Tag Archive for 'justice system'

The War on Cameras pt II

A case in Weare, NH is going to all kinds of records for ridiculousness.

A man is being charged with a felony for wiretapping on duty police officers.

He was placing a cellphone call as police officers approached his car after he was stopped. That’s right…the police and the district attorney is claiming that the police officers privacy was violated, because the recipient of the cellphone call could hear the police officers, and thus is considered wiretapping.

Boggles the mind.


US – The Land of Hypocrites

While condeming other countries for inhumane treatment of detainees the US Government is at the same time using the same inhumane treatment on its own detainees in a deliberate effort to break them.

I’m referring to the treatment of Bradley Manning, the person alleged to have leaked secret information to Wikileaks. He’s been held in solitary confinment for seven months now. He’s been denied pillows and blankets for no apparent reason. He’s not allowed to sleep when he wants to, and his one hour per day “exercise” time has strict limitations, for example he’s not allowed to run for some reason. There is no good reason for any of it. He’s not on suicide watch, although I guess if this keeps on going for much longer, he soon will be. It seems as if his treatment is entirely punitive. He’s been punished for something he’s not even been convicted yet. Not only that, but even if he was convicted his treatment would still not be appropriate.

There are significant second order consequences to treating people like this, as outlined in the article, but what’s most interesting is how the general opinion has changed in recent years to accept treatment of this kind, becase “those rotten terrorist belong in jail”. As described by Glenn Greenwald:

I think the worse part, is that very few people care what kind of conditions the incarcerated endure. We have essentially accepted prison-rape. The New Yorker piece asks is solitary confinement torture? I’d ask, even if it is torture, whether we even care?

It’s the perfect example of do as we say, not as we do. On the other hand the US is always preeching to other non-democratic nations how important human rights are and you savages are doing it wrong, and then on our own backyard we’re doing the EXACT same thing. Other countries are catching on to the deceit. So much for the “moral superiority”. It even looks like human rights organizations are investigating US for violations of human rights due to this.

And before some Internet tough guy starts accusing me of defending Bradley Manning’s actions…I’m doing no such thing. If he actually did what he’s alleged to have done, he’s guilty and deserves appropriate punishment for his crimes. Torture is not an appropriate punishment, especially since he hasn’t actually been convicted of anything yet.


The War on Cameras

Radley Balko of Reason.com writes of legal problems people are finding themselves in some states after getting “caught” recording public officials’ interactions with the public.

In some US States it is a felony to record conversations without consent from all parties. This is generally a good idea, because privacy issues. Whether it should be a felony is a separate matter. However, prosecutors and police force in these states has increasingly taken the position that it is illegal to record on-duty police officers. They argue police officers have expectation of privacy while performing their work duties. That’s pretty ridiculous, but the letter of the law in these states really does allow for that.

In extreme cases, the article says, ordinary, law-abiding citizens are facing sentences of up to 75 years in prison for merely recording police actions in their cellphone cameras. People are getting routinely harassed for recording police officers, they’re arrested, thrown in jail and made criminals for something that causes no harm whatsoever. On the flip side in US States where it IS legal to record police officers, police officers who wrongly arrest people for it face no consequences whatsoever.

Read the article for a thorough review of this issue.

Please support the ACLU in their efforts of getting these insane laws repealed.


Finally proper sanctions for identity theft

Alberto Gonzales has been sentenced for 20 years in the slammer for stealing credit and debit card information from an unsecured wireless network of T.J. Maxx and then pilfering the accounts for millions of dollars at ATMs around the country.

Hopefully this is a first of many hard sentences against credit card scammers.


Scum finally gets his just deserts

Alan Ralsky, a career spammer and fraudster, is finally, after about a decade of spamming everyone with questionable and downright illegal schemes, going to prison.

He’s received a 51 month sentence for his part in a pump and dump stock scheme. Rot in jail scum.

Here’s hoping he’ll do something stupid in prison and gets his sentence doubled. He’s a sociopath and will never stop his criminal activities. When he gets out of prison he’ll be right back to his old ways. Guaranteed. Throw away the key instead.


Cash4Gold == Pennies4Gold

Cash4Gold, famous for cheesy commercials and lowball offers, is sueing two ex-employees, Consumerist.com and ComplaintBoard.com, because it feels like telling the truth about their business practises is somehow not appropriate.

