On April 19, 2017, The Innocence Project reports:
“This morning, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court announced that it will vacate 21,587 drug conviction cases. This is the largest dismissal of wrongful convictions in U.S. history. The decision was made in response to a massive drug-testing scandal involving Annie Dookhan—a former chemist for the Hinton State laboratory in Massachusetts—who, in 2013, was convicted of tampering with and fabricating drug tests in criminal cases.
During her more than eight-year tenure at the lab, Dookhan handled approximately 40,000 cases. She admitted to tampering with at least two dozen cases and also fabricating test results, prompting widespread concern amongst many in the defense community that any of the tens of thousands of drug tests used as evidence in approximately 20,000 conviction cases were potentially inaccurate or falsified.”
The Massachusetts judiciary system does not have capacity to hear and rule on appeals to each individual case that Dookhan handled. The Massachusetts Supreme Court therefore, ordered prosecutors to dismiss the cases in bulk.
According to Aljazeera, an investigation in 2013 found that Dookhan falsified test results as far back as 2004. Prosecutors said Dookhan admitted “dry labbing,” or testing only a fraction of a batch of samples, then listing them all as positive for illegal drugs. Dookhan was sentenced to three years in prison and was paroled last year. Read the rest of this entry
© Victoria Sarno Jordan
Attorney General Jeff Sessions has brought sweeping change to the Department of Justice.
In just two months as the nation’s top cop, Sessions has moved quickly to overhaul the policies and priorities set by the Obama administration.
He has rolled back protections for transgender students that allowed children to use the bathroom that corresponds with their gender identity and rescinded plans to phase out the federal government’s use of private prisons.
He called for a review of reform agreements, known as consent decrees, reached with local police departments to address allegations of misconduct. Many of the consent decrees were drafted in response to fating shootings by police.
Sessions has made immigration enforcement a top priority. Late last month he put “sanctuary” cities on notice, announcing that grant money would be withheld from state and local governments that refuse to cooperate with federal authorities and…
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Dear friends and visitors,
Here’s wishing all a safe and blessed holiday.
One of my favorite movies is Risen. It’s a movie about a Roman Tribune named Clavius who is tasked by Pilot to find the body of the crucified Christ that is no longer in the tomb, and before the three days predicted that he would rise from the dead.
Clavius sets out to find the followers of Yeshua for them to tell him where they have hidden the body. Instead, Clavius finds more than he anticipated — a man who he ordered killed and saw dead, alive again.
Below is a video interview of Cliff Curtis who played Yeshua in the movie. When asked about his preparations to play the role of Jesus the Christ, Curtis said that he didn’t want to talk about or preach love and peace — he wanted to be love and peace.
Following that video is a scene from the movie that I enjoy, and hope that you will too.
Reported this yesterday. A Gwinnett County, Georgia Policeman stomping the face of a suspect, as he lay handcuffed on the ground.
Turns out he wasn’t the only officer to abuse this man.
Kudos to the Police Chief Butch Ayers for reacting to these crime decisively, and not with the cover ups like we have seen in places like Fergeson, Mo. Chief Ayers decision to fire the Officers involved makes a statement, not only to his Officers, but to the community as a whole, that there is no justification for illicit actions.
Two Georgia police officers were fired Thursday, a day after authorities say one punched a man who had his hands up and the other kicked the man in the head once he was handcuffed on the ground.
The Gwinnett County Police Department said Thursday afternoon that Master Police Officer…
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In June 2016, 23-year old Henry Green was shot and killed in South Linden, Ohio by plainclothes police officers driving an unmarked car. Green had a conceal carry license, but the version given by the officers is that Green fired his gun at them before they returned fire, killing him.
But, this isn’t about the conflicting statements regarding the incident that ended Green’s life. Rather, it’s about one of the officers who killed him.
On March 27, 2017, a grand jury declined to indict the officers in Green’s death. One of those officers was Zachary Rosen. There were witnesses who stated that Rosen stood over Green’s dead or dying body and emptied his clip. NBC reports that the investigation found that Rosen fired 15 times.
Yesterday, 10tv and other news sources reported on a video of an officer kicking DeMarco Anderson in the head while he was handcuffed and laying face down on the ground. The Columbus police department has identified that officer as Zachary Rosen. Rosen has since been placed on non-patrol duty indefinitely pending the results of investigation.
