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DOJ: No Civil Rights Charges Warranted for Zimmerman

The Department of Justice has announced the closure of its civil rights investigation against George Zimmerman. No charges will be filed due to insufficient evidence.

After a thorough and independent investigation into the facts surrounding the shooting, federal investigators determined that there is insufficient evidence to prove beyond a reasonable doubt a violation of these statutes. Accordingly, the investigation into this incident has been closed. This decision is limited strictly to the department’s inability to meet the high legal standard required to prosecute the case under the federal civil rights statutes; it does not reflect an assessment of any other aspect of the shooting.

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Prosecutor Requests DSK Charges Be Dismissed

The prosecutor in the trial of Dominique Strauss-Kahn has asked that the charges of aggravated procurement be dismissed for lack of evidence. The women involved have dismissed their claims for damages against him.

Lille Prosecutor Frederic Fevre told the judges:

"Did Dominique Strauss-Kahn pay prostitutes? The answer is no. Did he p*mp prostitutes for others? The answer is no,"

The prosecutor originally recommended against the charges, but the investigating magistrate judges overruled him, saying that Strauss-Kahn was a key planner of the parties and knew that the women who attended them were prostitutes. But the evidence at trial failed to show DSK knew they were prostitutes and he testified and denied knowing they were paid. [More...]

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The Anthem Breach

It's bad enough that 80 million people insured through Anthem have had their personal data stolen by hackers.

The hackers gained access to up to 80 million records that included Social Security numbers, birthdays, addresses, email and employment information and income data for customers and employees,

What's worse, is there's very little that can be done to protect yourself now that it's happened. [More....]

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Mexico : U.S. Can Have El Chapo in About 300 Years

Mexico now says the U.S. is unlikely to play host to Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman anytime soon.

Mexico's Attorney General Jesus Murillo Karam yesterday told the Associated Press he expected a new extradition request by the U.S. to be filed yesterday or today. He also made it quite clear they aren't turning him over , at least not for 300 or 400 years:

"I could accept extradition, but at the time that I choose. 'El Chapo' must stay here to complete his sentence, and then I will extradite him," Murillo Karam told The Associated Press in an interview. "So about 300 or 400 years later — it will be a while."

He said it's a matter of "national sovereignty." [More...]

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How to Get a Gold Star From the DEA

Bump and Update: The Flores Twins have each been sentenced to 14 years. The Judge said had they not continued to deal drugs while cooperating, they would have gotten 12 years.

The infamous Flores twins of Chicago will finally be sentenced Tuesday. Some background on twin brothers Pedro and Margarito Flores, is in this Chicago Reader article. The Government filed its sentencing memorandum a few weeks ago, which I have uploaded here. Their sentencing guidelines (level 47, Category I) call for a sentence of life in prison (there is no parole in the federal system and good time doesn't apply to a life sentence.)

Due to the Flores Twins' “extraordinary cooperation”, which the Government maintains resulted in more than 50 people being charged (list here), most of whom are their workers and customers, the Government is asking for a sentence at the low end of a reduced range of 10 to 16 years. The Government writes:

Absent their cooperation, the government would argue life imprisonment is the appropriate sentence for these defendants. However, they are not being sentenced absent cooperation.

How big were the Flores twins? [More....]

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"El Chapo" Guzman: U.S. Makes New Push for Extradition

Mexico's Attorney General last week said he believed the U.S. was hours away from filing a new extradition request for Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman. His lawyers immediately filed a new request a writ of Amparo seeking protection from extradition.

It's all very confusing, since the news and the court filings are in Spanish and Google translate does not do a good job of translating legal terms. I'm reprinting the summary of the court's order below from the court's website, and hoping someone can respond in comments as to whether I'm reporting this correctly. [More...]

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Jane Doe #3 Strikes Back at Dershowitz

Virginia Roberts, aka Jane Doe #3 and Jane Doe #102, has filed an Affidavit in support of her allegations that she had sex with Alan Dershowitz while she was under the age of 18. The article contains a link to the Affidavit. [More...]

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The Not-So-New Sinaloa Indictments

Amidst much fanfare and back-patting at a press conference last week, the U.S. Attorney in San Diego Friday announced recently unsealed drug and money laundering indictments of various leaders and members of the Sinaloa cartel. The Government's press release is here, and the list of charged defendants is here.

"Recently unsealed" does not mean "new." [More...]

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Jane Doe's Lawyers File Defamation Suit Against Dershowitz

I thought I was done with this topic for a few days but there's news: Lawyers for Jane Doe #3 (aka Virginia Roberts), Paul Cassell (pictured above right) and Bradley Edwards (not pictured) have sued Alan Dershowitz for defamation per se in state court in Broward County (Fort Lauderdale.) The complaint is here.

