As of February 18, we're $15,900 in the red for the quarter. Donate here to support this vital work
Subscribe here and join the 13,823 subscribers to our free weekly newsletter

Court and Judicial Corruption News Stories

Below are key excerpts of revealing news articles on Court and Judicial Corruption from reliable news media sources. If any link fails to function, a paywall blocks full access, or the article is no longer available, try these digital tools.

Explore our comprehensive news index on a wide variety of fascinating topics.
Explore the top 20 most revealing news media articles we've summarized.
Check out 10 useful approaches for making sense of the media landscape.

Sort articles by: Article Date | Date Posted on WantToKnow.info | Importance

Source Who Revealed How Taxes Steal for the Rich Rewarded With Five Years in Prison
2024-02-02, Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting
Posted: 2024-02-19 21:29:41
https://fair.org/home/source-who-revealed-how-taxes-steal-for-the-rich-reward...

Because of Charles Littlejohn, we know that former President Donald Trump and a whole bunch of other rich people pay next to nothing in taxes. Littlejohn, a former consultant at the Internal Revenue Service, leaked these tax returns. For leaking this sensitive information, Littlejohn has been sentenced to five years in federal prison, the maximum jail term. Littlejohn’s lawyers (Bloomberg, 1/18/24) had argued that he had acted “out of a deep, moral belief that the American people had a right to know the information and sharing it was the only way to effect change.” Littlejohn now joins people like Reality Winner (New York Times, 8/23/18) and Chelsea Manning (NPR, 1/17/17), security and military-sector leakers who put their freedom on the line to disclose government secrets they felt should be a matter of the public record. The fact of the matter is that investigative journalism can only happen because of leakers who take great risks. Adrian Schoolcraft, an NYPD officer who provided the Village Voice (5/4/10) with evidence of statistics manipulation, felt the wrath of government power when he was eventually forced into a psychiatric ward (Chief, 10/5/15). Edward Snowden, who provided the Guardian (6/11/13) with details about widespread NSA surveillance, is still in exile in Russia as a result of his decision to be a whistleblower. By revealing what the rich can legally get away with, [Littlejohn] was demonstrating that we live in an increasingly divided society.

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


New York has paid record $322m to people wrongly incarcerated since 1989
2024-01-17, The Guardian (One of the UK's Leading Newspapers)
Posted: 2024-02-04 21:24:13
https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2024/jan/17/new-york-payouts-wrongul-inca...

New York has paid out the most of any state in the US to people wrongly incarcerated, according to a new study. High Rise Financial ... analyzed data from the National Registry of Exonerations, a database on exonerated people in each state. New York state has paid out a total of $322m to those wrongfully incarcerated. The state has awarded 237 claims for wrongful imprisonment out of 326 exonerated people. Such payouts cost New York taxpayers $15.97 per person, also the largest per-capita payment out of any state, the study found. Texas, Connecticut, Maryland and Michigan were the other states in the top five that paid out the most to exonerated people. Texas paid out the second highest amount, awarding a total of $155m to 128 people out of 450 people exonerated. The most recent study comes as the amount of exoneration has steadily increased in recent years, according to Maurice Chammah, a journalist with the Marshall Project. Chammah added that getting compensation for a wrong conviction can be tough in some states. In Texas, where lawmakers have paid out large sums to exonerees, legislators have also placed “really harsh limits on accessing that money”. “You sometimes need to be declared actually innocent by a court in a way that is like a very high and difficult barrier to meet,” Chammah said. Overall, Chammah noted that such figures could prompt legislators to pass bills that could limit wrongful incarceration in the first place.

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


Biden Is Overseeing the Silent Death of the First Amendment
2023-12-08, The Nation
Posted: 2023-12-18 18:52:03
https://www.thenation.com/article/politics/julian-assange-belmarsh-tribunal/

In early 2024, a new, grim chapter may be written in the annals of journalistic history. Julian Assange, the publisher of Wikileaks, could board a plane for extradition to the United States, where he faces up to 175 years in prison on espionage charges for the crime of publishing newsworthy information. The persecution of Assange is clear evidence that the Biden administration is overseeing the silent death of the First Amendment—with global consequences. Wikileaks exposed not only civilian casualties, torture, and other human rights abuses through projects such as the Iraq War Logs, but also published documents that offer invaluable insight into conflicts still raging today. For example, cables released by Wikileaks in the 2010 Cablegate leaks show Israel’s policy towards Gaza in the years following Hamas’s election victory in 2006. According to the cable, Israel determined that Hamas’s rise in Gaza would benefit them as it would allow the Israeli military to “deal with Gaza as a hostile state” and so turned down a Palestinian Authority request for assistance in defeating Hamas. Israeli policy to blockaded Gaza was to “keep the Gazan economy functioning at the lowest possible level consistent with avoiding humanitarian crisis.” The application of the Espionage Act in the US sets a chilling precedent that reverberates far beyond Assange’s individual fate. The struggle for press freedom is ongoing.

