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Tag: federal judge

Judge Refuses FBI Request to Force Potential Targets to Give Fingerprints to Unlock iPhones

fingerprint-smaller-version

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The battle over privacy and devices continues.

This time it’s taking place in Chicago.

A federal judge in Chicago has rejected a request by the FBI to force potential targets to provide fingerprints to unlock any iPhones or Apple devices in child pornography case, Jason Meisner and Steve Schmadeke of the Chicago Tribune report.

U.S. Magistrate Judge David Weisman decision came in response to a request for a warrant to search a residence where investigators suspect someone was using the internet to traffic images of child pornography, the Trib reports. 

The Trib reports:

The prosecution filing seeking the search warrant on the FBI’s behalf remains under seal, but the judge’s opinion said the government requested “the authority to compel any individual who is present at the subject premises at the time of the search” to provide a fingerprint or thumbprint needed to unlock an Apple device.

Weisman, a former federal prosecutor and FBI agent, wrote in his 14-page opinion last month that the government hadn’t presented enough facts in its application that would justify such sweeping “intrusions,” including any specific information about those who might be living at the residence or their connection to the child pornography investigation.

Judge: Conditions at Border Patrol Detention Centers Violate Civil Rights

courtroomBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A federal judge plans to order Border Patrol to improve sleeping conditions at detention centers in Arizona, saying the detainees’ civil rights are being violated.

U.S. District Court Judge David C. Buru, who is presiding over a lawsuit filed on behalf of three former detainees, said the conditions must be improved, Tucson.com reports.

“I think the deprivation of sleep, at the very least, in this case is a violation of the civil rights of a civil detainee and that needs to be fixed,” Bury said at a hearing in Tucson on Tuesday.

Bury’s plan to grant preliminary relief is not a formal order, but he said he plans to work with both sides to work out a solution.

While acknowledging “the Border Patrol has a really tough job,” Bury said it’s still no excuse for inhumane conditions.

“The complexity of government operations cannot trump civil rights, neither can budgetary constraints,” the judge said.

An attorney for the detainees said they are constantly interrupted while trying to sleep because agents are constantly processing new detainees.

Federal Judge Terrence Berg Shot and Wounded in Detroit

Terrance Berg/doj photo

By Allan Lengel
Deadline Detroit

DETROIT — U.S. District Court Judge Terrence Berg, a former federal prosecutor and former acting U.S. Attorney, was shot and wounded Thursday night on Detroit’s northwest side.

George Hunter of the Detroit News reports that it was an attempted robbery. He was shot in the leg outside his home in the city’s University District and taken to Sinai-Grace Hospital. He’s undergone surgery.

Two robbers tried to force Berg inside his home, but he didn’t comply with their demand. One shot him in the leg and both men fled. Berg’s wife and teenage son were inside.

Berg was appointed by President Obama and has been on the bench since 2012. It’s unclear what the circumstances are behind the shooting.

Berg, a very affable person, was born in Detroit in 1959.

More details to come.

Texas Judge Blocks President Obama’s Executive Action on Immigration

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

President Obama’s immigration plans have been placed on hold by a federal judge in Texas so that states have time to argue their case against the president’s controversial executive action.

U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen blocked the plan with a preliminary injunction, ABC News reports.

The judge said the injunction was necessary so states could proceed with a lawsuit without suffering “irreparable harm.”

The White House issued a statement, saying the president made a lawful action that presidents have been making for decades.

 

“The Supreme Court and Congress have made clear that the federal government can set priorities in enforcing our immigration laws—which is exactly what the President did when he announced commonsense policies to help fix our broken immigration system. Those policies are consistent with the laws passed by Congress and decisions of the Supreme Court, as well as five decades of precedent by presidents of both parties who have used their authority to set priorities in enforcing our immigration laws,” the statement reads.

“The Department of Justice, legal scholars, immigration experts, and the district court inWashington, D.C. have determined that the President’s actions are well within his legal authority. Top law enforcement officials, along with state and local leaders across the country, have emphasized that these policies will also benefit the economy and help keep communities safe. The district court’s decision wrongly prevents these lawful, commonsense policies from taking effect and the Department of Justice has indicated that it will appeal that decision.”

