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"It is not an overstatement to describe the arrests in Tulia as an atrocity. The entire operation was the work of a single police officer who claimed to have conducted an 18-month undercover operation. The arrests were made solely on the word of this officer, Tom Coleman, a white man with a wretched work history, who routinely referred to black people as "niggers" and who frequently found himself in trouble with the law."
posted by artifex on Jul 29, 2002 - 29 comments

Smoke pot, stay out of jail.

Smoke pot, stay out of jail. As your lawyer, I advise you to read this cartoon by Ellen Forney. See also: Bustcard.
posted by xowie on Jul 24, 2002 - 23 comments

This is some scary stuff. Life in prison for malicious hacking? We can't keep rapists and murderers away from society for very long but now hackers & crackers could be jailed for life? And on top of that the FBI can monitor internet packets without a warrant? If you enjoy your freedom from gov't surveillance, it looks like it's time to start using PGP.
posted by mathowie on Jul 16, 2002 - 21 comments

The Best Investigative Reporter You've Never Heard Of

The Best Investigative Reporter You've Never Heard Of died Wednesday from a rare blood disease he picked up reporting in the slums of Bombay. Robert Friedman was beaten by religious zealots after writing about Rabbi Meir Kahane, had a contract taken out on his life after writing about "The Most Dangerous Mobster in the World" and got a Valentine's card threatening rape and murder after writing about Russian organized crime links to the NHL. This December article about the Israel/Palestine situation, which may be the last piece he wrote, is detailed, balanced and yet pulls no punches -- a good example of his hard-hitting style. His death leaves a gaping hole in journalism.
posted by mediareport on Jul 5, 2002 - 4 comments

"Four years after father's dragging death, Ross Byrd speaks about his change of heart over executions."

"Four years after father's dragging death, Ross Byrd speaks about his change of heart over executions." James Byrd Jr., was tied to the back of a pickup with logging chain, then dragged along a Texas country road until his body fell apart. White supremacist John W. King was one of two men sentenced to death for Byrd's murder. "On Wednesday, Ross Byrd traveled to the state prison in Huntsville to lead a 24-hour fast and prayer vigil on King's behalf. 'When I heard King had exhausted his appeals, I began thinking, `How can this help me or solve my pain?' and I realized it couldn't,' Byrd said."

So much for retribution. Instead of yet another senseless execution (this next to be performed with 18-gauge intravenous needle in lieu of logging chain), ponder a possible healing...a rebirth...crystallizing from the son of a murdered black man saving the life of his father's racist killer.
posted by fold_and_mutilate on Jul 5, 2002 - 57 comments

Mike Ovitz uncovers a sinister organization!

Mike Ovitz uncovers a sinister organization! He claims to be the latest victim of the "gay Mafia." By most accounts, he would also be the first. Is this simple bellyaching from a man who once dominated Hollywood? Or maybe, just maybe, we’re witnessing the birth of a new crime syndicate, and with it, fresh takes on the shopworn mob movies? LA Times link (sigh, registration req.)
posted by herc on Jul 2, 2002 - 17 comments

Do you fear a cyber-attack by Al Qaeda? Seems that several businesses and governmental system infrastructures have had higher than normal traffic routed from the middleast snooping around protected systems. Is this more political rhetoric for stronger control over electronic transmissions?
posted by nakedjon on Jun 26, 2002 - 23 comments

"Suicide by Cop" Not a Crime?

"Suicide by Cop" Not a Crime?
"A gunman unleashed a furious swirl of violence on an East Village street early yesterday, shooting three people and holding patrons of a crowded wine bar hostage" - New York Times

"I wouldn't characterize this as a crime" - Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly.

No? OK, Chief, what is it then?
posted by nobody_knose on Jun 17, 2002 - 21 comments

Andersen verdict: guilty

Andersen verdict: guilty
Judge instructs jury: "It's OK if you each think a different person wsa the corrupt one."
How do you say "We are guilty of obstructing justice" in Andersen-speak?
Sorry for posting a CNN link, but they are always first to get a story online.
posted by planetkyoto on Jun 15, 2002 - 18 comments

The Stanley Cup finals -- a perfect time to reflect on what we know about the extortion of former Eastern bloc players in the NHL by Russian organized crime groups. A 1999 Frontline/Fifth Estate joint investigation lays it out nicely, including an eye-opening interview with a U.S. sports marketer who was run out of the Russian hockey world by mob greed. Also check the story of investigative reporter Robert I. Friedman, author of the alarming (some say alarmist) book Red Mafiya: How the Russian Mob Has Invaded America, the subject of a detailed eXile review here.
posted by mediareport on Jun 10, 2002 - 3 comments

Animal burglary

Animal burglary a new form of crime? Imagine waking up to see a chimpanzee nicking your cellphone...
posted by zia on Jun 10, 2002 - 12 comments