(Dershowitz' Motion to Intervene in the Florida federal case filed yesterday is here. His affidavit claiming Virginia Roberts is a "serial liar" and her lawyers conspired with her to make false accusations against him is here.)

Some quick thoughts on the new defamation suit: [More...]

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Dershowitz Goes to War Against Jane Doe #3

Update: Jane Doe #3's lawyers fight back. They have filed a defamation lawsuit against Alan Dershowitz. The complaint is here.

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Alan Dershowitz filed a motion to intervene in the victims rights lawsuit of Jane Does 1, 2 and 3 today. I have uploaded it here.

He also filed an affidavit emphatically denying the allegations and explaining why they could not be true. In it, he calls Virginia Roberts (aka Jane Doe #3 and 102) a "serial liar" and says her lawyers knew she was a serial liar but put her false allegations in the pleading anyway, for the purpose of having the media pick up on them. You can read the affidavit here. [More...]

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Dershowitz, Prince Andrew and Jane Doe 3

Both Alan Dershowitz and Prince Andrew emphatically deny the allegations of sexual activity made by victims rights lawyers for "Jane Does 3 and 4" in a long-pending civil lawsuit against the U.S. arising from DOJ's handling of an investigation of sexual misconduct claims against billionaire Jeffrey Epstein. Espstein pleaded guilty in state court and has long finished serving his sentence. By agreement, he was not charged in federal court. Dershowitz was one of Epstein's many lawyers.

The suit was originally brought by Jane Doe 1 and 2 in 2008 as an action to enforce their rights under the Crime Victims Rights Act. Jane Does 3 and 4 sought to join the case last week. The new allegations referencing Dershowitz and Prince Andrew are contained in Jane Doe 3 and 4's motion to join the suit (Available here.)

The suit is not against Epstein. All four have settled civil claims against Epstein and received payouts. It is a suit against the United States. The Jane Does claim the Government violated the federal Crime Victims Act by not informing them it had entered a non-prosecution agreement with Epstein. It advised them of other things, just not that such an agreement had been made or was in the works. [More...]

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Police Union President Blames Protesters and Mayor for Officers' Murder

Just when the police were about to get some sympathy as a result of the killing of two Brooklyn police officers, the President of the Police Union, Patrick Lynch, takes to the microphones and outlandishly claims there's blood on the hands of protesters and the Mayor. Think Progress has the video.

What a ridiculous claim. The protesters in New York and the Mayor had nothing to do with these killings. The only person responsible is a man from Atlanta with several outstanding warrants who was fleeing Baltimore after having shot his girlfriend. His depraved acts have nothing to do with the thousands of New Yorkers who protested peacefully, or the Mayor, who endorsed their right to do so.

Rabble-rouser Lynch deserves nothing but a Bronx cheer. The NYPD should get a better spokesman. Lynch is a disgrace.

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Two Brooklyn Police Officers Shot and Killed

Two Brooklyn police officers who were sitting in their patrol car were shot and killed by a lone gunman from Baltimore. The gunman shot himself in a nearby subway station. The Daily News has a graphic photo of him alive on a stretcher as he was removed from the subway station. He has reportedly since died.

The shooter, identified as Ismaaiyl Brinsley, boasted about wanting to kill cops in the hours before he ambushed the officers outside the Tompkins Houses in Bedford-Stuyvesant about 3 p.m. Saturday.

“I’m Putting Wings On Pigs Today. They Take 1 Of Ours...Let’s Take 2 of Theirs,” Brinsley wrote on Instagram alongside a photo of a silver handgun.

Hours earlier, Brinsley allegedly shot and killed his girlfriend in Baltimore. Brooklyn police confirm both officers are dead.

Whatever the grievance with police, it is unacceptable and wrong to physically attack them. Vigilante justice is no justice at all.

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Ferguson DA Interview: Says Some Witnesses Lied

Ferguson DA Rob McCulloch broke his silence today. In an interview, he said that he thinks some grand jury witnesses lied.

[McCulloch] acknowledged that witnesses he did not believe to be truthful had come before the jurors. Mr. McCulloch said that one female witness, who provided testimony that appeared to bolster Officer Wilson’s account of events, “clearly wasn’t present” when the shooting occurred.

....[He] added that the grand jury also heard from other witnesses whose testimony was also in doubt. “It went both directions,” he said.

McCulloch said he decided to let them testify even though he thought they were lying. He wanted the grand jury to hear everything. [More...]

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Staples Hacked, More Than 1.2 Million Credit Cards Affected

It may be time soon to go back to paying by check or in cash. There was another breach announced today: Staples Office Supplies. If you shopped there between July and September, this is for you.

Staples said on Friday that an investigation showed that the criminals used malware that may have allowed access to information for transactions at 115 of its United States stores. That includes cardholder names, payment card numbers, expiration dates and card verification codes. The company is offering free identity protection services, including credit monitoring, to customers who might be at risk.

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