Subject: Media Reports of Widespread Corruption in U.S. Courts and Judicial SystemD
Media Reports of Widespread Corruption in U.S. Courts and Judicial System
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"The National Registry of Exonerations reviewed 2,400 exonerations it has logged between 1989 and 2019. Of the 2,400, 93 innocent defendants were sentenced to death and later cleared before they were executed. The study also found that police and prosecutors are rarely disciplined for actions that lead to a wrongful conviction."
~~ Washington Post, 9/16/20
The collection of major media articles below shows beyond the shadow of a doubt that the U.S. judicial system is riddled with corruption.
Judges and attorneys break laws with impunity. Rape victims are turned into suspects. A billionaire pedophile the police want locked up for life gets a slap on the wrist. A black man is serving life in prison for stealing hedge clippers.
If we can't trust our justice system, who can we turn to? By educating ourselves, we can make a difference. Please spread the word and join the call for serious reform.2018-12-07, Washington Post/AP
Recent revelations about billionaire sex offender Jeffrey Epstein's sweetheart deal with government prosecutors ... are the tip of the iceberg in a scandal of money, power, sex, corruption and boys' club criminality. The story [involves] the sexual abuse of girls as young as 14 — and a decade-long process in which lawyers allegedly violated the victims' rights under federal law. Alan Dershowitz and former Whitewater prosecutor Kenneth W. Starr [Epstein's lawyers] negotiated a non-prosecution agreement that ultimately afforded Epstein an absurdly lenient sentence: just over a year in the county jail. Epstein was allowed to stay in a vacant wing of the jail and spend up to 12 hours a day in his office, six days a week. Credible allegations in a 53-page, federal draft indictment ... could have put him away for life. Ten years ago, many of the alleged victims were children and likely unaware of their rights. Now fully informed adults, many of the women ... are seeking to set aside the non-prosecution agreement so that their voices can be heard. There's no doubt that Epstein's accusers were denied their rights under the 2004 federal Crime Victims' Rights Act. Among other things, the law asserts that accusers are to be notified of any legal proceedings ... and they or their attorneys are to be present at such proceedings. None of this happened. The sealed, non-prosecution agreement granted federal immunity not only to Epstein and four named accomplices but also to "any [unnamed] potential co-conspirators."
Note: The "potential co-conspirators" include Bill Clinton, Donald Trump, many actors, business tycoons, and more according to this Miami Herald article. Another article directly implicates Prince Andrew and details the revelations of Epstein's butler, who feared for his life. Learn about other major cover-ups in high places in deeply revealing news articles on sexual abuse scandals from reliable major media sources.2017-11-24, New York Times
There are many reasons for women to think twice about reporting sexual assault. But one potential consequence looms especially large: They may also be prosecuted. This month, a retired police lieutenant in Memphis, Tenn., Cody Wilkerson, testified, as part of a lawsuit against the city, not only that police detectives sometimes neglected to investigate cases of sexual assault but also that he overheard the head of investigative services in the city's police department say, on his first day in charge: "The first thing we need to do is start locking up more victims for false reporting." It's an alarming choice of priorities. In 2015 we wrote an article ... about Marie, an 18-year-old who reported being raped. Instead of interviewing her as a victim, [detectives] interrogated her as a suspect. Under pressure, Marie eventually recanted - and was charged with false reporting, punishable by up to a year in jail. More than two years later, the police in Colorado arrested a serial rapist - and discovered a photograph proving he had raped Marie. Cases like hers can be found around the country. In 1997, a legally blind woman reported being raped at knife point in Madison, Wis. That same year, a pregnant 16-year-old reported being raped in New York City. In 2004, a 19-year-old reported being sexually assaulted at gunpoint in Cranberry Township, Pa. In all three instances, the women were charged with lying. In all three instances, their reports turned out to be true. The men who raped them were later identified and convicted.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on sexual abuse scandals.2013-11-13, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
