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Court and Judicial Corruption News Stories
Excerpts of Key Court and Judicial Corruption News Stories in Major Media


Below are highly revealing excerpts of important court and judicial corruption news stories reported in the media that suggest a major cover-up. Links are provided to the full stories on their major media websites. If any link fails to function, read this webpage. These court and judicial corruption news stories are listed by date posted to this webpage. You can explore the same articles listed by order of importance or by article date. By choosing to educate ourselves on these important issues and to spread the word, we can and will build a brighter future.

Note: This comprehensive list of court and judicial corruption news stories is usually updated once a week. Explore our full index to revealing excerpts of key major media news stories on several dozen engaging topics. And don't miss amazing excerpts from 20 of the most revealing news articles ever published.


The Sacklers, Who Made Billions From OxyContin, Win Immunity From Opioid Lawsuits
2021-09-01, NPR
Posted: 2021-09-06 02:34:53
https://www.npr.org/2021/09/01/1031053251/sackler-family-immunity-purdue-phar...

Members of the Sackler family who are at the center of the nation's deadly opioid crisis have won sweeping immunity from opioid lawsuits linked to their privately owned company Purdue Pharma and its OxyContin medication. Federal Judge Robert Drain approved a bankruptcy settlement on Wednesday that grants the Sacklers "global peace" from any liability for the opioid epidemic. "This is a bitter result," Drain said. "I believe that at least some of the Sackler parties have liability for those [opioid OxyContin] claims. ... I would have expected a higher settlement." The complex bankruptcy plan ... grants "releases" from liability for harm caused by OxyContin and other opioids to the Sacklers, hundreds of their associates, as well as their remaining empire of companies and trusts. In return, they have agreed to pay roughly $4.3 billion, while also forfeiting ownership of Purdue Pharma. The Sacklers, who admit no wrongdoing and who by their own reckoning earned more than $10 billion from opioid sales, will remain one of the wealthiest families in the world. Critics of this bankruptcy settlement, meanwhile, said they would challenge Drain's confirmation because of the liability releases for the Sacklers. "This order is insulting to victims of the opioid epidemic who had no voice in these proceedings," said Washington state Attorney General Bob Ferguson. The Department of Justice urged Drain to reject the settlement. Attorneys general for nine states and the District of Columbia also opposed the plan.

Note: Purdue Pharma spent $1.2 million on lobbying just before making this deal. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on Big Pharma corruption from reliable major media sources.


Feds Deliberately Targeted BLM Protesters To Disrupt The Movement, A Report Says
2021-08-20, NPR
Posted: 2021-08-29 18:25:38
https://www.npr.org/2021/08/20/1029625793/black-lives-matter-protesters-targeted

The federal government deliberately targeted Black Lives Matter protesters via heavy-handed criminal prosecutions in an attempt to disrupt and discourage the global movement that swept the nation last summer in the wake of the Minneapolis police killing of George Floyd, according to a new report released Wednesday by The Movement for Black Lives. The prosecution of protesters over the past year continues a century-long practice by the federal government, rooted in structural racism, to suppress Black social movements via the use of surveillance tactics and other mechanisms. "The empirical data and findings in this report largely corroborate what Black organizers have long known ... about the federal government's disparate policing and prosecution of racial justice protests," the report stated. Titled "Struggle For Power: The Ongoing Persecution of Black Movement By The U.S. Government," the report details how policing has been used historically as a major tool to deter Black people from engaging in their right to protest. It also drew a comparison to how the government used Counterintelligence Program techniques to "disrupt the work of the Black Panther Party and other organizations fighting for Black liberation." A key finding of the report was that the push to use federal charges against protesters came from top-down directives. In 92.6% of the cases, there were equivalent state level charges that could have been brought against defendants.

Note: Read about the FBI's COINTELPRO program which suppressed dissent by targeting activists. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and the erosion of civil liberties from reliable major media sources.


