Most Chicago Police Stops Last Year Justified, Report Finds

Retired federal magistrate judge Arlander Keys finds that 90 percent of Chicago police stops in the first half of 2016 were
good stops.” Blacks and Hispanics were more likely than whites to be subjected to “bad stops,” in which officers failed to articulate a legal reason for stopping someone.

Most stops that Chicago police officers made during the first half of 2016 appeared to be by the book, said a long-awaited report released Friday by retired federal magistrate judge Arlander Keys, the Chicago Sun-Times reports. Keys found what he termed a “good stop rate” of about 90 percent of the stops that he and his researchers reviewed. “This good stop rate, in isolation, certainly represents an excellent start by the [Chicago Police Department] to documenting investigatory stops,” Keys wrote. He noted that blacks and Hispanics are more likely than whites to be subjected to “bad stops,” in which officers failed to articulate a legal reason for stopping someone. Minorities also are more likely to be patted down by officers, he found.

Keys’ 400-plus-page report was the result of an agreement between the American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois and former police Superintendent Garry McCarthy reached in August 2015 after the American Civil Liberties Union criticized the Chicago Police Department for disproportionately stopping minorities and failing to list lawful reasons for stops on the “contact cards” they’re supposed to fill out. Under the agreement, the police agreed to broaden the information officers put on contact cards — such as whether someone was frisked, searched or arrested.

from https://thecrimereport.org

The Roberto Roman Cop Killer Murder Cases

     Just after midnight on January 5, 2010, Deputy Josie Fox of the Millard County Sheriff’s Office and her partner were watching, from a distance, a suspicious car and a pickup truck parked along the road near the tiny central Utah tow…

     Just after midnight on January 5, 2010, Deputy Josie Fox of the Millard County Sheriff's Office and her partner were watching, from a distance, a suspicious car and a pickup truck parked along the road near the tiny central Utah town of Delta. There had recently been a series of burglaries which had drawn the officers to the area. When the two suspicious vehicles departed the scene in opposite directions, Deputy Fox followed  the 1995 Cadillac DeVille. The officers knew the identity of the man in the other vehicle, the pickup truck. He was a known drug user named Ryan Greathouse who also happened to be Deputy Fox's brother.

     After Deputy Fox called in the license number of the Cadillac, registered to 38-year-old Roberto Miramontes Roman, the police dispatcher forwarded instructions to have the vehicle pulled over. A few minutes later, Deputy Fox radioed that she had pulled over Roman and was exiting the patrol car.

     Deputy Fox did not transmit further messages and was not responding to calls from the dispatcher. Concerned that the deputy's encounter with the driver of the Cadillac had resulted in her injury or death, Millard County Sergeant Rhett Kimball proceeded to the site of the stop to investigate. When the deputy rolled up to the scene, he saw Fox's patrol car lights flashing and the deputy lying on the road in a pool of blood. The 37-year-old police officer had been killed by two bullets fired at close range into her chest. (I imagine the bullets had pierced her bullet-proof vest.) Roberto Roman and his 1995 Cadillac were gone.

     After fleeing the scene en route to Salt Lake City, Roberto Roman got stuck in a snowbank near Nephi, Utah. He called his friend, 35-year-old Ruben Chavez-Reyes, for help. Chavez-Reyes pulled the Cadillac out of the snowbank, and from there the two men continued on to Salt Lake City. Along the way, Roman tossed the murder weapon, an AK-47 assault rifle, out the car window. When the two men arrived at their destination, Roman switched license plates with Chavez-Reyes. (He did not, however, clean traces of Deputy Fox's blood off his Cadillac.) Later that morning, Roman told his friend that he had "broke a cop," meaning that he had killed a police officer.

     Deputy Fox's partner, later that morning, questioned Ryan Greathouse at his home. The deceased deputy's brother said he had purchased drugs from the man in the Cadillac, a dealer he knew as "Rob." Greathouse gave the deputy Rob's phone number which identified this man as Roberto Roman. The deputy then informed Greathouse that Roman had shot and killed his sister with an AK-47 assault rifle.