"To compile The Top 100 Corporate Criminals of the 1990s,

"To compile The Top 100 Corporate Criminals of the 1990s, we used the most narrow and conservative of definitions -- corporations that have pled guilty or no contest to crimes and have been criminally fined." Just brimming with fascinating business lore, including "The FBI estimates that 19,000 Americans are murdered every year. Compare this to the 56,000 Americans who die every year on the job or from occupational diseases such as black lung and asbestosis and the tens of thousands of other Americans who fall victim to the silent violence of pollution, contaminated foods, hazardous consumer products...."
posted by fold_and_mutilate on May 31, 2002 - 39 comments

The end of free zoo day in Buffalo, NY

The end of free zoo day in Buffalo, NY Darn! Sometime a group of folks can really ruin it for the rest of us. But this was out of hand!
posted by punkrockrat on May 29, 2002 - 38 comments

A tale of cops and robber from Lisa Whiteman: A thief stole her bag, met her dad, took pictures with her camera, sold it to a pawn shop, and got caught.
posted by rcade on May 26, 2002 - 7 comments

The mystery of the missing manuscripts

The mystery of the missing manuscripts
posted by todd on May 24, 2002 - 10 comments

Even if it works, using the detah penalty as deterrent is morally flawed

Even if it works, using the detah penalty as deterrent is morally flawed The mere fact that an orthodontist in Cleveland feels more anxious about crime shouldn't make the state more "right" to take a life. And, if you are in favor of the death penalty, the mere fact that the same orthodontist feels comfortable leaving his door unlocked shouldn't mean that a murderer should pay less of a price for killing a child.
posted by magullo on May 24, 2002 - 45 comments

Killer to be executed

Killer to be executed even though victim's mother requested a commuted sentence to life imprisonment. Shouldn't family members of the victim have some sort of say in whether a convicted killer should be executed or not? Especially when they are against the execution of the perpetrator?

Just an add-on toThe Texas Conveyor Belt of Death thread from yesterday.
posted by da5id on May 21, 2002 - 18 comments

Remember how some of us joked that the mailbox bomber was placing his bombs in a smiley face pattern? Well, we were right.
posted by Reggie452 on May 9, 2002 - 9 comments

Pim Fortuyn Murder Suspect is Environmental Activist

Pim Fortuyn Murder Suspect is Environmental Activist The suspect mainly concerned himself with the fight against bio-industry and fur farms. Mr Fortuyn just recently said he would lift the scheduled ban on raising animals for furs.
posted by nobody_knose on May 7, 2002 - 33 comments

Bridget Cross, former member of Velocity Girl and Unrest has been arrested with her S. African boyfriend (geocities link, probably go down) under some very sketchy cirumstances in. The case allegedly involved locals at a bar in Alaska harassing Bridget and her boyfriend due to his being black, a fight ensued, they fled, and were pulled over and arrested by cops. He is charged with intent to kill, and she has been charged with fleeing a crime scene and DWI. He is also being denied access to the South African consolute. [more inside]
posted by malphigian on May 6, 2002 - 13 comments

Chemical matching of bullets fatally flawed.

Chemical matching of bullets fatally flawed. "The assumption that bullets found at a crime scene can be matched to those in a suspect's possession has helped convict countless murderers, robbers and armed felons in the US, Britain and elsewhere...but there are now fears that the technique may have directly or indirectly led to numerous miscarriages of justice."
posted by obiwanwasabi on Apr 21, 2002 - 1 comment

Amid the ruins of Jenin, the grisly evidence of a war crime.

Amid the ruins of Jenin, the grisly evidence of a war crime. "A monstrous war crime that Israel has tried to cover up for a fortnight has finally been exposed." Strong stuff from the Independent.
posted by Leonard on Apr 16, 2002 - 103 comments

A good New Yorker piece

A good New Yorker piece on George Pelecanos, who is my favorite crime author not just for his skills, but because he sets his novels in D.C.
posted by GriffX on Apr 2, 2002 - 6 comments

Have you ever owned a car that was "Truly unencumbered by the engineering process"? Did you ever have a car that was so bad that thieves wouldn't steal it even if you left the keys in the ignition for them? Check out The Worst Cars of the Millenium survey results at Cartalk. I once owned a Fiat that liked to purge itself of major parts on a weekly basis. They just sort of... fell off while I was driving.
posted by iconomy on Apr 1, 2002 - 22 comments

Attackers carve slur on young lesbian.

