Extra Extra : Justice (courts/crime/law)

Extra Extra Monday: Uneven assessments, National Guard misconduct, Chicago migration myth

Across Wisconsin, uneven property assessments fly in the face of fairness | Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

By measure after measure, in cities, towns and villages across Wisconsin, property assessors are discounting uniformity and trampling on fairness, while officials with the state Department of Revenue do little to rectify the disparities, an investigation by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel has found.

In dozens of communities, 20% or more of residential property taxes are being paid by the wrong people, according to the Journal Sentinel's analysis of Department of Revenue records for each of the state's 1,852 municipalities. The analysis considered communities ...

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Records show mistakes, questionable evidence in woman's overturned murder case

In light of the recent exoneration of Michelle Murphy, who spent 20 years in prison on a wrongful conviction for killing her baby, the Tulsa World investigated the elements that led to Murphy's 1995 conviction in the first place.

The investigation shows the state of Oklahoma relied on faulty blood analysis, the dubious testimony of a troubled 14-year-old neighbor and an unrecorded, incriminating statement to convict Murphy. All three elements were so problematic they should have been challenged in court. Also, jurors never heard other evidence that might have given them reasonable doubt about convicting Murphy.

To read the ...

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Asset seizures fuel police spending

Police agencies have used hundreds of millions of dollars taken from Americans under federal civil forfeiture law in recent years to buy guns, armored cars and electronic surveillance gear. They have also spent money on luxury vehicles, travel and a clown named Sparkles.

The details are contained in thousands of annual reports submitted by local and state agencies to the Justice Department’s Equitable Sharing Program, an initiative that allows local and state police to keep up to 80 percent of the assets they seize.

The documents offer a sweeping look at how police departments and drug task forces across ...

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Massive gender gaps in Massachusetts prostitution arrests persist despite conflicting evidence

Researchers from the New England Center for Investigative Reporting analyzed police arrests in Massachusetts cities and found notable discrepancies in the number of women to men arrested in prostitution incidences. Despite a law passed in 2011 raising the punishments of sex buyers, or “Johns,” the women being hired made up over 70 percent of the total arrests from 2013.

Besides being caught in public acts with a prostitute, the only way men can be arrested in these cases is by setting up “sting” operations involving decoy women and a support group of officers to make the arrest. The city of ...

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Failing to protect their children from abusive men puts mothers in prison

Looking back over the past decade, BuzzFeed News identified 28 mothers in 11 states sentenced to at least 10 years in prison for failing to prevent their partners from harming their children. In every one of these cases, there was evidence the mother herself had been battered by the man. Almost half, 13 mothers, were given 20 years or more. In one case, the mother was given a life sentence for failing to protect her son, just like the man who murdered the infant boy.

Review finds flaws, inconsistencies in death investigation

NJ Advance Media investigated the six-year-old case of Kenwin Garcia, who died at age 25 under suspicious circumstances involving police. The company, which serves The Star-Ledger and NJ.com, found inconsistencies in the accounts of the day. The reporting exposes flaws that led to the determination that Garcia died of a controversial medical condition.

To read the full story, click here.

Extra Extra Monday: Injury-leave program, secret service fumbles, the cost of rape

Blacks disproportionately arrested for marijuana possession in Pinellas, Hillsborough counties | Tampa Bay Times

Black people in Pinellas and Hillsborough are at least six times as likely to be arrested for marijuana possession as white people. It's not because of who smokes pot and who doesn’t.

Racial disparities in pot possession arrests is not a new topic. But the disparities are particularly pronounced in Pinellas and Hillsborough counties, a Tampa Bay Times analysis found.

 

L.A. pays millions as police and firefighter claims rise | L.A. Times

An injury-leave program for Los Angeles police and firefighters has cost taxpayers ...

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Extra Extra Monday: Ray Rice and the NFL, sexual assaults at the University of South Florida, a questionable robbery conviction

A stickup. A manhunt. A mistake? | The Sarasota Herald-Tribune

A long time ago, a family was robbed. The police pounced. A man went to jail. A lot of people wondered if the law got it right. It sure doesn’t look like it.

The Herald-Tribune spent nine months examining the case against Andre Bryant, now 28 and serving his seventh year in a Panhandle prison. New evidence suggests Bryant is not the robber and shows how lawmen developed tunnel vision during their inquiry, dismissing clues and other suspects during an abbreviated investigation.

 

Rice case: purposeful misdirection by team, scant investigation ...

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Extra Extra Monday: Florida law allows troubled charter operators to keep running schools

Shuttered: Florida’s Failed Charter Schools | Naples Daily News

As charter schools have boomed in Florida — 622 operated in 2013-14, up from 257 in 2003-04 — many have also busted. Since charter schools were first permitted in 1996, 269 out of nearly 900 opened charter schools have closed, a failure rate of about 30 percent. That tally includes six schools closed in Lee County and two closed in Collier County.

To better understand Florida’s charter school failings, the Daily News undertook a first-of-its-kind task, examining all charter schools that have closed since 2008. The newspaper reviewed hundreds of closure documents ...

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Aggressive police take hundreds of millions of dollars from motorists not charged with crimes

They were pulled over for a minor traffic violation and, instead of getting just a ticket, they had their money confiscated by police. An aggressive brand of policing has led to the seizure of hundreds of millions of dollars in cash from American motorists and others not charged with crimes. It’s a largely hidden side effect of the government’s push to have the police become the eyes and ears of homeland security on highways since the 9/11 terror attacks.

In a three-part series, The Washington Post examines how thousands of people have been forced to fight legal ...

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