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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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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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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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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