Showing posts with label law. Show all posts
Showing posts with label law. Show all posts

Friday, June 17, 2022

President Biden nominates Dana M. Douglas for Fifth District Court of Appeals

President Joe Biden is nominating Judge Dana M. Douglas for the United States Fifth District Court of Appeals. If confirmed, Judge Douglas would be the first woman of color to serve on the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.

Prior to joining the bench Douglas was a partner at Liskow & Lewis, where she worked from 2001 to 2018.

Douglas served on the New Orleans Civil Service Commission from 2003 to 2013.

She served as a law clerk for Judge Ivan L. R. Lemelle on the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana from 2000 to 2001.

Douglas received her J.D. from Loyola University New Orleans School of Law in 2000 and her B.A. from Miami University of Ohio in 1997.

Among those backing her nomination are Louisiana Senators John Kennedy and Bill Cassidy, former Mayor Marc Morial, now president of the National Urban League, and retired Army Lt. Gen. Russel Honore.

Friday, January 03, 2020

Delaware's first black Supreme Court justice to take oath of office Friday

Delaware's first African-American Supreme Court justice will take her public oath of office on Friday.

Former Vice Chancellor Tamika Montgomery-Reeves' investiture is at 2 p.m. at Howard High School in Wilmington. The event is not open to the public due to limited seating.

The Senate unanimously approved Gov. John Carney’s selection of Montgomery-Reeves in November. She is replacing Supreme Court Justice Collins Seitz Jr., who was confirmed as chief justice in place of retiring Chief Justice Leo Strine Jr.

o Strine Jr. Montgomery-Reeves has served since 2015 as a vice chancellor on Delaware’s Court of Chancery. The Wilmington resident was the first African American and the second woman to serve as a judge on that court.

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Black voters file federal lawsuit against Mississippi prosecutor

Four black voters and a branch of the NAACP are suing a Mississippi prosecutor, asking a federal judge to order him to stop excluding African Americans from juries.

The lawsuit, filed Monday in federal court in Greenville, alleges District Attorney Doug Evans excludes black citizens from juries at a rate disproportionate to whites.

The suit builds off an analysis of strikes by Evans’ office in a seven-county rural district in north Mississippi. That analysis by American Public Media’s “In the Dark” podcast was part of a series of episodes questioning the guilt of Curtis Flowers.

The U.S. Supreme Court in June overturned Flowers’ conviction in the killing of four people in a Winona furniture store in 1996, finding racial bias in jury selection. Evans has tried Flowers six times.

