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He Should Have Been Deported - Then He Murdered

He Should Have Been Deported – Then He Murdered a Woman

Decisions always have a consequence. That’s what I told my daughter as she was growing up. Make a decision to do something but, realize, you must then live with the consequences. I’m left wondering if Washington politicians had mothers who taught them the same lesson.

The consequence of Washington’s long-term failure to fix our fractured immigration policy just keeps getting more dangerous. The upshot for the rest of us? Ticking human time bombs walking among us.

For more than three years the Department of Homeland Security’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement division (ICE) has been forced to release thousands of deportation-ready criminal immigrants out on to American streets. More than 86,000 of them are, presumably, still out there. [click to continue…]

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Headline Writers Call - or the Reporter's

Headline Writers Call – or the Reporter’s

A federal prosecutor friend wrote me recently and attached a news article with the headline, “Decision Time for FBI on Clinton.”

“Why does the media say stuff like this?” he asked.  “The FBI has no say in this or any investigation.” And he went on to muse about how reporters just don’t seem to understand that the only entity that can make a “decision” on whether to indict Hillary Clinton for the way she (mis)handled her State Department e-mails is the office of the U.S. Attorney General.

He’s right. The the final decision is up to U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch. With that said, I figure it is time to talk about the elephant in the room. Elephant, is thy name partisan politics? [click to continue…]

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Betty Winstanley with children, Liz (L) and David (R) Fighting to Move Mom Closer

Betty Winstanley with children, Liz (L) and David (R) Fighting to Move Mom Closer

Would you hire someone to manage your personal affairs and finances who charged $50,599.18 in just three months?

What if they charged $1560.00 to make two phone calls to your son to discuss, “Dates for (a) Christmas” visit with you. Or if you got a bill for more than $1,000 from this person explaining, it was because their, “Computer emails appear(ed) to be breached …(and) extensive work (was) done on my phone and computer as a result.” They charged you for calls to their IT department and to an attorney they consulted.

And what if this same person refused to communicate with two of your three children even when you were rushed to the hospital? And when they placed a couple of phone calls 3 days later to see how you were doing you were charged another $990.00?

Is there any part of this that sounds reasonable? [click to continue…]

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Judicial Compassion Can Save a Life

by Diane Dimond on May 8, 2016

Sgt. Joe Serna -- A Judge Turned His Life Around

Sgt. Joseph Serna — A Judge Turned His Life Around

The former Special Forces Sergeant stood before the Veteran’s Treatment Court judge – as he had every two weeks since being charged with driving under the influence a year earlier — and admitted he had lied. His urinalysis test had come back positive but Sergeant Joe Serna had originally denied it.

Serna had been fighting internal demons ever since coming home after four bloody combat tours of Afghanistan and serving almost two decades in the military. Serna was almost killed  least three times. Once when his team crossed paths with a suicide bomber, another when they were hit by a roadside bomb. But at this moment, something inside the Green Beret soldier made him ‘fess up to breaking his parole. Being stateside again had been both wonderful and a trigger for a severe case of post-traumatic stress. [click to continue…]

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How Many Gun Suicides Could Be Prevented?

by Diane Dimond on April 25, 2016

Now More Gun Suicides Than Gun Homicides

Now More Gun Suicides Than Gun Homicides

Thank goodness there have been no headline grabbing mass shootings in America recently.

I was thinking about that this week after reading about the 17th anniversary of the Columbine massacre. On April 20, 1999, Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris shot dead 12 of their fellow students, one teacher and injured many others in a senseless bloodbath at their Colorado high school.

Let’s hope this lull in school/office/theater shootings continues. Yet, sadly, it is surely temporary given that in the United States there are as many 310 million guns in civilian hands. [click to continue…]

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Is Football Worth Damaging the Brain?

by Diane Dimond on April 4, 2016

Concussions and Kids - A Dangerous Mix

Concussions and Kids – A Dangerous Mix

It was the admission that made every parent of every kid who wants to play football gasp.

The question from Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky was simple. “Do you think there is a link between football and degenerative brain disorders like CTE?”

The answer, from no less than the National Football League’s senior vice president for health and safety, Jeff Miller: “The answer to that question is certainly yes.”

Wow. Now, it doesn’t take an Einstein to know that repeated, solid blows to a person’s head will cause problems. [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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The Nationwide Problem of Court-Sponsored Elder Abuse

by Diane Dimond on February 29, 2016

Robert & Betty Were Married For 72 Years

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…]

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