Note: The US prosecution of Assange undermines press freedom. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and media manipulation from reliable sources.


COVID vaccine 'black hole' for injury claims is unconstitutional, lawsuit says
2023-10-10, Reuters
Posted: 2023-12-04 14:22:07
https://www.reuters.com/legal/government/column-covid-vaccine-black-hole-inju...

Kangaroo court. That’s how plaintiffs lawyers in a federal lawsuit ... describe the obscure U.S. government tribunal charged with adjudicating claims for compensation by thousands of people who say they suffered serious injuries from COVID-19 vaccines. The lawsuit ... alleges that the Countermeasures Injury Compensation Program (CICP) violates the 5th and 7th amendments of the U.S. Constitution by failing to provide “basic due process protections, transparency, and judicial oversight.” The plaintiffs — eight people who say they experienced debilitating side-effects from the COVID-19 vaccine, as well as React 19, a nonprofit organization for people who claim vaccine-related injuries, want to stop the government from forcing their claims into the CICP until due process safeguards are added. Those include the right to review evidence, obtain discovery, present expert witnesses and appeal adverse decisions. Vaccine makers Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson, which have been indemnified by the government and are not named in the suit, also did not immediately respond to requests for comment. The plaintiffs blame the COVID vaccine for causing a wide range of ailments including Bell’s palsy, blood clots in the brain, vertigo, vascular inflammation, chronic fatigue syndrome, small fiber neuropathy, heart palpitations and more. Four plaintiffs have filed claims for compensation with the CICP but have been told there is “no timeline” for adjudicating their cases.

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


Lawsuit: COVID Vaccine Injury Claims Diverted to Unconstitutional 'Kangaroo Court'
2023-11-21, Reason
Posted: 2023-12-04 14:17:25
https://reason.com/2023/11/21/lawsuit-covid-vaccine-injury-claims-diverted-to...

People injured by the COVID-19 vaccines are suing the federal government, claiming the federal program they're forced to pursue compensation through is an opaque and unconstitutional "kangaroo court" that unjustly rejects almost all claims it receives. React19, a patient group of the vaccine injured ... is one of several plaintiffs challenging the constitutionality of the Countermeasures Injury Compensation Program (CICP). The other plaintiffs are all individuals whose compensation claims were rejected by the CICP, despite many having diagnoses from their doctors that the severe injuries they experienced within a few hours or days of receiving a COVID-19 vaccine were a result of the vaccine. Their lawsuit was filed in October. The CICP is currently the only avenue through which those with a COVID-19 vaccine injury can seek compensation. A mix of federal law and pandemic-era emergency declarations bar the vaccine injured from suing vaccine manufacturers in civil court. Those with a COVID-19 vaccine injury are also prohibited from pursuing compensation through the standard Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP). People must file a CICP claim within one year of vaccination. "Most of us don't know what's wrong with us for over a year if we can ever get a diagnosis," says [legal affairs director for React19 Christopher] Dreisbach, who himself suffered a COVID-19 vaccine injury. "So many ... don't even know the program even exists." The CICP was first authorized in 2005 by a piece of war-on-terror legislation intended to encourage companies to produce emergency countermeasures to a bioweapons attack or a similar disaster by shielding them from lawsuits.

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


Court tosses EPA ban on pesticide linked to brain damage in kids
2023-11-02, The Hill
Posted: 2023-11-26 17:35:46
https://thehill.com/policy/energy-environment/4291117-court-tosses-epa-ban-pe...

