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July 2012 Archives

Troopers charged in high speed escort

File this in the police-do-stupid-things category -- not all police misconduct involves violent crimes, large sums of money or contraband. Two New Jersey state troopers escorted a pack of luxury sport cars down the New Jersey Turnpike and other busy highways in the state. In some cases the cars - Porsches, Lamborghinis and Ferraris - traveled at rates of speed that exceeded 100 mph.

Beards and the courtroom

If you are a sex crime defendant, or any criminal defendant, for that matter, you may want to lose the beard if you have one. A recent study by two researchers in New Zealand found men perceive other men with beards as potentially threatening, aggressive and intimidating.

High profile criminal cases don't always turn out for prosecutors

Recent high-profile criminal acquittals have drawn attention to issues of evidence and raised some fundamental questions about building federal criminal cases. At first glance, the cases of Roger Clemens and John Edwards could not be more dissimilar. Clemens, the former major league pitching star, was acquitted on charges of perjury and lying to Congress. Edwards, former presidential candidate, was acquitted of federal campaign finance violations.

Proposed law to 'out' sex offenders on Facebook

New Jersey state Senator Christopher Bateman has proposed a law that would require every convicted sex criminal to share that status on Facebook. The bill is modeled on a recently enacted Louisiana law, but it is thought by many to be redundant.

Citizens now have a way to protect themselves when police misbehave

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) is known for its aggressive efforts to monitor and correct police misconduct. The organization has filed numerous lawsuits against police departments and other law enforcement agencies for false arrests and other civil rights violations.

New Jersey's governor criticizes war on drugs

New Jersey's Governor Chris Christie has called the war on drugs, "a failure." The Republican former prosecutor criticized the 40-year-old program begun by former President Richard Nixon and intensified by President Ronald Regan, both Republicans. Christie said, "We're warehousing addicted people every day in state prisons in New Jersey, giving them no treatment."

False arrest can happen anywhere

It could happen in New Jersey, but this story takes place in Atlanta. A woman was held in the Fulton County Jail for 53 days even after the alleged victim told police that she was not the person who had attacked him. The case fell through the cracks in almost every way possible, resulting in the wrongful arrest of Teresa Culpepper for assault.

Another victim? Peter Madoff pleads guilty

Many people in New York and New Jersey felt the impact when the Bernie Madoff Ponzi scheme, one of the largest ever documented, came tumbling down. $20 billion was lost by individual investors, much of it in greater New York, and Bernard Madoff, now in his seventies, is serving 150 years for his fraud.

Even small embezzlements add up for guilty library worker

American children are taught that saving even small amounts will add up eventually. However, the story of a Yonkers, New York, library worker was probably not what Benjamin Franklin had in mind when he coined the saying, "A penny saved is a penny earned." The 54-year-old-woman, a long-time employee of the Yonkers Public Library, pled guilty to embezzling $163,582 from library fines over a seven-year-period.

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