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Justice & Law

Popular Articles

  1. New Orleans man locked up nearly 8 years awaiting trial, then drug case gets tossed

    When Kevin Smith was jailed on a drug charge in New Orleans in 2010, Blockbuster was still renting DVDs and President Barack Obama was still trying to pass his signature health care bill. Smith’s case never went to a jury. On Monday, 2,832 days after he was locked up, Criminal District Court Judge Tracey Flemings-Davillier ordered Smith’s release, bowing to an appeals court ruling that prosecutors had violated his right to a speedy trial. Her decision represents an extreme example of how...
  2. Alabama task force performs drug raid, man dies. Officials take his home, split the proceeds.

    Wayne Bonam jumped up, blinded by a flash-bang grenade, as police swarmed through the door and pointed guns at his head. His girlfriend, next to him, shouted at the cops: “Hey, wait – he has a bad heart!” Wayne, 41, was indeed ill. More than a decade of heart problems left him with a fragile cardiovascular system, and the smoke from the grenade thrown into his home by police did not help. He would never recover after the September 2015 raid, which was carried out by 22nd Judicial Circuit...
  3. Holding Co-Users Responsible for Fatal Drug Overdoses Is Draconian and Ineffectual

    A new report from the Drug Policy Alliance shines a harsh spotlight on a strategy that some police, prosecutors and elected officials are embracing in response to the opioid overdose crisis—charging sellers with drug-induced homicide, which the evidence suggests is intensifying, rather than helping the problem. The opioid overdose crisis is real enough—a record of more than 60,000 people died of drug overdoses last year, most of them from opioids—but claims that charging drug sellers with...
  4. Two NYPD Cops Charged With Raping Teen After Busting Her For Marijuana

    A New York City grand jury indicted two Brooklyn narcotics officers late last week on charges they raped an 18-year-old woman after arresting her for smoking marijuana. The alleged victim says she was assaulted while handcuffed in the back of a police van in the parking lot of a Chipotle restaurant in September. The two narcotics officers, Eddie Martins and Richard Hall, now face charges of first degree rape. The alleged victim, who posts on social media under the name Anna Chambers,...
  5. Psychedelic Drugs Could Reduce Criminal Behavior

    Classic psychedelics such as psilocybin (often called magic mushrooms), LSD and mescaline (found in peyote) are associated with a decreased likelihood of antisocial criminal behavior, according to new research from investigators at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. The findings, published online Sept. 24 by the Journal of Psychopharmacology, suggest that treatments making use of classic psychedelics like psilocybin could well hold promise in reducing criminal behavior. “These...
  6. Cold medicine murder: Wife stabbed dozens of times by husband, autopsy shows

    A North Carolina woman whose husband told a 911 dispatcher he might have killed his wife after taking too much cold medicine had 123 stab wounds and cuts on her body, according to an autopsy. Lauren Ashley-Nicole Phelps, 29, had 123 stab wounds and cuts on her body, 44 of which were cuts and stabs around her face and neck, according to the autopsy report, the News & Observer reported. Some of the wounds were more than four inches deep. Matthew Phelps, 29, is currently being held at the...
  7. DEA Responds To Explosive "60 Minutes" Report About Opioid Crisis

    WASHINGTON -- Lawmakers and the Drug Enforcement Administration are facing tough questions following an explosive joint investigation by "60 Minutes" and The Washington Post that says Congress helped disarm the DEA. Drug overdose deaths in the United States have more than doubled over the past decade. The CDC says 188,000 people have died from opioid overdoses from 1999 to 2015. Joe Rannazzisi used to run the DEA's diversion control. He told "60 Minutes" correspondent Bill Whitaker that...
  8. Florida Man Awarded $37,500 After Cops Mistake Glazed Doughnut Crumbs For Meth

    A Krispy Kreme doughnut was to blame for a white substance that led to an Orlando man being jailed on drug charges. Results from roadside drug test kits conducted by law enforcement officers can be unreliable. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images) It sounds like a joke, but, well — keep reading. In December 2015, 64-year-old Daniel Rushing had just dropped off a friend at chemotherapy and was driving home an older woman from his church who worked at the 7-Eleven and would otherwise walk the 2 miles...
  9. Kentucky governor says he’ll never legalize marijuana because of the ‘overdoses’

    Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin (R) appeared on a local radio show this week and called legalized marijuana a “sucker’s bet,” and something that will never happen so long as he’s in office. Why? Bevin says he’s concerned about overdoses. “We are not, while I’m governor, going to be legalizing the use of marijuana in this state for recreational purposes or for revenue-generating purposes,” Bevin said on Terry Meiner’s WHAS radio show. “There are people overdosing based on ingestion of products that...
  10. Quebec,Canada- Legal age to buy pot in Quebec will be 18, and it won’t be sold in convenience stores

    Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard has made the call: the minimum age for the consumption of legal marijuana in Quebec will be 18. Quebec plans to create a Crown corporation that will make use of expertise at the Société des alcools to handle sales.
  11. Marijuana arrest data absent from latest FBI uniform crime report.

    Tabulations calculating the percentage of annual marijuana arrests nationwide are absent from the 2017 edition of the FBI Uniform Crime Report, which the agency released today. The table,’Arrests for Drug Abuse Violations: Percent Distribution by Region,’ had for decades appeared in the section of the FBI report entitled ‘Persons Arrested.’ It was one of over 50 tables eliminated from this year’s edition of the Crime report. NORML had relied on the table in order to extrapolate and...
  12. In Surprise Vote, House Passes Amendment To Restrict Asset Forfeiture

    IN A STUNNING MOVE, the House of Representatives on Tuesday approved an amendment to the Make America Secure and Prosperous Appropriations Act that will roll back Attorney General Jeff Sessions’s expansion of asset forfeiture. Amendment number 126 was sponsored by a bipartisan group of nine members, led by Michigan Republican Rep. Justin Amash. He was joined by Democratic Reps. Ro Khanna of California; Washington state’s Pramila Jayapal, a rising progressive star; and Hawaii’s Tulsi...
  13. Will California Be The First State To Provide Addicts A Clean, Well-Lit Place To Shoot Dope?

    California is on the verge of taking a serious, yet controversial, step to cut down on drug deaths. A bill that would allow a number of counties in the state to set up supervised drug consumption sites—Assembly Bill 186—is now only a Senate floor vote away from landing on the desk of Gov. Jerry Brown (D). Such facilities, also known as safe injection sites, typically allow drug users to inject their own drugs under medical supervision on premises with needles and related equipment provided...
  14. Court Slams Brakes on Federal Prosecution of California Pot Growers

    A U.S. District Court this week blocked federal prosecutors from moving forward with their conspiracy case against a pair of Northern California cultivators because the duo was determined to be in compliance with Golden State medical marijuana laws. Humboldt County growers Anthony Pisarski and Sonny Moore had already pleaded guilty to federal allegations (conspiracy to manufacture and possess with intent to distribute) but sought an evidentiary hearing based on legislation, first enacted in...
  15. Duterte’s war on drugs looks just like…war

    Sixty people have been killed by security forces in the Philippines capital Manila and the bordering province of Bulacan under President Rodrigo Duterte’s violent crackdown on alleged drug users and dealers. By Thursday, the three-day operation had resulted in 223 arrests. Reuters reports that this is the deadliest three days in Duterte’s campaign against drugs and crime that has left over 9,000 dead across the country since the strongman took office in June 2016.
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