Attackers carve slur on young lesbian. I'm going to be sick.
posted by donkeyschlong on Mar 28, 2002 - 27 comments

Robbers escape with $3m

Robbers escape with $3m (£2.1m) in cash after hijacking a van at Heathrow Airport, London, the second such raid there in recent weeks. Nice to see that security has improved then, at the worlds busiest airport after 9/11. via BBC
posted by MintSauce on Mar 19, 2002 - 12 comments

A family of six

A family of six was found dead in a case of murder-suicide, authorities in Oregon said Friday. Bryant, the father, became estranged from several branches of his family, including his parents, three brothers and a sister. The other family members were Jehovah's Witnesses and the split appeared to involve differences over religious beliefs. In other news, An angry, mysterious preacher told Andrea Yates that she was evil, that her children were damned, and that only death could save her. Mr. Yates testified that the preacher had taught him and his wife that children are lost forever to God, and therefore damned to eternal hellfire, if they are not "saved" by the time they are 13 or 14. Are we regressing to the religions produced nightmares of the Middle Ages?
posted by semmi on Mar 16, 2002 - 49 comments

Life, not Death

Life, not Death for Ms. Yates. And, Texas doesn't have a no-parole sentence, so she'll be eligible for release. Where does she go from there?
posted by dwivian on Mar 15, 2002 - 33 comments

Dutch siege is a protest against wide-screen TV manufacturer.

Dutch siege is a protest against wide-screen TV manufacturer. A gunman is holding hostages in a Amsterdam office. Apparently he's demonstrating against the manufacturers of wide-screen TV's for selling "creative nonsense". Who reckons he's just pissed cos he can't afford one?
posted by jiroczech on Mar 11, 2002 - 19 comments

Police offers will soon have to disclose why they have stopped someone

Police offers will soon have to disclose why they have stopped someone - I thought this sounded like a reasonably good idea... especially since on more than one occasion I've been pulled over just so they can "check my car over"... until I read this: "Forces will be told to set up panels of community representatives to scrutinise stop and search records and check that ethnic minorities are not being targeted disproportionately.". Can anyone else see where this is going? "Oh, I'm afraid we can't arrest Mr. X, because we've arrested too many [insert random racial group here] this month".
posted by robzster1977 on Mar 11, 2002 - 17 comments

There's big trouble in Flathead county (n.y. times link, reg. required)

There's big trouble in Flathead county (n.y. times link, reg. required) There's so much to ponder in this completely insubstantial story including the first time I know of that the Newspaper of Record has described someone as having "... a long history of being annoying".
posted by rdr on Mar 2, 2002 - 8 comments

"We just want to provide a safe environment where the students can thrive."

"We just want to provide a safe environment where the students can thrive." Cussing at school can get you ticketed and/or sent to juvenile hall now. Student free speech rights at risk? Tinker vs. Des Moines all over again?
posted by Kevin Sanders on Mar 1, 2002 - 13 comments

A federal appeals court in New York has overturned the convictions of three of the police officers in the Abner Louima torture case.

A federal appeals court in New York has overturned the convictions of three of the police officers in the Abner Louima torture case.
posted by hob on Feb 28, 2002 - 29 comments

on a budget madame, well incarceration is our cheaper plan.

on a budget madame, well incarceration is our cheaper plan. Yes it seeems that the economics suggest that life imprisonment is the prudent option rather than the wanton excess of execution.
posted by johnnyboy on Feb 28, 2002 - 17 comments

Hacking could now lead to life in prison.

Hacking could now lead to life in prison. Someone that kills someone you love would get less time in prison than what they are proposing for this hacker legislation. Is this punishment just for this crime?
posted by bump on Feb 27, 2002 - 14 comments

Enron's historical precidents.

Enron's historical precidents. This L.A. Times article discusses the historical precidents to the Enron debacle. My favorite (among lots of good stuff):

"Like Enron, ITT was a big campaign contributor. But Geneen's idea of how to use political influence made Lay and associates look like choir boys. In 1970, the company offered Republicans $1 million and consulted heavily with the Nixon White House and the CIA when Chile's new socialist president, Salvador Allende, threatened to seize the ITT-owned Chilean Telephone Co. Allende was overthrown with U.S. aid."
posted by electro on Feb 22, 2002 - 9 comments

Black thugs terrorize white students!

Black thugs terrorize white students! So the hooligans specifically target people who they think are white. Soon however they are all caught and put in jail. But these hoodlums were not prosecuted under any hate crime laws. But it gets better: Somehow, David Duke gets involved... and the story still hasn't broke nationally!
posted by Keen on Feb 21, 2002 - 30 comments

Senator Hollings makes the case for a special council to look into the Enron affair.

Senator Hollings makes the case for a special council to look into the Enron affair. (NY Times link). San Antonio columnist Jan Jarboe Russell argues for the same. Here's a Guardian article on the situation.
posted by Ty Webb on Feb 9, 2002 - 11 comments

Someone please get this man some pancakes.