Friday, March 01, 2019

Cory Booker reintroduces The Marijuana Justice Act

U.S. Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ), a member of the Senate's Judiciary Committee, Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA), Co-Chair of the Congressional Cannabis Caucus, and Rep. Ro Khanna (D-CA), today reintroduced their landmark bill to end the federal prohibition on marijuana.
In the Senate, the bill is cosponsored by Senators Ron Wyden (D-OR), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Kamala Harris (D-CA), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), and Michael Bennet (D-CO).
"The War on Drugs has not been a war on drugs, it's been a war on people, and disproportionately people of color and low-income individuals," said Booker. "The Marijuana Justice Act seeks to reverse decades of this unfair, unjust, and failed policy by removing marijuana from the list of controlled substances and making it legal at the federal level."
"But it's not enough to simply decriminalize marijuana. We must also repair the damage caused by reinvesting in those communities that have been most harmed by the War on Drugs. And we must expunge the records of those who have served their time. The end we seek is not just legalization, it's justice."
"The War on Drugs has destroyed lives, and no one continues to be hurt more than people of color and low-income communities," said Wyden. "There is a desperate need not only to correct course by ending the failed federal prohibition of marijuana, but to right these wrongs and ensure equal justice for those who have been disproportionately impacted."
"Millions of Americans' lives have been devastated because of our broken marijuana policies, especially in communities of color and low-income communities," said Gillibrand. "Currently, just one minor possession conviction can take away a lifetime of opportunities for jobs, education, and housing, tear families apart, and make people more vulnerable to serving time in jail down the road. It is shameful that my son would likely be treated very differently from one of his Black or Latino peers if he was caught with marijuana, and legalizing marijuana is an issue of morality and social justice. I'm proud to work with Senator Booker on this legislation to help fix decades of injustice caused by our nation's failed drug policies."
"As I said during my 2016 campaign, hundreds of thousands of people are arrested for possession of marijuana every single year," said Sanders. "Many of those people, disproportionately people of color, have seen their lives negatively impacted because they have criminal records as a result of marijuana use. That has got to change. We must end the absurd situation of marijuana being listed as a Schedule 1 drug alongside heroin. It is time to decriminalize marijuana, expunge past marijuana convictions and end the failed war on drugs."
"Marijuana laws in this country have not been applied equally, and as a result we have criminalized marijuana use in a way that has led to the disproportionate incarceration of young men of color. It's time to change that," said Harris. "Legalizing marijuana is the smart thing to do and the right thing to do in order to advance justice and equality for every American."
"Marijuana should be legalized, and we should wipe clean the records of those unjustly jailed for minor marijuana crimes. By outlawing marijuana, the federal government puts communities of color, small businesses, public health and safety at risk." said Warren.
"This long-overdue change will help bring our marijuana laws into the 21st century. It's past time we bring fairness and relief to communities that our criminal justice system has too often left behind." said Bennet.
"Communities of color and low-income communities have been devastated by the War on Drugs," said Lee. "As Co-Chair of the Congressional Cannabis Caucus, I'm proud to sponsor legislation that would legalize marijuana at the federal level, address the disproportionate impact of prohibition on people of color by expunging criminal convictions, and promote equitable participation in the legal marijuana industry by investing in the communities hardest hit by the failed War on Drugs."
"Communities of color have been disproportionately impacted by misguided marijuana policy for far too long," said Khanna. "Rep. Lee, Sen. Booker, and I are proud to introduce this important legislation and deliver justice for so many Americans."
The Marijuana Justice Act seeks to reverse decades of failed drug policy that has disproportionately impacted low-income communities and communities of color. Beyond removing marijuana from the list of controlled substances - making it legal at the federal level - the bill would also automatically expunge the convictions of those who have served federal time for marijuana use and possession offenses, and it would reinvest in the communities most impacted by the failed War on Drugs through a community fund. This community reinvestment fund could be used for projects such as job training programs, re-entry services, and community centers.
The bill would also incentivize states through the use of federal funds to change their marijuana laws if those laws were shown to have a disproportionate effect on low-income individuals and/or people of color.
By going further than simply rescheduling marijuana with expungement and community reinvestment, Booker, Lee, and Khanna's bill is the most far-reaching marijuana legislation ever to be introduced in Congress.
The bill is retroactive and would apply to those already serving time behind bars for marijuana-related offenses, providing for a judge's review of marijuana sentences.
Full text of the bill is here.
Background on Booker's leadership on issues of marijuana and criminal justice:
Booker has seen the effects of our broken marijuana laws first-hand, dating back to his time as a tenant lawyer, City Council member, and Mayor of Newark, where he created the city's first office of prisoner re-entry to help formerly incarcerated individuals re-integrate into their communities.
In the Senate, Booker was an outspoken critic of former Attorney General Jeff Sessions' effort to revive the failed War on Drugs. Most recently, he pressed Trump's newest pick for Attorney General, William Barr, on his stance on marijuana legalization and the Cole memo, winning a commitment from Barr to leave alone states that have already legalized marijuana.
In addition to the Marijuana Justice Act, Booker is the co-author of the bipartisan CARERS Act, which would allow patients to access medical marijuana in states where it's legal without fear of federal prosecution, and the bipartisan REDEEM Act, which would allow nonviolent drug offenders to petition a court to seal and expunge their drug offenses, while automatically sealing, and in some cases expunging, the nonviolent records of juveniles. These reforms would reduce a major barrier that formerly incarcerated individuals face when attempting to rejoin society. He is also a cosponsor of the Fair Chance Act, which prohibits the federal government and federal contractors from asking about the criminal history of a job applicant prior to a conditional offer of employment. Earlier this month, the Fair Chance Act passed out of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee.
Booker was a key architect of the First Step Act, the most sweeping overhaul of our criminal justice system in a decade, which passed the Senate on December 18, 2018, and was signed into law on December 21. Booker was instrumental in adding key sentencing provisions to the package after opposing the House-passed version of the First Step Act first released in May 2018. The sentencing provisions in the final bill include: reducing the "three strikes" penalty from life in prison to 25 years; giving judges greater discretion to circumvent mandatory minimum sentences when warranted; eliminating the so-called "stacking" of mandatory minimum sentence enhancements related to certain firearm offenses; and making retroactive a 2010 law that reduced the egregious sentencing disparities between crack and powder cocaine -- disparities that overwhelmingly and disproportionately affect African-Americans.
Booker also successfully fought to include provisions that effectively eliminate the solitary confinement of juveniles in federal supervision.
The legislation also includes provisions Booker has long advocated for that ban the shackling of pregnant inmates and require that healthcare products be provided to incarcerated women.

