Law Enforcement

Hastert was Speaker of the US House of Representatives

Hastert was Speaker of the House until 2007

Later this month one of the most powerful men ever to have served in the U.S. House of Representatives will face a federal judge to learn his fate. Dennis Hastert has pleaded guilty to evading U.S. banking laws, illegally structuring payouts to conceal other crimes and lying to the FBI. But that’s only a small part of his sordid story.

It’s a textbook case of why critics are able to say there is one system of justice for the rich and connected and quite another for the rest of us. It’s also another condemnation of our statute of limitations laws that say suspects can’t be tried for certain crimes if too much time has passed.  [click to continue…]

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Rape Matters – Catching Rapists Does Too

by Diane Dimond on April 11, 2016

Mounds of Rape Kits Waiting for Testing

Mounds of Rape Kits Waiting for Testing

So get this. Top justice officials have figured out a way to make the bad guys finance programs that help solve crimes. It’s such a unique solution to a long standing problem that I just have to share.

The District Attorney’s office in Manhattan – a jurisdiction that includes one of the preeminent financial centers of the world — is in a matchless position to collect billions of dollars from international banks that concoct schemes to get around U.S. sanctions.

For example, the French bank officials at BNP Paribas were forced to admit they illegally moved hundreds of millions of dollars through New York banks for clients in terror-sponsoring countries like Iran and Sudan. For threatening the security of our nation’s banking system and breaking our sanctions the French bank was fined more than $8.8 billion in penalties and criminal forfeiture. [click to continue…]

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Terrorists Need Another “Shock and Awe”

by Diane Dimond on March 28, 2016

Brussels terror aftermath

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…]

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California Overcrowding Among the Worst

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…]

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Public Enemy #1 – The iPhone?

by Diane Dimond on March 14, 2016

A Criminal's Best Friend If It Has OS 8 Installed.

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…]

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Reporting Crime Stats — Stat

by Diane Dimond on March 7, 2016

First Identify What You’re Fighting, Right?

              ~ Law enforcement needs to know what it doesn’t know. Tracking trends in crime is a way to keep communities safe.

Any decision made is only as good as the information used to make it, right? I submit the same holds true when figuring out how to fight crime.

Since the 1930’s the FBI has urged the nation’s law enforcement agencies to take part in its Uniform Crime Reporting Summary and record how many crimes occur in their jurisdiction in 10 top crime categories, including homicide, rape, robbery, arson and auto theft. [click to continue…]

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Elder Guardianships a Shameful ‘Racket’ in America

by Diane Dimond on February 22, 2016

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…]

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States Do What Washington Won’t on Gun Control

by Diane Dimond on January 11, 2016

President Obama Sheds Tears for Gun Victims

President Obama Sheds Tears for Gun Victims

There has been much media coverage on the President plans to control gun violence but I fear we’re missing the bigger picture.

Surely, the emotional frustration the president displayed while unveiling his latest executive order is worth noting and so are his ideas. But, realize, these are the same suggestions he proposed in 2013, after the Sandy Hook elementary school tragedy. Congress ignored them.

By now you’ve heard about his proposals: More people who sell guns – at gun shows and on-line – should be licensed and get mandatory background checks on their buyers. The FBI should process the checks 24/7 with a group of new agents and notify states when someone has illegally tried to buy a gun. [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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2015: Horrible Year in Many Respects

2015: Horrible Year in Many Respects

There’s no getting around it. Americans have just gone through an Annus Horribilis, to borrow a phrase from Queen Elizabeth. 2015 has been filled with disturbing news about acts of terrorism and the threat of more, mass shootings, racial unrest and major questions about how our criminal justice system works – or doesn’t.

Add in what many see as unsettling and contradictory political pronouncements about our future and is it any wonder that we feel frightened, frustrated and without hope? Fear – of homegrown or lone-wolf terrorists, gun violence, policy brutality, racial strife, our children’s future – has become the new American normal. [click to continue…]

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