Courts

Paternity Fraud Begs the Question: Who’s the Daddy?

by Diane Dimond on February 23, 2015

The Justice System Has to be Fair - to Everyone

The Justice System Has to be Fair – to Everyone

There is a lot of unfairness in the world.  The American justice system stands ready to counter that, right?

Not so fast.

When it comes to men and allegations of paternity women have a decidedly upper hand. Whatever the woman claims in court most often becomes fact. And once a court has ruled on paternity and established child support it can be next to impossible change. Not even if a DNA test excludes the man from any possibility of parenthood. [click to continue…]

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Getting Our Act Together on the Death Penalty

by Diane Dimond on February 2, 2015

lethal-injectionManonTablewAttendant

This is What the Death Penalty Looks Like

If we, as a nation, are going to allow the execution of convicted murderers, rapists and traitors can’t we get our act together about how to take their lives?

Back in 2010, European countries began a movement to abolish the death penalty around the world.

European pharmaceutical companies began to refuse to sell any anesthetics to the U.S. that could be used to facilitate an execution. And that left our prisons, in the more than 30 states that carry out the death penalty, without easy access to the medications needed to kill the condemned. [click to continue…]

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Shut Up About Sex Accusations? No Way!

by Diane Dimond on January 12, 2015

Don't Shut Up About Sexual Abuse

Do Not Shut Up About Sexual Abuse

      ~ Special breed of predator uses influence and power to escape justice ~ 

One reader wrote to tell me to, “Shut up! (and) butt out” of the sex scandal involving comedian Bill Cosby.

Jason S. wrote to say I was “reprehensible” for trying, “someone in the court of public opinion,” even though nearly 30 women have come forward to accuse Cosby of various degrees of sexual assault. The last three surfaced earlier this week as I read my hate mail.

Madge DeFee and S. Freeman said I was just trying to embarrass Mrs. Cosby by writing an open letter to her last week. In it I suggested that when she declared her husband was the victim she was not facing the truth about Bill’s past bad extra-marital behavior. [click to continue…]

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Don’t Waste a New Year’s Wish on World Peace

by Diane Dimond on December 29, 2014

World Peace - Sadly, Not in Our Lifetimes

World Peace – Sadly, Not in Our Lifetimes

Don’t bother wishing for world peace in the year ahead. It is never going to happen.

There will always be pockets of turmoil and terrorism. Innocents will continue to lose their lives in places like Syria, Pakistan, South Sudan and, yes, here in the United States – in the violent, gang controlled neighborhoods we’ve ignored for too long.

For 2015, I’m going to wish for smaller miracles, things that could actually happen if we could only find the resolve to fix our problems.

I hope in the coming year law enforcement officers find themselves in fewer circumstances [click to continue…]

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Rembrandts of the Courtroom

by Diane Dimond on July 14, 2014

Charles Manson Nearly Caused a Mistrial

Charles Manson Nearly Caused a Mistrial

Okay, show of hands. How many readers have actually sat inside a courtroom and watched a trial? Having been assigned to cover countless high-profile trials over the years I have to admit I relish it.

I love going to courthouses with their stately facades and imposing corridors. And inside it’s like watching a big vat of human soup. We all get stirred up together in a courthouse. The poor, the middle-class, the rich. People seeking justice, people in big trouble with the law, people whose families are falling apart. The process is fascinating to watch.

Inside courtrooms where the most-watched trials take place there is a group of unsung regulars that I have never written about – professional courtroom artists. Whenever I can I try to get a seat next to one of them. Watching them work is a treat. [click to continue…]

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The Migration Mess of Our Own Making

by Diane Dimond on June 30, 2014

U.S. Satellites See What's Happening on Earth

U.S. Satellites See What’s Happening on Earth

Global Positioning Satellite systems can pinpoint our location no matter where we are in the world and precisely tell us where to turn to get to our destination. U.S. satellites monitor just about anything on earth — from the path of a forest fire to the route of a convoy of trucks. We know for a fact that the National Security Agency has had eyes and ears on just about every phone call and e-mail sent or received, worldwide.

So can someone please explain to me how we apparently missed the substantial exodus of migrants from Central America headed for our southern border? By all reports this mass migration — which has now resulted in a major humanitarian crisis – began last October. Yet the public is only just hearing about it now, after it has reached catastrophic proportions. [click to continue…]

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An Intriguing Plan to Create Urban Peace

by Diane Dimond on May 12, 2014

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PACT  – A Commitment to Positive Change

Ten minutes on the phone with David Lockett and you realize this is a man of high integrity, compassion and vision. After a lengthy conversation with him I came away believing if there was ever a man we should follow in the fight against crime it is David Lockett.  

Lockett’s business background is in the trucking industry. He also developed and has run a program for nearly 20 years which embraces society’s toughest, hard-core juvenile criminals and gives them the tools to turn their lives around. It’s called the PACT LifePlan and Coaching Program and its guiding principle is the idea that if we help young people avoid a lifetime of crime everybody wins. Spend a little time giving a kid some skills and a plan for his or her future and the country gets a law-abiding, contributing taxpayer in return.

In the long run, it’s a lot cheaper than paying for their trip (or trips) through the U.S. justice system. [click to continue…]

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Private Investigators as Heroes of Justice

by Diane Dimond on April 21, 2014

Unsung Heroes – Private Investigators

Time for a word about private investigators.

TV dramas of the past left the impression that the primary reason to hire a P.I. was to tail an unfaithful spouse. There was always the obligatory scene in which a semi-shady looking private detective appeared with a stack of 8 x 10’s as proof of infidelity and slithered away with a check from the not-so-shocked husband or wife.

Certainly, that is one of the services a P.I. can provide but today licensed private detectives are much more valuable than just that.

These days, police departments are too busy, underfunded and under-trained to follow up on every complaint. Corporate espionage, computer hacking, identity theft and missing persons reports abound and it is the ranks of private investigators that often come to the rescue. [click to continue…]

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Pets Help Solve Crimes

by Diane Dimond on April 7, 2014

First Animal DNA Lab in the U.S.

As far as crime laboratories go it is not very impressive looking. And it is not very big, with a permanent staff of just three forensic scientists and a few interns. But the work product that comes out of the Veterinarian Forensic Lab at the University of California at Davis is important and it has changed the way crimes are investigated and prosecuted worldwide.

The lab has been called the “CSI of the four legged world” and it is the nation’s first laboratory dedicated to animal DNA profiling.

It’s accredited by the prestigious American Society of Crime Lab Directors because the VFL conducts animal-related forensic tests as rigorously as any lab dealing with human DNA. [click to continue…]

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A Whistleblower’s Worst Nightmare

by Diane Dimond on March 24, 2014

Michael Winston – Still Paying the Price

Justice is supposed to be blind. But what happens when it turns out to be blind, deaf and dumb?

Sadly, there is not enough space here to tell you the entire 7-year saga of whistleblower Michael Winston but the bottom line is this: He got royally screwed by the California judicial system.

Winston, 62, is a mild-mannered Ph D. and a veteran leadership executive who has held top jobs at elite corporations like McDonnell Douglas, Motorola and Merrill Lynch. After taking time off to nurse his ailing parents Winston was recruited by Countrywide Financial to help polish their corporate image. He was quickly promoted – twice – and had a team of 200 employees.

It’s almost unheard of for a top-tier executive turning whistleblower but that’s what Winston became after he [click to continue…]

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