Monday, December 31, 2018

African-American women to head two of Missouri's largest courts

Judge Robin Ransom

Starting in January, African-American women will lead two of the busiest courthouses in Missouri for the first time in history.

Judge Gloria Reno was elected the presiding judge of the 21st Circuit in St. Louis County in October and began serving that month, because her predecessor had retired. Judge Robin Ransom will become presiding judge of the 22nd Circuit, which hears cases in St. Louis, in January.

Presiding judges handle some administrative work for the courts, such as deciding which judges will handle what types of cases. As presiding judge in the city, Ransom handles most preliminary matters, like motions to dismiss.

p>The two women were elected to the presiding judge post by their fellow judges — something Ransom called an honor and privilege.

"These are people that you work with and you respect, but you don’t understand the level of confidence that people really have in you until your own colleagues support you for a position of this nature,” she said.
Reno agreed.
Judge Gloria Reno
“It’s always really nice when you get the support of your peers, even more so than when it’s coming from outside,” she said. “The fact that people you have worked with for a number of years have this kind of faith and confidence in you.”

Both judges hope that will allow people who distrust the system a space to be heard.

“When I walk into a room, it’s very obvious that I’m a black female,” Ransom said. “I don’t need to announce that. I think the one thing that makes me very proud in this role with those two particular identifying factors is that we’ve had a lot of stressors in our communities over the last few years. I’m hoping that in our roles, we can really get to some of those people who don’t feel that they’re represented and let them know that just because a decision doesn’t go your way, it doesn’t mean that we’re not listening.”

Reno added: “The fact that we are here, in these positions, I think, is an indication that the system works. I believe that it may, of course, foster some trust.”

Both women say they want to use their positions as the public face of the courts to encourage jury service. Both will also push for the expansion of diversion programs like mental health or drug courts, which allow defendants facing low-level charges to go through intensive treatment in exchange for having the charges dropped.

“It costs a lot of money to incarcerate a person,” Reno said. “This is a cheaper way of dealing with those who come into the courts for alcohol, for drugs and for mental-health issues.”
Reno, as presiding judge in St. Louis County, also has oversight authority of the county’s 82 municipal courts, which handle minor ordinance violations. Many are facing lawsuits for violating the rights of defendants.

Reform is a work in progress, she said.

“We’re making sure that all of the judges on our muni courts are certified, that all the muni courts operate the way any other court would, with proper signage, with the separation of powers.”
Reno says she hopes to have all 82 municipal courts online by the end of her first year as presiding judge.

“If we are really making real progress in that, I think I’ll consider that to be a positive, for sure,” she said.

Ransom said she wants to spend her first year getting 15- to 25-year-olds excited about “the court system, the judiciary, their city where they live.

“I have so many people that I run into every single day, and they have nothing good to say about their futures or their city,” she said. Success will be “if after 12 months, I can say I’ve reached out to some of those people and had some of our younger kids from the city really appreciate not only where they live, but to appreciate that this is the best system that I think we have.”

Presiding judge terms generally last for two years, but Ransom may leave before her term is complete: She is one of three finalists for a seat on the Missouri Court of Appeals.

Sunday, December 30, 2018

After 3 plus decades in prison Mumia Abu-Jamal granted right of appeal

A judge in Philadelphia has reinstated appeal rights to former Black Panther Mumia Abu-Jamal — convicted of killing a city police officer more than 30 years ago — who has long maintained his innocence as his case gained international attention.

