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Archive for May 14th, 2012

Column: Does Race Matter in Jury Selection? Yes, Yes, Yes!

Allan Lengel

 
 
By Allan Lengel
For Deadline Detroit

DETROIT –– Does race matter when it comes to jury selection?

Yes, yes, yes.

I can say so, at least from my first-hand experience as a juror.

But before I go there, let me explain why I bring this up.

Last week, during jury selection in the high-profile federal corruption trial in Detroit of Bobby Ferguson, a pal of ex-Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, the defense filed a motion asking that the judge do the jury selection all over again because there weren’t enough African-Americans on the panel. The judge has yet to rule on the matter and jury selection continued on Monday.

At the same time, a prospective juror told the Detroit News that she thought she was bounced from the jury pool because she was black and her appearance (she had tattoos).

It reminded of me when I served on a jury in D.C. Superior Court in 1999.

I was a reporter at the Washington Post at the time, covering crime. The jury was composed of six blacks and six whites, all residents of D.C.

Top read more click here. 

Breaking News: Retired FBI Agent in Indiana Charged in Child Porn Case

 
By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

A retired FBI agent has been charged with possessing and distributing child pornography, the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Indianapolis announced Monday.

Ex-agent Donald J. Sachtleben, 54, of Carmel, Ind., was charged in a criminal complaint, authorities said. He retired in 2008.

“The mission of our Project Safe Childhood initiative is to investigate and prosecute anyone found to engaged in the sexual exploitation of children,” said U.S. Attorney  Joseph Hogsett in a statement. “Today’s announcement underscores this serious commitment and should make clear that no matter who you are, you will be brought to justice if you are found guilty of such criminal behavior.”

The complaint, unsealed Monday, alleged that authorities first became aware that he was trading images of child pornography online in September 2010. He was arrested this past January in Illinois.

Authorities said a forensic examination of his computer equipment and emails showed that he had been actively trading such materials online with numerous other people.

The complaint alleged that an initial forensic examination of Sachtleben’s laptop computer showed about 30 images and video files containing child pornography.

Number of Officers Slain in 2011 is Up, FBI Says

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

There 72 law enforcement officers slain nationwide in 2011, up from 56 in 2010, according to the FBI preliminary stats released Monday.

Of the total, 19 officers were killed during ambushes (14 during unprovoked attacks and five due to entrapment/premeditation situations); five were slain while investigating suspicious persons or circumstances; 11 were killed during traffic pursuits/stops; five of the officers interrupted robberies in progress or were pursuing robbery suspects; and four died while responding to disturbance calls (one being a domestic disturbance).

Six officers died during tactical situations; one died while conducting investigative activity; one officer died while handling or transporting a prisoner; and 20 officers were killed while attempting other arrests.

Of the 72 victims, 49 were wearing body armor at the times of their deaths. Seven of the slain officers had their service weapons stolen.

Secret Service Director Sullivan to Testify in Senate Hearing on Prostitution Scandal

Sen. Lieberman/senate photo

Shoshanna Utchenik
ticklethewire.com

Senator Joe Lieberman announced a Senate inquiry into the recent Secret Service prostitution scandal on CNN’s “State of the Union” Sunday, reports the Washington Post.

Nine Secret Service employees have been fired for misconduct during an April mission in Columbia, raising questions and triggering new rules regarding culture and conduct within the agency.

Secret Service Director Mark Sullivan will be called before the committee May 23 to speak publicly for the first time about the Colombia prostitution scandal investigation, along with Charles K. Edwards, acting inspector general of the Department of Homeland Security.

“This is really a heartbreaking incident, and really a dangerous incident, and we really have got to make sure it never does happen again,” Lieberman said on “State of the Union”.

To read more click here.

Search Continues for Missing Calif. FBI Agent

Stephen Ivens/police photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Authorities have described him as suicidal and possibly armed with a handgun.

That’s how they described missing FBI agent Stephen Ivens, 35, from Burbank, Calif.

Authorities continued the search Monday. “There is no evidence of foul play right now, but that is why we still have a robust effort to locate him,” Burbank Police Capt. Dennis Cremins told CNN affiliate KCAL over the weekend.  To read more click here.

 

 

Kidnapped Girls Saw Fugitive Adam Mayes’ Suicide

Shoshanna Utchenik
ticklethewire.com

Details continue to roll in about the kidnapping-murder-suicide of Adam Mayes, who had just been placed on the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted List.

Mayes in April had abducted a mother and her three daughters. The mother, Jo Ann Bain and the eldest daughter were found dead.

The FBI says that the two surviving daughters saw their kidnapper shoot himself as authorities approached, according to CNN.

FBI spokesperson Jason Pack said the 8 and 12 year-old sisters were found with their captor out in the open.

“There was no shelter or anything.” Pack told CNN. “They were dehydrated and dirty, like they were here for several days…They gave them water and we drove them out right away.”

The girls were released back to their grateful father from Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee, Friday.

There are several players in this case, including Mayes’ wife Teresa, who family characterizes as another fearful victim of Mayes’ abuse. Teresa Mayes was charged along with Adam Mayes on two counts of first-degree murder and two counts of especially aggravated kidnapping.

To read more click here.

Column: The FBI’s Struggle to Transform Into an Intelligence Agency

Henry Crumpton served as U.S. coordinator for counterterrorism from 2005 to 2007.

Henry Crumpton/ charlie rose show

 
By AMB. HENRY A. CRUMPTON
Politico

Since the Sept. 11 attacks, the FBI, the world’s leading law enforcement agency, has labored to transform itself into an intelligence organization — while preserving its policing pre-eminence. This challenge has proved difficult.

There are major cultural and structural differences between law enforcement and intelligence. I saw how different when I was a senior CIA officer on loan to the FBI, as the deputy chief of the International Terrorism Operations Section from 1998 to 1999. I retired from government service — but recent conversations with knowledgeable government officials suggest that this remains true today.

The FBI is still measuring success, according to one well-informed confidant, based on arrests and criminal convictions — not on the value of intelligence collected and disseminated to its customers.

To read more click here.

 

Attorney General Eric Holder Honors 362 Fallen Peace Officers at Annual Candlelight Vigil

National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial, photo nleomf.org

Shoshanna Utchenik
ticklethewire.com

While most of us were celebrating Mother’s Day on Sunday, Attorney General Eric Holder commemorated the service of fallen peace officers in an annual candlelight vigil, as part of National Police Week, reports the Justice Dept and PR Newswire.

Each May 13, fallen officers’ newly engraved names are formally dedicated  and read aloud at The National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in Washington DC.

Attorney General Eric Holder spoke to the crowd that typically draws about 20,000 officers and supporters:

“As we lift up these brave individuals – and the nearly 20,000 others whose names are etched into these walls – we also pledge to remember their stories. We honor their service and sacrifice. And we affirm that – although they are missing from this crowd of heroes tonight, in both memory and spirit they are still with us. Their selfless actions continue to guide and inspire us. And – in each of the law enforcement professionals gathered here, and in the work of our nation’s Department of Justice – the mission that became the cause of their lives goes on.”

To read more click here.