Friday, July 29, 2011

11-07-29 Kids for Cash in Pennsylvania and Rampart Scandal in Los Angeles // Los niños por dinero en efectivo en Pennsylvania y escándalo de Rampart en Los Angeles // 小孩在宾夕法尼亚州的现金,并在洛杉矶的壁垒丑闻


Kids for Cash resembles more and more the Rampart Scandal by the day...

In Kids for Cash, judges in Luzerne County received millions in bribes and falsely imprisoned thousands of juveniles.  Now only "over 100 victims" are identified?

In the Rampart Scandal (1998-2000), estimates of those who were falsely imprisoned in Los Angeles County were well above 10,000. Eventually only less than 200 were released...

The 2006 Blue Ribbon Review Panel concluded "innocent people remain in prison", and cited the judges objecting to the release of the victims, since it would cause "collapse of the justice system".

Supreme Court Approves Restitution to Luzerne County Victims

The Legal Intelligencer

July 29, 2011

Ex-Luzerne County Judge Mark A. Ciavarella Jr.Photo courtesy of the Citizens' Voice
The state Supreme Court has approved about $65,000 in restitution for the victims of juveniles whose convictions were overturned following the Luzerne County "kids-for-cash" scandal.

The court posted three special master determinations that collectively listed the names of over 100 victims and the amounts each will be compensated from the Special Juvenile Victim Compensation Fund, which was established in 2010 "solely to provide compensation to victims of juvenile crime in a county of the third class."

The documents, signed by Berks County Senior Judge Arthur E. Grim, the special master appointed by the Supreme Court to review former Luzerne County Judge Mark A. Ciavarella Jr.'s cases, show the largest awards to be in the $1,200 to $1,500 range.

According to the documents, the amount to be paid to each victim is equal to what each would have been entitled to had a consent decree or adjudication of delinquency not been vacated in his or her case, minus any compensation that may have already been paid in connection with the alleged crime.

In February, a federal jury in Scranton found Ciavarella guilty of 12 of 39 counts of corruption filed against him, including racketeering, racketeering conspiracy, honest services mail fraud, money laundering conspiracy and a host of tax fraud charges. Ciavarella was cleared of extortion, bribery and honest services wire fraud charges, however.

His sentencing hearing is scheduled for Aug. 11.

In March 2010, the state Supreme Court issued an order approving the final steps to expunge the records of all juveniles who appeared before Ciavarella between 2003 and 2008.

[1] Kids for Cash
[2] 06-07-15 Rampart Reconsidered: LAPD's Blue Ribbon Review Panel Report (2006)

11-07-27 Filming the cops // La filmación de la policía // 拍摄警察

15 Years in Prison For Taping the Cops? How Eavesdropping Laws Are Taking Away Our Best Defense Against Police Brutality

More and more people use their smartphones to record police misconduct. But laws against wiretapping are being used to intimidate and stop them.
July 27, 2011  | 

Over Memorial Day weekend this past May, residents of Miami Beach witnessed a horrific display of police brutality as 12 cops sprayed Raymond Herisse's car with 100 bullets, killing him. The shooting provoked outrage in the surrounding community, not only because of the murder, but because of what the police did afterward.

Officers on the scene confiscated and smashed witnesses' cell phones; later, when they were confronted by the media, the police denied trying to destroy videos of the incident.

But 35-year-old Narces Benoit removed his HTC EVO's SIM card and hid it in his mouth. He later sold the video to CNN, placing the police in the awkward position of explaining why they lied about allegations of cell phone destruction. More importantly, the video showed at least two officers pointing guns at Benoit, demanding that he stop filming.


11-07-28 A rising hunger among children // Un aumento del hambre entre los niños // 一个上升的饥饿儿童中

A rising hunger among children

BMC sees more who are dangerously thin and facing lasting problems

Janell Goode, a single Lowell mother who is now unemployed, has struggled to feed her young sons a healthy diet.(Globe Staff / Wendy Maeda)Janell Goode, a single Lowell mother who is now unemployed, has struggled to feed her young sons a healthy diet.
By Kay Lazar
Globe Staff / July 28, 2011
Doctors at a major Boston hospital report they are seeing more hungry and dangerously thin young children in the emergency room than at any time in more than a decade of surveying families.

11-07-27 Police Beat Fullerton Man to Death // La policía golpeó a hombre Fullerton a la muerte // 警察殴打浮尔顿人死亡

Police Beat Homeless Fullerton Man Kelly Thomas To Death

A video has surfaced that documents Fullerton police beating a homeless man near the Fullerton Bus Depot in early July, reports Gawker. The video above does not show much of the fight, but you can hear a man's screams and people talking about a Taser. The man being beaten also cries out for his father.