Miami-Dade State’s Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle has changed her 24 year reputation for not charging law enforcement officers for on-duty shootings. On April 12, 2017, the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office announced it has charged North Miami SWAT Officer Jonathan Aledda with felony attempted manslaughter and misdemeanor culpable negligence. Aledda shot Charles Kinsey, an unarmed Black man, on July 8, 2016. Kinsey is a therapist for a group home and was trying to help an autistic man, Arnaldo Rios-Soto, to get out of the street and return to the group home.
A bystander called 911 and said Rios-Soto might have been holding a gun. That caller also repeated several times that the person holding something to his head appeared to be mentally ill. Factually, Rios-Soto was holding a toy truck.
A cell-phone video captured Kinsey lying on his back with his arms in the air, stating who he is, his job, that Arnaldo Rios-Soto is his patient, that he did not have a gun, and begging officers not to shoot.
Investigation by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) included taking statements of police witnesses. The Miami New Times obtained audio from North Miami Police Chief Gary Eugene’s testimony to Florida Department of Law Enforcement investigators. That testimony revealed that Eugene said his officers announced over police radio that Rios-Soto was holding a toy before Aledda shot Kinsey. Read the rest of this entry
Kameron Teel is a substitute teacher. He is also a former high school soccer star. Kameron set a record for goals scored at Gloucester Catholic High School in Gloucester City and he also played at Immaculata University. Kameron was a scholarship soccer player for La Salle University, as well as a judo and soccer coach/trainer.
On June 24, 2016 in Glassboro, New Jersey, 26-year old Kameron was riding his bike through a borough park. Glassboro Police Sargent Dan Eliason yelled for Kameron to get on the ground. What happened next led to a lawsuit filed by Kameron.
“The suit claims that Kameron was laying on the ground, complying to police orders, when Eliason put his knee on Teel’s back, making it difficult for Teel to breathe and causing extreme pain.
Teel allegedly yelled “I can’t breathe, I can’t breathe. They are trying to kill me and I don’t want to die.”
Teel alleges he was pepper-sprayed and handcuffed. After leading him to a police vehicle, an unidentified police officer allegedly “slammed” Teel’s head into the hood. After seeing the damage to the vehicle, the officer allegedly told Teel he would be charged with destruction of governmental property.
Teel was also injured when he was bitten numerous times on his legs and hands by the police K-9, he claims in the lawsuit.”
At the time of his arrest, police were seeking a suspect in the park for drug activity. The suspect was described as a Black male, approximately 13 years old.
The police say that they mistook the 26-year old with a full facial beard for the 13-year old suspect.
Kameron’s lawsuit alleges malicious prosecution, false arrest, false imprisonment, excessive force and assault, and failure to supervise, train, adopt needed policy, and violation of Kameron’s civil rights. According to Courier Post, the suit seeks damages of more than $150,000.
Kameron had no prior arrests and the charge of destruction of government property was dismissed.
Kameron is represented by lawyer D. Wesley Cornish of Philadelphia, who says that the borough has not provided police video of the incident.
Just a quick note to update. The introduction to the video says:
Dylann Storm Roof who shot and killed nine black parishioners at a historic Charleston church in 2015, pleaded guilty Monday to state charges stemming from the massacre as part of a deal with prosecutors to spend the rest of his life in prison to avoid a second death-penalty trial.
Roof already had been sentenced to die earlier this year for his convictions in federal court on hate crimes charges, though the state could have pursued a second such penalty in its murder case against the young man.
Roof was charged both federally and at the state level after the June 2015 massacre at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church, when nine black parishioners were shot and killed down during an evening Bible study.
The federal death sentence still stands!
After impact statements and Roof’s grandad speaking on Roof’s behalf, the Judge sentenced Roof to 9 life sentences on state charges.
Thanks to my dear friends for this humbling honor. I also want to take this opportunity to thank followers, visitors, and participants.
We Hold These Truths To Be Self-Evident has been nominated for Versatile Blogger previously, so I’m not repeating the Rules here, which are similar to the Blue Sky Tag.
In his Executive Order, this is the country where Trump does not want refugees to enter the U.S. Now suddenly he cares about the people?
Friends of Padre Steve’s World,
The die has been cast. Last week the Trump administration signaled that the regime of Bashir Al Assad was not a priority for American policy in the Middle East. The comment was perplexing as the Assad regime has worked with the Iranians, and Hezbollah, both enemies of the United States to crush a revolt against his regime that began during the Arab Spring. Assad’s methods included the use of Sarin nerve agent and relentless attacks on civilians and were condemned by much of the world. In 2013 President Obama attempted to gain political support for military action against the Assad regime but was rebuffed by congressional Republicans as well as anti-war Democrats. The Syrian rebels were joined by radical Sunni Muslims of various Al Qaeda affiliates and later joined by the so called Islamic State. The Syrian army was on the point of collapse when…
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As per a 4/5/17 Hill report by Jordan Fabian, the White House has announced that the republican President Donald Trump’s Chief Strategist Steve Bannon will no longer be serving as a principal on the National Security Council.”