Guantánamo Bay: Inside the world's most notorious detention centre as the war on terror fades away
2021-07-21, The Independent (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2021-08-01 17:53:37
https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/guantanamo-bay-biden-war-on...

Nashwan al-Tamir, wearing a white robe and long beard, does not pause to study the rows of people who fill the room. In the nearly 15 years since his capture, and seven since he has faced formal charges of being a high-level al-Qaeda operative who oversaw plots to attack Americans in Afghanistan, the 60-year-old Iraqi has gone through four judges, 20 defence lawyers and several prosecution teams. The courtroom here at Guantánamo Bay Naval Base in Cuba has moved, and the base in which it sits has grown larger. The only constant in these proceedings is Tamir himself, but he has grown older, and moves slower now, due to a degenerative disease. The world outside has changed dramatically in that time, too. Susan Hensler, Tamir's lead defence counsel since 2017, says the military court system through which her client is being prosecuted ... has yet to catch up to the new reality. "This process doesn't work," [she said]. "The fact that the 9/11 trial is still going on 20 years later is good evidence that it doesn't work. The fact that my client's trial has been going on for seven years and yet today we're discussing how to start over from the very beginning, again, is evidence that it doesn't work." This case has seen some 40,000 pages of briefings and orders and 3,000 pages of transcripts, but Tamir's trial is yet to begin. The same is true of the alleged masterminds of the 9/11 attacks. Many imprisoned here were subjected to torture, including waterboarding, sleep deprivation, sexual harassment and physical abuse.

Note: Read excerpts from a letter by Sharqawi Al Hajj, a Yemeni citizen detained at Guantanamo Bay. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and 9/11 from reliable major media sources.


DOJ review of flawed FBI forensics processes lacked transparency
2012-04-17, Washington Post
Posted: 2021-07-04 15:56:32
https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/crime/doj-review-of-flawed-fbi-forensics...

An FBI special agent was testifying in the government's high-profile terrorism trial against Omar Abdel Rahman, the "blind sheik" suspected of plotting the first attack on the World Trade Center. Frederic Whitehurst, a chemist and lawyer who worked in the FBI's crime lab, testified that he was told by his superiors to ignore findings that did not support the prosecution's theory of the bombing. "There was a great deal of pressure put upon me to bias my interpretation," Whitehurst said in U.S. District Court in New York in 1995. After the Justice Department's inspector general began a review of Whitehurst's claims, Attorney General Janet Reno and FBI Director Louis J. Freeh decided to launch a task force to dig through thousands of cases involving discredited agents. The task force took nine years to complete its work and never publicly released its findings. Officials never notified many defendants of the forensic flaws in their cases and never expanded their review to catch similar mistakes. If the Justice Department was secretive, the agency's independent inspector general was not. Michael R. Bromwich's probe culminated in a devastating 517-page report in April 1997 on misconduct at the FBI lab. He concluded that FBI managers failed – in some cases for years – to respond to warnings about the scientific integrity and competence of agents. The chief of the lab's explosives unit, for example, "repeatedly reached conclusions that incriminated the defendants without a scientific basis" in the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing.

Note: Read more about the FBI's mishandling of forensic evidence in the Oklahoma City bombing case. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption from reliable major media sources.


Court Chides F.B.I., but Re-Approves Warrantless Surveillance Program
2021-04-26, New York Times
Posted: 2021-06-21 15:04:06
https://www.nytimes.com/2021/04/26/us/politics/fbi-fisa-surveillance.html

For a second year, the nation's surveillance court has pointed with concern to "widespread violations" by the F.B.I. of rules intended to protect Americans' privacy when analysts search emails gathered without a warrant. In a 67-page ruling ... James E. Boasberg, the presiding judge on the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, recounted several episodes uncovered by an F.B.I. audit where the bureau's analysts improperly searched for Americans' information in emails that the National Security Agency collected without warrants. Still, Judge Boasberg said he was willing to issue a legally required certification for the National Security Agency's warrantless surveillance program to operate for another year. [The program] grew out of the once-secret Stellarwind project, which President George W. Bush started after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. In 2008, Congress legalized the practice. The surveillance is carried out by the National Security Agency, but three other entities – the C.I.A., the National Counterterrorism Center and the F.B.I. – also receive access to streams of "raw" messages. The F.B.I. receives only a small portion of the messages that the National Security Agency vacuums up: The bureau gets copies of intercepts to and from targets who are deemed relevant to a full and active F.B.I. national security investigation. In 2019, the most recent year for which data is public, the program had more than 200,000 targets.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on intelligence agency corruption and the disappearance of privacy from reliable major media sources.


