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Guns and Crime

Cliven Bundy’s case dismissed

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Cliven Bundys case dismissed

Prosecutors against Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy willfully withheld exculpatory evidence in his trial, prompting U.S. District Judge Gloria Navarro to dismiss the case against him “with prejudice.”

Attorney General Jeff Sessions called for an investigation of prosecutors involved. Reports indicate several missteps by the Bureau of Land Management as well as the prosecutors in handling evidence that would have favored the Bundys.

Cliven Bundy Released And Case Dismissed

http://dailycaller.com/2018/01/08/bundy-case-dismissed-judge-orders-rancher-released/The defense claimed FBI snipers and surveillance were monitoring the Bundy household prior to the 2014 Bureau of Land Management (BLM) raid to remove the rancher’s cattle from federal land after decades of unpaid grazing fees. Cliven Bundy sent out a plea for help based on the snipers’ presence, prompting dozens of armed militiamen to meet at the ranch.

Prosecutors said snipers were not involved, called the claim “fantastical” and the defendants’ request for the evidence, a “fishing expedition.” However, the U.S. Attorney’s Office possessed video evidence the entire time, The Oregonian reports.

Prosecutors also withheld federal assessments that found the Bundy family was not likely to be violent, but only “get in your face.” Other federal assessments of the BLM revealed the agency was targeting the Bundy family, “trying to provoke a conflict.”

My Take

There was a time when I believed those who felt the government was oppressive were being dramatic. Those days are long gone and this is a perfect example of a law abiding citizen being pushed to activities the government deemed illegal so they could burn him down.

Michio is a social strategist and medical student. Find him on Twitter.

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Democrats

DOJ to retry Menendez

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DOJ to retry Menendez

Senator Bob Menendez had hopes his day in the spotlight for all the wrong reasons was over after a jury failed to reach a verdict in his federal corruption case late last year. Those days away from the spotlight may soon be over for the Democrat as the Department of Justice announced their intentions to retry him and his co-defendant Salomon Melgen.

Feds intend to retry Menendez and Melgen ‘at the earliest possible date’

https://www.politico.com/story/2018/01/19/bob-menendez-retrial-justice-department-350904“The United States files this notice of intent to retry the defendants and requests that the Court set the case for retrial at the earliest possible date,” reads the one-paragraph notice signed by AnnaLou Tirol, acting chief of the department’s public integrity section. “Defendants Robert Menendez and Salomon Melgen have been indicted for bribery and corruption by two separate grand juries properly impaneled in the District of New Jersey. The first trial ended in a mistrial with a deadlocked jury. An early retrial date is in the best interests of the public, and the United States is available to schedule a retrial at the Court’s earliest convenience.”

My Take

I’m no lawyer, but the evidence against Menendez is pretty clear cut. An unfavorable jury and bungling by prosecutors made it hard for the jury to reach a verdict while mainstream media essentially ignored the story until the verdict. I hope to see justice served.

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Guns and Crime

Charges being investigated in Las Vegas Shooting

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Charges being investigated in Las Vegas Shooting

As noted on the January 12th article We still want answers Las Vegas Shooting investigation, a hearing was set to take place on January 16th to possibly unseal the exercised search warrants in connection to the Stephen Paddock, the only identified Las Vegas Shooting participant. This followup is being conducted as part of getting the Las Vegas Shooting back into the front page as the public awaits answers. People  want answers and it’s good that some members of the media are fighting for them. The hearing was part of a legal action brought fourth by members of the media, most notably the Las Vegas Review Journal. Also covering the hearing was Craig Fiegener, a reporter who has closely followed this story.

To briefly summarize the hearing, the media attorney said that we have a right see the unsealed search warrants. The LVMPD ended up resorting to revealing that because additional charges are being considered, the hearing should be done behind closed doors. So no decision was rendered as Judge Cadish will give the police time to file a brief. For now we wait another week and then some for answers. But until then we can speculate. At the mention of charges being investigated, all eyes are on the shooter’s girlfriend.

Perspectives

Criminal charges possible in Las Vegas shooting, lawyers say

https://www.reviewjournal.com/crime/shootings/criminal-charges-possible-in-las-vegas-shooting-lawyers-say/The hearing, before Clark County District Judge Elissa Cadish, related to local police search warrant records.

Metro’s initial argument was that Cadish did not have the authority to unseal the records because that authority should remain with the individual judges who initially ordered the records sealed. Cadish rejected that argument.

The only other evidence Metro submitted in support of keeping the records sealed was an FBI affidavit. Review-Journal attorney Maggie McLetchie argued that Metro could not make assertions on behalf of the FBI, then noted that federal authorities did not oppose the release of federal search warrants last week.

“The press has an important role in being able to get access to this warrant information and help the public understand what occurred in regard to what warrants law enforcement got, what came back and what the actual facts are,” McLetchie said in court. “The horrific incidents of 1 October were over three months ago. The public still has many, many questions.”

That’s when Metro attorneys suddenly asserted that the sealed documents were pertinent to possible charges.

Cadish said she wanted to read through the sealed documents and compare them with information that already has been made public. She indicated she would make a decision by Jan. 26.

Court claim puts attention on Las Vegas shooter’s girlfriend

https://www.reviewjournal.com/crime/shootings/court-claim-puts-attention-on-las-vegas-shooters-girlfriend/“It’s a very bold statement to say that criminal charges are going to be filed in this case when the only person whose name or inference has been put in the news is his girlfriend,” Las Vegas attorney Craig Drummond said. “I would hope they’re going to back it up. If they don’t, it will incite all of these conspiracy theorists even more.”

Drummond said it is possible authorities are looking at other people who may have not followed proper procedures when selling firearms to Stephen Paddock or others who may have helped him modify some of the weapons.

Defense lawyer Robert Langford speculated that if Danley knew of Paddock’s plans and somehow aided or abetted his actions, she would already have been charged.

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Culture and Religion

The strange tale of the Turpin family

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The strange tale of the Turpin family

Abuse of children is one of the most horrible things anyone can do. Rarely do I even read stories about abuse. I know it exists. I’m against it. I don’t want reminders of how evil some people really are. The story of the Turpin family drew me in and made me weep for a world that allows such things to happen.

Here’s the story, followed by my brief thoughts:

California family: Parents charged after children found shackled

http://www.cnn.com/2018/01/16/us/california-turpin-13-siblings-held-captive/index.htmlDavid, 57, and Louise, 49, are accused of holding their children captive in their Perris, California, home in filthy conditions, some of them shackled to beds with chains and padlocks. The 13 siblings range in age from 2 to 29.

The parents are charged with torture and child endangerment, and scheduled for a court hearing Thursday. Bail was set at $9 million each. It was not immediately clear if the suspects had attorneys or whether they had entered a plea.

On Sunday, one of their daughters, a 17-year-old, managed to escape from their home by climbing out a window and called 911 from a deactivated cell phone she found in the house, police said. She told officers her parents were holding her 12 siblings captive inside the home, the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department said.

My Take

There’s a danger here. We have to be mindful of children who are being abused. Unfortunately, that also means there will be times when the state must intervene. Any time that happens, I get worried. I want as little intervention as possible and only when absolutely necessary. The story of the Turpin family is an example of it being necessary.

The problem is that this evil was allowed to continue for decades. How can that happen? How do we respect the rights of parents and embrace a non-interfering government when there are people like the Turpins in the world? It’s a slippery slope and I have no answers.

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