after a trial that lasted for more than a year was acquitted on October 3, 1995.

 

A civil court jury later found Simpson liable for the deaths and ordered him to pay $33.5 million in damages to the victims’ families, a judgment that remains largely unpaid.

 

(Additional reporting by Bernie Woodall and Steve Gorman in Los Angeles, editing by Vicki Allen)

Muslim MP becomes justice minister

Shahid Malik promoted as part of cabinet reshuffle

Britain’s first Muslim minister, Shahid Malik, has been promoted to the department of justice as part of Gordon Brown’s cabinet reshuffle.

The Dewsbury MP, who is currently a minister for international development, said he hoped to make Britain “a more just society” in his new role as a minister in the department for justice.

“While I have truly loved my international role working to deliver justice for the poorest around the world, I’m now relishing the opportunity to make Britain an even fairer and more just society for all its citizens,” he said.

As an MP, Malik gained experience of violent youth crime in Britain when a teenager was murdered by a gang of young people in his constituency in May this year.

After the killing, the MP, who lives just a few minutes walk from the scene of the attack, called for “a change in society”, warning that too many young people were adopting a culture where violence was an accepted part of life.

In another government move, Tom Harris, transport minister, has been sacked. The Glasgow South MP said: “Obviously I’m disappointed; I really enjoyed being a minister. But I was always realistic – ministerial jobs come and go, but the role of an MP is more important than any other. And of course I will continue to support the government from the backbenches.”

The finishing touches to the government reshuffle are being announced over the weekend. The posts of immigration minister and police minister at the Home Office have yet to be filled.

A number of senior ministers have today been speaking out in support of Peter Mandelson, who has been brought back to the cabinet as business secretary.

Ed Miliband, who was appointed to the new post of Energy and Climate Change Secretary in yesterday’s reshuffle, said Mandelson would make the government “stronger”.

Speaking on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme he said: “Peter Mandelson has people who like him and people who don’t like him, but even his critics would accept that this is someone of immense talent and someone of even greater experience now that he has been the EU Trade Commissioner for three years.”

Ed Balls, the schools secretary, described Mandelson’s appointment as “the right thing to do”.

Anti-White Attacks in Yorkshire: Gangs of Asian Youths Terrorise Pensioners

 

Gangs of Asian youths are tormenting elderly and disabled people in Staincliffe, Yorkshire, with foul-mouthed racist abuse, according to local newspaper The Press.
Residents living in a cul-de-sac on the edge of Staincliffe Estate say they are at the end of their tether after months of abuse.
The youths, aged from about 15 upwards, start congregating in Manor Way, close to Manorfields Infants School, from 4.10pm and hang around for hours on end, often up to midnight.
The yobs hurl abuse at passers-by, spitting racist comments at the elderly residents – all of whom are in their 70s and 80s.
The gang also makes lewd suggestions to girls and young women and on Saturday mocked a disabled man and threatened to tip him out of his wheelchair. In the past street signs have been pulled down and bins overturned. Cars have also been vandalised.
Police have been repeatedly called out but residents say nothing gets done. Now the residents, most of whom are too afraid to speak out publicly, are fighting back.
Residents’ spokesman Tony Gott, 71, said old people shouldn’t have to put up with the abuse.
“It has gone too far,” he said. “People are at the end of their tether and don’t know where to turn.”
“No one should have to live their lives in fear like this and when we go out to ask these youths to move on all we get is abuse.”
“They called me a ?fat, white bastard’ and the other day I was showered with a pile of bricks.”
“We had the police up here the other day and they spoke to this gang but they denied everything and the police said there was nothing they could do.”
“The police say ?we’ve taken their names’ but all that is a slap on the wrist. It doesn’t stop them.”
Retired builder Mr Gott, who has four sons, 11 grandchildren and five great-grandchildren, has lived in the street for almost 15 years.
On Saturday teatime Mr Gott heard the youths hurling abuse at a disabled man in a wheelchair who lives further down the estate.
“They were wanting to have a fight with him so I went out and told them to stop picking on people in wheelchairs.”
“All I got was abuse and that it was nothing to do with me. They threatened to turn the wheelchair over.”
“The police think we are exaggerating but we are not. We are all poorly people up here and two of the residents have cancer. We just can’t go to bed and have a good night’s sleep anymore.”
The cul-de-sac is also a magnet for drug dealers and users who lurk in dark corners behind Manorfields school but it is the gangs that make residents most afraid.
“I think there should be a curfew to get them off the streets,” said Mr Gott. “Something has to be done.”
Insp Neil Money, of the Batley Neighbourhood Policing Team, said “We are working very closely with local schools, mosques, shopkeepers and our partner agencies in order to ensure that the quality of life for residents is improved.”
Something tells us they are not addressing the real cause of the problem.

The Dreaded Reaching Hand of Legal Oppression – Extortionist Racism Charges

It is a crime to be racist. Therefore when racist charges are the subject, prison terms or worse are the predicate. Therefore, charges of racism are a menace to society, extortion to intimidate rivals into silence and compliance analogous to threats of blackballing from society, lynching or some other such thing. The only difference between despised minorities screaming racism and common people carrying pitchforks and torches is that the former have the entire state apparatus at their disposal to legitimize and carry out their vicious attacks. Any comments?

Obama’s Black Ambition

If Barack Obama is running on the platform of being black, then he should lose unless the electorate cows in fear meanwhile justifying their own capitulation by hypocritical accusations (e.g., against conservatives for resisting miscegenation). An economist article suggested that American whites are less racist than they used to be (like in the fifties) because whites have had a seven-fold increase in the proportion of interracial children. This argument infers that whites are racist if they don’t intermarry and that whites are therefore racist by virtue of their skin color. Notwithstanding the fact that this is a racist argument, it leads unambiguously to the conclusion that whites are criminal (because it is a crime to be racist).  Don’t you like how the devil turns things upside down? Very nice logic indeed.

A leftist on tv says that she thinks it’s mean that people won’t vote for a candidate because of his race. On the contrary, it’s mean to vote for a candidate because of his/her identity.

 

 

Analysis: Obama reacts fast to Bush on diplomacy

WASHINGTON (AP) — In President Bush’s hint that Barack Obama wants to appease terrorists, Democrats heard troubling echoes of 2004, when Republicans portrayed John Kerry as irresolute and weak on national security…