"Show me another black man with a missing a penis and maybe we'll have something to talk about," Deputy DA Owens told the court. // Writing for The Intercept, Jordan Smith details the story of a woman, Kirstin Lobato, who was convicted for the brutal murder of a homeless man in Las Vegas. According to those who are working for Lobato's release, it is a "perfect storm of wrongful conviction. Everything that possibly could have been done incorrectly was done incorrectly." [NSFW: graphic descriptions]
A look at Emma Sulkowicz's (The Columbia University student who carried a mattress around campus as a statement and art project) accused rapist, Jean-Paul Nungesser (who was found innocent by the university, but branded as guilty by the public) and the messy intersection of colleges handling assault cases themselves, instead of police dealing with the reported crimes. The Columbia University student newspaper weighs in.
Former Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell has been found guilty of 11 counts of conspiracy, bribery, and extortion, for receiving $177,000 in gifts from dietary supplement executive Johnny Williams. The governor's wife Maureen McDonnell was convicted on eight counts of corruption and an additional count of obstructing a grand jury investigation.
Mr. McDonnell, who carried his wife over the threshold of the Executive Mansion the day of his inauguration, portrayed her in his testimony as a harridan whose yelling left him “spiritually and mentally exhausted,” and who was so cold that after he sent her an email pleading to save their marriage, she did not reply. ... The government dismissed the defense strategy of portraying the McDonnell marriage as broken, and Ms. McDonnell as a “nutbag” who was smitten with Mr. Williams. The former governor was trying to “throw his wife under the bus,” the prosecutor, Michael S. Dry, said in closing statements.McDonnell and his wife each face jail sentences of up to 20 years for each corruption offense.
On Tuesday, a court in India convicted four men of "rape, unnatural sex, murder, conspiracy and destruction of evidence" after they brutally gang-raped a woman on a bus in Delhi last December. The woman died two weeks later in a Singapore hospital. When news broke, it sparked protests (previously) and raised awareness worldwide about the plight of many women in India. Now that the verdict is in, the Guardian analyzes the incident to see how "the nation's surge to superpower status has left millions behind struggling on the margins." (Links in this post contain descriptions of rape and assault which some may find disturbing.) [more inside]
I had never been so confident of a convicted defendant’s innocence. And I never imagined nearly 12 years would pass before Cook County prosecutors would admit the truth and dismiss his conviction. But it finally happened. On June 28, 2013, Daniel, who was arrested at age 17, was released at age 38, having spent more than 20 years behind bars. [more inside]
Thousands of drug-related convictions in Massachusetts may be challenged as investigators learn more about improper evidence handling and testing at a Department of Public Health laboratory. Over 50,000 samples related to 34,000 convictions were tested by a single chemist at the lab, who is alleged to have violated multiple laboratory protocols. Governor Deval Patrick's office has identified 1,141 inmates currently serving time in Massachusetts whose convictions may be affected by the investigation. [more inside]
Lauded as a civil disobedience symbol agitating for urgent reaction to climate change, Timothy DeChristopher was sentenced Tuesday to two years in federal prison. [more inside]
Sabbar Kashur has been convicted of "rape by deception" after having consensual sex with an Israeli woman who believed he was a "Jewish bachelor looking for a long-term relationship." Reports from Jerusalem Post and Al Jazeera. Haaretz asks if this conviction sets a dangerous precedent for future cases. Al Jazeera's English-language Israel/Palestine blogger Sherine Tadros argues the 18-month conviction is racist.
Remember Jeffrey Deskovic? (If not, spend a minute browsing the links on the previous thread first). He just wrote an interesting position piece on what can be done to make sure that what happens to him doesn't happen to others.
Dutch nurse Lucia De Berk has had her case reopened 5 years after her conviction for multiple counts of murdering her patients. [more inside]
"Which office do I go to to get my reputation back?" The US army has quashed convictions against a Muslim chaplain initially accused of spying at the US detention camp in Guantanamo Bay in Cuba. It means Captain James Yee - who spent 76 days in custody when the spying allegations were first made - now has a clean military record.
Framed for defending herself. On August 28th, 2002 in Las Vegas, Nevada a woman named Kirstin Lobato was sentenced to life in prison. She was the victim of an attempted rape in May 2001, and had defended herself against her rapist. prosecutors used this "confession" of self defense to convict her of a murder that happened months later and in a town where she didn't even live. How "innocent until proven guilty" can you be if prosecutors are willing to use known perjurers and refuse to allow expert testimony?
A Supreme Court ruling with interesting implications: All lower court racketeering convictions against pro-life protestors have been effectively overturned. Operation Rescue is quite free to harass patients and blockade clinics again. Is this a major dent in the campaign to save Roe vs. Wade? Or does this open up new possibilities for activists of all stripes?
Ex-Klansman Thomas Blanton Jr. has been convicted of first degree murder, for the bombing and killing of four young girls in a Birmingham, Alabama church, back in 1963. If anyone here has seen Four Little Girls, you'll probably agree: it's about time.