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Criminal Defense News 07/2008



Venezuela's Chavez Implicated in Argentine Scandal (Update2) (Bloomberg.com)
June 30 (Bloomberg) -- Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez was personally involved in covering up his nation's role in an Argentine election scandal, according to an FBI statement by a Venezuelan witness who may testify at a criminal trial in Miami.

NY drops case against man in '88 murder of parents (San Francisco Chronicle)
Prosecutors said Monday they would not retry a man who spent 17 years in prison after making what he said was a bogus confession to killing his wealthy parents. The decision by the state attorney general's office ended the criminal case against Martin...

Collin County agrees to retry Michael Blair (Plano Courier)
The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, today set aside Michael Blair’s conviction and granted him a new trial in accordance with the recommendation of the trial court, prosecution and defense attorney.

Japan Loses Data From Joint Drill With US - Defense Minister (Nasdaq)
TOKYO (AFP)--Japanese military officers lost intelligence from a joint drill with the U.S., the defense minister admitted Tuesday, in the country's latest mishap over sensitive information.

Public defenders sue state over funding (Lexington Herald-Leader)
State public defenders filed a sweeping lawsuit Monday seeking a declaration that Kentucky's criminal-defense system for the indigent is inadequately funded and unconstitutional. The Department of Public Advocacy filed a petition in Franklin Circuit Court asking a judge to order the state finance Cabinet to pay for private lawyers in cases where public defenders withdraw because of a ...

Birmingham Mayor Larry Langford's defense lawyers file for dismissal (Birmingham News)
A U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission lawsuit against Birmingham Mayor Larry Langford fails to show how friends' personal payments to Langford led to $6.7 million in government business, motions filed Monday state.

Campaign funds unlikely to be allowed for Currie's defense (Baltimore Sun)
The state attorney general's office has said that Sen. Ulysses Currie may not use campaign funds to pay for his legal defense in a federal investigation if the probe "relates to his conduct in office" - as it appears to do.

Kentucky public defenders file suit against state (BizJournals)
The Kentucky Department of Public Advocacy, which provides indigent clients with criminal defense attorneys, and the Jefferson County Public Defender Corp. have filed suit in Franklin Circuit Court over the lack of funding for poor clients.

Fairness in our courts (The Escanaba Daily Press)
ESCANABA - People who are poor, have been accused of a crime and are a Michigan resident may be out of luck when it comes to getting good legal representation, according to a recent study of Michigan's criminal defense system.

Judge Denies Defense's Request For Change Of Venue In Child Sex Ring Case (KTRE-TV East Texas)
A change of venue hearing has been denied Tuesday morning for the third defendant in the Mineola sex ring case, after a judge denied the claims of the defense that too much pre-trial publicity could taint the Smith County jury pool.

County's indigent defense budget has $63,400 shortfall (Arizona Range News)
BISBEE - Budget shortfalls due to a rise in court cases requiring indigent defense attorneys has resulted in a $63,400 shortfall in the Indigent Defense Coordinator's 2007-08 budget.

Collin County agrees to retry Michael Blair (Plano Courier)
The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, today set aside Michael Blair’s conviction and granted him a new trial in accordance with the recommendation of the trial court, prosecution and defense attorney.

JOHNSON: Handguns and self-defense? Please (Rocky Mountain News)
The gun nuts have been after me, licking their chops, wanting to know where I fell on the Supreme Court's decision affirming the right to own a handgun for private use and self-defense.

Family, lawyer: Witness backs self-defense claim (Norwalk Advocate)
NORWALK - A witness has corroborated Amos "A.J." Brown's self-defense claim in the January shooting death of 17-year-old Tykwan Hunt, according to Brown's father and his public defender.

Former Newport Township firefighter makes restitution; criminal charges against him are dropped by prosecutors (The Citizens' Voice)
Prosecutors withdrew criminal charges Tuesday against a former Newport Township fireman when he paid restitution for making unauthorized purchases with fire department funds.

Thriller writer Margolin prepares like a lawyer (Reuters via Yahoo! News)
Thriller writer Phillip Margolin spent 25 years as a criminal defense attorney before turning to writing full-time and found his preparation for court was also an asset to writing fiction.

Hogs LB faces felony for punching through car window (Sports Illustrated)
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (AP) -- Arkansas linebacker Wendel Davis faces a felony criminal mischief charge after police say he punched through the window of a car that bumped his scooter.

Human rights defense is priority for Russian prosecutor's office -Chaika (Interfax)
MOSCOW. July 2 (Interfax) - Russian prosecutors checked more than 700,000 offense against the social and labor rights of citizens last year, Russian Prosecutor General Yuri Chaika said.