A federal appeals court on Thursday is tossing the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) ban on a pesticide that has been linked to brain damage in children. The decision from the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals to send the rule back to the agency does not preclude the agency from reinstating the ban in the future. But it said the EPA needs to give greater consideration to whether there are cases where the pesticide, called chlorpyrifos, could be used safely. Chlorpyrifos has been used as an insecticide, protecting crops like soybeans, broccoli, cauliflower and fruit trees. The EPA banned chlorpyrifos for use in growing food in 2021. That came after a prior court ruling gave the agency just 60 days to either find a safe use for chlorpyrifos or ban it outright. The appeals court determined that this deadline contributed to a rushed decision from EPA that was ultimately “arbitrary and capricious.” The ruling comes from Judges Lavenski Smith, Raymond Gruender and David Stras, two of whom were appointed by former President George W. Bush and one of whom was appointed by former President Trump. The chlorpyrifos issue has ping-ponged between administrations. The Obama administration had proposed to ban its use on food, but the Trump administration reversed course and had proposed to allow some uses of the chemical. 

Note: Did you know that chlorpyrifos was originally developed by Nazis during World War II for use as a nerve gas? Read more about the history and politics of chlorpyrifos, and how U.S. regulators relied on falsified data to allow its use for years. See other concise news articles we've summarized about the harms of chlorpyrifos.


Innocent Lives in the Balance: The Real Risk of Executing the Innocent
2023-10-10, ScheerPost
Posted: 2023-11-12 19:29:04
https://scheerpost.com/2023/10/10/innocent-lives-in-the-balance-the-real-risk...

Since 1973, at least 194 people have been freed from death row after evidence of innocence revealed that they had been wrongfully convicted. That’s almost one person exonerated for every ten who’ve been executed. Wrongful convictions rob innocent people of decades of their lives, waste tax dollars, and re-traumatize the victim’s family, while the people responsible remain unaccountable. Contrary to popular belief, the appeals process is not designed to catch cases of innocence. It is simply to determine whether the original trial was conducted properly. Most exonerations came only because of the extraordinary efforts of people working outside the system – pro bono lawyers, family members, even students. Wrongfully convicted people have spent up to 33 years on death row ... before the truth came to light. Any effort to streamline the death penalty process or cut appeals will only increase the risk that an innocent person is executed. Frank Lee Smith was sentenced to death in Florida on the testimony of a single witness. Four years later, the same witness saw a photo of a different man and realized she had made a mistake. DNA tests later confirmed that Smith was innocent, but it was too late. He had died in prison. Cameron Todd Willingham was executed in Texas in 2004 for setting fire to his home, killing his three children. Experts now say that the arson theories used in the investigation are scientifically invalid. Willingham may very well have been executed for an accidental fire.

Note: Read more about the innocent people sentenced to death in the US. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on judicial system corruption from reliable major media sources.


The FBI’s Most Controversial Surveillance Tool Is Under Threat
2023-02-10, Wired
Posted: 2023-09-18 14:16:54
https://www.wired.com/story/fbi-section-702/

New details about the FBI’s failures to comply with restrictions on the use of foreign intelligence for domestic crimes have emerged. Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) ... grants the government the ability to intercept the electronic communications of overseas targets who are unprotected by the Fourth Amendment. That authority is set to expire at the end of the year. But errors in the FBI’s secondary use of the data—the investigation of crimes on US soil—are likely to inflame an already fierce debate over whether law enforcement agents can be trusted with such an invasive tool. Central to this tension has been a routine audit by the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) national security division and the office of the director of national intelligence (ODNI) ... which unearthed new examples of the FBI failing to comply with rules limiting access to intelligence ostensibly gathered to protect US national security. Such “errors,” they said, have occurred on a “large number” of occasions. A report on the audit, only recently declassified, found that in the first half of 2020, FBI personnel unlawfully searched raw FISA data on numerous occasions. In one incident, agents reportedly sought evidence of foreign influence linked to a US lawmaker. In another, an inappropriate search pertained to a local political party. In what privacy and civil liberties lawyers have termed a “backdoor search,” the FBI regularly searches through unminimized data during investigations, and routinely prior to launching them.

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.


I was every woman’s worst nightmare. Restorative justice changed me.
2023-04-26, Waging Nonviolence
Posted: 2023-09-18 14:02:18
https://wagingnonviolence.org/2023/04/restorative-justice-changed-me-every-wo...