     The next day, Millard County deputies arrested Roberto Roman whom they found hiding in a shed in Beaver, Utah. Once in custody, Roman provided the officers with a full confession. The suspect told his interrogators that when the patrol officer pulled him over outside of Delta, he was angry because he was being careful not to speed or cross over the center line. Furious that the cop was pulling him over simply because he was "Mexican," Roman shot her twice with his assault rifle. He did not know he had murdered the sister of the man who had just purchased meth from him.

     The Millard County prosecutor charged Roberto Roman with aggravated first-degree murder as well as with lesser weapons and evidence tampering offenses. If convicted of murdering a police officer, under Utah law, Roberto Roman faced the death penalty.

     In April 2010, more than four months after the shooting death of his sister, Ryan Greathouse was found dead from a meth overdose in the bedroom of a Las Vegas apartment.

     In 2011, Judge Donald Eyre presided over a two-day hearing to determine if Robert Roman would qualify for the death penalty. The judge, after listening to the testimony of psychologists, ruled that the defendant was "mentally retarded," and as such, ineligible under Utah law for execution. This ruling disappointed and mystified a lot of people. (I would imagine that most cop killers are either high on drugs and/or stupid. Since intoxication and mental dullness are not criminal defenses, I don't see why people who are not bright are spared execution. Moreover, courthouse psychologists think all criminals are stupid and should therefore be judged differently from their more intelligent counterparts. Psychologists should not be allowed inside a courthouse unless they have been charged with a crime.)

     The Roberto Roman murder trial got underway on August 13, 2012 in the Fourth District Court in Spanish Fork, Utah. After the prosecution rested its case four days later, the defendant took the stand on his own behalf. Rather than admitting his guilt as he had in his police confession, Roberto Roman offered the jurors a completely different story, one that was both self-serving and implausible.

     On the night of Deputy Fox's death, the defendant and the officer's brother Ryan Greathouse, were riding around in Roman's Cadillac smoking meth. When Deputy Fox pulled the car over outside Delta, Ryan, who was crouched down in the vehicle, grabbed the AK-47 and shot Fox in the chest, unaware he had just murdered his sister. After the shooting, the two men went their separate ways. The beauty of this story involved the fact Ryan Greathouse was not in position to contest the defendant's version of the murder.

     Prosecutor Pat Finlinson, in his closing summation, reminded the jurors of the physical evidence that supported the prosecution's theory of the case. The victim's bullet wounds indicated that the AK-47 had been fired at an angle consistent with being discharged by the driver of the Cadillac. Moreover, the defendant's fingerprints, not Ryan Greathouse's, were on the assault rifle.

     On August 20, 2012, a week after the Roberto Roman trial began, the jury, after deliberating eight hours, found the defendant not guilty of the aggravated first degree murder of Deputy Josie Fox. The jurors, in defending their unpopular verdict, said that without Roman's confession, they didn't have enough evidence to find him guilty.

     Roberto Roman became the first Utah defendant charged with the murder of a police officer to be acquitted since 1973. The jury did find him guilty of the lesser offenses pertaining to the assault rifle and the evidence tampering. On October 24, 2012, the judge sentenced Roman to the ten year maximum sentence for those crimes.

     The not guilty verdict in the Roberto Roman murder trial shocked and angered the law enforcement community, friends and relatives of the slain police officer, and a majority of citizens familiar with the case. Had Ryan Greathouse not died between the time of the shooting and Roman's trial, this case may have had a different ending. For a stupid person Roberto Roman had done a good job of beating a strong circumstantial case.

     In May 2013, David Barlow, the United States Attorney for the District of Utah, announced that a federal grand jury had returned an 11-count indictment against Roberto Roman for, among other crimes, the murder of Deputy Josie Fox. U.S. Attorney Barlow said, "The fact that Mr Roman had already been tried before a state court had no influence or affect on the federal murder charge [arising out of the same conduct]." In other words, according to this federal prosecutor, the Fifth Amendment protection against double jeopardy didn't apply in this case.

     The new federal charges against Roman, in addition to murder, included, among other offenses, drug trafficking and illegally firing a gun in the death of a police officer. If convicted as charged, Roman faced a maximum sentence of life in prison.