Advocates of Abu-Jamal praised the decision by Philadelphia Common Pleas Judge Leon Tucker as a significant development toward winning the freedom of a man whose case generated decades of protest and thousands of supporters in the "Free Mumia" movement.

"This is an unheard of legal victory," said Rachel Wolkenstein, former lawyer and longtime activist for Abu-Jamal. "This is the best opportunity we have had for Mumia's freedom in decades."

Abu-Jamal has been incarcerated since his 1982 conviction for killing white Philadelphia Police Officer Daniel Faulkner in a racially charged case. The judge who issued the latest decision called the case one of the most polarizing shootings in the city's history. In 2011, prosecutors dropped the execution case against Abu-Jamal because of flawed jury instructions and instead agreed to a sentence of life in prison.

For years, Abu-Jamal's attempts at securing a new trial were denied. In the latest legal argument, his lawyers argued that Pennsylvania Supreme Court Justice Ronald Castille should not have presided over Abu-Jamal's appeals battles. Castille was formerly Philadelphia's district attorney whose office fought to keep the activist and prolific writer behind bars.

Castille refused calls from Abu-Jamal's supporters to recuse himself from hearing the appeal, saying he never directly worked on the case. In 2012, Abu-Jamal's advocates thought he lost his final appeal when the state Supreme Court rejected a claim challenging the validity of forensic evidence that was used to convict him.

In his legal opinion on Thursday, Tucker said Castille made the wrong choice, because even the appearance of being biased can be damaging to the judicial system.

"The claim of bias, prejudice and refusal of former Justice Castille to recuse himself is worthy of consideration as true justice must be completely just without even a hint of partiality, lack of integrity or impropriety," Tucker wrote.

Tucker's ruling has breathed new life into the hopes of Abu-Jamal's supporters that he may one day be granted freedom.


Saturday, September 29, 2018

Georgia county swears in first elected black judge

The first African-American to be elected to any countywide position in Gwinnett County, Georgia, was sworn in as a judge Thursday afternoon.

Ronda Colvin-Leary, a Snellville attorney, won the seat in May. While multiple African-American judges have been appointed to serve on magistrate, juvenile and recorders courts, Colvin-Leary is the first to win an election for state court, the county’s Administrative Office of the Courts confirmed after her election.

Colvin-Leary has been a member of the Georgia bar since 2001, after earning a law degree from Florida Coastal School of Law and an undergraduate degree from Auburn University. Before her election, she was the solicitor for the city of Winder and ran her own law practice in Lawrenceville for more than a decade.

Gwinnett County State Court handles civil actions, misdemeanors and traffic violations. Colvin-Leary likes the court’s role in the judicial system because it can address more minor legal issues before they escalate, she told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution after her election.

“I love State Court because, for me, I like to think that … if you come to State Court we can try to address it before something else major happens and you wind up in Superior Court for a more serious offense,” Colvin-Leary said.


Thursday, August 09, 2018

Wesley Bell wins primary, will be next St. Louis County Prosector

Wesley Bell, who cast himself as a reformer committed to changing a local criminal justice system widely criticized following the 2014 killing of black and unarmed teenager Michael Brown by a white police officer, won St. Louis County’s Democratic primary for top prosecutor on Tuesday in a major upset.

Bell, a city council member in Ferguson, Missouri, where Brown was killed, defeated Robert McCulloch, who had served in the prosecutor’s post since 1991. McCulloch was harshly criticized by many for failing to file charges against the officer who shot Brown, and Tuesday’s vote was widely seen as a referendum by local residents on his handling of the case.

Bell’s primary victory effectively means he is set to become St. Louis County’s next prosecuting attorney, given that he faces no Republican challenger in November’s general election.

Bell, 43, campaigned on pledges to never seek the death penalty, eliminate cash bail for nonviolent offenses, publicly oppose legislation that would create new mandatory minimum sentences for some crimes and adopt other policies that advocates for criminal justice reform favor.

He won the endorsements of numerous progressive groups, including influential political action committees such as activist Shaun King’s Real Justice and Color of Change, both of which focus on electing reform-minded prosecutors.