After crime plummeted in 2020, Baltimore will stop drug, sex prosecutions
2021-03-26, Washington Post
Posted: 2021-05-02 15:52:53
https://www.washingtonpost.com/dc-md-va/2021/03/26/baltimore-reducing-prosecu...

Something happened in Baltimore last year. The coronavirus pandemic hit, and State's Attorney Marilyn J. Mosby announced that the city would no longer prosecute drug possession, prostitution, trespassing and other minor charges, to keep people out of jail and limit the spread of the deadly virus. And then crime went down in Baltimore. A lot. While violent crime and homicides skyrocketed in most other big American cities last year, violent crime in Baltimore dropped 20 percent from last March to this month, property crime decreased 36 percent, and there were 13 fewer homicides compared with the previous year. This happened while 39 percent fewer people entered the city's criminal justice system in the one-year period, and 20 percent fewer people landed in jail after Mosby's office dismissed more than 1,400 pending cases and tossed out more than 1,400 warrants for nonviolent crimes. So on Friday, Mosby made her temporary steps permanent. She announced Baltimore City will continue to decline prosecution of all drug possession, prostitution, minor traffic and misdemeanor cases, and will partner with a local behavioral health service to aggressively reach out to drug users, sex workers and people in psychiatric crisis to direct them into treatment rather than the back of a patrol car. A number of big-city prosecutors have moved to decriminalize drugs, and Oregon voters decriminalized small amounts of drugs statewide.

Note: The fact that the rest of the US last year experienced a "Massive 1-Year Rise In Homicide Rates" makes this all the more impressive. A 2016 report by the Johns Hopkins-Lancet Commission on Public Health and International Drug Policy found that the the war on drugs harmed public health. When Portugal decriminalized drugs, its addiction rates were cut in half.


Faulty Testimony, Practices Found in FBI Lab Probe
1997-04-16, Los Angeles Times
Posted: 2021-05-02 15:43:41
https://www.latimes.com/archives/la-xpm-1997-04-16-mn-49173-story.html

FBI crime laboratory experts gave inaccurate testimony at the trials of defendants in the World Trade Center blast and the 1989 bombing of Avianca Flight 203 in Colombia, and lab scientists and technicians used shoddy analysis and did not follow procedures in scores of other cases, the Justice Department's inspector general concluded. Those findings, coupled with serious problems in the way lab officials conducted themselves in the Oklahoma City bombing and the O.J. Simpson case, are part of a sweeping, 18-month investigation into significant failures at the lab at FBI headquarters in Washington. In addition to conclusions about how lab officials have performed in court, the inspector general also found that the bureau's scientists and technicians did not properly document their test results and poorly prepared lab reports. Overall, in investigating work at the lab's three key sections - the chemistry-toxicology, explosives and materials analysis units - [Inspector General Michael] Bromwich said: "We found significant instances of testimonial errors, substandard analytical work and deficient practices." Investigators also discovered instances where dictation on lab reports was altered and lab supervisors did not properly manage their agents. Bromwich's report does not say when or why the problems began at the lab, but some of the cases studied date back to the 1980s. As early as 1991, top FBI management was alerted to failures at the lab.

Note: Read more about major issues with the Oklahoma City bombing investigation. More recently, the FBI has admitted to problems in its forensics unit leading to decades of flawed testimony in criminal trials. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption from reliable major media sources.


