Showing posts from January, 2018

Guilt Admission by Killer’s Lawyer

A man on death row whose lawyer confessed his guilt while he was proclaiming innocence found a compassionate response from the U.S. Supreme Court. 
The justices struggled to find the line at which attorneys are free to dispense with their client's unreasonable requests.  Justice Stephen Breyer said, "Suppose the opinion were to say in this case the lawyer explicitly said to the jury he is guilty of the crime charged. That the Sixth Amendment forbids. But the rest of these complicated matters, whether it’s elements, whether it’s this, whether it’s that, we leave, at least for now, we leave to the law schools, the bars, the ethics classes and the others because we don’t want to freeze the answer into the Sixth Amendment."  
The case concerns Robert McCoy who was convicted by a Louisiana jury in 2011 of killing the parents and teenage son of his estranged wife.

McCoy claimed that he had been out of the state when the murders took place and that the police were framing him.…

Model in HIV-Positive Ad Suing for Defamation

Model Avril Nolan is suing New York State for defamation. A state appeals court ruled for $1.5 million in damages for using an image without her consent in an ad promoting the rights of people with HIV. The ad by the Division of Human Rights was run in the April 3, 2013 edition of the free daily newspaper AM NY and other local newspapers.

The ad used the words “I am positive (+)” and “I have rights” beside Nolan’s face, above a message in smaller print that stated, “People who are HIV positive are protected by the New York State Human Rights Law. Do you know your rights? Contact the NYS Division of Human Rights.”

Nolan posed for the picture two years earlier for an article about New Yorkers’ music interests. The photographer sold the photo to Getty Images without her consent. Getty Images sells stock images and licensed the photo to the Division of Human Rights.

In addition to suing the state, Nolan is also suing Getty over its licensing of the photo because they incorrectly told the…

Couple to Pay Enslaved Nanny

Texas couple, Chudy and Sandra Nsobundu, pleaded guilty of forcing a Nigerian woman to work as their nanny for two years without pay and has been ordered to pay her more that $121,000 in restitution. They were additionally sentenced to seven months in jail, seven months of home confinement, and three years' probation.

The victim told authorities that the couple recruited her from her home country with an agreement that she'd be paid $100 a month to work for them. From September 2013 and October 2015, she was forced to work 19.5 hour days for the couple and their five children without pay or breaks. She was also subjected to physical and verbal abuse, strictly leftover food as her meals, and denied a bed and warm showers.

To prevent her leaving, she said her passport was taken and she was threatened.

A tip to the National Human Trafficking Resource Center led to the nanny's liberation in 2015, where her paperwork for obtaining a proper US work visa was found to contain fals…

California Protects Their Pot

A California lawmaker is trying to protect the state's marijuana industry by barring law enforcement agencies from cooperating with federal drug agencies on pot busts.

Assemblyman Reggie Jones-Sawyer, D-Los Angeles, proposed that California would become a so-called sanctuary pot state. It was sparked when Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced a federal policy shift on enforcement of marijuana laws. Jones-Sawyer said that the Assembly Bill 1578 is to provide state agencies with protection to uphold state laws without federal interference.

It would prevent local and state law enforcement agencies from assisting federal authorities on marijuana activities that are legal under California law, without a court order. It would also bar state agencies from providing the federal government with information on licensed marijuana growers and retailers.

This is the second time this bill is going through the Legislature. The Assembly narrowly approved it, but it never made it to a vote in th…

Oklahoma Supreme Court Blocks New Drunk Driving Law

The Oklahoma Supreme Court has blocked the Impaired Driving Elimination Act. This law would create a new program for first time DUI offenders and gets rid of the appeal process for people trying to keep their licenses after being arrested for DUI. It was approved by the Legislature earlier this year, and was supported by Mothers Against Drunk Driving. However, there was a lawsuit filed in June by four attorneys who allege that the law is unconstitutional because it denies a person the right to due process. 

One of the authors of the bill, Representative Scott Biggs, wrote a statement about the lawsuit. He says that the attorneys were seeking to expose the public to harm by letting intoxicated drivers loose. so the attorneys could represent more clients when they get drunk and re-offend. He also mentions that the bill is supposed to address the DUI epidemic in Oklahoma. by creating a diversion program for low level, non-violent offenders. It requires intoxalizers on vehicles, treatment …