There are over 4,100 private companies in the U.S. profiting off of mass incarceration, which is a multi-billion-dollar business. With an incarcerated population of 2.2 million, the U.S. does not have a system premised on reform or creating model citizens. Most return to public life worse than when they began their prison sentences, only to be overshadowed by a national recidivism rate that’s staggering — as high as 70 percent within the first five years out and 80 percent for prisoners with juvenile records. In the restorative justice theory of change, prisoners self-identify with new, positive identities, replacing old negative self-identities. As a result, they develop healthy social support that reinforces these new identities. The concept: If you think you are scum, you will act like scum. However, if you think you are gifted, with talents, abilities and a positive identity, that’s how you will more likely act on a regular basis. Restorative justice views crime not simply as the breaking of a law, but as damage to individuals, property, relationships and the community. It represents a holistic approach to addressing criminal behavior. And it becomes a great tool toward healing the communities harmed. When we build relationships, we humanize each other and rather than simply being faceless people, we become friends, family members, students and mentors. It then becomes easier for participants to understand the harm they caused and to take responsibility. It’s a chance for the offenders to examine themselves, and understand why they made the choices they did, how they harmed the victim, family and community, and what they can do differently in the future.

Note: We've summarized many articles about the power of restorative justice. Explore more positive stories like this in our comprehensive inspiring news articles archive focused on solutions and bridging divides.


Faced with a violent killing, a family chooses forgiveness over prison
2023-06-26, The Guardian (One of the UK's Leading Newspapers)
Posted: 2023-07-10 16:26:47
https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2023/jun/26/restorative-justice-murder-ch...

Alex Fields had not spoken to his nephew in four years. Not since the killing. But when his nephew Donald Fields Jr finally appeared over Zoom from the county jail, Alex Fields was consumed by the moment. Don Jr was charged with the murder of his father, Donald Fields Sr, in 2016. Today was the first step in a long journey that would see a tragedy transformed into a pioneering case of compassion in America's punitive criminal justice system. It marked the first time that restorative justice – the act of resolving crimes through community reconciliation and accountability over traditional punishment – had been used in a homicide case in the state of North Carolina. And probably the first case of its kind in the US. The DA's office forged a new plea deal, which offered Don Jr the opportunity to plead guilty to voluntary manslaughter, which could see him sentenced to "time served". The family worked on a new repair agreement, which was 13 points long and had conditions facilitating Don Jr's release. There is increasing evidence that use of restorative justice lowers rates of recidivism. Those who are victims of violence are far more likely to become perpetrators of violent acts later on. "Just as we cannot incarcerate our way out of violence, we cannot reform our way out of mass incarceration without taking on the question of violence," [Danielle Sered] writes. "The context in which violence happens matters, as do the identities and experiences of those involved.”

Note: Danielle Sered is the founder of a Brooklyn-based restorative justice organization Common Justice, which is the first alternative-to-incarceration and victim-service program in the United States that focuses on violent felonies in the adult courts. For further reading, explore her book, Until We Reckon: Violence, Mass Incarceration, and a Road to Repair.


A son died, his parents tried to sue. How U.S. courts protect Big Pharma
2023-06-26, Reuters
Posted: 2023-07-03 15:50:33
https://www.reuters.com/investigates/special-report/usa-lawsuits-merck-singul...

Nicholas England, a healthy 22-year-old from Virginia, shot himself in the head in 2017, less than two weeks after he started taking an allergy medicine that had been linked for years to episodes of depression and suicidal thinking. His parents soon started exploring a lawsuit against Merck, the developer of the blockbuster asthma and allergy drug, Singulair. Nicholas had no history of mental-health problems, they said. The Englands were shocked to learn from legal advisers that they had no case. Like countless other potential plaintiffs, they had run into one of Corporate America's most effective liability shields: the legal doctrine of preemption, the principle that federal law supersedes state law. Armed with U.S. Supreme Court rulings on preemption starting in the 1990s, companies increasingly argue that federally regulated products or services should be immune from lawsuits alleging state-law violations. State laws historically have provided the legal basis for some of the most common lawsuits against U.S. companies alleging injuries, deaths or illnesses caused by negligence or defective products. Pending lawsuits against Merck allege that the company's own early research indicated the drug could impact the brain but that Merck downplayed any risks in statements to regulators. It wasn't until 2020 that the FDA slapped its most serious warning, called a "black box," on the drug's label. By that time, the FDA had received more than 80 reports of suicides in people taking the medicine.

Note: Read more about Singulair and its dangers to human health, along with the tremendous financial conflicts of interests resulting in the FDA protecting the pharmaceutical industry first, and the health of the people second. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on pharmaceutical industry corruption from reliable major media sources.