FBI Issued Flawed Bombing Analysis, U.S. Probe Finds
1997-03-22,
Posted: 2021-05-02 15:39:43

The Justice Department inspector general's office has determined that the FBI crime laboratory made "scientifically unsound" conclusions in the Oklahoma City bombing case, finding that supervisors approved lab reports they "cannot support" and many analyses were "biased in favor of the prosecution." The still-secret draft report, obtained by The Times, also concludes that FBI lab officials may have erred about the size of the blast and the amount of explosives involved and may not know for certain that ammonium nitrate was used for the main charge that killed 168 people and injured more than 850 others. The draft report shows that FBI examiners could not identify the triggering device for the truck bomb or how it was detonated on April 19, 1995, and it warns that a poorly maintained lab environment could have led to contamination of critical pieces of evidence, such as debris found on the clothing of defendant Timothy J. McVeigh. If entered into evidence at McVeigh's trial ... the draft report could provide a measure of doubt about whether bomb residue evidence was properly handled and professionally examined by experts at the Washington lab. The Justice investigation began after complaints were made by Frederic Whitehurst, an FBI chemist and the principal whistle blower on problems at the lab. While confirming many accusations made by Whitehurst and others, the report also knocks down a number of Whitehurst's charges.

Note: Read more about major issues with the Oklahoma City bombing investigation. More recently, the FBI has admitted to problems in its forensics unit leading to decades of flawed testimony in criminal trials. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption from reliable major media sources.


Her Ballot Didn't Count. She Faces 5 Years in Prison for Casting It.
2021-04-03, New York Times
Posted: 2021-04-25 22:07:15
https://www.nytimes.com/2021/04/03/us/texas-provisional-ballot-appeal.html

On Election Day 2016, Crystal Mason went to vote. When her name didn't appear on official voting rolls at her polling place in Tarrant County, Texas, she filled out a provisional ballot. Ms. Mason's ballot was never officially counted or tallied because she was ineligible to vote: She was on supervised release after serving five years for tax fraud. Nonetheless, that ballot has wrangled her into a lengthy appeals process after a state district court sentenced her to five years in prison for illegal voting, as she was a felon on probation when she cast her ballot. Ms. Mason maintains that she didn't know she was ineligible to vote. Her case is now headed for the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, the highest state court for criminal cases. Ms. Mason unsuccessfully asked for a new trial and lost her case in an appellate court. This new appeal is the last chance for Ms. Mason, 46, who is out on appeal bond, to avoid prison. If her case has to advance to the federal court system, Ms. Mason would have to appeal from a cell. According to Tommy Buser-Clancy, a lawyer at the American Civil Liberties Union of Texas, Ms. Mason should never have never been convicted. If there is ambiguity in someone's eligibility, the provisional ballot system is there to account for it, he said. If her eligibility was incorrect, he said, "that should be the end of the story." 72 percent of [Texas attorney general, Ken] Paxton's voter fraud cases have targeted people of color.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on elections corruption from reliable major media sources.


Baltimore will no longer prosecute drug possession, prostitution and other low-level offenses
2021-03-27, CNN News
Posted: 2021-04-18 14:51:15
https://www.cnn.com/2021/03/27/us/baltimore-prosecute-prostitution-drug-posse...

Baltimore City State's Attorney Marilyn Mosby says the city will no longer prosecute for prostitution, drug possession and other low-level offenses. Mosby made the announcement on Friday following her office's one-year experiment in not prosecuting minor offenses to decrease the spread of Covid-19 behind bars. "Today, America's war on drug users is over in the city of Baltimore. We leave behind the era of tough-on-crime prosecution and zero tolerance policing and no longer default to the status quo to criminalize mostly people of color for addiction, said Mosby. The experiment, known as The Covid Criminal Justice Policies, is an approach to crime developed with public health authorities. Instead of prosecuting people arrested for minor crimes ... the program dealt with those crimes as public health issues and work with community partners to help find solutions. The program has led to decreases in the overall incarcerated Baltimore population by 18%. Violent and property crimes are down 20% and 36% respectively. Mosby said her office will no longer prosecute the following offenses: drug and drug paraphernalia possession, prostitution, trespassing, minor traffic offense, open container violations, and urinating and defecating in public. The state's attorney's office is also working with the Baltimore Police Department and Baltimore Crisis Response Inc. (BCRI), a crisis center dealing with mental health and substance abuse issue, to offer services instead of arresting individuals.