[Timothy] Jackson was convicted of shoplifting and sent to Angola prison in Louisiana. That was 16 years ago. Today he is still incarcerated in Angola, and will stay there for the rest of his natural life having been condemned to die in jail. All for the theft of a jacket, worth $159. Jackson, 53, is one of 3,281 prisoners in America serving life sentences with no chance of parole for non-violent crimes. Some, like him, were given the most extreme punishment short of execution for shoplifting; one was condemned to die in prison for siphoning petrol from a truck; another for stealing tools. "It has been very hard for me," Jackson wrote to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) as part of its new report on life without parole for non-violent offenders. The ACLU's report, A Living Death, chronicles the thousands of lives ruined and families destroyed by the modern phenomenon of sentencing people to die behind bars for non-violent offences. Most of those ... inmates held on life without parole sentences were given their punishments by the federal government. More than 2,000 of the 3,281 individuals tracked down on these sentences by the ACLU are being held in the federal system. Taxpayers pay an additional $1.8bn to keep the prisoners locked up for the rest of their lives. About 65% of the prisoners identified nationwide by the ACLU are African American. Of the prisoners serving life without parole for non-violent offences nationwide, the ACLU estimates that almost 80% were for drug-related crimes.2018-03-30, Washington Post
In the five decades since Martin Luther King Jr. was shot dead by an assassin at age 39, his children have worked tirelessly to preserve his legacy. They are unanimous on one key point: James Earl Ray did not kill Martin Luther King. For the King family and others in the civil rights movement, the FBI's obsession with King in the years leading up to his slaying in Memphis on April 4, 1968 - pervasive surveillance, a malicious disinformation campaign and open denunciations by FBI director J. Edgar Hoover - laid the groundwork for their belief that he was the target of a plot. Until her own death in 2006, Coretta Scott King, who endured the FBI's campaign to discredit her husband, was open in her belief that a conspiracy led to the assassination. Her family filed a civil suit in 1999 ... and a Memphis jury ruled that the local, state and federal governments were liable for King's death. "There is abundant evidence," Coretta King said after the verdict, "of a major, high-level conspiracy in the assassination of my husband." The jury found the mafia and various government agencies "were deeply involved in the assassination. Mr. Ray was set up to take the blame." But nothing changed afterward. William Pepper, a New York lawyer and civil rights activist who knew and worked with King ... became convinced of Ray's innocence and continued to investigate the case even after Ray died. Pepper wrote three books outlining the conspiracy, most recently "The Plot to Kill King" in 2016, which were largely ignored by the media.
Note: Watch an excellent, six-minute clip from Canada's PBS giving powerful evidence based on the excellent work of William Pepper that King was assassinated by factions in government that wanted his movement stopped. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing civil liberties news articles from reliable major media sources.2018-11-28, Miami Herald (Miami's leading newspaper)
[Jeffrey] Epstein, a multimillionaire hedge fund manager whose friends included a constellation of entertainers, politicians, business titans and royalty, for years lured teenage girls to his Palm Beach mansion as part of a cult-like sex pyramid scheme, police in the town of Palm Beach found. In 2007, despite ample [evidence], federal prosecutors and Epstein's lawyers quietly put together a remarkable deal for Epstein. He and his accomplices received immunity from federal sex-trafficking charges. After the FBI case was closed in 2008, witnesses and alleged victims testified in civil court that there were hundreds of girls who were brought to Epstein's homes, including girls from Europe, Latin America and former Soviet Republic countries. There were really just two people willing to risk their careers to go after Epstein: Palm Beach Police Chief Michael Reiter and Detective Joseph Recarey. In their first media interviews about the case, Reiter and Recarey revealed [how they were] pressured by then-Palm Beach State Attorney Barry Krischer to downgrade the case to a misdemeanor or drop it altogether. Police reports show that Epstein's private investigators attempted to conduct interviews while posing as cops; that they picked through Reiter's trash in search of dirt to discredit him; and that the private investigators were accused of following the girls and their families. "It became apparent to me that some of our evidence was being leaked to Epstein's lawyers," Reiter said.
