Archive for category Crime & Law
Drunk driving Texas teen Ethan Couch gets probation
A wealthy north Texas teenager who killed four pedestrians while driving intoxicated has been sentenced to probation, prompting anger from critics.
Ethan Couch, 16, had three times the legal drinking limit in his blood following the accident on 15 June.
His lawyers argued his family’s wealth and lack of parental oversight justified rehabilitation.
Couch had faced up to 20 years in prison for the crime.
Authorities say Couch was seen stealing two cases of beer from a local store before he and seven passengers drove away in his pick-up truck.
The truck later struck and killed a stranded motorist and three good Samaritans who had stopped to help, including a mother and daughter.
Two of the passenger’s in Couch’s pick-up truck were also seriously injured.
During his Fort Worth trial, Couch’s defence team argued he suffered from “affluenza”, a popularised term for children from wealthy families who have a sense of entitlement and make excuses for poor behaviour, according to media reports.
One psychologist testified that Couch was raised in a household where his parents were preoccupied and overly indulgent, arguing and later divorcing.
On Tuesday, Juvenile court judge Jean Boyd later determined Couch would be better served by enrolling in a private $450,000-a year (£275,200) rehabilitation centre that his parents would pay for than to be sent into the Texas juvenile justice system.
The decision raised ire from critics, who said it was too lenient a sentence and not commensurate with sentences handed down to poorer individuals for comparable crimes.
Florida psychologist Dr Gary Buffone called the sentence a slap on the wrist for “a very serious offense.
“The defence is laughable,” he told the Associated Press news agency. “Not only haven’t the parents set any consequences, but it’s being reinforced by the judge’s actions.”
The writer of an op-ed in the Christian Science Monitor on Thursday said the case illustrated a “double standard” where poor kids “often go to jail for 20 years”.
Mike Hashimoto, an editorial writer for Dallas News, wrote on Wednesday that “despite all the death in his wake, Ethan Couch didn’t learn a thing he didn’t already know.
“It’s far better to come from that wealthy place where actions seldom have those nasty old consequences,” he wrote. “That’s for other folks.”
If this kid had been poor and black, he would have got the full twenty!
This leniency is just plain disgusting!
This slap on the wrist needs to be appealed, this kid needs to learn the consequences of his actions.
Oh, and the judge needs to be fired! He needs to learn the consequence of his actions too!
Saudi Arabia has some of the most restrictive laws on women, including a ban on women driving.
It has become a source of malcontent, and many woman have been sentenced to such barbaric punishments as flogging for having done so.
Now we have this…
Saudi Arabian cleric says female drivers risk damaging ovaries
Leading conservative’s comments aimed at activists protesting against Islamic kingdom’s male-only driving rules
One of Saudi Arabia’s leading conservative clerics has said women who drive risk damaging their ovaries and bearing children with clinical problems, countering activists who are trying to end the Islamic kingdom’s male-only driving rules.
A campaign calling for women to defy the ban in a protest drive on 26 October has spread rapidly online over the past week and gained support from prominent women activists. On Sunday, the campaign’s website was blocked inside the kingdom.
As one of the 21 members of the senior council of scholars, Sheikh Saleh al-Lohaidan can write fatwas, or religious edicts, advise the government and has a large following among other influential conservatives.
His comments have in the past played into debates in Saudi society and he has been a vocal opponent of tentative reforms to increase freedoms for women by King Abdullah, who sacked him as head of a top judiciary council in 2009.
In an interview published on Friday on the website sabq.org, he said women aiming to overturn the ban on driving should put “reason ahead of their hearts, emotions and passions”.
Although the council does not set Saudi policy, which is ultimately decided by King Abdullah, it can slow government action in a country where the ruling al-Saud family derives much of its legitimacy from the clerical elite.
It is unclear whether Lohaidan’s strong endorsement of the ban is shared by other members of the council, but his comments demonstrate how entrenched the opposition is to women driving among some conservative Saudis.
“If a woman drives a car, not out of pure necessity, that could have negative physiological impacts as functional and physiological medical studies show that it automatically affects the ovaries and pushes the pelvis upwards,” he told Sabq. “That is why we find those who regularly drive have children with clinical problems of varying degrees.”
A biography on his website does not list any background in medicine and he did not cite any studies to back up his claims.
What a wanka!