Note: Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.


Nobel laureates condemn 'judicial harassment' of environmental lawyer
2020-04-18, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2021-03-23 01:51:29
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/apr/18/nobel-laureates-condemn-judicia...

Twenty-nine Nobel laureates have condemned alleged "judicial harassment" by Chevron and urged the release of a US environmental lawyer who was put under house arrest for pursuing oil-spill compensation claims on behalf of indigenous tribes in the Amazon. The open letter signed by scientists, authors, environmentalists and human rights activists said the treatment of lawyer Steven Donziger, whose movements have been restricted for more than 250 days, was one of the world's most egregious cases of judicial harassment and defamation. Donziger represents 30,000 indigenous people and small farmers who won a $9.5bn class action lawsuit against Chevron in Ecuadorean courts in 2013, as compensation for the contamination of their land by oil extraction activities. This judgment was one of the largest ever against an oil company, but not a cent of these damages has been paid to the plaintiffs. Donziger, who has been involved with the case for 27 years, has pressed for justice and payment of damages to his clients at increasing personal cost. His reputation, legal credentials and liberty have come under attack. Chevron has lobbied for his removal from bar associations and launched a countersuit accusing him of bribery and fraud, which was upheld by district judge Lewis A Kaplan in 2014. It was later reported that Chevron paid more than a million dollars for one of the key witnesses in the case – an Ecuadorean judge – to come to the United States. That witness later said he lied under oath.

Note: For lots more, read this Mother Jones article titled "How Did a Lawyer Who Took on Big Oil and Won End up Under House Arrest?." For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corporate corruption from reliable major media sources.


FBI Lab Flaws Traced To 3,000 Cases
2003-04-16, CBS News
Posted: 2021-03-14 16:18:53
https://www.cbsnews.com/news/fbi-lab-flaws-traced-to-3000-cases/

More than six years after the FBI crime laboratory was rocked by controversy, the Justice Department has identified about 3,000 criminal cases that could have been affected by flawed science and skewed testimony. Government officials told The Associated Press they are aware of between 100 and 150 cases in which prosecutors have alerted defendants of problems they concluded were material to verdicts. None has resulted in overturned convictions, they said. The identification of cases and prosecutorial reviews are the final stages of a scandal that shook the FBI during the mid-1990s when a senior chemist at the famed crime lab went public with allegations of shoddy work, tainted evidence and skewed testimony. A Justice Department internal investigation concluded in 1997 that 13 lab technicians made scientific errors in cases or slanted testimony to help prosecutors. Several were reprimanded, but none was fired or prosecuted. Some criminal defense lawyers are concerned by the Justice Department's decision to let federal, state and local prosecutors decide whether to notify defendants of problems. "That's like asking the fox to guard the hen house," said former federal prosecutor Neal Sonnett. He is past president of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. "If there is a possibility that evidence has been tainted, then the Department of Justice or prosecutors should not be the arbiter of whether it's material," Sonnett said.

Note: In 2015, the FBI admitted its scientists used flawed evidence for decades to help prosecutors wrongfully convict defendants. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption from reliable major media sources.


A Cop Shoots a Black Man, and a Police Union Flexes Its Muscle
2020-11-17, US News & World Report/Reuters
Posted: 2020-11-22 23:40:55
https://www.usnews.com/news/top-news/articles/2020-11-17/special-report-a-cop...

