Carruth Podcast Tells How NFL Star Rae Carruth Became a Killer

Breakfast reading from the Voice Media empire: Carruth a new true-crime podcast, tells the story of Rae Carruth, a gifted wide receiver who was playing for the NFL’s Carolina Panthers when he was arrested for conspiring to murder Cherica Adams in 1999, when she was eight months pregnant. Cherica’s child, Chancellor Adams, survived the ordeal but suffers […]

The post Carruth Podcast Tells How NFL Star Rae Carruth Became a Killer appeared first on True Crime Report.

Breakfast reading from the Voice Media empire: Carruth a new true-crime podcast, tells the story of Rae Carruth, a gifted wide receiver who was playing for the NFL’s Carolina Panthers when he was arrested for conspiring to murder Cherica Adams in 1999, when she was eight months pregnant. Cherica’s child, Chancellor Adams, survived the ordeal but suffers [...]

The post Carruth Podcast Tells How NFL Star Rae Carruth Became a Killer appeared first on True Crime Report.

from http://www.truecrimereport.com

Safe Injection Sites Protected by ‘Obscure’ Federal Provision, Claims Researcher

Justice Department officials say they will prosecute any city or state that opens a safe injection site for opioid addicts, but a law professor argues in the Boston College Law Review that a clause in the federal Controlled Substance Act already makes such sites legal.

An “obscure” provision of the 1970 Controlled Substances Act protects states or cities who establish safe injection sites from federal prosecution, claims a forthcoming paper in the Boston College Law Review.

Safe injection sites, where substance abusers can self-administer drugs in a controlled environment under medical supervision, are recommended by some experts as a way to save lives in the opioid epidemic, and help individuals get supervised counseling.

At least 13 cities and states are considering them, and four cities—New York, Philadelphia, San Francisco, and Seattle—have announced plans to open sites. But the Department of Justice, reflecting the view of critics who claim they will encourage drug use and crime, has pledged “swift and aggressive action” against any jurisdiction that tries to start one.

In a New York Times op ed last August, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein warned such sites would be prosecuted under federal laws that make it a felony to “maintain any location for the purpose of facilitating illicit drug use.”

“Proponents of injection sites say they make drug use safer, but they actually create serious public safety risks,” wrote Rosenstein in his opinion column, entitled, “Fight Drug Abuse, Don’t Subsidize It.”

“Additionally, injection sites destroy the surrounding community. When drug users flock to a site, drug dealers follow, bringing with them violence and despair, posing a danger to neighbors and law-abiding visitors. ”

The feds say that government-run injection sites violate the so-called “crack house statute” passed in the mid-1980s making it a crime to make property available to others “for the purpose of unlawfully manufacturing, storing, distributing, or using a controlled substance.”

However, Alex Kreit, a visiting professor at the Drug Enforcement and Policy Center at the Ohio State University Moritz College of Law, claims the Act  also contains an “obscure provision that immunizes officials” who violate federal drug laws in the course of “the enforcement of any law or municipal ordinance relating to controlled substances.”

“This provision was almost surely intended to protect state and local police officers who possess and distribute drugs in connection with undercover operations,” Kreit wrote in his forthcoming Boston College Law Review article.

“But, I argue, the text of the immunity provision and the little case law that exists interpreting it suggests it could shield government-run safe injection sites from federal interference.”

Insight

Photo courtesy Vancouver Insite.

According to Kreit, safe injection sites are the “next battlefield” in the ongoing conflict between state and federal drug laws.

Kreit observed that the debate about safe injection sites so far has largely been over whether federal prosecutors would overlook the “crack house” statute, in the same way that they have been asked to turn a blind eye to marijuana use in states that have legalized it.

But he says the loophole in existing law may make the debate irrelevant.

“Indeed, it is even possible that the provision could immunize a privately run facility, if the operators were formally deputized as “duly authorized officer[s]” in connection with a state or local safe injection law,” he wrote.

He conceded that Trump administration is unlikely to be persuaded, but he noted there was already widespread bipartisan support for finding alternatives to the nation’s failed “war on drugs.”

“It is possible, of course, that the political winds will shift again, especially since the Trump administration has taken steps to revive the drug war,” he added. “But, if support for replacing the war on drugs with a new strategy does continue to grow, a lingering question is what the new strategy will look like.

“Safe injection sites may provide a perfect test case.”

Safe injection sites have been operating for decades in other countries, including Canada, and a wealth of evidence suggests they can reduce overdose deaths and the spread of blood-borne diseases among injection drug users, said Kreit.

The site operated on the east side of Vancouver, Canada, called Insite, claims nearly 16,000 people have safely used its facilities since it opened in 2006, and is currently visited by an average 720 individuals daily.