Wednesday, May 02, 2018

Oregon Supreme Court gets first African-American justice

Adrienne Nelson made history this year, becoming the first African-American to be appointed to the Oregon Supreme Court in its 158-year history.

Nelson relocated to Oregon after graduating from the University of Texas School of Law in 1993 to be closer to family. She practiced law in Portland for several years before becoming a Multnomah County circuit judge in 2006. Nelson was appointed to Oregon’s highest court by Gov. Kate Brown on Jan. 2.

As she transitions to her new role, Justice Nelson wants to continue to address issues that are important to all Oregonians. She says she believes the most important ones are those that people don’t feel entirely comfortable talking about.

“There are so many issues that are going on in our society right now, and I would say that the biggest issue isn’t a legal issue,” Nelson says. “Rather, I believe civility and the ability to have conversations around hard topics is most critical for our country.”

The access-to-justice gap is another critical issue for Justice Nelson. She has held “listening sessions” at various community locations, allowing residents to share their experiences and concerns about the justice system.

“The goal was twofold,” Nelson explains. “It was to acknowledge that there was a gap between the perception of justice for people who came before us and my colleagues, as well as to figure out—once we identify that—where do we go from there to educate each other.”

Nelson believes she owes her success in the legal field to the inspiration she finds in people from all walks of life. And she says she hopes to continue to uphold the law as an equalizer that gives voice to people and issues that otherwise may not have support.

“People won’t always remember what you said or what you did, but they’ll remember how you made them feel, and I think that’s very important and something I try to live by,” Nelson says.


Friday, October 27, 2017

95-year-old black judge celebrates 50 years on federal bench

Judge Damon J. Keith thinks back on his 50 years on the federal bench and remembers many tumultuous and significant times, including being sued by President Richard Nixon after ruling that wiretapping couldn't be done without a court order.

The 95-year-old from Detroit, the only African-American among six current federal judges who have served 50 or more years according to the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts, still hears cases about four times a year at the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati. His approach — in or out of the spotlight, on or off the bench — is the same: Fight for the Constitution, not with each other.

"Just treat everyone with dignity," said Keith, who will be honored at a gala Saturday in Detroit for reaching the half-century mark.

The phrase "Equal justice under law," which is etched onto the U.S. Supreme Court building in Washington, drives Keith and reminds him of lessons Thurgood Marshall taught him as one of his professors at Howard University. Marshall became the first black Supreme Court justice in October 1967 — the same month Keith, a prominent lawyer in his own right by then, was appointed to the federal bench.

He recalled Marshall saying, "The white men wrote those four words. When you leave Howard, I want you to go out and practice law and see what you can do to enforce those four words."

"And that's what I've tried to do," Keith said last week at Detroit's historic federal court building, where he's had an office since President Lyndon B. Johnson appointed him to the federal district court 50 years ago.

In 1970, Keith ordered a bus policy and new boundaries in the Pontiac, Michigan, school district to break up racial segregation.

A year later, he made another groundbreaking decision, finding that Hamtramck, Michigan, illegally destroyed black neighborhoods in the name of urban renewal with the federal government's help. The remedy was 200 housing units for blacks. The court case is still alive decades later due to disputes over property taxes and the slow pace of construction.

Read more: 95-year-old black judge celebrates 50 years on federal bench

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Black judge removes Mississippi flag with Confederate emblem from courtroom

Carlos Moore made history this week when he took to the bench as the first African-American municipal judge in Clarksdale, Mississippi. Then he made a ruckus.

On his first day on the job, Moore ordered officials to remove the Mississippi state flag from his courtroom, because that flag contains the Confederate emblem in its upper left corner.

"It was such a great feeling to see the police officer drag the despicable flag from the courtroom during open court. Great first day!" the judge posted on Facebook on Monday.

In Moore's eyes, the Mississippi state flag doesn't stand for justice and instead shows the state supports the Confederacy's legacy of slavery, he told WATN-TV in Memphis.

Another factor in Moore's decision was the fact that a lot of the people who will stand before him in court will be African-Americans.

