Archive for the ‘Crime’ Category
An Ohio man tasted freedom for the first time in nearly 30 years Tuesday after DNA evidence showed he did not rape an 11-year-old girl and a judge vacated his conviction.
“It finally happened, I’ve been waiting,” Raymond Towler, 52, said as he hugged sobbing family members in the courtroom.
Towler had been serving a life sentence for the rape of a girl in a Cleveland park in 1981. He was exonerated with help from the Ohio Innocence Project, an organization that uses DNA evidence to clear people wrongfully convicted of crimes. The organization says Towler was among the longest incarcerated people to be exonerated by DNA in U.S. history. The project adds that the longest was a man freed in Florida in December after serving 35 years.
Despite the wasted decades, in a sense, Towler is lucky because he received a life sentence, which bought him the time to prove his innocence. Others are not so fortunate. According to a 2008 Justice Department report, death row waits rose from seven years in 1986 to 12 years in 2006. Though the waiting time has nearly doubled, had Towler received a seven, or 12-year sentence death sentence, he would have been killed by the state before given the opportunity to prove his innocence using the best science available.
A few days ago, I revisited the definition of the word “terrorism” after Dr. Tiller’s killer, Scott Roeder, threw a public fit and accused prosecutors of besmirching his good name when they described his crimes as terrorism. Well, it looks like it’s time for another dictionary perusal.
Some pedophile priests believe molesting children does not breach their vow of celibacy, a retired Australian Catholic bishop said in a magazine interview.
Geoffrey Robinson, former auxiliary bishop of Sydney, told The Australian Women’s Weekly he had made the observation during years of work with victims of child abuse within the church.
“We’ve met it often enough to see it as a factor. That’s what the vow of celibacy refers to, being married. If it’s not an adult woman, then somehow they’re not breaking their vow,” the 72-year-old said.
1. Abstinence from sexual intercourse, especially by reason of religious vows.
2. The condition of being unmarried.
I don’t see any mention of “adult” or “woman” in this definition.
A Santa Cruz County Superior Court judge denied a motion by a stun-gun manufacturer to dismiss a civil lawsuit filed by a man who claims he suffered permanent injuries after being shocked by one of the weapons in 2006.
Monday, Judge Jeff Almquist turned down the request by TASER International that would have ended the case. Almquist also fined TASER International $15,000 for delaying the court process, according to court documents.
Watsonville resident Steve Butler, now 51, is seeking lifetime medical costs in the suit. The trial is set for Aug. 2.
In 2006, Steve Butler was riding a bus when a police officer ordered him to get off. Steve admits he was drunk, and he refused the order. That’s when the officer tasered Steve. Three times.
A jaw-dropping new study by the Bureau of Justice Statistics reveals that thousands of children are raped and molested every year while in the government’s care, usually by the very officials charged with their rehabilitation and protection. These findings are actually much worse than any numbers previously reported by the media.
The report summary, written by David Kaiser and Lovisa Stannow, and which should be read in its entirety, describes a nationwide epidemic that has been made worse by the overcrowding of prisons.
12.1 percent of kids taking the BJS survey across the country said they’d been sexually abused at their current facility during the preceding year. That’s approximately 3,220 out of the 26,550 who were eligible to take it.
And these figures are most likely low. Some prisoners hesitate to report abuse due to fear of retaliation from other prisoners or staff (80 percent of the abuse reported in the study was perpetrated by staff, and surprisingly, 95 percent of the youth making such allegations said they were victimized by female staff.) These prisoners are also unlikely to receive medical treatment after they are assaulted.
34 percent of these youth are in prison for non-violent crimes (not that violent crime perpetrators deserve this treatment either, but this detail seems particularly sad to me).
Rolando Ruiz is the man featured in yet another taser video making the rounds on Youtube. Ruiz was in police custody after being arrested by a Minneapolis police officer for reportedly throwing a brick at an officer’s vehicle.
Ruiz, who is 18-years-old, is seen in the video with his hands on the car before the officer appears to hold the taser to the back of Ruiz’s neck for 15 seconds.
Chief Tim Dolan called the video “very disturbing” and has asked the FBI to review it.
We’re always told tasers are the “safe” alternative to deadly force, and that police officers need to carry electric guns for purposes of self-defense only. This video appears to shatter the self-defense myth as does this recent story about a 51-year-old man, who was shot dead by officers after trying to escape his tasering.