Note: Learn about how the Miami Herald broke this vitally important story in this article. Read a collection of major media reports on billionaire Jeffrey Epstein's child sex ring which directly implicate Donald Trump, Bill Clinton, and other world leaders. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing sexual abuse scandal news articles from reliable major media sources.2020-09-16, Washington Post
A new study digs into the reasons people are wrongly convicted, and it has found that 54 percent of those defendants are victimized by official misconduct, with police involved in 34 percent of cases, prosecutors in 30 percent, and some cases involving both police and prosecutors. The study by the National Registry of Exonerations reviewed 2,400 exonerations it has logged between 1989 and 2019, nearly 80 percent of which were for violent felonies. Of the 2,400, 93 innocent defendants were sentenced to death and later cleared before they were executed. The study also found that police and prosecutors are rarely disciplined for actions that lead to a wrongful conviction . Researchers found that 4 percent of prosecutors involved in those convictions were disciplined, but the penalties were "comparatively mild" and only three were disbarred. Police officers were disciplined in 19 percent of cases leading to wrongful convictions, and in 80 percent of those cases officers were convicted of crimes, such as Chicago police Sgt. Ronald Watts, who led a group of officers who planted drug or gun evidence leading to 66 false convictions. The 2,400 cases are far from a comprehensive count, since there is no centralized national database of criminal cases at the state and local levels. So an estimate of how often wrongful convictions occur, as a percentage of overall cases, is not possible. The study acknowledges there are other areas to examine, including quantifying ineffective assistance by defense attorneys.2020-08-05, MSN News
More than two decades ago, police in Shreveport, La. stopped Fair Wayne Bryant on the side of the road for allegedly stealing a pair of hedge clippers. His vehicle looked like one that had been used in a recent home burglary, they told the black 38-year-old moments before arresting him. Bryant insisted the clippers police found in the van belonged to his wife, but he did make a confession to the officers: After his vehicle had broken down ... he had entered a carport in search of a tank of gas. That disclosure would eventually land Bryant life in prison. Last week, the Louisiana Supreme Court denied a request from Bryant to hear a review of his life sentence. Six of the seven justices backed the decision. The lone Black judge on the bench was the only one to disagree. In a searing dissent, Chief Justice Bernette Johnson said Bryant's sentence was only due to Louisiana's harsh habitual offender laws. " Mr. Bryant has already spent nearly 23 years in prison and is now over 60 years old," she wrote. "If he lives another 20 years, Louisiana taxpayers will have paid almost one million dollars to punish Mr. Bryant for his failed effort to steal a set of hedge clippers ." The decision from the state supreme court gives Bryant few, if any, options for recourse to leave Louisiana State Penitentiary at Angola ... which is also the site of a former slave plantation. In her dissent, Johnson — the court's first Black chief justice — drew a straight line from slavery to the laws that she said enabled Louisiana prosecutors to send Bryant to Angola for the rest of his life.2020-01-29, The Intercept
Few news outlets covered the detention of [attorney] Steven Donziger, who won a multibillion-dollar judgment in Ecuador against Chevron over the massive contamination in the Lago Agrio region. On August 6, Donziger left a Lower Manhattan courthouse ... with an electronic monitoring device newly affixed to his ankle. As he was arguing the case against Chevron in Ecuador back in 2009, the company expressly said its long-term strategy was to demonize him. Chevron has hired private investigators to track Donziger, created a publication to smear him, and put together a legal team of hundreds of lawyers from 60 firms. As a result, Donziger has been disbarred and his bank accounts have been frozen. He now has a lien on his apartment, faces exorbitant fines, and has been prohibited from earning money. As of August, a court has seized his passport and put him on house arrest. Despite Donziger's current predicament, the case against Chevron in Ecuador was a spectacular victory. An Ecuadorian court ruled against Chevron in 2011 and ordered the company to pay $18 billion in compensation, an amount that was later reduced to $9.5 billion. After years of struggling with the health and environmental consequences of oil extraction, the impoverished Amazonian plaintiffs had won a historic judgment from one of the biggest corporations in the world. But ... Chevron immediately made clear that it would not be paying the judgment. Instead, Chevron moved its assets out of the country.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corporate corruption from reliable major media sources.2018-12-04, Vanity Fair
A decade ago, a billionaire pedophile was able to use his wealth and connections to escape any semblance of a just punishment. The whole system shielded the billionaire from the gravity of his crimes. That its functionaries felt compelled to do so says a lot about our ruling elites. The basic story is this: Jeffrey Epstein is a billionaire financier. He is also a sexual pervert who, until about 12 years ago, preyed serially on teenage children, roughly until they reached the age of consent and became, in his eyes, unattractive. What did authorities do when they found out, back in 2005? They spent a couple of years investigating and drawing up an indictment, then proceeded to quash further investigation, cooperated with Epstein's lawyers to avoid publicity, violated procedures about plea bargains, made Epstein serve only 13 months in confinement, put him in the county jail rather than state prison ... and concealed most of the terms of the settlement from the public and the victims themselves. Epstein's enablers weren't a handful of Palm Beach rogues. Instead, the higher up the chain you went, the more sympathetic to Epstein the players seem to become. Of Epstein's associates who helped make his crimes possible, none were prosecuted, save one. That was a butler who tried to turn over a so-called "black book" documenting names and dates of Epstein's escapades to a lawyer for the victims in exchange for $50,000. For this, the butler wound up serving an 18-month sentence, longer than that of his boss.