Bannon in January was elevated to a position on the NSC principals committee, in a shakeup of the council. The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and director of national intelligence had their roles downgraded in the move.
“The Joint Chiefs chairman and intelligence director are having their roles on the principals committee restored, according to a regulatory filing dated Tuesday (4/4/17).”
“Bannon said in a statement to the Wall Street Journal: “Susan Rice ope-rationalized the NSC during the last administration. I was put on to ensure that it was de-operationalized. General H.R. McMaster has returned the NSC to its proper function.”
Bloomberg first reported the move Wednesday morning.
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I’m cross-posting here from the flightattendant blog because the threat made by Santiago Rodriguez pertains to this blog.
Santiago Came To Me Asking For Help
In May 2014, a man named David Piercy filed for a restraining order against Santiago Rodriguez. The court granted Piercy a temporary restraining order against Santiago. There was a hearing scheduled for a ruling on the permanent restraining order. As I understand it, there were exchanges on Twitter where Santiago became aware that bloggers and others had allegedly been harassed by Piercy. Someone pointed Santiago in my direction and he reached out to me.
Subsequently, Santiago asked that I put his name on the border of my blog, We Hold These Truths To Be Self-Evident, as a writer. This is how it happened …
Bryan Duncan is another one of those artists who, back in the 1980’s, introduced Contemporary Christian music. It witnessed the love, hope and faith of our Creator, and gave the younger generation an alternative to heavy metal and heavy rock.
Bryan Duncan leaned toward jazz and many of his songs reveal his talent in that genre.
You might recognize the first song, Maybe I’m Amazed, which is a cover of Paul McCartney’s song of the same title.
Here’s wishing everyone a safe week.
Hassan Aden is a former Police Chief of Greenville, North Carolina. He is currently senior policy advisor at the Vera Institute of Justice. Prior to his appointment as Chief of Police for the Greenville, NC Police Department, he served in the Alexandria, Virginia Police Department for 26 years rising to the rank of deputy chief of police.
Aden is a United States citizen who traveled to Paris, France to celebrate his mom’s 80th birthday.
On March 13, 2017, Aden was held for an hour and a half at the JFK airport by Customs and Border Agents. On his Facebook page, Aden wrote:
“My freedoms were restricted, and I cannot be sure it won’t happen again, and that it won’t happen to my family, my children, the next time we travel abroad.”
“This experience has left me feeling vulnerable and unsure of the future of a country that was once great and that I proudly called my own. This experience makes me question if this is indeed home. My freedoms were restricted, and I cannot be sure it won’t happen again, and that it won’t happen to my family, my children, the next time we travel abroad. This country now feels cold, unwelcoming, and in the beginning stages of a country that is isolating itself from the rest of the world – and its own people – in an unprecedented fashion. High levels of hate and injustice have been felt in vulnerable communities for decades-it is now hitting the rest of America.”
Mario Tama/Getty Images
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Former North Charleston police officer Michael Slager was charged with murder or voluntary manslaughter in the killing of Walter Scott, an unarmed black man. Walter Scott was shot in the back 5 times. Slager’s state trial began on November 3, 2016, with closing arguments on November 30, 2016. It ended with a hung jury. Slager is scheduled to be retried by the State of South Carolina, and also by the federal government. His trial was reported on this blog.
Meanwhile, three men had filed lawsuits against North Charleston for being wrongfully or excessively tased by Michael Slager. Two have reached settlement. Mario Givens was awarded $27,500 and Jerome Stanley $50,000 for their 2013 run-ins with Slager.
The Post Courier reports:
“They were among three people who filed actions in 2015 amid intense scrutiny of the city’s police force. An eyewitness video of patrolman Michael Slager shooting the fleeing black man sparked the frenzy.
The men alleged excessive use of the stun gun, though Slager’s lawyers have defended his record as exemplary.”
Mario Givens is quoted as saying,
“If they’d listened to me Walter Scott might not be dead’: Man who filed excessive force complaint after being tasered by ‘killer cop’ in 2013 speaks out – and announces he’s suing.”
Givens was initially charged with resisting arrest, but was later released without charge. He filed a police complaint but Slager was exonerated. Read the rest of this entry