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Archive for December 28th, 2010

Ex-FBI Sentenced for Peeping Tom Incidents in Hershey, Pa.

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Ex-FBI agent Ryan Seese’s Peeping Tom conviction may seem rather tame in comparison to the convictions of others he’ll be living with.

A Dauphin County, Pa. Judge Bernard L. Coates Jr. sentenced him Tuesday to 1 to 23 1/2 months in prison for Peeping Tom incidents at a Hershey, Pa. middle school and at a gym, The Patriot-News reported.

The former agent pleaded guilty in August to criminal trespass, invasion of privacy and disorderly conduct after he was busted for spying on two teens in May inside a girl’s bathroom during a concert at Hershey Middle School, the paper reported.

On Tuesday, he also pleaded guilty Tto hiding in a women’s gym in Hershey, Pa. in February, the paper reported.

He left the FBI in 2007 after he was convicted of a Peeping Tom incident at a woman’s bathroom at the University of Arizona, the paper reported.

The paper reported that Seese said he faced trauma after the death of his young son in 2005 and his divorce.

“I don’t know when my addictive behavior became out of control,” he told the judge, according to the paper.

Chicago Tribune Editorial: U.S. Needs Mexico to Be More Aggressive in War Against Drug Cartels

By The Chicago Tribune
Editorial

Jack Riley left El Paso, Texas, to become the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration’s top man in Chicago. Even though he’s 1,500 miles from the border now, Mexico’s war against drug cartels still matters to him.

It should matter to all of us. More than 90 percent of the marijuana, cocaine and heroin in the Chicago area enters the U.S. from Mexico. Drug rings are expanding into the Midwest to control distribution with violence a good bet to follow.

“If we’re going to be successful, Mexico needs to be successful,” Riley says. “We can’t do it without them.”

Sadly, Mexico is falling short.

Mexico’s occasional triumphs are starting to seem more and more hollow as the death toll of the 4-year-long drug war tops … 30,000. Every day seems to bring another horrific tale — most recently, cameras rolled while masked gunmen mowed down anti-crime activist Marisela Escobedo as she held vigil at the doorstep of the Chihuahua governor’s palace.

If the mayhem continues unabated, we worry that Congress will lose the will to renew the $1.4 billion Merida Initiative — an infusion of U.S. equipment and training to combat international drug trafficking and other organized crime — when it expires in about a year.

To read more click here.

Fed Judge Rules Out Death Penalty in Cleveland Arson that Killed 9

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Citing mentally disabled issues, a federal judge in Cleveland has taken the death penalty off the table in an upcoming trial of a man accused in the arson death of eight children and one adult, the Cleveland Plain Dealer reported.

U.S. District Judge Solomon Oliver Jr. ruled last week that a low IQ and a history of cognitive and behavioral problems was enough to put the kabosh on capital punishment in the case against Antun Lewis, 27, who faces trial on Jan. 5, the Plain Dealer reported.

Lewis was charged with breaking into a multi-family home at about 3 a.m. on May 21, 2005, and pouring gasoline on the floor before lighting it ablaze, the paper reported. The group of children were at the house for a sleepover.

Lewis had insisted he is innocent.

Convictions Overturned and Sentences Reduced Because of Fed Prosecutorial Misconduct, USA Today Report Says

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON –A USA Today investigation shows that federal prosecutorial misconduct has not only put innocent people in prison, but also set guilty people free, sometimes  by shortening their sentences and allowing them to commit crimes again when they should have been behind bars.

The USA TODAY investigation found 201 cases since 1997 in which federal judges found that prosecutors violated laws or ethics rules.

“Each was so serious that judges overturned convictions, threw out charges or rebuked the prosecutors,” wrote USA Today reporters Brad Heath and Kevin McCoy. “And although the violations tainted no more than a small fraction of the tens of thousands of cases filed in federal courts each year, legal specialists who reviewed the newspaper’s work said misconduct is not always uncovered, so the true extent of the problem might never be known.”

To read full story click here.

Justice Department Response as printed in USA Today:

“Once again, USA TODAY misleads readers by providing a statistically inaccurate representation of the hard work done by federal prosecutors daily in courtrooms across the country by cherry-picking a handful of examples dating back to the 1990s and confusing cases where attorneys made mistakes with cases where actual prosecutorial misconduct was involved.

“An internal review conducted by the department last year found prosecutorial misconduct in a small fraction of the 90,000 cases brought annually. When mistakes occur, the department corrects them as quickly and transparently as possible.

“Attorney General (Eric) Holder has made a priority of preventing mistakes before they occur, instituting a comprehensive training curriculum for all federal prosecutors, and mandating annual discovery training. The Justice Department has taken unprecedented steps to ensure prosecutors, agents and paralegals have the necessary training and resources to properly fulfill their discovery and ethics obligations.”

Suspected Terrorists Targeted U.S. Embassy in London

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — A group of suspected terrorists arrested last week in Britain had included the U.S. embassy in London as a target, Reuters news service reported.

The news surfaced after 12 people were arrested on Dec. 20 in raids in Britain. Three people were later released without charges, Reuters reported.

“I am aware and … obviously our folks in London are aware of this,” State Department spokesman Mark Toner told reporters, Reuters reported.

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