Posts tagged crime

It’s time to question laws that senselessly expand the concept of self-defense and sow dangerous conflict in our neighborhoods. These laws try to fix something that was never broken. There has always been a legal defense for using deadly force if – and the ‘if’ is important – no safe retreat is available.

The ATF has locked up more than 1,000 people using controversial sting operations that entice suspects to rob nonexistent drug stash houses, a USA TODAY investigation has found. 

The ploy has quietly become a key part of the ATF’s crime-fighting arsenal, but also a controversial one: The stings are so aggressive and costly that some prosecutors have refused to allow them. They skirt the boundaries of entrapment, and in the past decade they have left at least seven suspects dead.

Learn more: http://usat.ly/16D6VRN

An Indiana woman who was put on death row at 16 has been freed.
Paula Cooper, now 43, was taken to an undisclosed location to get a new start with at least $75, a new outfit and a bachelor’s degree.  
Cooper had been charged with murder in the stabbing of 78-year-old Ruth Pelke, a Bible teacher in Gary, Ind., during a robbery. The Indiana Supreme Court commuted her death sentence in 1989 and sent her to prison for 60 years. She earned credits for an early release.
More of Cooper’s story: http://usat.ly/15dsiql

An Indiana woman who was put on death row at 16 has been freed.

Paula Cooper, now 43, was taken to an undisclosed location to get a new start with at least $75, a new outfit and a bachelor’s degree.  

Cooper had been charged with murder in the stabbing of 78-year-old Ruth Pelke, a Bible teacher in Gary, Ind., during a robbery. The Indiana Supreme Court commuted her death sentence in 1989 and sent her to prison for 60 years. She earned credits for an early release.

More of Cooper’s story: http://usat.ly/15dsiql

Nearly one in three robberies in the U.S. involves the theft of a mobile phone, according to the FCC. San Francisco and New York prosecutors are promoting a Secure Our Smartphones Initiative, which intends to put pressure on smartphone companies to help dry up the secondary market in stolen phones.

What are you doing to protect your smartphone?

Long-sealed Notorious B.I.G. autopsy released

Notorious B.I.G. was killed by a single bullet that pierced several vital organs in a 1997 drive-by shooting. 

The shooting is still one of Los Angeles’ highest-profile unsolved murders.

Scores in N.C. are legally innocent, yet still imprisoned

Terrell McCullum did not commit a federal crime by carrying a shotgun and a rifle out of his ex-girlfriend’s house. But he is serving a federal prison sentence for it. And the fact that everyone — including the U.S. Justice Department — agrees that he is legally innocent might not be enough to set him free.

A USA TODAY investigation, based on court records and interviews with government officials and attorneys, found more than 60 men who went to prison for violating federal gun possession laws, even though courts have since determined that it was not a federal crime for them to have a gun.