Note: Epstein's butler feared for his life and ended up dead before he could reveal his secrets. Both Trump and Bill Clinton were good friends of Epstein, as described in this revealing article from Miami's leading newspaper. Learn about how the Miami Herald broke this vitally important story in this article . For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing sexual abuse scandal news articles from reliable major media sources.2017-07-31, The New Yorker
In the summer of 2012, a subcommittee of the U.S. Senate released a report. [After] looking into the London-based banking group HSBC, [investigators] discovered that ... the bank had laundered billions of dollars for Mexican drug cartels, and violated sanctions. No criminal charges were filed, and no executives or employees were prosecuted. Instead, HSBC pledged to clean up its institutional culture, and to pay a fine of nearly two billion dollars: the equivalent of four weeks' profit for the bank. In the years since the mortgage crisis of 2008 ... corporate executives have essentially been granted immunity. As recently as 2006, when Enron imploded, such titans as Jeffrey Skilling and Kenneth Lay were convicted of conspiracy and fraud. Something has changed in the past decade, however, and federal prosecutions of white-collar crime are now at a twenty-year low. As Jesse Eisinger, a reporter for ProPublica, explains in a new book ... a financial crisis has traditionally been followed by a legal crackdown, because a market contraction reveals all the wishful accounting and outright fraud that were hidden when the going was good. After the mortgage crisis, people in Washington and on Wall Street expected prosecutions. Eisinger reels off a list of potential candidates for criminal charges: Countrywide, Washington Mutual, Lehman Brothers, Citigroup, A.I.G., Bank of America, Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley. Although fines were paid ... there were no indictments, no trials, no jail time.2015-10-31, New York Times
On Page 5 of a credit card contract used by American Express ... is a clause that most customers probably miss. If cardholders have a problem with their account, American Express explains, the company "may elect to resolve any claim by individual arbitration." Those nine words are at the center of a far-reaching power play orchestrated by American corporations. By inserting individual arbitration clauses into a soaring number of consumer and employment contracts, companies like American Express devised a way to circumvent the courts and bar people from joining together in class-action lawsuits, realistically the only tool citizens have to fight illegal or deceitful business practices. It has become increasingly difficult to apply for a credit card, use a cellphone, get cable or Internet service, or shop online without agreeing to private arbitration. The same applies to getting a job, renting a car or placing a relative in a nursing home. By banning class actions, companies have essentially disabled consumer challenges to ... predatory lending, wage theft and discrimination. "This is among the most profound shifts in our legal history," William G. Young, a federal judge ... said in an interview. "Ominously, business has a good chance of opting out of the legal system altogether and misbehaving without reproach." Thousands of cases brought by single plaintiffs over fraud, wrongful death and rape are now being decided behind closed doors. And the rules of arbitration largely favor companies.2014-12-22, Associated Press
A system intended to speed help to vaccine-injured Americans has instead heaped additional suffering on thousands of families. To investigate vaccine court in depth, the AP read hundreds of decisions, conducted more than 100 interviews, and analyzed a database of more than 14,500 cases. Among the AP's findings: * Prominent attorneys have enlisted expert witnesses whose own work has been widely discredited, including one who treated autism with a potent drug used to chemically castrate serial rapists. Some of the most prominent experts set up nonprofits questioning vaccine safety. Many doctors hired by the government to defend vaccine safety in court have ties to the pharmaceutical industry. * The government fights legitimate claims ... worried that if they concede a vaccine caused harm, the public will react by skipping shots. If government doctors had their way ... 1,600 families would not have gotten more than $1.1 billion in cash and future medical care between the court's opening in 1988 and then end of 2012. * Cases are supposed to be resolved within 240 days. Less than 7 percent of 7,876 claims not involving autism met the 240-day target. Most non-autism cases take at least two and a half years. Hundreds have surpassed the decade mark. Several people died before getting any money. "The system is not working," said Richard Topping, a former U.S. Department of Justice attorney who handled vaccine injury claims but resigned after concluding his bosses had no desire to fix the major flaws he saw.
Note: Read the entire article to see how the vaccine court is deeply flawed in may ways. Then read an article showing how the government removed data from it's website which showed an increase in court victories by those claiming harm from vaccines. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing vaccine news articles from reliable major media sources. See also the excellent, reliable resources provided in our Health Information Center.