     In May 2014, Roman's attorneys filed a motion to dismiss the federal indictments on grounds their client should not have to stand trial for a federal murder charge related to the same crime. Attorney Jeremy Delicino said, "In layman's terms, the Untied States seeks a second chance to rectify what it believes the jury got wrong the first time. In blunt colloquial terms, the Unites States seeks a do-over."

     In response to the defense motion to dismiss the indictments, lawyers for the prosecution asserted that the U.S. Supreme Court had held that federal and state governments can prosecute a person for separate crimes based upon the same conduct.

     On September 30, 2014, U.S. District Court Judge David Nuffen ruled that prosecuting Roberto Roman for federal offenses related to the police officer's murder did not constitute double jeopardy. The federal case could therefore go forward.

     On February 6, 2017, a jury sitting in a Salt Lake City courtroom found Roberto Roman guilty of eight federal charges that included the murder of Deputy Fox. U.S. District Court Judge David Nuffen will sentence the cop killer on April 27, 2017.



      

from http://jimfishertruecrime.blogspot.com/

Will DOJ Pursue Recent Spate of Hate-Crime Allegations?

New Attorney General Jeff Sessions has said that states, not the federal government, should take the lead in prosecuting hate crimes. the motivation of many acts can be hard to prove.

Killings, threats, and vandalism across the U.S. have been quickly decried as hate crimes. They include the fatal stabbing of a homeless black man in New York City by a white Maryland man who police said had a long hatred of black men, and the killing in Kansas of a man from India and the wounding of another. Condemning a repugnant act as a hate crime is far easier than making that charge stick in court, and prosecutions could be even less frequent if the Justice Department shifts its approach under a new attorney general who has indicated that states should take the lead, reports the Washington Post. Some states lack hate crime laws. The majority that have them don’t agree on what acts qualify.

Winning a conviction means proving that a person was motivated, for instance, by the victim’s religion, race, ethnicity or sexual orientation. Arrests in a spate of bomb threats called in to Jewish schools and centers show how hard it can be to pin down motivation. Police say an Israeli teen arrested Thursday was behind most of the threats, his motives unclear. Sometimes motivation is obvious, sometimes not, said Steven Dettelbach, a former U.S. attorney in Ohio who has prosecuted hate crimes. “It’s an additional burden” he said, “but it can be done.” Federal prosecutors long have been the backstop for state officials when it comes to bringing hate crime cases. Attorney General Jeff Sessions opposed expanding federal hate crime protections as a senator and has signaled his preference for having states be the spearhead. That stance could have significant impact, given the patchwork of laws. Thomas Wheeler, who was general counsel to Vice President Pence when Pence was Indiana governor, has been designated by Sessions as the acting assistant attorney general overseeing civil rights cases.

from https://thecrimereport.org

White supremacist killed black man for a ‘rush’

The Baltimore white supremacist who came to the Big Apple to kill black people told police he thought he would get a thrill by slaughtering a young person — but was instead left in a confused “daze” after realizing he took the life of an old can collector, law-enforcement sources said Sunday. “He said he…

The Baltimore white supremacist who came to the Big Apple to kill black people told police he thought he would get a thrill by slaughtering a young person — but was instead left in a confused “daze” after realizing he took the life of an old can collector, law-enforcement sources said Sunday. “He said he...

from http://nypost.com

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This week at the court

This week at the courtWe expect orders from the March 24 conference on Monday at 9:30 a.m. There is a possibility of opinions on Tuesday and Wednesday at 10 a.m. The court will also hear oral arguments on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. The calendar for the March sitting is available on the court’s website. On Friday the justices will […]

The post This week at the court appeared first on SCOTUSblog.

This week at the court

We expect orders from the March 24 conference on Monday at 9:30 a.m. There is a possibility of opinions on Tuesday and Wednesday at 10 a.m. The court will also hear oral arguments on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. The calendar for the March sitting is available on the court’s website. On Friday the justices will meet for their March 31 conference; our list of “petitions to watch” for that conference will be available soon.

The post This week at the court appeared first on SCOTUSblog.

from http://www.scotusblog.com

One Dead, 14 Injured in Cincinnati Nightclub Shooting

Police identified no motive for the incident, which was reported as the worst mass shooting in the U.S. so far this year.

