Courts

SCOTUS Justices

Supreme Court Justices Could Give the White House Massive New Power

It will be a monumental decision either way. One that has the potential to shape national politics and public policy for decades to come. And don’t be fooled into thinking it’s just about U.S. immigration policy. It is much bigger than that.

The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to decide whether it is legal for a sitting president to issue an executive order that changes existing law, thus by-passing Congress, the branch of government empowered to make the laws. [click to continue…]

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The Case Against Cosby – What Took So Long?

by Diane Dimond on January 4, 2016

Charged With a Felony

Charged With a Felony

It never should have taken this long. It never should have taken more than 50 women alleging sexual assault at the hands of a celebrity before that celebrity was ordered to court to answer the allegations.

But it has finally happened. Comedian Bill Cosby now finds himself in a very un-funny position. He was arraigned this week in a Pennsylvania court on a felony charge of aggravated indecent assault, forced to give up his passport and post a $1 million bond to keep himself out of jail. The charges were filed right before the state’s statute of limitations on such a crime would have run out.

The event that compelled Cosby to appear occurred nearly 12 years earlier. [click to continue…]

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Our Dying Death Penalty

by Diane Dimond on December 21, 2015

Lethal Injections Are Down in the U.S.

Lethal Injections Are Down in the U.S.

As much of the world is consumed with how to respond to the bloodthirsty and murderous group known as ISIS, as various ways for our troops to kill radical Islamists are contemplated, here at home the appetite for state sponsored killings is down.

It’s an interesting contrast to contemplate while studying the findings from two newly released year-end reports.   [click to continue…]

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Let’s Remember Military Veterans All Year

by Diane Dimond on November 16, 2015

Life as a Military Vet in America?

Life as a Military Vet in America?

Now that the parades are over, now that we’ve thanked military service members for their sacrifices let’s drill down to take a look at what its really like to be a military veteran in the United States.

According to experts there are more than 23 million veterans in America. Thanks to a recent two-pronged push by corporations and the government the unemployment rate for vets is down to 3.9%. That’s a 7-year low and that is a rare bit of good news for this group.

Among the bad news: [click to continue…]

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The True Hollywood Horror Story

by Diane Dimond on September 14, 2015

 ~ It is the movie Hollywood doesn’t want you to see ~

Hollywood Ring Preys on Young Actors

Hollywood Ring Preys on Young Actors

This is not your typical Hollywood film. It’s a documentary called “An Open Secret” and it pulls the ugly scab off Hollywood to reveal what has happened to some vulnerable young boys who have tried to break in to the entertainment industry.

I got a special screening and I hope throngs of people go to see it.

The “secret” referenced in the title is how so many of these youngsters have so easily fallen prey to pedophilic agents, acting coaches, photographers and public relations people. [click to continue…]

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Who's the REAL Daddy?

Who’s the REAL Daddy?

Countless children go through life not knowing the true identity of their father. Shame on their mothers. And shame on the U.S. court system that, more often than you realize, forces child support on men with no DNA connection.

These false establishments of paternity, as they are called, happen in courts across the country. Our broken family court system is intent on getting someone – really anyone – on record as being responsible for the child so the state won’t be.

The result? Circles of victimized people. [click to continue…]

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The Artist and her “Portrait Seen ‘Round the World” Courtesy Jane Rosenberg (not for duplication)

A word about courtroom artists, please.

In the wake of “Deflategate” or “Sketchgate” or whatever they’re calling the controversy surrounding New England quarterback Tom Brady these days, I think it’s time to speak up for court artists everywhere.

Disclosure: Jane Rosenberg, the artist at the center of the recent storm over her less-than-perfect depiction of the handsome quarterback, is a pal of mine. I have worked alongside her as the reporter covering a court proceeding, she the assigned artist.  Rosenberg is a 35-year veteran and widely considered to be one of the best in her field. [click to continue…]

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The Presidential Clemency Push – Are We Ready?

by Diane Dimond on July 13, 2015

Pending Bills Don't Have to Be Passed to Help Vets

Suddenly, Agreement – But Have They Thought Things Through?

Seems like Washington is enjoying a rare political Kumbayah moment these days. Both Democrats and Republicans now agree that our justice system ran off the rails with overly burdensome, mandatory sentencing for non-violent drug offenders.

Convicts like Antwon Rogers of Cleveland Ohio who was sentenced to life in prison for conspiracy to possess and distribute cocaine — less than 5 ounces of the drug. But because Rogers had two previous drug convictions the mandatory federal three-strikes law kicked in and, at the age of 22, he was sentenced to spend the rest of his life in prison. He’s been there more than 20 years.

Francis Hayden of Loretto, Kentucky also got life after his conviction for possessing more than 1,000 marijuana plants, growing on a farm he managed. Hayden also had two previous drug convictions and that third one sealed his fate.

If space permitted I could cite thousands of these over-sentenced, non-violent drug cases. [click to continue…]

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Cyber Stalking Just Got Harder to Punish

by Diane Dimond on June 8, 2015

Ubiquitous Threats, Some Are Criminal

Ubiquitous Threats, Some Are Criminal

What if you got a message on your Facebook account from someone you knew was angry with you that read, “There’s one way to love ya but a thousand ways to kill ya.” You might be a bit worried, right?

What if that person continued to write things like, “I’m not going to rest until your body is a mess, soaked in blood and dying from all the little cuts.” And they followed up with musings about putting your “head on a stick,” and making a name for themselves with “the most heinous school shooting ever imagined.”

Would the phrase, “Hell hath no fury like a crazy man in a kindergarten class,” prompt you to pick up the phone and alert the police? I sure hope so. [click to continue…]

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Who Are We As A Nation and What Do We Believe?

by Diane Dimond on June 1, 2015

We Are a Bundle of Contradictions

We Are a Bundle of Contradictions

We live in a world of confounding contradictions.

We call ourselves a peace loving people yet we continue to engage in far flung wars. Domestically, gangs, guns and drug dealing proliferate. This is not a recipe for peace by any measure.

Nearly half of us say they are morally against the death penalty. Yet, a jury in Boston – a decidedly anti-capital punishment region of the country – sentenced to death the surviving Boston Marathon Bomber, 21-year-old Dzhokhar Tsarnav.  [click to continue…]

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