2012-12-12, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
The US is the world's largest prison state, imprisoning more of its citizens than any nation on earth, both in absolute numbers and proportionally. It imprisons people for longer periods of time, more mercilessly, and for more trivial transgressions than any nation in the west. This sprawling penal state has been constructed over decades, by both political parties, and it punishes the poor and racial minorities at overwhelmingly disproportionate rates. But not everyone is subjected to that system of penal harshness. It all changes radically when the nation's most powerful actors are caught breaking the law. With few exceptions, they are gifted not merely with leniency, but full-scale immunity from criminal punishment. Thus have the most egregious crimes of the last decade been fully shielded from prosecution when committed by those with the greatest political and economic power: the construction of a worldwide torture regime, spying on Americans' communications without the warrants required by criminal law by government agencies and the telecom industry, an aggressive war launched on false pretenses, and massive, systemic financial fraud in the banking and credit industry that triggered the 2008 financial crisis. This two-tiered justice system was the subject of [the] book, With Liberty and Justice for Some. On Tuesday, not only did the US Justice Department announce that HSBC would not be criminally prosecuted, but outright claimed that the reason is that they are too important, too instrumental to subject them to such disruptions.
Note: For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on government corruption, click here.2011-02-22, Los Angeles Times
The Supreme Court on [February 22] shielded the nation's vaccine makers from being sued by parents who say their children suffered severe side effects from the drugs. By a 6-2 vote, the court upheld a federal law that offers compensation to these victims but closes the courthouse door to lawsuits. Justice Antonin Scalia said the high court majority agreed with Congress that these side effects were "unavoidable" when a vaccine is given to millions of children. If the drug makers could be sued and forced to pay huge claims for devastating injuries, the vaccine industry could be wiped out, he said. The American Academy of Pediatrics applauded the decision. The ruling was a defeat for the parents of Hannah Bruesewitz, who as a child was given a standard vaccination for diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis. She later suffered a series of seizures and delayed development. Her parents sought compensation for her injuries, but their claim was turned down. They then sued the drug maker in a Pennsylvania court, contending that the vaccine was defectively designed. A judge and the U.S. Court of Appeals in Philadelphia ruled they were barred from suing, and the Supreme Court affirmed that judgment.
Note: For powerful evidence that childhood vaccines are much less effective than is generally believed, click here.2010-01-22, San Francisco Chronicle (San Francisco's leading newspaper)
Five robed radicals on the Supreme Court have pushed money-infused politics in the wrong direction by overturning a century's worth of campaign spending laws. Voters should prepare for the worst: cash-drenched elections presided over by free-spending corporations. The 5-to-4 ... majority's thinking is based on absolutist vision of free speech and belief that corporations and unions have the same constitutional protections as individuals when it comes to basic rights. This viewpoint is "a rejection of the common sense of the American people," said Justice John Paul Stevens, who read his angry dissent out loud. Corporations "are not themselves members of 'We the People,' by whom and for whom our Constitution was established." It's hard to overstate the legal sweep of the decision. It rejects two recent court rulings, one that barred corporations and unions from dipping into their treasuries to pay for candidate ads and the second that restricted these so-called independent expenditure efforts. The five-member majority didn't just blaze new ground; it torched the court's own past record. In practical terms, the decision amounts to a political earthquake. Big-money issues such as health care, cap-and-trade pollution controls and Wall Street regulations will drive attack ads against politicians who refuse to do the bidding of particular special interests.
Note: For more deep insights into the flaws in the US electoral system, click here. To read about the wonderful defender of elections free from corporate influence, Granny D, who recently passed away at the age of 100, click here.2005-09-10, Washington Post
A federal appeals court yesterday backed the president's power to indefinitely detain a U.S. citizen captured on U.S. soil without any criminal charges, holding that such authority is vital during wartime to protect the nation from terrorist attacks. The ruling, by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit, came in the case of Jose Padilla, a former gang member and U.S. citizen arrested in Chicago in 2002 and a month later designated an "enemy combatant" by President Bush. Padilla has been held without trial in a U.S. naval brig for more than three years, and his case has ignited a fierce battle over the balance between civil liberties and the government's power to fight terrorism since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. A host of civil liberties groups and former attorney general Janet Reno weighed in on Padilla's behalf, calling his detention illegal and arguing that the president does not have unchecked power to lock up U.S. citizens indefinitely. In its ruling yesterday, the three-judge panel overturned a lower court. Avidan Cover, a senior associate at Human Rights First, said the ruling "really flies in the face of our understanding of what rights American citizens are entitled to." Opponents have warned that if not constrained by the courts, Padilla's detention could lead to the military being allowed to hold anyone who, for example, checks out what the government considers the wrong kind of reading materials from the library.