ICC Orders Release Of Congolese Warlord Thomas Lubanga (Nasdaq)
(RTTNews) - The International Criminal Court on Wednesday ordered the release of Congolese warlord Thomas Lubanga over the prosecution's failure to hand over vital evidence to the defense lawyers.

Criminal trial will not threaten developer's health, physician tells court (Asbury Park Press)
While attorneys for developer Anthony Spalliero are claiming the 65-year-old Holmdel man is too ill to stand trial in a pending kidnapping case, a physician hired by the state to review the defendant's medical records testified today that a criminal trial will not pose a threat to his health. "He's not terminal, he's not dying right now," Dr. David Venesy, an expert in cardiology and internal ...

Nevada high court explores indigent defense issue (Nevada Appeal)
There was more consensus than controversy among public defenders, prosecutors and county managers who met with the Nevada Supreme Court on proposed changes to programs to represent indigent criminal defendants.

Marino murder suspect "made admission" to police, defense attorney says (Wisconsin State Journal)
Adam Peterson gave Madison police an incriminating statement when they contacted him at his mother's Minnesota home June 26, causing them to arrest him in the slaying of Joel Marino. Peterson's defense attorney, Dennis Burke, said Wednesday he doesn't know what Peterson told police. "I believe he made an admission that's not in the (criminal) complaint," Burke said. "He made an admission they ...

Defense Lawyers for Accused Courthouse Shooter Want DA's Office Out (Law.com)
Eight days before the murder trial of accused Fulton County Courthouse shooter Brian G. Nichols is scheduled to resume, the defense team has told the trial judge that explosive allegations against the assistant district attorney who prosecuted Nichols for rape should disqualify the entire Fulton district attorney's office from prosecuting their client.

McDaniel in good standing with the university (The Post and Courier)
CLEMSON — Wednesday could not have been considered anything other than a victory for DeAndre McDaniel and his defense against criminal charges — not to mention his chances of playing football this season. It could be a year before McDaniel, a sophomore defensive back at Clemson, appears in court to face charges of assault and battery of a high and aggravated nature.

add. formats (Kavkaz Center)
Georgian Defense Minister David Kezerashvili said that the blasts in the Abkhaz capital Sukhumi and Abkhazia's Black Sea resort of Gagra could be the result of turf wars between various criminal groups operating in the unrecognized republic of Abkhazia.

Business buzz: Lawyers club elects officers through 2010 (The Sarasota Herald-Tribune)
The Sarasota Chapter of the Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers has elected new officers to serve through July 2010. Varinia Van Ness is now president, David Haenel is vice president, Andrea Mogensen is treasurer and Robert Harrison is the chapter representative to the statewide group.

Dowling, prosecutors fail to agree on plea bargain in her criminal case (The Arizona Republic)
The court docket suggested that County Schools Superintendent Sandra Dowling might enter a change of plea to end her criminal case Wednesday in Maricopa County Superior Court. But the deal fell apart after prosecutors from the U.S. Attorney's Office failed to come to agreement with Dowling and her attorney.

Shoot to stun (International Herald Tribune)
As effective less-than-lethal weapons proliferate, U.S. state laws will increasingly keep people from actually using their guns for self-defense.

Analyst Says Rushed International Criminal Court Trials Need Rethinking (Voice of America)
While one former Congolese warlord has been ordered released by the International Criminal Court at The Hague, proceedings are just beginning against another one. One analyst says the ICC needs to be more careful about the timing of such cases, especially when conflicts are on-going.

County's indigent defense budget has $63,400 shortfall (Arizona Range News)
BISBEE - Budget shortfalls due to a rise in court cases requiring indigent defense attorneys has resulted in a $63,400 shortfall in the Indigent Defense Coordinator's 2007-08 budget.

Dispute casts shadow over international court (AP via Yahoo! News)
Prosecutors and judges celebrated the 10th anniversary of the International Criminal Court's founding document Thursday, but behind the scenes there was turmoil.

Attorney returns to Cherokee County after defending accused war criminal w/ link to International Criminal Tribunal ... (The Joplin Globe)
BAXTER SPRINGS, Kan. — Chris Meek is resuming his law practice with a new partner after returning from Europe, where he served on the defense team of an accused war criminal.

Slaying suspect Nicholas Sheley seeks private defense attorney (Chicago Tribune)
Rock Falls man suspected in 8 deaths appears in Galesburg courtroom The Rock Falls, Ill., man suspected in the late June slayings of eight people in Illinois and Missouri is seeking a private attorney to represent him in one of the killings, he said in a brief court hearing Thursday afternoon.

NCCo to decide if Freebery gets fees (The News Journal)
New Castle County Council is moving closer toward a decision about paying a $3.7 million legal tab that former official Sherry Freebery racked up during her five-year defense against corruption charges.

