In 1997, Smith retired from the police force. He needed a job to help cover his two daughters' college expenses, so he signed up as an investigator in the Broward County Public Defender's Office. He had little idea that he'd end up a key player in a bold experiment in criminal justice, one that aims to give tens of thousands of people who can't afford lawyers a fighting chance in a system stacked against them. It's an effort that suggests new ways for court-appointed attorneys to get at the truth, despite their insane caseloads. And a big part of it is getting former cops to police the police.
Stop and Seize: Aggressive police take hundreds of millions of dollars from motorists not charged with crimes. A multimedia investigation by the Washington Post.
Supreme Court to consider lifting campaign contribution limits. Reversing McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission would allow unlimited individual campaign contributions.
Federal Prosecutors Are Allowed To Break Laws and Ethical Violations U.S. Senator from Alaska, Ted Stevens was charged with and convicted of corruption in 2008. The prosecutors were admonished by the judge for their actions during the trial such as sending home to Alaska, a witness who would have helped Sen Stevens. Furthermore in direct violation of Brady v Maryland, the prosecutors withheld evidence from the defense. The DoJ decided that the DoJ did nothing wrong with such violations because they were not explicitly told not to break the law. Because the judge took the government at their word, that they would obey the law, he did not issue a court order demanding that they do so, therefor allowing the attorneys carte blanche.
Fans of "The Shield" should learn more about the LAPD's Rampart scandal. Rafael Perez and his cronies were the inspiration for Vic Mackey and the Strike Team. [more inside]
Ira Glass does an atypical bit of investigative reporting about an especially punitive drug court in rural Georgia. [more inside]
How two American kids became big-time weapons traders - "Working with nothing but an Internet connection, a couple of cellphones and a steady supply of weed, the two friends — one with a few college credits, the other a high school dropout — had beaten out Fortune 500 giants like General Dynamics to score the huge arms contract. With a single deal, two stoners from Miami Beach had turned themselves into the least likely merchants of death in history." (via; previously on arms contractors)
It took a few decades, but today a federal jury has found former Chicago police commander Jon Burge guilty on all counts of perjury and obstruction of justice in covering up his knowledge of and participation in the systematic torture of suspects in the 1980s. (Previously.) [more inside]
Arms dealers affiliated with 22 companies, including one with a former Joint Chief of Staff on its board of directors, have been indicted for soliciting kickbacks on multimillion dollar deals to supply munitions to representatives of a fictitious African government. [more inside]
The man who knew too much. "He was the CIA's expert on Pakistan's nuclear secrets, but Rich Barlow was thrown out and disgraced when he blew the whistle on a US cover-up. Now he's to have his day in court."
From The Slow Wheels of Justice [Department] we read that "there have been persistent complaints of excessive force by officers of Prince George's County Police Department, Maryland over many years. Cases of concern include police shootings; deaths in custody from dangerous restraint holds or other force and unresisting suspects mauled by police dogs....In November 2000 the US Department of Justice opened a civil rights investigation into the police department to determine whether it engaged in a "pattern and practice" of brutality and racial discrimination....However, after 20 months of investigation, the Justice Department has not yet issued any public findings or recommendations to the police department."