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Archive for February 17th, 2010

Mistrial Declared in Detroit Public Corruption Case After One Juror Holds Out on Conviction

detroit-city-limits
By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The corruption case against ex-Detroit City Council aide and political consultant Sam Riddle ended in a mistrial Wednesday after one juror refused to convict, the Detroit News reported. The government said it will retry the case.

“On the steps of the federal courthouse, angry jurors said the holdout refused to deliberate and accused them of wanting to “hang the black man’,” they said,” according to the News.  The mistrial,  declared by U.S. District Judge Avern Cohn,  came on the 6th day of deliberations

The News reported that the jury foreman Matt Lefevre said the African American juror who held out had her mind set against conviction “before the (jury) door shut.”

Riddle was charged with shaking down business people along with his ex-boss City Council member Monica Conyers, wife of Rep. John Conyers. She has been convicted on public corruption charges and awaits sentence.

For Full Story

Ooops! TSA Apologizes for Making Boy Take Off Leg Braces at Airport Checkpoint

tsa_logo
By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The Transportation Security Administration has apologized to a boy who was forced to take off his leg braces at the at Philadelphia International Airport, the Associated Press reported.

A Philadelphia Inquirer columnist wrote that Camden, N.J., police officer Bob Thomas said the incident happened in March when he and his wife were headed with 4-year-old son Ryan to Orlando, the AP reported.

AP reported that “TSA spokeswoman Ann Davis said the agency’s regional security director apologized to the Thomases on Friday.”

TSA to Have Roving Explosive Testers at Airports

Airport crowdBy Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — The Transportation Security Administration is taking airport security up a notch.

USA Today reports that airport screeners in a few weeks will begin randomly going up to people at airport security checkpoint lines or at gates and taking chemical swabs from passengers and their bags to check for explosives. Metal detectors cannot detect such material.

The paper reported that the program has already been tested at five airports since the Christmas Day bombing incident in Detroit.

A private security analyst told USA Today that random checks will “create increasing uncertainty for the adversaries, which is always positive.”

To read more click here.

Nail Biting Continues in Detroit: Deliberations Enter 6th Day for Ex-Council Aide to Cong. John Conyer’s Crooked Wife

Sam Riddle/facebook

Sam Riddle/facebook

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The nail biting continues in Detroit where a federal jury on Wednesday is set to enter its sixth day of deliberations in the trial of Sam Riddle, an outspoken  former city council aide accused of shaking down business people along with his ex-boss, Council member Monica Conyers, wife of Congressman John Conyers.

The jury last week said it was at an impasse, but U.S. District Judge Avern Cohn directed it to continue deliberating.

The Detroit Free Press wrote that ” Riddle, meanwhile, continues to post various thoughts on Twitter that are open to interpretation.

“Late Tuesday night, he posted: “Musings: Lawyers that won’t represent should be cast aside. When is a deal not a deal? You’ll know when your lawyers say ‘be realistic.'”

Conyers wife Monica Conyers was convicted on public corruption charges and is no longer a city council member. She is awaiting sentencing.

Feds Don’t Want Attys For Right Wing Shock Jock to Mention That he Was an FBI Informant in 2nd Trial

Hal Turner/msnbc photo

Hal Turner/msnbc photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Fed prosecutors will take a second bite out of the apple next month and retry New Jersey right wing shock jock Hal Turner for allegedly threatening three appeals court judges in Chicago through inflammatory comments on his blog.

But this time prosecutors are asking the judge to bar Turner’s attorneys from disclosing  that he was an FBI informant — that is unless, they can present evidence through testimony from Turner himself, according to NorthJersey.com. He did not testify in the first trial.

If not, prosecutors wrote in a motion that “allowing argument or questioning of the government’s witnesses about [Turner’s] status as an informant is nothing but an irrelevant sideshow designed to distract and confuse the jury,” according to the website.

The first trial, which was moved from Chicago to Brooklyn,  ended in a mistrial after the jury deadlocked in December. Turner’s attorneys had argued that the FBI had taught Turner, as an informant, what he could and could not say.

To read more click here.

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