If the Police Can Decide Who Qualifies as a Journalist, There Is No Free Press
2023-06-01, Truthout
Posted: 2023-06-18 22:41:15
https://truthout.org/articles/if-the-police-can-decide-who-qualifies-as-a-jou...

In 2021 in the picturesque mountain city of Asheville, North Carolina, The Asheville Blade journalist Veronica Coit sat in a police station waiting to be booked. Both Coit and their colleague Matilda Bliss were processed for trespassing while covering the eviction of unhoused people at Aston Park in Asheville. As of this writing, both journalists are awaiting a jury trial after appealing the guilty verdict handed down by Judge James Calvin Hill on April 19. With that decision, Judge Hill stepped brazenly on the throat of a free press, potentially introducing a precedent that makes journalism illegal – if it's the kind of journalism the ruling class doesn't like. Since 2018, as reported by the Freedom of the Press Foundation's U.S. Press Freedom Tracker, there have been four trials – including this one – against journalists for "offenses allegedly committed while gathering and reporting the news." But this is the first case of its kind to find the defendants guilty. Nearly 50 civil society and media freedom organizations, along with the ACLU of North Carolina, Freedom of the Press Foundation, Reporters Without Borders, National Press Club, the Committee to Protect Journalists and Project Censored, have called on the city of Asheville to drop the charges. But there has been no national outcry over the case in corporate media. "It's a very dangerous precedent to allow the police or anyone in government to define what it means to be a journalist," said Ben Scales, Bliss and Coit's attorney. "We simply don't allow it in this country."

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


How a Human Rights Lawyer Went From Hero to House Arrest
2020-03-31, The Nation
Posted: 2023-05-22 00:57:23
https://www.thenation.com/article/activism/steven-donziger-chevron/

More than a quarter-century ago, Steven Donziger, a young American human rights lawyer, joined the legal effort to force Texaco to clean up the Ecuadoran headwaters of the Amazon rain forest. Between 1972 and 1992, the company dumped toxic waste and spilled billions of gallons of oil-exposed water across 1,700 square miles, an area larger than Rhode Island. In response, a coalition of rural Ecuadorans in the Lago Agrio region sued the US oil giant, and Donziger signed on to help and soon became the lead attorney on the case. In 2013, after a legal campaign that stretched across two continents, the 30,000 indigenous people and small farmers whom Donziger represented in a class-action lawsuit won a $9.5 billion judgment in Ecuadoran courts against Chevron, which acquired Texaco in 2001. It was one of the largest financial judgments ever against an oil company. Fast-forward to today, and Don­ziger is under house arrest in New York City, forced to wear an ankle monitor. The lawyer, now 59, is fighting contempt charges. Meanwhile, his clients in Ecuador have received nothing from Chevron. Without that funding, they have no way to cleanse the poisoned soil or treat what they say is an elevated number of cancer cases. In 2010 ... Chevron launched a countersuit in a New York federal court, alleging that Donziger and his allies had committed bribery and fraud in Ecuador to win the case. Meanwhile, residents in the Amazon rain forest live and work on poisoned land.

Note: Read more about this troubling case. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corporate corruption from reliable major media sources.


US courts must stop shielding government surveillance programs from accountability
2022-09-26, The Guardian (One of the UK's Leading Newspapers)
Posted: 2023-04-02 20:23:55
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2022/sep/26/us-courts-government-ac...

Under a post-9/11 surveillance program known as “Upstream”, the NSA is systematically searching Americans’ internet communications as they enter and leave the United States. The agency sifts through these streams of data looking for “identifiers” associated with its many thousands of foreign targets – identifiers like email addresses and phone numbers. The NSA does all of this without warrants, without any individual judicial approval, and without showing that any of the people it is surveilling – including countless Americans – have done anything wrong. This surveillance raises serious constitutional concerns, but no court has ever considered a legal challenge to it because the government has claimed that allowing a suit against Upstream surveillance to go forward would implicate “state secrets”. In 2007, for example, an appeals court dismissed a lawsuit filed by Khaled El-Masri claiming that, in a case of mistaken identity, he had been kidnapped and tortured by the CIA. The court acknowledged the public evidence of El-Masri’s mistreatment but held that state secrets were too central to the case to allow it to go forward. And in 2010, a different appeals court dismissed a lawsuit filed by five individuals who claimed that one of Boeing’s subsidiary companies had flown the planes carrying them to the black sites where they were tortured by the CIA. This use of the state secrets privilege – to dismiss cases – departs from the supreme court’s narrow framing of the privilege.

