Blogs

Jesse Tafero is executed in Florida 1990
May 4, 2013, - 0 Comments

Jesse Tafero

by Michael Thomas Barry

On May 4, 1990, Jesse Tafero is executed in Florida after his electric chair malfunctions three times, causing flames to leap from his head. Tafero's death sparked a new debate on humane methods of execution.

Number of names on U.S. counter-terrorism database jumps
May 3, 2013, - 0 Comments

May 3, 2013 Reuters

WASHINGTON  - The number of names on a highly classified U.S. central database used to track suspected terrorists has jumped to 875,000 from 540,000 only five years ago, a U.S. official familiar with the matter said.

Among those was suspected Boston Marathon bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev, whose name was added in 2011. The increase in names is due in part to security agencies using the system more in the wake of the failed 2009 attack on a plane by "underpants bomber" Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab in Detroit.

Intelligence and law enforcement officials acknowledged in Congress that they had missed clues to that attack despite Abdulmutallab's name appearing in the main database, known as TIDE.

Maintained by the National Counterterrorism Center, the highly classified database is not a "watchlist" but instead is a repository of information on people whom U.S. authorities see as known, suspected or potential terrorists from around the world.

The "Terrorist Identities Datamart Environment" is a master database which agencies use to build other catalogs of possible terrorists, like the "no-fly" list which prevents people who feature on it from boarding airplanes.

The official familiar with the latest statistics said that even though the number of TIDE entries has grown substantially, this does not mean that the data is less manageable as intelligence agencies have gotten better at figuring how to extract information from the oceans of data.

Exxon executive dies after being kidnapped - 1992
May 3, 2013, - 0 Comments

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Reso kidnapping and murder

by Michael Thomas Barry

On May 3, 1992, Exxon executive Sidney Reso dies in a storage vault in New Jersey. Four days earlier, he was abducted from the driveway of his Morris Township, New Jersey, home.

J. Edgar Hoover died - 1972
May 2, 2013, - 0 Comments

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J. Edgar Hoover

by Michael Thomas Barry

On May 2, 1972, J. Edgar Hoover died. After nearly five decades as director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Hoover left the powerful government agency without an administrator.

Former NBA star is indicted for manslaughter - 2002
May 1, 2013, - 0 Comments

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Jayson Williams

by Michael Thomas Barry

On May 1, 2002, former NBA All-Star Jayson Williams was indicted on a series of charges, including aggravated manslaughter, in connection with the shooting death of limousine driver Costas Christofi.

Zimmerman to argue self-defense, will not seek 'stand your ground' hearing
Apr 30, 2013, - 0 Comments

April 30, 2013 CNN

George Zimmerman, set to stand trial in the 2012 shooting death of teenager Trayvon Martin, on Tuesday waived his right to a "stand your ground" pretrial immunity hearing. Zimmerman's attorneys have decided they will try this as a self-defense case.

Motions over evidence continued Tuesday in the Seminole County, Florida, court. The trial is set to begin on June 10 with jury selection.

Florida's deadly force law, also called "stand your ground," was passed in 2005. It allows people to meet "force with force" if they believe they or someone else is in danger of being seriously harmed by an assailant. Under the law, a person can use deadly force anywhere as long as he is not engaged in an unlawful activity; is being attacked in a place he has a right to be; and reasonably believes that his life and safety are in danger as a result of an overt act or perceived threat committed by someone else.

In a pretrial immunity hearing, a judge would have ruled whether Zimmerman's actions were protected under the "stand your ground" law; a ruling in favor of the defendant would have meant that no criminal or civil trial could proceed.

First Federal Prison for women opens - 1927
Apr 30, 2013, - 0 Comments

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Alderson Federal Prison

by Michael Thomas Barry

On April 30, 1927, the Federal Industrial Institution for Women, the first women's federal prison, opens in Alderson, West Virginia. All women serving federal sentences of more than a year were to be brought here. Run by Dr. Mary B. Harris, the prison's buildings, each named after social reformers, sat atop 500 acres.

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