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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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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.
Roman Polanski, now represented by Alan Dershowitz, among others, has filed a motion to close his Los Angeles case once and for all.
The request by Mr. Dershowitz to represent Mr. Polanski opened what promises to be a broad legal and public-relations effort to lift the threat of extradition and jail time from Mr. Polanski, now 81. He was first charged with raping a 13-year-old girl, who has since identified herself as Samantha Geimer, in 1977.
The LA Times has more on the 133 motion here.
The new motion alleges bias by the judge who presided over the 2008 court proceedings. It also alleges recent unethical conduct by prosecutors. [More....]
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The judge in the Oscar Pistorius trial has ruled the state can appeal her judgment of culpable homicide and dismissal of the murder charge against Pistorius. She ruled that she can't say it's a remote possibility that the appeals court might rule differently on the legal issue of whether dolus eventualis applies.
She refused to allow the state to appeal Oscar's sentence for culpable homicide. She said that's a factual ruling and she made it based on the evidence presented. So if the appeals court upholds the judge's ruling dismissing the murder charge, his sentence cannot be increased.
Based on the cases she cited in her original ruling dismissing the murder charge, and some related cases in South Africa I looked at, I think the judge was correct in her legal ruling. I don't think the state proved Oscar had the necessary intent for a murder conviction. Dolus eventualis exists when an accused foresees that his conduct poses a risk that an unlawful killing might occur, reconciles himself to the risk, and decides to proceed anyway. There was no evidence Oscar contemplated that risk. He was operating under a mistaken assumption of fact. That his assumption was wrong does not translate to intent. Intent is a subjective test. [More...]
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It's been a while since I checked on Kim Dotcom. There is some big news. At the request of the U.S., New Zealand prosecutors tried to revoke his bond. A three day hearing was held. Yesterday, the New Zealand court ruled he did not violate his bail conditions. A New Zealand Herald report is here.
Kim Dotcom's legal bills are in excess of $10 million. That situation has recently become very complicated and his New Zealand lawyers withdrew from his case. His U.S. lawyers have set up a website seeking additional lawyers.
We are looking for lawyers in New Zealand and the United States who are interested in joining the Megaupload and Kim Dotcom legal defense and who have a passion for internet public interest law.
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Ferguson officer Wilson has resigned from the police force and according to the Mayor, will not receive severance pay or other benefits.
Wilson, 28, won’t receive any further pay or benefits, and he and the city have severed their ties, Mayor James Knowles told reporters a day after Wilson tendered his resignation, which was effective immediately.
His lawyer said he resigned due to threats against the department. He doesn't have a new job lined up as yet:
“In terms of what it (the resignation) means, it means at this point he doesn’t have a paycheck,” Bruntrager said. “He has no income so he’ll have to make some decisions pretty quickly.”
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MO Governor Jay Nixon has ordered 2,200 more national guardsman to Ferguson.
More than 2,200 additional National Guard troops will take to the streets in the St. Louis area at night, Gov. Jay Nixon announced. They will join 700 Guardsmen already on the scene and hundreds of local police officers.
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The prosecutor's office has released the grand jury testimony in the investigation of the Michael Brown shooting. The grand jury declined to indict Officer Wilson. The local CBS affiliate has this recap, with links to some of the testimony. Officer Wilson's testimony is here. Dorian Johnson's testimony is here.
As expected, violence erupted following the announcement. More on that here. The St. Louis Post Dispatch has a running feed of incidents. The police chief says the violence is worse than the worst night in August.
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The Office of the Child Advocate in Connecticut has released its report on Adam Lanza. It's 114 pages and available here. The Daily Mail has this recap. I just finished reading the report. Here are some quotes:
Autism Spectrum Disorder or other psychiatric problems neither caused nor led to his murderous acts.
As to what did cause Lanza's murderous rampage, the report does not have a definitive answer.
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The media hype over the grand jury decision in Ferguson is over the top. Except for a few stories about Buffalo and one warning of a cyber attack by China or Russia, CNN aired nothing else this afternoon, except commercials. It was that way on my hour drive to the jail to see a client at noon, and that way for the hour drive back at 4 pm. Wolf Blitzer kept breathlessly announcing "We're expecting a grand jury announcement any moment so stay tuned." It's now 3 hours later and there has been no announcement of the grand jury decision. But the media's non-stop reporting of anticipated violent reactions persist. I learned from CNN that Best Buy is closing its stores for the weekend. Schools have decided to close the whole week. Homeowners in outlying areas are stocking up on guns fearing increased crime. Police are worried. And on and on. [More...]
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The Mexican army has arrested "El Mayito Gordo", aka Ismael Zambada-Imperial, son of Sinaloa co-leader Ismael Zambada-Garcia.
This is the third son of Zambada-Garcia to be arrested. Serafin Zambada-Ortiz, was arrested in Arizona in November 2013, and charged in San Diego. He recently pleaded guilty. Jesus Vicente Zambada-Niebla was charged and pleaded guilty in Chicago. Both are awaiting sentencing.
Zambada-Garcia's brother, Jesus Reynaldo Zambada Garcia, was arrested in 2008 and ultimately pleaded guilty in the District of Colombia. (He was also charged in the Eastern District of New York and proceedings were transferred to D.C. for his guilty plea.) His son was also arrested but later died while at a safe house, presumably a suicide.
El Mayito Gordo's Twitter account, dormant since July, is here.
Forensic pathologist Michael Baden, who conducted an autopsy on Michael Brown at the request of his family's attorney, has been subpoenaed to testify before the grand jury investigating Brown's shooting death.
According to the lawyer for Brown's parents:
Baden had only limited access to information and has asked to review several other pieces of evidence before he testifies.
Among the items Baden did not have access to when he performed his autopsy:
Baden said there was no gunpowder residue on Brown's body, indicating he was not shot at close range, though he said at the time he wasn't given access to Brown's clothing and the residue could be there.
It's not known when the grand jury will be finished. The prosecutor has said "sometime this month."
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15 year old Andrew Fryberg passed away Friday evening. He is the fifth teen to die in the Marysville school shooting. Predeceasing him were his girlfriend Zoe, friends Shaylee and Gia, and his cousin Jaylen Fryberg. Jaylen's death has been ruled a suicide, but some witnesses say he didn't intend to kill himself, the gun went off when a teacher tried to disarm him and a bullet struck him in the neck.
Nate Hatch, Jaylen's 14 year old cousin who was shot in the jaw, is the only survivor among those who were shot. He was released from the hospital Thursday, and attended a memorial for Shaylee on Friday evening.
Jaylen's motive is still unknown.
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There's much more to the yesterday's story of the "Deep Web" (aka "Dark Web") takedown of Silk Road 2 and arrest of San Francisco programmer Blake Benthall. (The Complaint in Benthall's case is here.)
On Friday, the European police agency Europol along with the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security announced that the operation has now arrested 17 people in as many countries and seized hundreds of Dark Web domains associated with well over a dozen black market websites.
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Joran Van der Sloot's wife says he has been tortured and stabbed since his transfer to the hellhole known as Challapalca prison in Peru. Prison authorities claim she's lying. His lawyer says a prosecutor will investigate.
Joran was transferred there after a warden said Joran threatened him after taking his cell phone away. Joran said it was the warden who gave him the cell phone and was trying to set him up.
Joran's wife says the guards torture the prisoners and the other prisoners want to kill Joran because it would bring world-wide attention to the abysmal conditions of the prison, which could lead to the prison's closing.
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