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FBI admits flaws in hair analysis over decades

Posted on Apr 22 , 2015 in News

FBI admits flaws in hair analysis over decades, The Washington Post,  April 18, 2015. 

Excerpt: “The Justice Department and FBI have formally acknowledged that nearly every examiner in an elite FBI forensic unit gave flawed testimony in almost all trials in which they offered evidence against criminal defendants over more than a two-decade period before 2000. Of 28 examiners with the FBI Laboratory’s microscopic hair comparison unit, 26 overstated forensic matches in ways that favored prosecutors in more than 95 percent of the 268 trials reviewed so far, according to the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL) and the Innocence Project, which are assisting the government with the country’s largest post-conviction review of questioned forensic evidence. The cases include those of 32 defendants sentenced to death. Of those, 14 have been executed or died in prison, the groups said under an agreement with the government to release results after the review of the first 200 convictions.” Continue>> 

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Rescued Cats Transform Inmates’ Lives With Love At Pendleton Correctional Facility

Posted on Apr 20 , 2015 in News

Rescued Cats Transform Inmates’ Lives With Love At Pendleton Correctional Facility, The Huffington Post, Hilary Hanson, April 13, 2015.

Excerpt: “Inmates and cats at an Indiana prison are changing each other’s lives for the better. A program at Pendleton Correctional Facility has brought about a dozen shelter cats to live inside the prison’s refurbished office, where inmates take turns caring for the felines, WISH-TV reports. This is a big improvement over the cats’ living conditions at the shelter, where they spent most of their time inside cages. At Pendleton, they roam freely inside the large space, socialize with people and other cats, and play on walkways, cat trees and scratching posts crafted by people at the prison.” Continue>>

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NYC City Council in talks to decriminalize minor offenses like open container and public urination

Posted on Apr 20 , 2015 in News

NYC City Council in talks to decriminalize minor offenses like open container and public urination, NY Daily News, Sarah Ryley, April 20, 2o15.

Excerpt: “A potential showdown is looming over a pair of City Council proposals that would decriminalize a host of offenses — including fare-beating, drinking on the street and public urination — in an overhaul that could dramatically impact the NYPD’s “broken windows” approach to policing. The measures, still the focus of ongoing negotiations, could pit some Council members against Police Commissioner Bill Bratton, who raised questions about the potential changes just last month.” Continue>>

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For Mentally Ill Inmates at Rikers Island, a Cycle of Jail and Hospitals

Posted on Apr 15 , 2015 in News

For Mentally Ill Inmates at Rikers Island, a Cycle of Jail and Hospitals, The New York Times, Michael Winerip and Michael Schwirtz, 

Excerpt: “It was not a particularly violent crime that sent Michael Megginson to Rikers Island. He was arrested for stealing a cellphone.But in jail, Mr. Megginson, who is 25 and has been in and out of psychiatric hospitals since the age of 6, quickly deteriorated, becoming one of the most violent inmates on the island.” Continue>>

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South Carolina Officer Is Charged With Murder of Walter Scott

Posted on Apr 08 , 2015 in News

South Carolina Officer Is Charged With Murder of Walter Scott, New York Times, Michael S. Schmidt and Matt Apuzzo, April

Excerpt: “A white police officer in North Charleston, S.C., was charged with murder on Tuesday after a video surfaced showing him shooting in the back and killing an apparently unarmed black man while the man ran away. The officer, Michael T. Slager, 33, said he had feared for his life because the man had taken his stun gun in a scuffle after a traffic stop on Saturday. A video, however, shows the officer firing eight times as the man, Walter L. Scott, 50, fled. The North Charleston mayor announced the state charges at a news conference Tuesday evening.” Continue>>

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South Carolina Police Officer Charged With Murder After Shooting Man In Back

Posted on Apr 08 , 2015 in News

South Carolina Police Officer Charged With Murder After Shooting Man In Back, NPR, Eyder Peralta, April 7, 2015.

Excerpt:”A white police officer who shot and killed a black man after a traffic stop was charged with murder in North Charleston, S.C., on Tuesday.The Post and Courier, a newspaper in Charleston, reports that officials said a video, which shows officer Michael Slager, 33, firing at 50-year-old Walter Scott as he fled, played a role in the decision.” Continue>>

 

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Albany County District Attorney David Soares to investigate Donald ‘Dontay’ Ivy’s death

Posted on Apr 08 , 2015 in News

Albany County District Attorney David Soares to investigate Donald ‘Dontay’ Ivy’s death, Times Union, Robert Gavin, April 7, 2015.

Excerpt: “Albany County prosecutors are conducting an independent investigation into the death of 39-year-old Donald “Dontay” Ivy, the mentally ill man who died Thursday in a Taser-related confrontation with three city police officers in Arbor Hill. The involvement of District Attorney David Soares in the case, announced on Tuesday, was expected. ” Continue>>

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American Pharmacists Association Urges Members to Stop Providing Execution Drugs

Posted on Apr 08 , 2015 in News

American Pharmacists Association Urges Members to Stop Providing Execution Drugs, Democracy Now!, April 6, 2015.

Excerpt: “A leading association for pharmacists in the United States has instructed its members to stop providing drugs for use in lethal injections, a change that could make carrying out executions even more difficult for death penalty states. Late last month, delegates of the American Pharmacists Association approved a declaration saying the organization “discourages pharmacist participation in executions on the basis that such activities are fundamentally contrary to the role of pharmacists as providers of health care.” The association, which has more than 62,000 members, is responsible for determining pharmacists’ ethical standards, but cannot legally force its decisions.” Continue>>

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“They Couldn’t Take My Soul”: Anthony Ray Hinton on His Exoneration After 30 Years on Death Row

Posted on Apr 08 , 2015 in News

“They Couldn’t Take My Soul”: Anthony Ray Hinton on His Exoneration After 30 Years on Death Row, Democracy Now!, April 6, 2015.

Excerpt: “Days after being exonerated and freed from an Alabama prison, Anthony Ray Hinton recounts how he got through nearly 30 years on death row as an innocent man. Hinton was convicted of murdering two fast-food managers in separate robberies in 1985, based on scant evidence that later turned out to be false. Hinton is said to be among the longest-serving death row prisoners ever to be freed after presenting evidence of innocence.” Continue>>

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Police settle lawsuit over tear gas use during Ferguson protests

Posted on Apr 08 , 2015 in News

Police settle lawsuit over tear gas use during Ferguson protests, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Staff Reporters, March 26,2015.

Excerpt: “Three police agencies have agreed as part of a federal lawsuit settlement with Ferguson protesters to restrict use of tear gas and other chemical agents on crowds. U.S. District Judge Carol Jackson, who issued a temporary restraining order on police after a hearing here Dec. 11, was expected to dismiss the lawsuit Thursday while keeping supervision of compliance through Jan. 1, 2018. The restraining order had told police to provide “reasonable” warning before using gas on a crowd.” Continue>>