One person is dead and at least 14 more were injured in a shooting early Sunday morning at a Cincinnati-area nightclub called Cameo, the Cincinnati Enquirer reports. “It was a chaotic scene,” said police Sgt. Eric Franz. “The club was completely packed.” One man inside the club described seeing a “big brawl” break out before hearing at least 20 shots being fired. “It was a big gun because you heard it over the music,” said Mauricio Thompson. “Everybody’s running. Everybody scattered to get out of the club.”

“This conflict is believed to have begun between two specific groups or individuals earlier in the day, escalating and ultimately leading to this tragedy,” City Manager Harry Black said. “Cameo club has a history of gun violence including a shooting inside the club on New Years Day 2015 and a shooting in the parking lot” that year.” No arrests have been made. Assistant Chief Paul Neudigate tweeted that the “motive is still unclear, but there are no indication this incident is terrorism related.” It was the worst mass shooting in term of the number of victims so far in 2017, according to Gunviolencearchive.com. The U.S. has had 71 mass shootings this year, says Gunviolenceresearch.org.

 

from https://thecrimereport.org

As Death Penalty Loses Favor, Life Without Parole Terms Grow

Life-without-parole sentences have soared to more than 1,000 inmates in Oklahoma, costing a minimum of $17 million a year the Tulsa World finds,

As the death penalty loses favor with juries, life-without-parole sentences have silently soared to more than 1,000 inmates in Oklahoma, costing a minimum of $17 million a year, the Tulsa World reportsOn average since 2000, about 35 inmates each year enter prison for life without parole, while four with the same sentence exit custody, usually by dying. Life without parole was allowed in 1987 as an alternative to the death penalty. While a provision allows for clemency, it does not guarantee the same level of state appeals or any federal appellate oversight as capital punishment. It has also been meted out for nonviolent crimes such as selling drugs.

Lynn Powell, of the nonprofit OK-Cure, a prison watchdog group, says these sentences are now getting a second look nationally. “It’s the death penalty but without an execution date,” she said. “There are groups in other states who are working to have appeals in place to review those cases the same as the death penalty cases. The problem right now is that they don’t all get reviewed, and those aren’t getting applied equally across the state.” The 885 inmates serving life-without-parole sentences represent just 3 percent of the total Oklahoma inmate population, but that figure is certain to grow. Since the number of inmates entering prison with that sentence spiked in the mid-’90s with a crackdown on drug crimes, the annual number receiving life-without-parole terms continues to increase generally.

from https://thecrimereport.org

New CA Rules Aim to Cut State Prison Population

Inmates will be able to reduce terms up to six months for earning a college degree and by up to a month each year for participating in self-help programs.

California corrections officials adopted new rules that aim to trim the state’s prison population by 9,500 inmates in four years, the Associated Press reports. They include steps like reducing inmates’ sentences up to six months for earning a college degree and by up to a month each year for participating in self-help programs such as alcohol and substance abuse support groups and counseling, anger management, life skills, victim awareness, restorative justice, and parenting classes. Virtually any inmate except those on death row or those serving life-without-parole sentences is eligible.

It’s the latest step in a long drive to lower the prison population dramatically in response to federal court orders in lawsuits by prison advocates. The changes follow voters’ approval of Proposition 57 in November. The initiative lets certain felons seek parole more quickly and gave corrections officials broad discretion to grant early release credits. “I think that it’s a monumental change for the organization and I think across the state, across the nation, I don’t think that anybody has altered how they are incarcerating offenders as much as what Prop 57 does,” said Corrections Secretary Scott Kernan. The goal, he said, is to encourage inmates to start “doing something with their incarceration and not just sitting on their bunks.” Police and prosecutors fought the ballot initiative, arguing that it will release dangerous offenders sometimes years earlier than called for in their sentences. It will put convicts more quickly into county probation systems that already are stretched.

from https://thecrimereport.org

Thiago Henrique Da Rocha: Brazil’s Motorbike Serial Killer

     During a nine month period beginning in January 2014, a man on a motorbike in the central Brazilian city of Goiania, used a .38-caliber revolver to shoot 39 people to death. The serial killer approached his intended victims on his m…

     During a nine month period beginning in January 2014, a man on a motorbike in the central Brazilian city of Goiania, used a .38-caliber revolver to shoot 39 people to death. The serial killer approached his intended victims on his motorbike, shouted "robbery!," shot them at close range, then drove off without taking anything from the people he murdered.

