Vanity Fair has an excellent new profile of Judy Clarke. My favorite line, and it is not an exaggeration:
Her record defending the indefensible speaks for itself. Among those who want capital punishment abolished in this country, Judy Clarke is the most effective champion in history.
A basic premise:
No person should be defined “by the worst moment, or worst day” of his life.
How she does it: [More...]
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Issue #8 of the Islamic State's English magazine, Dabiq, has been released. The cover title says "Shari'ah Alone Will Rule Africa." You can download it here.
As with prior issues, the last article is one by British hostage John Cantlie. It's called "The Paradigm Shift" and in it he asserts that the only viable course for the west is a truce with ISIS. [More...]
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Time for a new open thread. All topics welcome.
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A former DEA and Secret Service agent have been charged in Baltimore with stealing bitcoins while working undercover on the Silk Road investigation.
The former agents are Carl Mark Force IV, who worked for the Drug Enforcement Administration, and Shaun Bridges, who worked for the Secret Service.
Mr. Force is being charged with wire fraud, theft of government property and money laundering; and Mr. Bridges is being charged with wire fraud and money laundering, according to an affidavit filed in the United States District Court in San Francisco.
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The Government ended its case in the Boston Marathon bombing trial of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev with gory photos of the autopsy of child victim Martin Richards. At least three jurors cried, according to reporters tweeting from the courtroom.
An FBI photographer testified earlier this morning about where Tsarnaev was standing in relation to Richards. The Government tried to make the argument that Tsarnaev deliberately targeted the 8 year old. On cross, the defense showed other photos that had two people standing between Jahar and the boy, and pointed out Jahar walked away right after the first bomb went off, while the Richards family stayed where they were.
The witness used a diagram that, at the direction of the government, didn't depict the other people standing between Jahar and Richards. On Cross: [More...]
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The supreme Court of Cassation panel deliberated for 10 hours before declaring that the two did not commit the crime, a stronger exoneration than merely finding insufficient evidence to convict.
...The decision to overturn the convictions without ordering a new trial amounted to a rebuke of another high court ruling two years ago that vacated Knox and Sollecito's 2011 acquittal, ordering yet another trial.
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An exhausting week at work. I'm so glad it's Friday. Here's an open thread, all topics welcome.
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Via Politico, the Office of Inspector General has issued a report on sexual misconduct allegations against agents in four law enforcement agencies in the Department of Justice, including the DEA, FBI, ATF and Marshals Service.
The full report is here. It's over 100 pages long, so I've summarized the more salacious parts below: [More...]
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Time for a new open thread. All topics welcome.
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The Supreme Court in Italy will rule Friday on yet another appeal in the Amanda Knox case.
If she loses, will she be extradited? Will Italy even file the request? I don't think given the unique and twisted history of the case, disputed facts and the different and lesser protections afforded defendants by the Italian legal system, which allows prosecutors to appeal not guilty verdicts and according to some news reports, considers jeopardy not to attach until final judgment is rendered after appeal, the U.S. would grant an extradition request. Nor do I think a diplomatic showdown will result if it refuses. This case needs to be put to rest.
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HB11, Death Penalty Procedure Amendments
This bill establishes the firing squad as a secondary method for executions, in the event the drugs necessary for lethal injection cannot be obtained. Lethal injection remains the primary method for carrying out executions in Utah.
I'd call Utah the new Indonesia except it isn't killing non-violent drug offenders. Still, it's sickening to think that any state in this country would legalize such barbaric means of state-sanctioned murder.
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I'm about to catch up on the day's news, and watch the Voice. Our last open thread is full. Here's a new one, all topics welcome.
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Ted Cruz will seek the Republican nomination for President. Here's a place to discuss him and the 2016 Presidential race.
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Many media outlets, including the New York Times reported Saturday that ISIS has released the names and addresses of 100 service members on a website and urged followers to find and kill them. It's far from certain this release has any official connection to ISIS. Instead of "ISIS Urges Sympathizers to Kill U.S. Service Members It Identifies on Website", the headline should be "Group Supporting ISIS Urges Killing of U.S. Service Members Named in Internet Posting."
The release was announced Friday night on Twitter and uploaded to PasteBin, the site used by many groups to post messages. [More...]
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Many are saying Yemen is on the brink of an all-out civil war, which would have repercussions for the entire region, and as in Libya, give ISIS a toehold to grab onto and spread. The Guardian says:
The fear is that the Houthi advance will drive a fresh wave of militarisation and radicalisation in the Sunni-majority Yemeni heartland, acting as a recruiter for jihadis. Western intelligence already considers the local al-Qaida faction – al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) – the world’s most potent franchise, a growing threat seeking to exploit regional turmoil to widen its scope.
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