"Most of the people that appear before me will be African-American, and they need to feel that the courtroom is gonna be a place they can get justice," he said. "That flag does not stand for justice."

It isn't the first time Moore has fought the flag. He filed a federal lawsuit seeking an injunction to stop the state from flying the flag and to rule that its design is unconstitutional. But US District Judge Carlton W. Reeves tossed the suit out last year.


Saturday, June 17, 2017

Camille Cosby slams the press and the DA in statement after mistrial

Camille Cosby, the wife of Bill Cosby released a statement after a mistrial was declared in Cosby's sexual assault trial. A statement in which she slammed the judge, the media, and the district attorney handling the case. Read that statement below.

Camille Cosby:

“How do I describe the District Attorney? Heinously and exploitively ambitious. How do I describe the judge? Overtly and arrogantly collaborating with the District Attorney. How do I describe the counsels for the accusers? Totally unethical. How do I describe many, but not all, general media? Blatantly vicious entities that continually disseminated intentional omissions of truths for the primary purpose of greedily selling sensationalism at the expense of a human life.

Historically, people have challenged injustices. I am grateful to any of the jurors who tenaciously fought to review the evidence; which is the rightful way to make a sound decision ... ultimately, that is a manifestation of justice, based on facts, not lies. As a very special friend once stated, ‘truth can be subdued, but not destroyed.’

Moreover, I express humongous gratitude to counselors Brian McMonagle and Angela Agrusa for their hard work. Mr. McMonagle for his passionate and powerful articulations of truths; Ms. Agrusa for her thorough research to bolster Counsel McMonagle; to Mr. Andrew Wyatt for his unequivocal skills in public relations; to our team, who worked diligently and intelligently; to our staffs for their continuous commitment to our family and me ... and to our children, grandchildren, and other family who loves us ... and to our dear friends and supporters, who never gave up on us, despite it all.”

Wednesday, April 19, 2017


Police are calling the death of Judge Sheila Abdus-Salaam suspicious because there is no clear indication of suicide or criminality.

"We're looking it at as a suspicious death at this point. We haven't found any clear indications of criminality, but at this point we can't say for sure. We're hoping if anyone could shed any light into the hours before her disappearance, it would help us establish what happened," said Stephen Davis, NYPD Spokesman.

The Medical Examiner is still planning to perform an autopsy on Abdus-Salaam, after the body of the 65-year-old Court of Appeals judge washed up on the shore of the Hudson River.

Police say Abdus-Salaam was last seen around 7 p.m. Monday, then spoke last Tuesday morning with her assistant by phone. Detectives are now looking for any possible surveillance video in her Harlem neighborhood, for any clues to how and why she ended up in the Hudson.


Monday, February 20, 2017

10 Years in Jail and Still No Trial for Murder Suspect

Kharon Davis has spent nearly 10 years in jail. He’s had four sets of attorneys, with two judges on the bench. His co-defendants’ cases have wrapped up. Davis has appeared in court for several hearings, and a new prosecutor is assigned.

But Davis has had no trial. There’s been no jury, no verdict, no conviction. Police say he killed a man in a drug deal gone wrong, but he hasn’t had his day in court. He’s charged with capital murder and could face the death penalty. Trial dates have come and gone, and it’s now scheduled for September. By then, 10 years and three months will have passed since the crime.

The Constitution guarantees suspects “the right to a speedy trial.” Capital cases often take a year or longer to get to trial, but 10 years is rare — experts call it shocking and say it could be unconstitutional. Prisoner advocates and court-watchers say such delays take an exhaustive toll on suspects stuck behind bars and on victims’ families, who are robbed of closure that can come from trials.

Davis’ mother says her son is innocent but hasn’t had the chance to prove it in court, and his health is suffering because of the long stretch in jail.

“It’s like they snatched up my child, put him in a cage and threw away the key,” Chrycynthia Ward Davis said.

Read more: 10 Years in Jail and Still No Trial for Murder Suspect

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Dylann Roof will not use mental health to avoid death penalty

Convicted murderer Dylann Roof will not ask jurors to take his mental health into consideration next month during the death penalty phase of his trial for killing nine black churchgoers in Charleston, South Carolina.