     Sixteen of the serial killer's victims were young women, the youngest being a 14-year-old girl shot to death at a bus stop in February 2014. The rest of the murder victims included homeless people, homosexuals, and transvestites.

     The Goiania police caught a break on October 12, 2014 when the killer on the motorbike shot at but didn't kill his intended victim. The young woman told detectives that she knew the shooter from seeing him at a local bar.

     On Tuesday October 14, 2014, the Brazilian police arrested 26-year-old Thiago Henrique Da Rocha at his mother's house in Goiania. The serial murder suspect, during a prolonged police interrogation, confessed to the 39 criminal homicides committed in 2014. He also admitted killing people as far back as when he was 22-years-old. Da Rocha told his interrogators that he wasn't sure how many people he had murdered. All of the shootings, he said, involved victims chosen randomly.

     Da Rocha lived in Goiania with his mother. A search of her house resulted in the discovery of the .38-caliber murder weapon. The police also seized a pair of handcuffs and several knives.

     Shortly after Da Rocha's arrest, the Goiania police chief, at a press conference, said, "Da Rocha felt anger at everything and everyone. He had no link to any of his victims and chose them at random. He could have killed me, you or  your children."

     When detectives asked Da Rocha what caused all of this rage, he told them that he had been sexually abused by a male neighbor when he was 11-years-old. So, why did he take out his anger on so many women? Rejection, he said. A lot of women had rejected his romantic overtures. On top of the sexual assaults and the female rejection, he had been bullied at school. "I was quieter than the other kids," he said. "I suffered mental and physical aggression. I don't know if that has anything to do with it, but these things accumulate inside you." (This man will require very little coaching from his defense attorney.)

     A few days following his arrest, Da Rocha supposedly tried to kill himself by slashing his writs with a broken holding cell light bulb. Jail guards interceded before he was able to seriously cut himself.

     Da Rocha asked a jail guard if he would face a murder trial if he killed a fellow inmate. He said he still felt the urge to kill. He said his feelings of "fury" only abated when he killed a person.

     The handsome serial killer, no doubt the recipient of marriage proposals, became an instant celebrity upon his arrest. In speaking to Brazilian reporters from his jail cell, Da Rocha explained that the killing of a victim in cold blood did not make him happy. He said the next morning "I wasn't happy, no. There was the feeling of regret for what I had done."

     To reporters hanging on every word, Da Rocha said, "If I have a disease, I'd like to know what it is, and also if there is a cure."

     In a statement that revealed the depth of this young killer's sociopathy, Da Rocha said, "I'd like to ask for forgiveness, but I think it's too difficult to ask for forgiveness right now." Even for a sociopath, the extent of this narcissist's self-centeredness is staggering. Because he obviously enjoyed the limelight, Da Rocha was a crime reporter's dream criminal.

     In May 2016, after Thiago Henrique Da Rocha was convicted of eleven cold-blooded murders, the Brazilian judge sentenced the serial killer to 25 years in prison. That's slightly more than two years per victim. In Brazil, the lives of murder victims are cheap.   

from http://jimfishertruecrime.blogspot.com/

Convicted killer of rape suspect trying to dodge 5 years of prison

The upstate carpenter convicted in the vigilante killing of a fugitive rape suspect will ask a judge to let him stay out of prison pending an appeal. An Orange County jury found David Carlson, 45, guilty of manslaughter for shooting Norris Acosta-Sanch…

The upstate carpenter convicted in the vigilante killing of a fugitive rape suspect will ask a judge to let him stay out of prison pending an appeal. An Orange County jury found David Carlson, 45, guilty of manslaughter for shooting Norris Acosta-Sanchez, 39, in the head with a 12-gauge shotgun while trying to turn him...

from http://nypost.com

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