No medical authority and no supporting links, he is blowing hot air.
Islam subjugates women and this is just another attempt to stop them from gaining a foothold, independence from men. Islamic men are scared stupid that women will cease to be under their control.
This Lohaidan is a member of the senior council of scholars, obviously he is no more scholarly than a dead fish. He may be able to cite the Koran from front to back, and probably backwards, but this just goes to show that doesn’t have the intelligence to make a decision to poop when he needs to… in fact he is talking shit over this issue.
Saudi Arabia along with many other countries of the same ilk need to wake up and realise that we are in the 21st century. They are as bad as many Christian religions trying to keep the people under control by bullshit.
I fail to understand the need for this.
Just as I fail to understand anything as barbaric as beheadings for crimes and stoning women for adultery. Do you ever hear of a man being stoned for adultery? Not in your life!
‘Think Tank’ be buggered, the idiots are so damned stupid, the answer is right under their noses and I am not talking about a moustache!
‘Legal highs’ must be banned faster claims new report
Government efforts to clamp down on the sale of dangerous substances – known as legal highs – are failing, a think-tank has warned.
The Centre for Social Justice – set up by Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith – says the UK is a leading hub for selling the drugs online.
Last year, 52 people in England and Wales died after taking legal highs, up from 28 the previous year.
Ministers said they were banning whole groups of drugs to tackle the problem.
The report, No Quick Fix, says legal highs, also known as club drugs including Salvia and Green Rolex, have similar effects to banned drugs, but they can be sold legally as long as they are clearly marked “not for human consumption”.
They are often marketed as bath salts or research chemicals.
The drugs can cause permanent bladder damage, blood poisoning and death.
According to the Centre for Social Justice, there are now more than 130 UK-registered websites selling the products cheaply by mail order.
The report also says there are 250 types of these psychoactive substances in circulation – so many that they now outnumber controlled drugs.
The think-tank said one in 12 young people in the UK said they had taken legal highs – the highest figure in Europe.
In England, 6,486 people were treated in 2011-12 for abusing these types of drugs, an increase of 39% since 2005-06, it said.
CSJ’s policy director, Alex Burghart, said: “Last year, one death every week was related to legal highs – that’s a substantial rise on the year before so we know this is a serious problem.”
‘Faster on its feet’
There is a quick fix answer, and it’s so bloody obvious.
Decriminalise all drugs!
If drugs had never been criminalised, so called ‘legal highs’ would never have existed, there would never have been a need for them.
These ‘think tank’ types are nothing but a bunch of wankers who can’t see outside the frickin box.
If you decriminalise all drugs, ‘legal highs’ just disappear because people don’t want them, the people know they are too dangerous. But they are driven to them because ‘safer’ drugs aren’t available.
Think tank… they couldn’t think if their pathetic lives depended on it!
You never heard of “52, nor 28 the previous year dying” of cannabis, and probably not of heroin either. You also probably never heard of figures like “one in twelve high school kids” trying cannabis either.
Bunch of stupid bastards… I don’t know why I even spend my time writing about them.
A police investigation into video footage that appeared to show an officer kicking a man moments after he was shot with a Taser gun has found no evidence of misconduct.
I have no problem with the police finding that the sweeping of the legs facilitated the Taser shot, but I do object to the attitude of the policeman concerned shouting abuse to an obviously comatose man on the ground.
What a wanker?
This alone indicates that he should be recycled as a civilian, not suitable for a conscientious police force.
But then after the Miranda fiasco, it’s debatable that Britain’s police have any conscience.
From Yahoo News
“NY man who says 4 kids vandalized home is charged
CLYDE, N.Y. (AP) — A man who says he caught four boys vandalizing his father-in-law’s home has been charged with child endangerment after corralling them in a closet until police arrived.
Jesse Daniels was arraigned on four counts of endangering the welfare of a child after authorities say he interrupted the vandalism at the empty home in the Wayne County village of Clyde, midway between Rochester and Syracuse.
Daniels, 53, told WHAM-TV in Rochester that he heard pounding coming from the home next door the night of June 8. The house is empty while Daniels renovates it for his father-in-law.
Daniels said he went to investigate while his wife called 911. He said he found four boys, ages 8 and 10, inside with hammers. He took a hammer from one, then stuck the boys in a closet until officers arrived, he said.”