By the time Officer Joseph Ferrigno shot a Black man from behind, court records show, the Rochester cop had drawn at least 23 misconduct complaints in nearly nine years on the force. Through it all, the Rochester Police Department and the Locust Club, the local police union, stood by Ferrigno. Then came April 1, 2016, when Ferrigno ... spotted a Chevrolet Impala. He saw two Black men inside. Ferrigno drew his Glock handgun. Silvon Simmons, the passenger in the Impala ... heard no warning. Simmons stepped from the Impala and ... ran toward the back door of the house where he lived. Ferrigno fired four shots, hitting Simmons three times. Before leaving the scene, Ferrigno asked for two things: a lawyer and a union rep. The officer, who told detectives he "was shaking and still in a state of shock," was driven to the station and later sent home. Simmons, stripped naked by paramedics treating his wounds, was handcuffed and loaded into an ambulance. Although Simmons was the one who took three bullets, Ferrigno is listed as the victim in at least 65 police reports. Police said they had been searching for a man wanted for threatening a woman with a gun. Ferrigno had been shot at and returned fire, striking his alleged assailant three times, the reports said. When [Judge Melchor] Castro came to his hospital room in 2016 to explain the charges ... Simmons was incredulous. "What in the world are you talking about?" Simmons recalled telling the judge. "I'm the one who got shot."

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on police corruption from reliable major media sources.


Anti-Nuclear Pacifists Get Federal Prison Terms for Nonviolent Protest
2020-11-16, The Intercept
Posted: 2020-11-22 23:39:05
https://theintercept.com/2020/11/16/nonviolent-protest-plowshares-nuclear/

Each weekend, while New York City's East Village packs into sidewalk tables for brunch, activist Carmen Trotta leads a vigil for ending the U.S.-backed war in Yemen in Tompkins Square Park. He only has a few more Saturday mornings before he must report to federal prison, along with fellow activists from Plowshares, the anti-nuclear, Christian pacifist movement. Trotta, Martha Hennessy, Clare Grady, and Patrick O'Neill are due to report to prison within the next few months for activism against a suspected nuclear weapons depot. Trotta and Hennessy ... peacefully broke into the naval base in Brunswick, Georgia – risking their own lives to protest the suspected nuclear arsenal housed within. Armed only with vials of their own blood, hammers, GoPro cameras, spray paint, protest banners, and whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg's book, the activists symbolically attempted to disarm the nuclear weapons located on the Trident submarines at the base. All but one of the activists have quietly been sentenced in their faith-based battle with the U.S. government. The activists were charged with three felonies – conspiracy, destruction of government property, depredation – and misdemeanor trespassing. The sentencing – sending aging activists to federal prisons amid the coronavirus pandemic – fits squarely within the long history of the U.S. government throwing the book at people of conscience who dare to dissent. Trotta got 14 months, Grady was given 12 months and one day, and Hennessy was sentenced to 10 months.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and nuclear power from reliable major media sources.


After a summer of protest, Americans voted for policing and criminal justice reform
2020-11-14, Washington Post
Posted: 2020-11-22 23:37:11
https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/criminal-justice-election/2020/11/13/...

Americans took to the streets for extended demonstrations this summer to protest police violence and racial injustice. Then, on Election Day, they took to the voting booth to endorse criminal justice and policing changes. With a wave of votes across the country, Americans backed a string of measures increasing police oversight, elected reform-minded prosecutors, loosened drug laws and passed other proposals rethinking key elements of law enforcement and justice in their communities. These votes, taken together, signal that after a summer of protest brought renewed scrutiny to the justice system, many Americans were open to rethinking how it functions. Voters in Oakland, Calif., moved to create an inspector general's office outside the police force to review officer misconduct. In Columbus, Ohio, voters passed an amendment creating a civilian police review board and an inspector general. San Diegans supported replacing a police review board with a commission that would have subpoena power and the authority to investigate police misconduct. These votes were not exclusively in big cities. In Kyle, Tex., outside Austin, voters overwhelmingly passed a proposition requiring police policies to be reviewed by the city council and put under a committee's oversight. Voters in several places supported loosening drug laws. Oregon voters backed a ballot measure decriminalizing small amounts of drugs including cocaine and heroin. New Jersey, Arizona, Montana and South Dakota ... legalized recreational marijuana.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on police corruption from reliable major media sources.


