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165 kidnapped migrants freed in Mexico
Jun 6, 2013, - 0 Comments

June 6, 2013 CNN

Mexican authorities say they've rescued 165 migrants who were apparently kidnapped as they tried to cross into the United States.

The victims were held for weeks in the northeastern border state of Tamaulipas, Mexico's Interior Ministry said Thursday.

A majority of the migrants -- 150 -- are from Central America. Another 14 are Mexican nationals, and one is from India, the ministry said.

They were held for as many as three weeks, officials said.

"The victims said that they had the intention of entering the United States of America, but they were held against their will while a suspected criminal group contacted their families by phone and demanded different sums of money that were sent to their kidnappers," Interior Ministry spokesman Eduardo Sanchez said.

No more prison time for Nancy Smith, visiting judge says
Jun 6, 2013, - 0 Comments

ELYRIA — Nancy Smith took off her glasses to wipe tears from her face and couldn’t contain her smiles yesterday when she learned she would not have to return to prison.

Visiting Judge Virgil Sinclair approved an agreement hammered out by Smith’s attorneys and Lorain County prosecutors that sentenced Smith to 12 years in prison, but gave her credit for the 15 years she already spent behind bars after being convicted in the Lorain Head Start sexual molestation case in 1994.

Family, friends and supporters filled the courtroom and exchanged hugs and kisses after hearing the sentence.

Sinclair, a retired Stark County judge appointed by the Ohio Supreme Court, also reduced Smith’s rape charges to the lesser offense of gross sexual imposition.

Smith and co-defendant Joseph Allen spent 15 years in prison before Lorain County Common Pleas Judge James Burge acquitted the pair in 2009 when they went before him to correct a sentencing error. The Ohio Supreme Court ruled later Burge exceeded his authority and Smith and Allen would have to be resentenced.

Judge accepts insanity plea in Colo. shooting case
Jun 4, 2013, - 0 Comments

June 4, 2013 Associated Press

CENTENNIAL, Colo. -- A judge accepted James Holmes' long-awaited plea of not guilty by reason of insanity Tuesday and ordered him to undergo a mental evaluation — an examination that could be a decisive factor in whether the Colorado theater shooting suspect is convicted and sentenced to die.

The judge also granted prosecutors access to a hotly contested notebook that Holmes sent to a psychiatrist shortly before the July 20 rampage, which left 12 people dead and 70 injured in a bloody, bullet-riddled movie theater in suburban Denver.

Taken together, the three developments marked a major step forward in the 10-month-old case, which at times has inched along through thickets of legal arguments or veered off on tangents.

Holmes faces more than 160 counts of murder and attempted murder, and prosecutors are seeking the death penalty.

Supreme Court upholds DNA swabbing of people under arrest
Jun 3, 2013, - 0 Comments

The Supreme Court on Monday upheld the police practice of taking DNA samples from people who have been arrested but not convicted of a crime, ruling that it amounts to the 21st century version of fingerprinting.

The ruling was 5-4. Justice Antonin Scalia, a conservative, joined three of the court’s more liberal members — Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan — in dissenting.

The five justices in the majority ruled that DNA sampling, after an arrest “for a serious offense” and when officers “bring the suspect to the station to be detained in custody,” does not violate the Fourth Amendment’s prohibition of unreasonable searches.

Under those specifications, the court said, “taking and analyzing a cheek swab of the arrestee’s DNA is, like fingerprinting and photographing, a legitimate police booking procedure that is reasonable under the Fourth Amendment.”