“Jesse Daniels was arraigned on four counts of endangering the welfare of a child after authorities say he interrupted the vandalism at the empty home”
Endangering the welfare of children, BULLSHIT! If they are old enough to vandalise to this extent, they got a whole lot less than they deserve, and a lot more than the pussy-footing justice system will mete out.
Even if the accusations of threatening the kids are true, they got off lightly.
That is the opinion of a vandal (me) who at 8 years old broke a window and got his ears boxed, then taken home so that his father boxed his ears again!
No police, just boxed ears, twice, that did the trick! I never busted a window again.
Pennsylvania Judge Sentenced For 28 Years For Selling Kids to the Prison System
Mark Ciavarella Jr, a 61-year old former judge in Pennsylvania, has been sentenced to nearly 30 years in prison for literally selling young juveniles for cash. He was convicted of accepting money in exchange for incarcerating thousands of adults and children into a prison facility owned by a developer who was paying him under the table. The kickbacks amounted to more than $1 million.
The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has overturned some 4,000 convictions issued by him between 2003 and 2008, claiming he violated the constitutional rights of the juveniles – including the right to legal counsel and the right to intelligently enter a plea. Some of the juveniles he sentenced were as young as 10-years old.
Ciavarella was convicted of 12 counts, including racketeering, money laundering, mail fraud and tax evasion. He was also ordered to repay $1.2 million in restitution.
His “kids for cash” program has revealed that corruption is indeed within the prison system, mostly driven by the growth in private prisons seeking profits by any means necessary.
This deserves the death penalty. The world doesn’t need these people, even in prison. Why should the taxpayer pay for his keep?
And the immediate dismantling of the private prisons system.
US government orders removal of Defcad 3D-gun designs
The US government has demanded designs for a 3D-printed gun be taken offline.
The order to remove the blueprints for the plastic gun comes after they were downloaded more than 100,000 times.
That’s my guess, it’s too late.
100,000 accesses/downloads, it’d be like using a bath plug to stop Niagara Falls.
For me personally, I don’t care. I’m not interested. In all probability criminals and terrorists aren’t interested either; they want the real McCoy. Not some mock-up they may or may not blow up in their hands.
School kids may be. They’ll want to experiment as I did with chemistry.
The horse has gone, don’t bother shutting the barn door.
Conservation group warns
Environmental Investigation Agency says ads fuel surge in ivory demand that is killing African elephants at record rates
Google is helping to fuel a dramatic surge in ivory demand in Asia that is killing African elephants at record levels, a conservation group claimed on Tuesday.
The Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) said there are some 10,000 ads on Google Japan’s shopping site that promote the sale of ivory.
About 80% of the ads are for “hanko,” small wooden stamps widely used in Japan to affix signature seals to official documents. The rest are carvings and other small objects.
Hanko are used for everything from renting a house to opening a bank account. The stamps are legal and typically inlaid with ivory lettering.
The EIA said Japan’s hanko sales are a “major demand driver for elephant ivory (and) have contributed to the wide-scale resumption of elephant poaching across Africa.”
Google said in an emailed response: “Ads for products obtained from endangered or threatened species are not allowed on Google. As soon as we detect ads that violate our advertising policies, we remove them.”
The EIA said it had written a letter to Google chief executive, Larry Page, on 22 February, urging the company to remove the ads because they violate Google’s own policies. It said Google had not responded to the letter or taken down the advertisements.
“While elephants are being mass slaughtered across Africa to produce ivory trinkets, it is shocking to discover that Google, with the massive resources it has at its disposal, is failing to enforce its own policies designed to help protect endangered elephants,” said Allan Thorton, the US-based president of the EIA.
South Africa’s police watchdog is investigating the death of a Mozambican taxi driver who was allegedly handcuffed to the back of a police van and dragged through the streets.
Video footage taken by a bystander of the incident, near Johannesburg, has been shown in the local media.
A spokesman for the Police Investigative Directorate said he was “shocked” by the footage.
Rights groups often accuse South African police of brutality.
“The fact that the crowd watched and did nothing to help, some even cheering, is a sad indictment of the state of our society.” – BBC
This incident in South Africa is not an isolated incident; police forces the world over are manned by arseholes in a uniform who take grotesque pleasure in their power.
There are some good cops around, but there are too many bad ones.