Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Wednesday News & Notes

1.  The blog broke the news yesterday of the 4 nominees from the JNC for the federal bench.  Two of these nominees will be selected as our next federal judges:

Beth Bloom, Darrin Gayles, Peter Lopez, John Thornton

2.  Meantime, Judge Will Thomas' nomination is still being held up by Sen. Marco Rubio.  A rally on his behalf was held this morning at the federal courthouse.

3.  Claudio Osorio was sentenced to 12 1/2 years in prison.

4.   "Grotesque prosecutorial misconduct" leads to a new trial.  This time it's from New Orleans.  Via CNN:

Jury selection was minutes away for five ex-New Orleans police officers accused of shooting unarmed civilians after Hurricane Katrina when a commenter ripped into the defendants on a newspaper website.
"NONE of these guys should had have [sic] ever been given a badge," the commenter, identified only as "legacyusa," wrote. "We should research how they got on the police department, who trained them, who supervised them and why were they ever been promoted. You put crap in -- you get crap out!!!"
"Legacyusa" turned out to be one of the top federal prosecutors in New Orleans. His post was just one of many anonymous barbs that led a federal judge Tuesday to throw out the convictions of those ex-cops in the Danziger Bridge shootings, which left two people dead and four seriously wounded.
In a 129-page ruling, District Judge Kurt D. Engelhardt cited long list of "egregious and inflammatory" comments by at least three Justice Department officials using a variety of online identities. Those comments fueled a "21st century carnival atmosphere" that tainted the 2011 trial and will require a new one, Engelhardt wrote.
"This case started as one featuring allegations of brazen abuse of authority, violation of the law and corruption of the criminal justice system; unfortunately, though the focus has switched from the accused to the accusers, it has continued to be about those very issues," the order states. "After much reflection, the court cannot journey as far as it has in this case only to ironically accept grotesque prosecutorial misconduct in the end."
In a statement issued Tuesday afternoon, the Justice Department said, "We are disappointed with the court's ruling. We are reviewing the decision and considering our options."
 Seems like a strange reaction from DOJ.  Why do they defense misconduct?

5.   Locally, bond was denied this morning in a case involving Iran, uranium, African mines, and ICE.  From Curt Anderson:

A West African man was ordered jailed Thursday until trial on U.S. charges that he attempted to broker an illegal deal to ship tons of uranium ore from Sierra Leone to Iran, including a trip to the U.S. with uranium ore samples concealed in shoes inside his luggage.
Patrick Campbell, 33, faces a maximum of 20 years behind bars and up to $1 million in fines if convicted of attempting to violate the U.S. embargo against Iran. A U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement affidavit filed in federal court says Campbell claimed he could supply enough ore — commonly known as yellowcake — to yield 1,000 tons of purified uranium that could be used for nuclear fuel or weapons.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Barry Seltzer agreed with prosecutors at a hearing that Campbell should not be released on bail, although a trial date has not been set. Campbell is scheduled to enter a plea next week.


Anonymous said...

Haven't read the 129-page order. That being said, I can see why the DOJ would be disappointed with the "ruling," even if the DOJ may not be pleased with the particular prosecutors' conduct. This article suggests that the comments online created a "21st century carnival atmosphere." This conclusion strikes me as complete and utter bull****, given that this trial garnered national attention.

Anonymous said...

Toot your own horn much?