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


Geofencing Warrants Are a Threat to Privacy
2022-12-05, Reason
Posted: 2023-04-02 20:07:43
https://reason.com/2022/12/05/geofencing-warrants-are-a-threat-to-privacy/

The House committee investigating the events of January 6, 2021, is nearly finished. Nearly 900 ... criminal prosecutions of alleged rioters remain underway, and one case has shed troubling new light on how the FBI investigated these defendants. The suspect's name is David Rhine. His lawyer is the first to present a potentially successful challenge to the geofencing warrant the FBI used to place some defendants inside the Capitol building during the attack. A previous Wired report last year found 45 federal criminal cases citing the warrant, which required Google to provide the FBI with data on devices using its location services inside a set geographic area. Rhine's case has revealed just how expansive the FBI's request to Google really was. Google initially listed 5,723 devices in response to the warrant, then whittled the tally to exclude likely Capitol staff and police as well as anyone who wasn't "entirely within the geofence, to about a 70 percent probability." The final list of identifying details handed over to the FBI had 1,535 names. It included people whose phones had been turned off or put in airplane mode, and "people who attempted to delete their location data following the attacks were singled out by the FBI for greater scrutiny." It's ... easy to envision geofencing warrants undergoing the usual surveillance mission creep. Left unchecked, law enforcement could decide geofence data would come in handy while looking for a journalist's whistleblowing source, or perhaps at political protests.

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


Chris Hedges: Lynching the Deplorables
2023-03-06, MintPress News
Posted: 2023-03-19 18:27:40
https://www.mintpressnews.com/chris-hedges-lynching-deplorables/283942/

At least 1,003 people have been arrested and charged so far for participation in events on Jan. 6, with 476 pleading guilty, in what has been the largest single criminal investigation in U.S. history. Of the 394 federal defendants who have had their cases adjudicated and sentenced ... approximately 220 "have been sentenced to periods of incarceration" with a further 100 defendants "sentenced to a period of home detention." There are six convictions and four guilty pleas on charges of "seditious conspiracy." This offense is so widely defined that it includes conspiring to levy war against the government and delaying the execution of any law. Those charged and convicted of "seditious conspiracy" were accused of collaborating to oppose "the lawful transfer of presidential power by force" by preventing or delaying the Certification of the Electoral College vote. Those who walked to the Capitol were not aware that the Department of Justice had created arbitrary markers. Anyone who crossed that invisible line was charged with violating Capitol grounds. The vast majority of those caught up in the incursion of the Capitol did not commit serious crimes, engage in violence or know what they would do in Washington other than protest the election results. Environmental activists ... anti-war activists and even congressional staffers have engaged in numerous occupations of congressional offices and interrupted congressional hearings. Will they be given lengthy prison terms based on dubious interpretations of the law?

Note: Read this article in full to understand the scope of this criminal investigation undertaken by the federal government, and why there are massive concerns of government overreach and erosion of civil liberties. Watch a brief video of Attorney Joseph D. McBride discussing his work with the Jan. 6 defendants, describing the horrendous conditions many of them faced.


As crime-solving goes hi-tech, public defenders scramble to keep up
2023-02-24, The Guardian (One of the UK's Leading Newspapers)
Posted: 2023-03-05 18:27:35
https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2023/feb/24/fourth-amendment-battles-g...

Caleb Kenyon, a defense attorney in Florida, saw a geofence warrant was when a new client received an alarming email from Google in January 2020. Police were requesting personal data from the client, Zachary McCoy, and Kenyon had just seven days to stop Google from turning it over, the email said. The geofence warrant included a map and GPS coordinates, and instructed Google to provide identifying information for every user whose device was found within the radius of that location at a certain date and time. “It was so bizarre that I just didn’t even have a concept for what I was dealing with,” he said. Kenyon is not alone. As tech firms build ever more sophisticated means of surveilling people and their devices – technology that law enforcement is eager to take advantage of – the legal community is scrambling to keep up. The National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL) ... recently created the Fourth Amendment Center, named for the constitutional right against unreasonable searches. The center is one of the few resources available for helping attorneys better understand how new technology is being used against their clients. It can be years before the defense community catches wind of the newest surveillance tools. Unlike other search warrants, geofence warrants don’t require probable cause or a specific suspect in mind; they gather information on anyone within the vicinity of an alleged crime. Advocates argue this violates the fourth amendment.