In a handwritten note filed in a South Carolina federal court on Friday, Roof, an avowed white supremacist, wrote, "I will not be calling mental health experts or presenting mental health evidence."

Roof was found guilty on Thursday of 33 charges of federal hate crimes after a six-day trial featuring harrowing testimony about the night of June 17, 2015, when he attended Bible study at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church before opening fire on the parishioners.

Roof's decision not to call mental health experts or present mental health evidence came after he called the field of psychology a "Jewish invention" in his journal, part of which was read aloud at his trial earlier this month.

"I am morally opposed to psychology. It is a Jewish invention that does nothing but invent diseases and tell people they have problems when they don't," Roof wrote.

The jury is scheduled to begin hearing evidence on Jan. 3 in the second phase of the trial, which will determine whether Roof faces execution.


Wednesday, December 07, 2016

Black people, if black lives matter then we have to stop ducking jury duty.

If we are really tired of police officers always being acquitted by juries after killing unarmed black men then we as black people have to stop ducking jury duty and serve on these juries. Listen to more below.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Loretta Lynch comments on Terence Crutcher, Keith Lamont Scott shootings

A the International Bar Association’s 2016 Annual Conference on Wednesday, U.S. Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch commented on the police-shooting deaths of two black men in Tulsa, Okla., and Charlotte, N.C., according to a Department of Justice press release. She made the following comments:

“On Monday the Justice Department opened a civil rights investigation into the death of Terence Crutcher in Tulsa, Oklahoma,” she said. “As always, the Justice Department will be thorough, impartial and exhaustive in reaching a determination about this incident.”

“The Department of Justice is aware of, and we are assessing, the incident that led to the death of Keith Lamont Scott in Charlotte. We are in regular contact with local authorities as their investigation into the shooting begins to unfold,” Lynch added.

“These tragic incidents have once again left Americans with feelings of sorrow, anger and uncertainty,” Lynch said. “They have once again highlighted—in the most vivid and painful terms—the real divisions that still persist in this nation between law enforcement and communities of color.”

“Protest is protected by our Constitution and is a vital instrument for raising issues and creating change,” she said. “But when it turns violent, it undermines the very justice that it seeks to achieve, and I urge those demonstrating in Charlotte to remain peaceful in their expressions of protest and concern.”


Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Complaint filed seeking to disbar Marilyn Mosby

I believe that Mosby shouldn't be disbarred or that she should step down. I do believe that the 3 cases so far were not handled well. I also believe there is a case to be made against the six officers but Mosby's office did not/is not making it. George L. Cook III

The prosecutor at the center of the Freddie Gray case has been slapped with a complaint seeking her disbarment. A law professor at George Washington University School of Law has filed the disciplinary complaint with the Attorney Grievance Commission of Maryland against Baltimore State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby. has learned that the complaint seeks the disbarment of Mosby for her conduct regarding the investigation and prosecution the six police officers for the death of Freddie Gray.

According to the complaint, filed by Prof. John F. Banzhaf, Mosby violated multiple provisions of the Maryland Lawyer’s Rules of Professional Conduct (RPC) including withholding exculpatory evidence, making improper public statements and continuing to prosecute a case after there is insufficient evidence to support a conviction.
Read more: Freddie Gray Prosecutor Marilyn Mosby Slammed With Complaint Seeking Her Disbarment

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

No indictment in Sandra Bland case

A grand jury has decided not to indict anyone in the case of Sandra Bland, whose death in police custody raised questions of excessive force and the role of race.

The grand jury met for more than eight hours Monday.

"After reviewing all the evidence in the death of Sandra Bland, a Waller grand jury did not return an indictment in the death of Bland, nor were any indictments returned against any employee of the Waller County Jail," said Darrell Jordan, a special prosecutor handling the case.

The grand jury will reconvene in January to consider other indictments.

Read more; Grand jury decides against indictments in Sandra Bland case

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Jury deadlocked in William Porter's trial in Freddie Gray case

From WMAR (Baltimore) 4 PM Eastern time 12/15/15.

The jury in the trial of Officer William Porter sent a note to Judge Barry Williams saying they were deadlocked.

Judge Williams called the jury back in, instructed them again, and sent them back to continue deliberation.