Someone please get this man some pancakes.
posted by mr_crash_davis on Feb 8, 2002 - 31 comments

In Greece, a military officer decapitates (article in greek - english) 5 puppies, using an axe. Just like that. The jury reached a verdict, yesterday: he will face imprisonment for up to 6 months, while the two soldiers who tried to stop him may go to jail for 5 years! I'm just wondering, what would the verdict be if this happened in the US? And how solid is the legislation regarding animal abusement, in general?
posted by kchristidis on Jan 23, 2002 - 16 comments

Killer attempts robbery to get back to prison

Killer attempts robbery to get back to prison After serving 8 years for killing his girlfriend he "was running out of money" once on the outside. So he robbed a banked, then waited outside for the cops to come on by and pick him up. It must be nice to know this clearly what you want out of life. I'm jealous.
posted by victors on Jan 20, 2002 - 13 comments

NDb -(60% x Nc/Nt +40% x Dc/Dt) x 17,585

NDb -(60% x Nc/Nt +40% x Dc/Dt) x 17,585
"Mathematicians called in by the Metropolitan Police think they have worked out the best way to beat crime in the capital."
Are there any UK mathematician/cops out there that know what the variables actually are?
posted by badstone on Jan 17, 2002 - 8 comments

Nokia's new subsidiary - Vertu -

Nokia's new subsidiary - Vertu - lays out its plans to combat street crime by developing undesirable mobile phones.
posted by mook on Jan 14, 2002 - 13 comments

Yasmine Bleeth only gets two stinking years probation.

Yasmine Bleeth only gets two stinking years probation. Yeah, she gets court costs, yeah, she gets community service. But no jail time. Unless it's because she only had (only had?) less than 25 grams of cocaine...oh, and driving under the influence. The question this post begs is: Is this another instance of a double standard for celebrities? I've heard about double standards for child molestation (a football player in New York), murder (Ray Lewis), etc...and there are obviously MANY instances of celebrities getting preferred treatment when it comes to drug charges. I guess this is just another one.
posted by taumeson on Jan 10, 2002 - 20 comments

Interview with the certified forensic entomologist.

Interview with the certified forensic entomologist. In other words she examines insects in dead bodies for criminal investigations. Its good to know that there are dedicated professionals doing this just in case I happen to wash up on the shores of Lake Michigan. Hey, it could happen to any of us.
posted by skallas on Jan 9, 2002 - 5 comments

Britain's strict gun laws not really working.

Britain's strict gun laws not really working. While Britain has some of the toughest firearms laws in the world, the recent spate of gun murders in London has highlighted a disturbing growth in armed crime. Could the NRA be correct? Should the Bobbies now be required to carry guns, something they have never done before?
posted by Rastafari on Jan 8, 2002 - 43 comments

Weatherman faces up to six months.

Weatherman faces up to six months. Rio de Janeiro Mayor Cesar Maya has asked prosecutors to seek charges against Luiz Carlos Austin, claiming his weather forecast was irresponsible. The city's acting chief prosecutor, said he would likely charge Austin with sounding a false alarm, which is punishable by up to six months in prison. Was it really irresponsible to report that the storm could hit? And who listens to weathermen anyway? I say if you want to find out what the weathers going to be like, stick your head out the window. Major storm warnings are the only things I want to hear about.
posted by mikhail on Jan 5, 2002 - 5 comments

Killer Paid Online Data Broker for Material Obtained Through Trickery

Killer Paid Online Data Broker for Material Obtained Through Trickery A stalker who eventually murdered his victim acquired her home address via a company named Docusearch. However, Docusearch didn't get it via database mining, but through a process they call "pretexting" (aka "human engineering" or "pretending to be someone else"). Docusearch, on the stalkers behalf, called the victim's business associates posing as an insurance rep or some such, and tricked the colleagues into giving over the victim's address. Legal? Perfectly legal. Ethical? Maybe. It's a tried and true investigative technique employed by private investigators for decades. It reminds us once again that the human dufus at the next desk over is the biggest security risk. However, this is an issue of an investigative firm exercising a typical, long-standing investigative practice for a purpose that, unfortunately, turned nefarious. Given that, why did the Post put the online data broker spin on the article?
posted by monkey-mind on Jan 4, 2002 - 20 comments

An Original approach to armed robbery.

An Original approach to armed robbery. And they say countries like Bangladesh are more repressed than the USA. Of course, this must have been an interesting day for the sketch artist down at the police station.
posted by jonmc on Dec 27, 2001 - 15 comments

Actress Winona Ryder Arrested for Shoplifting in LA

Actress Winona Ryder Arrested for Shoplifting in LA Margot Kidder, Anne Heche and Winona Ryder?
posted by dgeiser13 on Dec 13, 2001 - 40 comments

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