Category Archives: law

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.

Advertisements

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.

One Brave Judge Resists Feminist Agenda

August 8, 2008by Phyllis Schlafly
A New Jersey judge recently confronted an issue that courts have been avoiding for years: are restraining orders constitutional? Accused criminals have “due process” and many other constitutional rights, but the feminists have persuaded many judges to issue orders that restrain actions of non-criminals and punish them based on flimsy, unproved accusations.
These restraining orders are issued without the due process required for criminal prosecutions, yet they carry the threat of a prison sentence for anyone who violates them.
Mr. and Mrs. Crespo were divorced and rearing their children in the same household when they had a fight, and Mrs. Crespo asked for a restraining order. Mr. Crespo was not charged with any crime, but the judge issued the restraining order, which banned him from his own house and thereby separated him from his kids.
Mr. Crespo made several good arguments that the New Jersey Prevention of Domestic Violence Act is unconstitutional. Judge Francis B. Schultz rejected most of those arguments, but he cited a long line of cases holding that “clear and convincing evidence” is required in order to take away fundamental rights (such as a parent’s right over the care and custody of his children).
The feminists are in an uproar about Judge Schultz’s decision and would like the New Jersey Supreme Court to reverse it. The feminists want courts to uphold a woman’s right to kick a man out of his home based on a woman’s unverified accusations.
Family courts are notorious for issuing restraining orders based on one woman’s unsupported request. The New Jersey Law Journal reported that an instructor taught judges to be merciless to husbands and fathers, saying, “Throw him out on the street, give him the clothes on his back, and tell him ‘See ya’ around.’ ”
People have a better chance to prove their innocence in traffic court than when subjected to a restraining order. Too often, the order serves no legitimate purpose, but is just an easy way for one spouse to get revenge or the upper hand in a divorce or child custody dispute.
Once a restraining order is issued, it becomes nearly impossible for a father to retain custody or even get to see his own children. That is the result even though the alleged domestic violence (which doesn’t have to be physical or proven) did not involve the children at all.
The U.S. Supreme Court recently agreed to hear another case, U.S. v. Hayes, to decide whether an old misdemeanor domestic violence conviction can bar a man from ever owning a gun. Everyone agrees that convicted felons should not have guns, but misdemeanors are minor offenses that usually carry no jail time.
Under feminist pressure, most courts have interpreted federal law broadly to deprive millions of men of their gun rights. However, in the Hayes case, a 2-1 majority on the Fourth Circuit had the courage to stand up to the feminists and rule that Hayes had no fair warning that prosecutors would stretch the definition of domestic violence to include his minor offense.
Randy Edward Hayes had a dispute with his wife in 1994, pled guilty to misdemeanor battery, and served one year of probation. Ten years later, he was prosecuted for having a Winchester rifle in his West Virginia home.
Why are men with clean histories except for one domestic dispute punished like hardened criminals who mug strangers on the street? The answer is that the feminist agenda calls for domestic-violence laws to punish husbands and fathers above and beyond what can be proven in court under due-process procedures.
When Senator Dianne Feinstein voted for the federal law prohibiting a man from owning a gun if he has a domestic violence conviction, she stated, “It is an unfortunate fact that many domestic violence offenders are never convicted of a felony. Outdated or ineffective laws often treat domestic violence as a lesser offense…. Plea bargains often result in misdemeanor convictions for what are really felony crimes.”
In other words, Senator Feinstein wants to pretend a man is a felon even if he is not. That’s the feminist anti-male agenda.
The U.S. Supreme Court ruled this year in District of Columbia v. Heller that we all have a fundamental constitutional right to own and use a gun. We will soon see how serious the Court is in defending our Second Amendment right.
It’s time to restore basic constitutional rights to husbands and fathers by repudiating the feminist agenda that considers men guilty unless proven innocent.

FBI might use profiling in terror investigations

Critics worry the change would single out Muslims, Arabs or other groups

Attorney General Michael Mukasey talks at a roundtable discussion with federal, state and local law enforcement leaders in New Orleans in this May file photo.

 

WASHINGTON – The Justice Department is considering letting the FBI investigate Americans without any evidence of wrongdoing, relying instead on a terrorist profile that could single out Muslims, Arabs or other racial and ethnic groups.

Law enforcement officials say the proposed policy would help them do exactly what Congress demanded after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks: Root out terrorists before they strike.

Although President Bush has disavowed targeting suspects based on their race or ethnicity, the new rules would allow the FBI to consider those factors among a number of traits that could trigger a national security investigation.