Special Report: Why 4,998 died in U.S. jails without getting their day in court
2020-10-16, Reuters
Posted: 2020-10-27 19:31:29
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-jails-deaths-special-report/special-re...

Harvey Hill wouldn't leave John Finnegan's front yard. He stood in the pouring rain, laughing at the sky, alarming his former boss' wife. Finnegan dialed 911. "He needs a mental evaluation," the landscaper recalls telling the arriving officer. Instead, Hill was charged with trespassing and jailed. At the Madison County Detention Center ... guards tackled the 36-year-old, pepper sprayed him and kicked him repeatedly in the head. After handcuffing him, two guards slammed Hill into a concrete wall, previously unpublished jail surveillance video shows. They led him to a shower, away from the cameras, and beat him again, still handcuffed, a state investigation found. Video showed Hill writhing in pain in the infirmary, where he was assessed by a licensed practical nurse but not given medication. Hill was sent straight to an isolation cell. Within hours, he was dead. And he had a lot of company. Hill's is one of 7,571 inmate deaths Reuters documented in an unprecedented examination of mortality in more than 500 U.S. jails from 2008 to 2019. Death rates have soared in those lockups, rising 35% over the decade ending last year. Casualties like Hill are typical: held on minor charges and dying without ever getting their day in court. At least two-thirds of the dead inmates identified by Reuters, 4,998 people, were never convicted of the charges on which they were being held. Reuters is making the full data it gathered available to the public here.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on prison system corruption from reliable major media sources.


More than half of all wrongful criminal convictions are caused by government misconduct
2020-09-16, Washington Post
Posted: 2020-09-28 03:29:23
https://www.washingtonpost.com/crime-law/2020/09/16/more-than-half-all-wrongf...

A new study digs into the reasons people are wrongly convicted, and it has found that 54 percent of those defendants are victimized by official misconduct, with police involved in 34 percent of cases, prosecutors in 30 percent, and some cases involving both police and prosecutors. The study by the National Registry of Exonerations reviewed 2,400 exonerations it has logged between 1989 and 2019, nearly 80 percent of which were for violent felonies. Of the 2,400, 93 innocent defendants were sentenced to death and later cleared before they were executed. The study also found that police and prosecutors are rarely disciplined for actions that lead to a wrongful conviction. Researchers found that 4 percent of prosecutors involved in those convictions were disciplined, but the penalties were “comparatively mild” and only three were disbarred. Police officers were disciplined in 19 percent of cases leading to wrongful convictions, and in 80 percent of those cases officers were convicted of crimes, such as Chicago police Sgt. Ronald Watts, who led a group of officers who planted drug or gun evidence leading to 66 false convictions. The 2,400 cases are far from a comprehensive count, since there is no centralized national database of criminal cases at the state and local levels. So an estimate of how often wrongful convictions occur, as a percentage of overall cases, is not possible. The study acknowledges there are other areas to examine, including quantifying ineffective assistance by defense attorneys.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corruption in policing and in the judicial system from reliable major media sources.


The long quest to stop a ‘Sugar Daddy’ judge accused of preying on women
2020-07-14, Reuters
Posted: 2020-09-20 19:48:29
https://www.reuters.com/investigates/special-report/usa-judges-commissions/