6 Los Angeles Sheriff’s Deputies Sentenced Up to 41 Months in Prison for Interfering with Civil Rights Investigation

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Six deputies for the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department were sentenced Wednesday to up to 41 months in prison for interfering with a federal civil rights investigation at a jail.

The federal judge told the defendants that they lacked “courage to do what is right” and showed no remorse.

The sentencing follows a federal jury’s determination that the defendants tried to influence witnesses, threatened an FBI agent with arrest and hid an FBI informant from investigators.

“Blind obedience to a corrupt culture has serious consequences,” United States District Judge Percy Anderson told the defendants before sentencing.

The defendants were:

  • Gregory Thompson, 54, a now-retired lieutenant who oversaw LASD’s Operation Safe Jails Program, who was ordered to serve 37 months in prison and to pay a $7,500 fine;
  • Lieutenant Stephen Leavins, 52, who was assigned to the LASD’s Internal Criminal Investigations Bureau, who received a 41-month prison sentence;
  • Gerard Smith, 42, a deputy who was assigned to the Operation Safe Jails Program, who was ordered to serve 21 months in prison;
  • Mickey Manzo, 34, a deputy who was assigned to the Operation Safe Jails Program, who received a 24-month sentence;
  • Scott Craig, 50, a sergeant who was assigned to the Internal Criminal Investigations Bureau, who was sentenced to 33 months; and
  • Maricela Long, 46, a sergeant who assigned to the Internal Criminal Investigations Bureau, who received a sentence of two years in federal prison.

“Interference with a federal investigation cannot be tolerated,” said Bill Lewis, the Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s Los Angeles Field Office. “The sentences imposed today allow us to move forward toward an environment of mutual trust and the common goal of delivering justice to victims of crime. I look forward to continued collaboration with our trusted partners at the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.”

Alabama Federal Judge Charged With Striking His Wife Faces Pressure to Resign

U.S. District Judge Mark E. Fuller

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The public’s zero tolerance for NFL football players involved in physical abuse seems to have spilled over into the judiciary where U.S. District Judge Mark E. Fuller of Alabama was charged with striking his wife in a luxury hotel in Atlanta last month.

The New York Times reports that the judge is facing pressure to resign from a job that is a life-time appointment. He was appointed by President George W. Bush, and has often been the target of criticism from Democrats.

But the Times reports that pressure has come from both Republican and Democratic politicians for Fuller to step down .

The Times writes:

Representative Terri Sewell, the sole Democrat representing Alabama in Congress, drew a direct connection between Judge Fuller’s future and the current storm over domestic violence in the N.F.L. “If an N.F.L. player can lose his job because of domestic violence,” she said in a statement, “then a federal judge should definitely not be allowed to keep his lifetime appointment to the federal bench.”

Judge Tosses Muslim Spying Lawsuit Against FBI

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A federal judge rejected a lawsuit against the FBI that alleges the agency unlawfully spied on Orange County Muslims in California, the Los Angeles Times reports.

U.S. District Court Judge Cormac Carney wrote that “the state secrets privilege may unfortunately mean the sacrifice of individual liberties for the sake of national security.”

Carney said the intelligence in the case would compromise national security, if revealed, the LA Times reported.

Still, the judge said the suit can proceed against the individual FBI agents.

Orange County Muslims brought the lawsuit after they said they were targeted for illegally spying.

Column: Detroit U.S. Atty McQuade: “We Cannot Allow Detroit to be Defined by Homicide and Violence”

U.S. Attorney McQuade

Barbara McQuade has been the U.S. Attorney in Detroit since January 2010.
 
By Barbara L. McQuade
Detroit Free Press Guest Writer

DETROIT — As the Free Press’ “Living with Murder” series has vividly illustrated, reducing homicide and violent crime in Detroit is essential to improving our quality of life. Even those who live outside the city should be concerned about crime in Detroit, because it affects the success of our region and our state. We cannot allow Detroit to be defined by homicide and violence.

While law enforcement agencies are working together to arrest and remove dangerous people from our community, long-term solutions to reducing violent crime require thoughtful prevention efforts.

A federal judge in Detroit recently told me that when he imposes a long prison sentence on a violent offender, he wishes he could “rewind the tape” to the point in the defendant’s life before he became involved in crime. Prevention efforts underway in Detroit seek to do just that.

To read more click here.