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


The pandemic spawned a better model for family courts
2023-02-24, The Hill
Posted: 2023-03-05 18:20:43
https://thehill.com/opinion/judiciary/3871942-the-pandemic-spawned-a-better-m...

With the recent news that the Biden administration will end the COVID-19 public health emergencies this spring, it is time to take stock of the different policies and adaptations that came out of the lockdowns. Initially ... the lockdowns meant that courts were shut down in most states, creating long waits and lack of access to vital judicial proceedings. But the courts quickly pivoted. Despite initial technological challenges, the switch to remote family court hearings saved time and money, increased participation in court proceedings, improved legal representation for families living in rural areas, and created a more welcoming environment for children. This week, the American Enterprise Institute is releasing a report, authored by Maura Corrigan, former director of Michigan Health and Human Services, explaining what we can learn from how these courts operated and what practices we should use in the post-pandemic era. Major studies done on remote hearings found benefits to the practice, particularly in terms of participation. Parties to these hearings appreciated the end of “cattle call” docketing, which forced participants to wait (in person) until their case was called — a significant waste of time and resources for parties, attorneys, witnesses, the public and the judges. Under the new remote system, the times for these hearings were precise, wasting neither the time nor the resources of any parties to the case. There were also many anecdotal reports that children felt more comfortable in remote hearings.

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


Why the government fails to limit many dangerous chemicals in the workplace
2022-12-15, NPR
Posted: 2023-01-03 00:43:20
https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2022/12/15/1142915184/ortho-toluidi...

The permissible exposure limit for ortho-toluidine is 5 parts per million in air, a threshold based on research conducted in the 1940s and '50s without any consideration of the chemical's ability to cause cancer. Despite ample evidence that far lower levels can dramatically increase a person's cancer risk, the legal limit has remained the same. Paralyzed by industry lawsuits from decades ago, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration has all but given up on trying to set a truly protective threshold for ortho-toluidine and thousands of other chemicals. The agency has only updated standards for three chemicals in the past 25 years; each took more than a decade to complete. David Michaels, OSHA's director throughout the Obama administration, [said] that legal challenges had so tied his hands that he decided to put a disclaimer on the agency's website saying the government's limits were essentially useless: "OSHA recognizes that many of its permissible exposure limits (PELs) are outdated and inadequate for ensuring protection of worker health." The agency has also allowed chemical manufacturers to create their own safety data sheets, which are supposed to provide workers with the exposure limits and other critical information. OSHA does not require the sheets to be accurate or routinely fact-check them. As a result, many fail to mention the risk of cancer and other serious health hazards. Almost one-third of more than 650 sheets for dangerous chemicals contain inaccurate warnings.

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


The Scorched-Earth Legal Strategy Corporations Are Using to Silence Their Critics
2022-12-16, The Intercept
Posted: 2023-01-03 00:38:23
https://theintercept.com/2022/12/16/corporate-rico-environmental-advocate/

Weeks before he was murdered, Victor Hugo Orcasita presented his wife with a letter describing his last wishes. Orcasita, a union leader, had been pushing for better conditions at his workplace, a mine in northern Colombia owned by a subsidiary of the Alabama-based coal company Drummond. Then the death threats started coming in. The miners’ union was convinced that Drummond was involved in the murders. To make the case that the company was complicit in the killings, the union turned to Terry Collingsworth, a lifelong human rights attorney. In March 2015, the case took a surprising turn. Drummond had returned fire in the legal fight with an unusual accusation. The company charged that Collingsworth — an advocate who recently brought a case before the U.S. Supreme Court — had led a “multifaceted criminal campaign” to extort Drummond into paying a costly settlement. This campaign, Drummond alleged, was in fact a racketeering conspiracy as defined by the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, better known as RICO. Drummond’s charges represent a scorched-earth legal strategy in which corporations are turning the tables on attorneys and advocates who accuse them of wrongdoing. By shifting the spotlight to these attorneys’ conduct, corporations effectively sidestepped the original allegations against them. The true purpose ... is to send attorneys and activists a message: Going toe-to-toe with heavyweight corporations can lead to personal ruin.

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


Important Note: 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.