She was 30 years old, jobless and facing a custody fight. To keep her kids, she needed a lawyer. Tim Parker seemed ideal. The woman told authorities that she covered part of her legal fees by having sex with Parker, and that Parker paid her at least $3,000 for more sex over the next two years. But [Parker] wasn't just a lawyer. He was also a part-time judge. Although the woman declined to talk with Reuters, she alleged in secret testimony to the agency that Parker had also used his authority as a judge to help her friends bond out of jail, again in return for sex. The alleged conduct was not isolated. City police, the sheriff’s office, the state police, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and a federal grand jury investigated Parker for about four years. Witnesses gave evidence that the judge disclosed the identity of a confidential informant; traded money and opioids for sex; and gave favorable treatment to young women in his courtroom, Reuters found. Despite the intense scrutiny, Parker, 58, was never charged with any crime. Still, Parker’s term on the bench ended in disgrace, when the state judicial commission forced his removal and resignation on what was already scheduled to be his final day in office. The story of Tim Parker shows how hard it can be to remove an American judge suspected of corruption. In its investigation into judicial misconduct across America, Reuters ... found at least 5,206 people who were directly affected by a judge’s misconduct.

Note: Don’t miss the entire Reuters series titled “The Teflon Robe”. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on judicial system corruption from reliable major media sources.


With ‘judges judging judges,’ rogues on the bench have little to fear
2020-07-09, Reuters
Posted: 2020-09-20 19:47:04
https://www.reuters.com/investigates/special-report/usa-judges-deals/

District Court Judge Curtis DeLapp was renowned for his hair-trigger temper. For almost a dozen years, DeLapp used his power to terrify people who appeared before him, pressing contempt charges against defense attorneys, prosecutors and even a prospective juror who brought children to court when she couldn’t find daycare, court records show. Local attorneys had grown convinced that DeLapp was violating the state’s judicial conduct code by abusing his authority. They worked collectively to build a voluminous complaint alleging that DeLapp had unlawfully jailed ... dozens of people. The complaint also contained an explosive charge: that the judge may have fabricated a court document. Had DeLapp fought the charges, he risked more than disgrace. If it could be proved that he submitted a forged document to the supreme court, he might land in prison. Instead, DeLapp, 53, struck a deal. He resigned and agreed never again to seek office as a judge. The case against him was dismissed. His state pension and law license remained intact. And DeLapp received a written assurance that neither his departure nor the settlement constituted an admission to the “validity of any of the allegations.” In leaving the bench, DeLapp became one of at least 341 judges across the United States to escape punishment or further investigation in the past dozen years by resigning or retiring amid misconduct allegations, Reuters found. In most states, the ultimate disciplinary authority over a judge rests with other judges.

Note: Don’t miss the entire Reuters series titled “The Teflon Robe”. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on judicial system corruption from reliable major media sources.


Thousands of U.S. judges who broke laws or oaths remained on the bench
2020-06-30, Reuters
Posted: 2020-09-14 16:25:45
https://www.reuters.com/investigates/special-report/usa-judges-misconduct/

Judge Les Hayes once sentenced a single mother to 496 days behind bars for failing to pay traffic tickets. In 2016, the state agency that oversees judges charged Hayes with violating Alabama’s code of judicial conduct. According to the Judicial Inquiry Commission, Hayes broke state and federal laws by jailing Johnson and hundreds of other Montgomery residents too poor to pay fines. Among those jailed: a plumber struggling to make rent, a mother who skipped meals to cover the medical bills of her disabled son, and a hotel housekeeper. Hayes, a judge since 2000, admitted in court documents to violating 10 different parts of the state’s judicial conduct code. One of the counts was a breach of a judge’s most essential duty: failing to “respect and comply with the law.” Despite the severity of the ruling, Hayes wasn’t barred from serving as a judge. Hayes is among thousands of state and local judges across America who were allowed to keep positions of extraordinary power and prestige after violating judicial ethics rules or breaking laws they pledged to uphold, a Reuters investigation found. All told, 9 of every 10 judges were allowed to return to the bench after they were sanctioned for misconduct, Reuters determined. They included a California judge who had sex in his courthouse chambers ... a New York judge who berated domestic violence victims; and a Maryland judge who, after his arrest for driving drunk, was allowed to return to the bench provided he took a Breathalyzer test before each appearance.

Note: Don’t miss the entire Reuters series titled “The Teflon Robe”. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on judicial system corruption from reliable major media sources.


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