U. S. DISTRICT COURT JUDGE RECUSED IN MAJOR GANG/MURDER CASE

James J. Bulger was indicted on numerous gang charges in the Federal District Court for the District of Massachusetts including 19 murders and RICO charges. It is alleged that he led the Winter Hill Gang. He claims, with a significant amount of evidence to back him up that he was given immunity by the Justice Department in exchange for his assistance to the government as an informant. The charges were brought against Bulger by the New England Organized Crime Strike […] Read more »

OXNARD POLICE KILL INNOCENT BYSTANDER

Oxnard police shot and killed an innocent unarmed 21 year old bystander, Alfonso Limon, who was on his way home with his brother, after jogging at a local school, during a shootout with two young men attempting to escape from the police who claimed that the men along with a third were uncooperative during an automobile stop. Oxnard police officers attempted to stop a vehicle with three young Hispanic men, Jose Zepada, Raphael Hernandez, and Justin Villa in it. Initially […] Read more »

NINTH CIRCUIT FINDS OFFICERS RELIANCE ON SEARCH WARRANT AFFIDAVIT ENTIRELY UNREASONABLE

James Grant III was convicted of being a felon in possession of a gun. The gun was found in the search of his house. The officers searching his house pursuant to a search warrant were looking for a gun but not the gun that was found. They were searching for a gun used to kill a man. Normally the fact that they found a gun but not the gun they were looking for would make no difference. But here the […] Read more »

SCOTUS REVERSES SIXTH CIRCUIT GRANT OF HABEAS CORPUS

The Supreme Court, Monday, continued its battle against the writ of habeas corpus. It reversed an order granting the writ by the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals to David Eugene Matthews who was convicted of murdering his estranged wife and her mother. At trial Matthews did not deny killing the women. Rather, pursuant to Kentucky law his attorneys argued that instead if convicting him of murder the jury should have found him guilty of first degree manslaughter, claiming an extreme […] Read more »

SUPREME COURT REINSTATES MURDER CONVICTION

The Supreme Court Tuesday reversed a Third Circuit Court of Appeals decision because a rational trier of the fact could have agreed with the jury that Lorenzo Johnson was an accomplice and co-conspirator in the murder of Taraja Williams. On December 14, 1995 Johnson, Corey Walker, and Victoria Doubs were “running the streets” together. They ran into Williams at Kentucky Fried Chicken. Walker decided to collect a debt from Williams. Walker, not only did not collect the debt, but Williams […] Read more »

SUPREME COURT LIMITS PROTECTION UNDER THE DOUBLE JEOPARDY CLAUSE

One-year-old Matthew McFadden, Jr. died as a result of severe injuries suffered while he was home alone with his mother’s boyfriend, Alex Blueford. Blueford was arrested and charged with capital murder. The jury also had the choice of convicting him on first degree murder, manslaughter, or negligent homicide. The judge instructed the jury: “If you have a reasonable doubt of the defendant’s guilt on the charge of capital murder, you will consider the charge of murder in the first degree. […] Read more »

SIXTH CIRCUIT GRANTS HABEAS DUE TO INCOMPETENT ADVICE OF COUNSEL

The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, citing the recent Supreme Court case, Lafler v. Cooper, found a criminal defense attorney incompetently advised his client to reject a plea bargain. Under the classic Supreme Court incompetence of counsel case, Strickland v. Washington, in order to find incompetence of counsel in a criminal case a defendant must prove that counsel acted below the standard expected of counsel and that the defendant was prejudiced by counsel’s actions. Vonlee Nicole Titlow was convicted for […] Read more »

FELONY HAZING CHARGES IN THE DEATH OF FAMU’S ROBERT CHAMPION

Felony hazing charges were filed against 11 people involved in the death of FAMU drum major Robert Champion last year. Two others were charged with misdemeanors for participation in the incident. Champion was the subject of ritualistic band hazing while the band was in Orlando for the Florida Classic football game. The hazing incident occurred on a bus rented for the Marching 100 FAMU’s award winning band after the school lost a football game. “Some university band members have said […] Read more »

GEORGE ZIMMERMAN CHARGED WITH SECOND DEGREE MURDER

Special Prosecutor Angela Corey charged George Zimmerman, Wednesday, with second degree murder in the shooting of Trayvon Martin. Second degree murder is probably the correct charge. It is certainly not first degree murder which requires premeditation and malice aforethought. While these terms may be somewhat vague they certainly do not describe the murder of Trayvon Martin which occurred on the spur of the moment without planning. The only other choice of a charge would be manslaughter. The basic difference between […] Read more »

GOVERNOR BROWN GRANTS SHIRLEY REE SMITH CLEMENCY

California Governor Jerry Brown granted Shirley Ree Smith clemency Friday for the 1996 death of her grandchild. It was the first time he used his clemency power since becoming governor. Smith was convicted of murdering her grandchild in 1996. It was alledged that she shook the baby to death is a case of Shaken Baby Syndrome (SBS). She appealed her conviction and the Ninth Circuit reversed the conviction and ordered her released from prison. The State appealed to the Supreme […] Read more »