The full article is available here.

This summary was prepared by TCR News Intern J. Gabriel Ware. Readers’ comments are welcome.

from https://thecrimereport.org

Gun Control a Big Issue in More Races This Fall

“There’s no question 2018 is stacking up as the year candidates are running on gun safety in order to win elections,” said John Feinblatt of Everytown for Gun Safety.

When Democrat Chrissy Houlahan began running for Congress in Pennsylvania, people told the military veteran and former high school teacher to stay away from one topic: Gun control. She ignored the advice. Since she announced her candidacy, there have been a rash of mass shootings, including the one in February in Parkland, Fl. Supporting major gun-control policies, she has been endorsed by gun-safety groups and is favored to win a newly redrawn seat that in its last configuration has been long held by Republicans, reports Philly.com. The shift Houlahan noticed in the Sixth District is one that activists say is echoed nationwide. Gun control, once considered a third rail in U.S. politics, has emerged as a prominent issue, particularly in several key congressional districts.

Prospects for passing gun-control bills in Congress would improve immensely if Democrats capture the 23 seats they need to flip the House – which some polls suggest they might do – and gun-control platforms might improve their prospects. For many Republicans, gun rights remain a strong issue — but a lower-profile one this year. The National Rifle Association has spent more than $6 million so far, significantly less than its double-digit spends in past elections and than the $20 million being spent for the midterms by Everytown for Gun Safety. The latest Gallup Poll showed that more than 60 percent of Americans favor stricter gun control. It’s “one of the most defining issues for Democrats running for Congress and to retake the House this cycle,” said Peter Ambler of the Giffords gun-control organization. Guns have become an issue in some gubernatorial races, such as in Nevada, Florida, and Georgia. “There’s no question 2018 is stacking up as the year candidates are running on gun safety in order to win elections,” said John Feinblatt of Everytown for Gun Safety.

from https://thecrimereport.org

Trump May Shake Up Refugee Office Amid Caravan Furor

Lynn Johnson, a top official at the Department of Health and Human Services, which runs the refugee resettlement program, is conducting a “top to bottom” review of the program, three months after the migrant crisis paralyzed the agency.

The Trump administration is eyeing a shake-up of its refugee operation and scrutinizing its controversial director as President Trump steps up his call for another crackdown along the U.S.-Mexico border, Politico reports. Lynn Johnson, a top official at the Department of Health and Human Services, which runs the refugee resettlement program, is conducting what she called a “top to bottom” review of the program, three months after the migrant crisis paralyzed the agency. That includes examining the leadership of Scott Lloyd, director of the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR). Lloyd gained attention for his efforts to prevent teen migrants from getting abortions. Johnson’s review has taken on new urgency as Trump rails against the caravan of Central Americans heading across southern Mexico toward the U.S. border. The group has swelled to more than 5,000 people. “It’s a horrible thing. And it’s a lot bigger than 5,000 people,” Trump said on Monday. “And we got to stop them at the border.”

The refugee resettlement office came under fire last summer after the White House and the Homeland Security Department began separating families at the border. The health department was responsible for caring for separated children, and then for trying to reunite them with their families under a court order. Facing a public outcry over the children’s plight, HHS Secretary Alex Azar removed Lloyd from day-to-day operations. Azar has empowered Johnson, a longtime Colorado human services official, to make changes at the refugee office. At the height of the crisis, the HHS refugee office was caring for more than 2,000 migrant children that the Trump administration separated from their families at the border. Nearly 250 children separated at the border still remained in HHS custody as of last week. About 13,000 other migrant children also are in agency custody — the highest number ever.

from https://thecrimereport.org

Immigration Issue Key to Trump’s Strategy of Fear

The president is focusing on a caravan of 5,000 migrants traveling north to cross the U.S. border, a group he has darkly characterized as gang members, violent criminals and “unknown Middle Easterners” — a claim for which his administration has provided no concrete evidence.

President Trump has settled on a strategy of fear — laced with falsehoods and racially tinged rhetoric — to help lift his party to victory in the coming midterms, the Washington Post reports. Trump’s messaging offers an apocalyptic vision of the country, which he warns will only get worse if Democrats retake control of Congress. The president has been especially focused on a caravan of 5,000 migrants traveling north to cross the U.S. border, a group he has darkly characterized as gang members, violent criminals and “unknown Middle Easterners” — a claim for which his administration has so far provided no concrete evidence. “You’re going to find MS-13, you’re going to find Middle Eastern, you’re going to find everything. And guess what? We’re not allowing them in our country,” Trump said. “We want safety.”