They are also trying to game Google search results, unsuccessfully, to hide the fact that they’re sleezy. There’s no chance in hell Cash4Gold will succeed.


Bernie Madoff gets 150 years in jail!

Bernie Madoff’s sentencing hearing is over. The judge threw the book at him and gave him the maximum allowable sentence of 150 years in jail.

And here I thought rich people always get away with it.

Live blogs:
The Ticker at Washington Post


Julie Amero no longer a felon

Julie Amero, a substitute teacher in Norwich, CT, who had the unfortunate luck of teaching children in a community where incompetence is how things get done, has finally put her legal problems behind.

She was the teacher whose in-class computer had caught a bad case of popupitis and started spewing a neverending stream of porn popups while she was teaching. The school administration had failed to keep the anti-virus / popup blocking software up-to-date, so the computer was completely defenseless against porn-peddling spammers. Instead of quietly updating the software on the computer, the school administration, after hearing from some of the kids’ parents, made a police complaint against Mrs. Amero.

She was eventually convicted of several felony counts because the local police force told the DA she’d knowingly viewed porn during class. The computer security experts were astounded and jumped on her defense.

After more than a year and a half, she can now put her legal problems behind, but at considerable cost. She’s pleading guilty to a single count of disorderly conduct and surrendering her teaching license. She has also suffered severe health problems since her ordeal begun. She’s had a miscarriage and she’s been hospitalized ever since her felony conviction was handed down.

Meanwhile the New London County State’s Attorney Michael Regan remains completely unapologetic after driving an innocent woman out of her profession and into the hospital. Quoting Mr. Regan from an article in Hartford Courant:

New London County State’s Attorney Michael Regan told me late Friday the state remained convinced Amero was guilty and was prepared to again go to trial.

“I have no regrets. Things took a course that was unplanned. Unfortunately the computer wasn’t examined properly by the Norwich police,” Regan said.

Nice work Mr. Regan. Julie Amero’s re-education is complete. Congratulations!

Update: ArsTechnica has more information about the case, including really interesting stuff about the “expertise” of detective Mark Lounsbury, the prosecutor’s star witness.

The security expert(s) who brought the case into public view have started an organization called The Julie Group, whose mission is:

To bring attention to those situations where injustice is being done through the misuse or misunderstanding of computers and computer forensics; and second, to prevent future injustice wherever we are able.

And finally The Julie Group has a well written piece about how just exactly the justice shown to Mrs. Amero really is. Theirs is the article I wanted to write about the case. Kudos to The Julie Group for expressing the thoughts of many so eloquently.


Jack Thompson, ex-attorney

The Florida Supreme Court has today decided to withhold the recommendation to disbar him from the Florida Bar Association. He can not apply for reinstatement either. He’s done as a lawyer. That won’t, of course, stop him from being a complete asshole or his ongoing mission from God against video games, but at least he can’t use the courts in his misguided campaign any more. Nor can he ego-boost himself by calling himself an attorney any more.

Jackhole, apparently, has 30 days before the disbarment goes into effect. The next 30 days should be a lot of fun. He’ll file a barrage of paperwork on all directions, no doubt.

Hoah that, Jackhole!


Jack Thompson recommended to be disbarred permanently

Judge Tunis, the referee in the disbarment hearings against Jack Thompson, has finished her recommendations early.

It is good, it is very good. It is more than anyone could’ve wanted.

The judge rejected Florida Bar Association’s recommendation of a 10-year disbarment and went with a permanent disbarment as well as making Jackhole cover the nearly $44K in trial costs. Not only will Jackhole be out of a job, but he’s getting a rather substantial monetary penalty as well.

In her 169-page report she says:

Over a very extended period of time involving a number of totally unrelated cases and individuals, the Respondent has demonstrated a pattern of conduct to strike out harshly, extensively, repeatedly and willfully to simply try to bring as much difficulty, distraction and anguish to those he considers in opposition to his causes. He does not proceed within the guidelines of appropriate professional behavior, but rather uses other means available to intimidate, harass, or bring public disrepute to those whom he perceives oppose him.

Yep. That’s Jackhole alright. It is good that she saw through Jackhole’s Jekyll and Hyde act.

There will be much rejoicing!