Questions raised about capital case 24 years later (AP via Yahoo! News)
Three months after four bodies were found shot execution-style in an airplane hangar on the B&B Ranch north of Dallas in 1984, chemical salesman Lester Leroy Bower Jr. was charged with capital murder.

Post-9/11 Dragnet Turns Up Surprises (Washington Post)
In the six-and-a-half years that the U.S. government has been fingerprinting insurgents, detainees and ordinary people in Afghanistan, Iraq and the Horn of Africa, hundreds have turned out to share an unexpected background, FBI and military officials said. They have criminal arrest records in the United States.

Blair court handling more cases (Altoona Mirror)
HOLLIDAYSBURG - The number of criminal cases being filed in Blair County this year is on a record pace, one reason some suspects in jail are not being brought to trial within the state-mandated 180 days, President Judge Jolene Kopriva said. She said the volume of cases is a "complicating factor," but that the justice system must step up and address the problem.

Data-sharing: Many terror suspects have U.S. records (Fort Worth Star-Telegram)
By ELLEN NAKASHIMA WASHINGTON — In the 6  1/2 years that the U.S. government has been fingerprinting insurgents, detainees and ordinary people in Afghanistan, Iraq and the Horn of Africa, hundreds have turned out to share an unexpected background, FBI and military officials said. They have criminal arrest records in the United States. There was the suspected militant fleeing Somalia who had ...

Dividing Jerusalem (Haaretz Daily)
On June 9, 1967, two days after Israel Defense Forces troops reached the Western Wall, Anwar al-Khatib, the Jordanian official responsible for administering the Jerusalem district, was whisked away to the Ambassador Hotel in the eastern part of the city for a meeting with IDF General (res.)

Data link foreign detainees to arrests in U.S. (San Diego Union-Tribune)
WASHINGTON – In the 6½ years that the U.S. government has been fingerprinting insurgents, detainees and ordinary people in Afghanistan, Iraq and the Horn of Africa, hundreds have turned out to share an unexpected background, FBI and military officials said. They have criminal arrest records in the United States.

International criminals (The Manila Times)
PHILIPPINE military and police officials who have aggressively assaulted militant activists and prominent opposition leaders in covert operations comprising torture, enforced disappearances, extralegal liquidations, forcible displacements of indigenous peoples from their ancestral domain and similar human rights violations should not think they are exempt from criminal liability.

Special court for vets addresses more than crime (AP via Yahoo! Singapore News)
The first clue that the Tuesday afternoon session in Part 4 of Buffalo City Court is not like other criminal proceedings comes just before it starts. Judge Robert Russell steps down from his bench and from the aloofness of his black robe. He walks into the gallery where men and women accused of stealing, drug offenses and other non-violent felonies and misdemeanors fidget in plastic ...

Special court for vets addresses more than crime (AP via Yahoo! News)
The first clue that the Tuesday afternoon session in Part 4 of Buffalo City Court is not like other criminal proceedings comes just before it starts.

Special court for vets addresses more than crime (Las Vegas Sun)
Sun, Jul 6, 2008 (9:33 a.m.) The first clue that the Tuesday afternoon session in Part 4 of Buffalo City Court is not like other criminal proceedings comes just before it starts.

Special court for vets addresses more than crime (The Charlotte Observer)
The first clue that the Tuesday afternoon session in Part 4 of Buffalo City Court is not like other criminal proceedings comes just before it starts. Judge Robert Russell steps down from his bench and from the aloofness of his black robe. He walks into the gallery where men and women accused of stealing, drug offenses and other non-violent felonies and misdemeanors fidget in plastic chairs. ...

Special court for vets addresses more than crime (AP via Yahoo! News)
The first clue that the Tuesday afternoon session in Part 4 of Buffalo City Court is not like other criminal proceedings comes just before it starts.

Collin County agrees to retry Michael Blair (Plano Courier)
The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, today set aside Michael Blair’s conviction and granted him a new trial in accordance with the recommendation of the trial court, prosecution and defense attorney.

Web Exclusive: "Crime and Punishment", part 4 (SaukValley.com)
Note to readers: This is the last in a four-part series of stories examining the criminal past of accused spree killer Nicholas Sheley. Despite his history of violent crimes, criminal charges against him often were reduced or dropped entirely - sometimes for no apparent reason.

Budget cuts axe public defenders (Advocate Tribune)
One by one the negative affects of budget cuts imposed in the waning hours of the last legislative session are beginning to surface. One such cut is an ‘across the board' cut of 2 percent to the Board of Public Defense.

Jeffs' attorneys want charges sent back to grand jury (Deseret Morning News)
Pushing to have the criminal cases against FLDS leader Warren Jeffs sent back to an Arizona grand jury, lawyers for the polygamist-sect leader say his rights were trampled on.




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