The Aftermath of the Brussels Attack
Another week, another deadly terrorist attack, this time in Brussels. The aftershocks heightened security across Europe and here in the US.
Understanding why Muslim extremists continue to kill innocents and what they are likely planning for the future can best predicted by someone who used to live, eat and pray among them.
Meet Emad Salem, a devout Muslim who, after serving as a Major in the Egyptian military, became a US citizen 31 years ago. But he became more than that. He became one of the FBI’s most valuable undercover assets in the War on Terror, beginning in the early 90’s. [click to continue…]
California Overcrowding Among the Worst
It’s easy to understand the intent behind the current move to reduce prison overcrowding but are we sure we’re doing it right?
In 2010, when President Obama signed The Fair Sentencing Act to reduce federal prison sentences for non-violent drug offenders he specifically targeted those who had been convicted of crack cocaine crimes. In the past, anyone in possession of crack — an inexpensive drug most often used in poor black communities — was routinely sentenced to harsher penalties than those who had dealt in the more expensive powder cocaine that was used almost exclusively by more affluent whites. [click to continue…]
A Criminal’s Best Friend If It Has iOS 8 Installed
In this corner – the FBI – which says that all high tech company Apple cares about is protecting its mega-profits brand and not the nation’s security.
And in that corner – Apple – which says the feds will put everyone’s privacy in jeopardy if a court forces them to disable password protection on the iPhone of dead terrorist Syed Rizwan Farook. Farook and his wife shot to death 14 of his San Bernardino County co-workers last December and seriously wounded 22.
There might be valuable information on Farook’s phone, information that could help thwart future terrorist attacks. But then again, maybe there’s nothing on that phone at all. Both sides say it’s the principal of the issue at stake. [click to continue…]
Robert & Betty Were Married For 72 Years
I recently wrote about the plight of 94-year-old Betty Winstanley, who resides at the Masonic Village retirement home in Elizabethtown, PA. She doesn’t want to live there anymore. Now that her husband of 72 years is gone she longs to move to a care home closer to her two children in Maryland. The state of Pennsylvania won’t let her leave.
To the state Betty is case #1201 of 2014, just another old person the court has declared, “totally incapacitated.” Once someone is so labeled they get a court appointed guardian who, literally, takes over their life. Guardians decide all the ward’s finances, who can visit and for how long, when or if they can leave the home – everything. [click to continue…]
Elizabeth “Betty” Winstanley
She is a well-spoken, elegant and wealthy 94-year-old widow. And as Betty Winstanley told me from her room at the Masonic Village Retirement facility in Elizabethtown, PA, “I feel like I am in prison. My life is a living hell.”
Welcome to America’s twisted world of court appointed guardianships for the elderly.
Quick backstory: Betty and her husband, Robert, were married for 72 years. They had three children, Richard, David and Betsy. For nearly 7 years the couple occupied a “lovely” independent living apartment at Masonic Village retirement home in Elizabethtown, PA.
In early 2014, Betty, who uses a rolling walker to get around, says she felt faint and seeing no staff nearby lowered herself to the ground. [click to continue…]
Not Always Reliable
How many times have you heard someone say, “Believe me, I know it’s true. I saw it with my own eyes!” When someone passionately tells us they were an eyewitness to an event we are programmed to believe their story.
It happens in courtrooms all across the country every day. An eyewitness takes the stand, puts a hand on the bible and swears to tell the truth about what they saw. In sometimes vivid detail they tell their story, point the finger of blame at a defendant and proclaim they are 100% sure about the identification. This compelling, first-hand testimony sways juries and has resulted in countless convictions. Some include sentences of death.
So how trustworthy is an eye-witness, anyway? [click to continue…]
Blind Justice: Laws Apply To All Citizens
The law says dangerous or illegal actions have consequences. Countless U.S. citizens enter the justice system every year after authorities determine they did something that physically or emotionally harmed someone, financially cheated another person or exposed people to peril.
So why do government employees so often escape the punishment you or I would face in similar circumstances?
Case in point: In what very nearly looks like a case of federally sponsored child trafficking the U.S. Office of Refugee Resettlement put countless children at risk yet no one has been held accountable. Beginning in fall of 2011, tens of thousands of unaccompanied minors from Central America began to flood across the Mexican border in search of a better life in America. We were not prepared. [click to continue…]
Kids in the Criminal System. Then What?
Everyone knows youngsters aren’t mentally or emotionally equipped to make good decisions. That’s why most parents watch their teenagers like a hawk.
But every year thousands of American kids get themselves in to serious trouble with the law. Some of these youngsters had no prior police record. Some who entered the criminal justice system were under the age of 10. In the most dire cases, teens have been sentenced to life in prison with no chance of ever being released.
Imagine your son (or in less frequent cases, your daughter), suddenly caught up in a crime that resulted in murder, manslaughter or rape — doomed to spend the rest of their lives behind bars, perhaps in solitary confinement to keep them away from prison violence. [click to continue…]
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…]
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…]