The approach in many ways seeks to re-create the 2016 playbook that lifted Trump to the presidency, in which cultural flash points and controversies, like the specter of mass illegal migration, helped energize Trump’s supporters. The president believes his best contrast with Democrats is on immigration and is looking for a way to keep the issue in the news until the midterms, advisers said. Stephen Miller, Trump’s senior policy adviser who has long espoused hard-line immigration policies, is one of the chief authors of Trump’s rally messages, though the president often goes further than his prepared remarks. Unlike two years ago, Republicans are now more eagerly following the president’s cues, including in their own campaign rhetoric and ads. The overall strategy, Trump advisers and political operatives said, is to paint a portrait of a chaotic, dangerous world — with Trump and Republicans as the panacea.

from https://thecrimereport.org

Tech Firms Amazon, Palantir Key to Immigration Enforcement

A report commissioned by advocacy groups finds that tech companies, including Amazon and Palantir, are of special importance to immigration authorities “due to their involvement at multiple points in the profiling, tracking and apprehension of undocumented persons.”

A new report commissioned by advocacy groups finds that tech companies, including Amazon and Palantir, are of special importance to immigration authorities “due to their involvement at multiple points in the profiling, tracking and apprehension of undocumented persons,” Axios reports.

Contracts between major tech companies and immigration enforcers have drawn attention from the companies’ employees, some of whom object to playing a role in the Trump administration’s immigration crackdown. The report was backed by Mijente, the National Immigration Project, and the Immigrant Defense Project and produced by Empower LLC, an outside research firm.

It says that, “Recent changes in policy and contracting at ICE have heightened the importance of two key tech companies: Amazon, as the primary cloud service provider for the agency, and Palantir, as a provider of case management that can be integrated with key DHS fusion centers and local and state law enforcement agencies.

The report describes how the companies work with immigration authorities: Palantir provides “management and analysis software for local, regional and federal law enforcement, including key ICE systems” and Department of Homeland Security facilities in California. Amazon hosts “numerous state and federal data systems key to immigration enforcement, including Palantir’s Integrated Case Management system at ICE,” the report says, and works with state and local law enforcement that feed into DHS systems.

Winning government contracts typically requires authorizations for handling government data in the cloud, and Amazon has far more of those than many of its competitors. “[Amazon] has made wide use of these authorizations, serving as DHS’s database for immigration case management systems and biometric data for 230 million unique identities, mostly fingerprint records, as well as 36.5 million face records and 2.8 million irises,” said Mijente in a blog post.

from https://thecrimereport.org

GAO Finds Little Came from Trump’s Opioid Declaration

Amid fanfare last year, President Trump ordered his administration to declare a public health emergency over the opioid epidemic. The Government Accountability Office says the Trump administration has made use of only three authorities created by the declaring of a public health emergency.

Amid fanfare last year, President Trump ordered his administration to declare a public health emergency over the opioid epidemic. “As Americans, we cannot allow this to continue,” Trump said “It is time to liberate our communities from this scourge of drug addiction.” A new report from the Government Accountability Office (GAO) looked at the results of that emergency declaration. The report found little came out of the declaration, reports Vox. GAO found that the declaration enabled the Trump administration to make use of three new authorities — clearing paperwork requirements for a survey of health care providers about addiction treatment, allowing two states to move forward faster with programs to address the opioid crisis, and expediting support for research about opioid addiction and overdoses. That’s not groundbreaking, particularly for an overdose crisis that’s broken records for overdose deaths year over year, reaching an estimated 72,000 in 2017.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), one of those who requested the GAO report, said, “I’ve asked this administration time and time again to show what actions they are taking to meaningfully address this crisis. No response. To me, it looks like empty words and broken promises. Hand-waving about faster paperwork and speeding up a few grants is not enough.” Trump’s emergency declaration is emblematic of the federal response to the opioid crisis so far: Despite a lot of promises and self-congratulating by the federal government on what it’s done, experts say that the White House and Congress need to go much further than they have so far, particularly when it comes to new dollars for addiction treatment. The Trump administration has only used three of 17 authorities that the GAO found in connection to the emergency declaration.

from https://thecrimereport.org

Tuesday round-up

Tuesday round-upAmy Howe reports for this blog that last night the Supreme Court “gave the federal government a partial victory … in a dispute over discovery in the challenge to the government’s decision to reinstate a question about citizenship on the 2020 census” when,  “[w]ithout any publicly recorded objections, the justices kept on hold plans to […]

The post Tuesday round-up appeared first on SCOTUSblog.