Currently, FBI agents need specific reasons — like evidence or allegations that a law probably has been violated — to investigate U.S. citizens and legal residents. The new policy, law enforcement officials told The Associated Press, would let agents open preliminary terrorism investigations after mining public records and intelligence to build a profile of traits that, taken together, were deemed suspicious.

Among the factors that could make someone subject of an investigation is travel to regions of the world known for terrorist activity, access to weapons or military training, along with the person’s race or ethnicity.

Change not yet final
More than a half-dozen senior FBI, Justice Department and other U.S. intelligence officials familiar with the new policy agreed to discuss it only on condition of anonymity, either because they were not allowed to speak publicly or because the change is not yet final.

The change, which is expected later this summer, is part of an update of Justice Department policies known as the attorney general guidelines. They are being overhauled amid the FBI’s transition from a traditional crime-fighting agency to one whose top mission is to protect America from terrorist attacks.

“We don’t know what we don’t know. And the object is to cut down on that,” said one FBI official who defended the plans.

Another official, while also defending the proposed guidelines, raised concerns about criticism during the presidential election year over what he called “the P word” — profiling.

If adopted, the guidelines would be put in place in the final months of a presidential administration that has been dogged by criticism that its counterterror programs trample privacy rights and civil liberties.

Critics say the presumption of innocence is lost in the proposal. The FBI will be allowed to begin investigations simply “by assuming that everyone’s a suspect, and then you weed out the innocent,” said Caroline Fredrickson of the American Civil Liberties Union.

Attorney General Michael Mukasey acknowledged the overhaul was under way in early June, saying the guidelines sought to ensure regulations for FBI terror investigations don’t conflict with ones governing criminal probes. He would not give any details.

“It’s necessary to put in place regulations that will allow the FBI to transform itself … into an intelligence gathering organization in addition to just a crime solving organization,” Mukasey told reporters.

Agents could ask open-ended questions
The changes would allow FBI agents to ask open-ended questions about activities of Muslim- or Arab-Americans, or investigate them if their jobs and backgrounds match trends that analysts deem suspect.

FBI agents would not be allowed to eavesdrop on phone calls or dig deeply into personal data — such as the content of phone or e-mail records or bank statements — until a full investigation was opened.

The guidelines focus on the FBI’s domestic operations and run about 40 pages long, several officials said. They do not specifically spell out what traits the FBI should use in building profiles.

One senior Justice Department official said agents have been allowed since 2003 to build “threat assessments” of Americans based on public records and information from informants. Such assessments could be used to open a preliminary investigation, the official said.

However, another official said the 2003 authorities are limited, tightly monitored by FBI headquarters in Washington and, overall, confusing to agents about how or when they can be used.

Justice spokesman Brian Roehrkasse said the guidelines are part of a “harmonizing” process that will not give the FBI any more authority than it already has. He and two other senior Justice officials would not deny the changes as they were described to AP by others familiar with the guidelines.

“Since we are still in the process of drafting the guidelines, we are unable to comment any further about timing or the specific outcome of the review,” Roehrkasse said in a statement. “It is important to note, however, that nothing in the attorney general’s guidelines can authorize what is prohibited by any statute or by the Constitution.”

Privacy concerns
Although the guidelines do not require congressional approval, House members recently sought to limit such profiling by rejecting an $11 million request for the FBI’s security assessment center. Lawmakers wrote it that was unclear how the FBI could compile suspect profiles “in such a way as to avoid needless intrusions into the privacy of innocent citizens” and without wasting time and money chasing down false leads.

The denial of funding could limit the FBI’s use of profiles, or “predictive models and patterns of behavior” as the government prefers to describe the data-mining results, but would not change the guidelines authorizing them. The guidelines would remain in effect until a new attorney general decided to change them.

Courts across the country have overturned criminal convictions when defendants showed they were targeted based on race. Racial profiling generally is considered a civil rights violation, and former Attorney General John Ashcroft condemned it in March 2001 as an “unconstitutional deprivation of equal protection under our Constitution.”

Mohametan-Arab Slave Traders

Mohametan-Arab Trans Saharan Negro slave trade worse than White Christian Europe and America’s [TransAtlantic]

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zMGjJJhHvqY&NR=1

Sudan – where the Arab pop meets the African pop – Arabs are predominantly nomadic so they tend to roam…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gGdpwrqH7Jo

Mauritania, a Muslim nation in N Africa, just passed anti slave laws (they’ve been holding black African slaves for over 1400 years in various parts of the Middle East and Africa (Muslims since the seventh century). And liberals have the gall to blame the English and English descended Americans, among other European Christian societies, for the horrors of slavery! Good God.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_vZIUR0kSG8