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Someone fired a shot through the passenger window of George Zimmerman's vehicle today. He was taken to hospital in an ambulance, but was able to walk on his own. (Added: he sustained minor injuries.)
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Here's a new thread to continue the discussion about matters related to Freddie Gray.
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Our open thread is filling up with comments pertaining to the Freddie Gray case, leaving little room for other topics. Here's a thread just for the Freddie Gray case. So please put new comments about the case here, rather than in the open thread.
My opinion on recent developments: [More...]
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Ret. General David Petraeus was sentenced to two years probation yesterday for removing classified information and lying to the FBI about it.
Petraeus, 62, pleaded guilty Thursday to a misdemeanor count of unauthorized removal and retention of classified information. According to court documents, he shared the information with Broadwell, his biographer, then lied about doing so to the FBI.
The investigation is continuing. Will Paula Broadwell be next?
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The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has overturned Barry Bonds conviction for obstruction of justice during a grand jury appearance.
"During a grand jury proceeding, defendant gave a rambling, non-responsive answer to a simple question.
"Because there is insufficient evidence that (his statement) was material, defendant's conviction for obstruction of justice... is not supported by the record," it said, adding: "Defendant's conviction here must be reversed.
It's a sort ruling, just the above paragraphs and one more saying he can't be retried on the count because it would be double jeopardy. One judge dissented.
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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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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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The FBI is investigating the hanging death of Otis Byrd, an African American, in Mississippi. Claiborne County Sheriff Marvin Lucas said today it is not clear if Byrd's death was a homicide or suicide. He also cautioned against assuming it was a hate crime:
Lucas, who is himself African-American, said Friday that he's worried people will jump to the conclusions that Byrd was murdered and that race was a factor.
"I don't want the community to go excited saying it was a white-on-black thing. That's the worst thing that can happen, is people making it into a race issue," Lucas said. "And that's my biggest fear. And I don't want that to happen.
It sounds like a homicide from other remarks of Lucas: [More...]
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20 year old Jeffrey Williams has been arrested and charged with the Ferguson police shootings. Police say he may not have intended to shoot the officers. They say that's his story, they don't know if they "fully buy it."
“I’m not sure we completely buy that part of it,” the prosecutor said. “I wouldn't say he wasn't targeting police. I’m saying right now the evidence we have supports filing the charge that he may have been shooting at someone other than police and struck the police.”
He's not charged with attempted murder. The complaint is here. Protest organizers say they aren't familiar with Williams.
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Oscar Pistorius may be eligible for release from prison by August. He would finish his sentence on home detention. The timing is significant because it is unlikely the appeals court will have heard the state's appeal by then.
The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) on Friday said it would only submit its transcripts to the High Court at the end of May; and a date for the appeal would only be set after both the State and defence file their heads of argument.
This will most likely take around two months, which means it would be heard once Pistorius becomes eligible for early release.
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Why is no one asking whether the Ferguson shooter might be a lone wolf terrorist?
In November, 2014, ISIS supporters called for using Ferguson as an excuse for lone wolf attacks:
In particular, Al Nusra Al Maqdisiyya, a prominent group of pro-ISIS activists on social media, wrote on its Twitter account: "O lone mujahid, you must use the breakdown of security in #Ferguson to increase the burning in America. They are squabbling over worldly [matters], so you send them to hell! #ISIS.”
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Kim Dotcom has had a few setbacks in U.S. and New Zealand courts recently. Today he won a round in New Zealand. The court released funds from his frozen assets to pay his legal fees and living expenses.
His legal fees are around $4 million. $12 million in assets were seized during the 2012 raid. No news articles yet for details, I'll update when they are available.
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The jury has been selected and opening arguments begin tomorrow in the death penalty trial of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, charged with the Boston Marathon bombings. According to media reports, all of the 18 jurors and alternates are white. (More than 1,300 people were initially summoned for potential jury service in the case.)
The defense filed a motion a few weeks ago challenging the jury pool, saying the juror groups had been reordered by the court resulting in a statistically lower pool of minority jurors. [More...]
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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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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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