Tuesday round-up

Amy Howe reports for this blog that last night the Supreme Court “gave the federal government a partial victory … in a dispute over discovery in the challenge to the government’s decision to reinstate a question about citizenship on the 2020 census” when,  “[w]ithout any publicly recorded objections, the justices kept on hold plans to depose Wilbur Ross, the Secretary of Commerce, about the decision.” At The Washington Post, Robert Barnes reports that “[t]he court’s action makes it unlikely that Ross will have to give a deposition in the case but allows the suit to go forward, at least temporarily.” Brent Kendall reports for The Wall Street Journal that the justices “did leave open the challengers’ ability to gather information from elsewhere in the Trump administration, including by questioning Justice Department lawyer John Gore about his connection to the citizenship question.” Additional coverage comes from Richard Wolf at USA Today, Mark Sherman at the Associated Press, Stephen Dinan for The Washington Times, and Adam Liptak for The New York Times, who reports that “Justice Neil M. Gorsuch, joined by Justice Clarence Thomas, said the Supreme Court should have gone further, shutting down all pretrial fact-gathering in the census case.”

Briefly:

  • At the Associated Press, Jessica Gresko reports that retired Justice “Sandra Day O’Connor, the first woman on the Supreme Court, has stepped back from public life.”
  • Amy Howe reports for this blog, in a post first published at Howe on the Court, that “[t]he Supreme Court has once again been asked to weigh in on the case of a baker who refused to make a cake for a same-sex marriage celebration because doing so would violate the baker’s religious beliefs.”
  • In an op-ed for The Hill, Mark Miller urges the justices to review Marquette County Road Commission v. EPA, a which asks whether the EPA’s objections to a county road-project proposal are reviewable in court.
  • At the Cato Institute’s Cato at Liberty blog, Ilya Shapiro and Patrick Moran maintain that the court should grant cert in  Bernard Parish v. United States, a case involving flood damage allegedly resulting from the government’s failure to protect the banks of a canal in Louisiana from erosion, and make clear that “when the government, whether through action or inaction, takes private property, it has a distinct, well-established responsibility to compensate landowners.”
  • At the Harvard Law Review Blog, Richard Hasen worries that in North Carolina partisan-gerrymandering case Rucho v. Common Cause, “[t]he Court might do more than simply bar the creation of redistricting commissions via initiative”: “It could stifle the use of state constitutional law to rein in partisan gerrymandering.”
  • At SCOTUS OA, Tonja Jacobi and Matthew Sag explain that “[i]f you wanted to know which way Justice Gorsuch was going to vote in the 2017 Term, you could have placed your bets with 86% accuracy by observing just one statistic from oral argument—how many times Gorsuch interrupted each side.” 

We rely on our readers to send us links for our round-up.  If you have or know of a recent (published in the last two or three days) article, post, podcast, or op-ed relating to the Supreme Court that you’d like us to consider for inclusion in the round-up, please send it to roundup [at] scotusblog.com. Thank you!

The post Tuesday round-up appeared first on SCOTUSblog.

from http://www.scotusblog.com

How Larry Krasner is Remaking Philly D.A.’s office

Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner is one of about two dozen “progressive prosecutors” recently elected around the U.S. He may face an “insurmountable challenge” in trying to reduce mass incarceration, says The New Yorker.

Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner is one of about two dozen “progressive prosecutors,” many of them backed by George Soros, who have won recent district-attorney races. Krasner now oversees 537 employees, including 300 prosecutors, and an annual budget of $42 million. Krasner often talks about his ambition to make Philadelphia the best progressive D.A.’s office in the U.S., and he knows that he faces an almost insurmountable challenge, reports The New Yorker. Resistance comes not only from the lawyers he now supervises but also from some judges, many of whom are former prosecutors. “They are being forced to look back on their entire careers and say to themselves, ‘Did I get it all wrong as a prosecutor? Have I gotten it all wrong as a judge? All these years coming down with 25 years when it should’ve been ten? And ten when it could’ve been two?’”

Last month, Krasner greeted 38 young Assistant District Attorneys, known among the staff as “baby A.D.A.s,” at the start of an eight-week training period. This year’s A.D.A.s could have been forgiven for thinking that they had mistakenly wandered into training for public defenders. “Who here has read Michelle Alexander?” Krasner asked, citing the author of “The New Jim Crow,” an analysis of mass incarceration.  “Look at the stats. There are more people of color in jail, in prison, on probation and parole than there were in slavery at the beginning of the Civil War.” He reminded the trainees that “you represent people who are not victims of crime, people who are not defendants. You represent kids who are going to public schools … You represent—because you are stewards of an enormous amount of social resources—what their lives can be in ten or 15 years if resources are in those schools.”

from https://thecrimereport.org