Note: For many disturbing reports from major media sources on government threats to civil liberties, click here.2000-09-08, ABC News
A man whose bid to become a police officer was rejected after he scored too high on an intelligence test has lost an appeal in his federal lawsuit against the city. The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New York upheld a lower court's decision that the city did not discriminate against Robert Jordan because the same standards were applied to everyone who took the test. "This kind of puts an official face on discrimination in America against people of a certain class," Jordan said today from his Waterford home. "I maintain you have no more control over your basic intelligence than your eye color or your gender or anything else." Jordan, a 49-year-old college graduate, took the exam in 1996 and scored 33 points, the equivalent of an IQ of 125. But New London police interviewed only candidates who scored 20 to 27, on the theory that those who scored too high could get bored with police work and leave soon after undergoing costly training. The average score nationally for police officers is 21 to 22, the equivalent of an IQ of 104, or just a little above average. Jordan alleged his rejection from the police force was discrimination. He sued the city, saying his civil rights were violated because he was denied equal protection under the law. But the U.S. District Court found that New London had "shown a rational basis for the policy." In a ruling dated Aug. 23, the 2nd Circuit agreed. The court said the policy might be unwise but was a rational way to reduce job turnover. Jordan has worked as a prison guard since he took the test.2013-08-23, New York Times
New York City is an expensive place to live for just about everyone, including prisoners. The city paid $167,731 to feed, house and guard each inmate last year, according to a study the Independent Budget Office released this week. "It is troubling in both human terms and financial terms," Doug Turetsky, the chief of staff for the budget office, said on Friday. With 12,287 inmates shuffling through city jails last year, he said, "it is a significant cost to the city." by nearly any measure, New York City spends more than every other state or city. The Vera Institute of Justice released a study in 2012 that found the aggregate cost of prisons in 2010 in the 40 states that participated was $39 billion. The annual average taxpayer cost in these states was $31,286 per inmate. New York State was the most expensive, with an average cost of $60,000 per prison inmate. The cost of incarcerating people in New York City's jails is nearly three times as much. 83 percent of the expense per prisoner came from wages, benefits for staff and pension costs. Some 76 percent of the inmates in the city were waiting for their cases to be disposed. The wait times have grown even as the number of felonies committed in the city has declined. Since 2002, the time spent waiting for cases to be disposed of has gone to 95 days, from 76 days, [former city correction and probation commissioner Michael] Jacobson said.
Note: This CNN chart shows that most states spend two to three times as much on their prison inmates than they do on students in school. What does that say about our priorities? For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing prison system corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.2019-03-20, San Francisco Chronicle (San Francisco's leading newspaper)
Police are violating no "clearly established rights" when they steal someone's property after seizing it with a legal search warrant and, therefore, can't be sued in federal court, an appeals court ruled Wednesday. The Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco refused to reinstate a suit against Fresno police by two people whose homes and business were searched in 2013 during a gambling investigation. After the search, three officers signed an inventory sheet saying they had seized about $50,000. But the two owners, Micah Jessop and Brittan Ashjian, who operated automatic teller machines ... said the officers had actually taken $276,000 - $151,000 in cash and $125,000 in rare coins - and pocketed the difference. Darrell York, Jessop's and Ashjian's attorney, said police and a city attorney denied that a theft occurred. Even if Kumagai and his fellow officers stole money and coins from Jessop and Ashjian, the appeals court said, the owners could not sue in federal court to get their money back. Such a suit would require proof that their constitutional rights were violated, the court said, and suits against police must clear the additional hurdle of showing that those rights were "clearly established." "The allegation of any theft by police officers - most certainly the theft of over $225,000 - is undoubtedly deeply disturbing," Judge Milan Smith said in the 3-0 ruling. "Whether that conduct violates the Fourth Amendment's prohibition on unreasonable searches and seizures, however, is not obvious."
Note: Read about "civil asset forfeiture" used by police to steal money and other private property for their departments. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing police corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.
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Sunday, November 15, 2020
Fwd: Media Reports of Widespread Corruption in U.S. Courts and Judicial System
Posted by none at Sunday, November 15, 2020