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September 5, 2003

Girl Apparently Wanted Mother's Boyfriend Out Of Picture

The girl set to testify against her mother's boyfriend, James Charles Ardman -- who was held at the Macomb County Jail since May 12 for allegedly sexually assaulting the preteen -- recanted her entire story to prosecutors.<br><br>Apparently the girl had recanted her story at least once before, but at the time, the changes in her story didn't seem compelling enough to believe the accusation was false or the case should be dismissed, the paper reported.

USA Today (IN)

September 5, 2003

Indiana University is allowing a professor to continue posting through the school's Web site a personal log with criticisms of homosexuals despite complaints from some staffers.

"I did not know it was so controversial to provide arguments for why homosexuals should not be employed as school teachers, but it seems that people at universities get excited about opinions that are common, perhaps even the norm, elsewhere in the United States," Rasmusen wrote in an e-mail to the Indiana Daily Student newspaper.

The Christian Science Monitor

by Amanda Paulson and Abraham McLaughlin

September 4, 2003

On the surface, this week's ruling by the Ninth Circuit court of appeals - overturning the death sentences of more than 100 inmates in Arizona, Montana, and Idaho - is the latest sign of statistical retreat for capital punishment in America.

Reflect Americans' ambivalence about a penalty that most still believe in but are more hesitant to inflict. On the one hand, legislatures are enacting tough-on-crime laws. Attorney General John Ashcroft has been an active proponent of tough sentencing. And 74 percent of Americans favor the death penalty for a person convicted of murder, according to the latest Gallup Poll in May. (The number drops to 53 percent when life without parole is an alternative.)


August 28, 2003

Rangers in Sequoia National Park have swapped their Smokey Bear hats for helmets, weapons and camouflage.

It's more than a cash crop; it's a cash cow. One plant brings $4,000 on the street. Last year, agents pulled $1.5 billion worth from federal land in California alone - a tenfold increase from nine years ago. They expect to exceed that this year.

The Star-Ledger

by Ana M. Alaya

August 24, 2003

A review finds the average prison time was 11 years for those convicted in child homicide cases

Charles Brown, aka Tweety Bird, an unemployed airbrush painter in Salem County with 35 arrests, repeatedly punched his 18-month-old son because the child was crying. The judge sentenced him to eight years for the boy's death. With good behavior, he will be out in six years and nine months.

Amarillo Globe News

by Greg Cunningham

August 23, 2003

A four-year legal odyssey that engulfed an entire Panhandle town in a firestorm of controversy came to an end Friday when Gov. Rick Perry pardoned 35 men and women convicted in the controversial 1999 Tulia drug sting.

The cases broke down in March when Coleman gave contradictory statements during evidentiary hearings in Tulia. The testimony led the judge to stop the hearings and recommend the cases of everyone convicted in the bust be overturned. Coleman has since been indicted on perjury charges.<br><br>"Tulia has become a model for what's wrong with the criminal justice system," said Gupta, who helped line up prominent attorneys to join the fight. "It's been so compelling nationally because of the story it tells. What is now needed is for local, state and federal authorities to examine what happened there and put into effect reforms that will keep it from happening again."

World Net Daily

August 20, 2003

Why many citizens fear attorneys, judges more than terrorists

I have come to fear almost everything having to do with law. Though there are many fine people in the legal profession, and though law is necessary to protect society from descending into chaos, I now fear the legal profession more than I do Islamic terror ...

News Release Wire (VA)

August 19, 2003

Barbara Bryan, child/family justice advocate in the Commonwealth for years and now worldwide, observes changes in form but not substance.

Two decades after three middle school age Boy Scouts were felled by a repeat mandated vaccination, their once falsely accused mother notes no substantive features added to Virginia's child protective services (CPS) regulations to prevent the nightmare visited on them by government agents.<br><br>What is true in one state--that CPS and "family" courts are extraconstitutional and accept a reverse presumption: that the accused must prove innocence--is generally true throughout the United States and has been for years. Inducement of "more federal money" was too powerful a lure for counting the cost of liberty.

World Privacy Forum

by Pam Dixon

August 11, 2003

Why it's smarter to order federally mandated free credit reports via telephone, not the Internet

The World Privacy Forum urges consumers who qualify [1] to order a federally mandated free annual credit report [2] to call the toll free number (877-322-8228) instead of ordering their free credit report online. Calling the toll free number exposes consumers to fewer potential hazards than ordering online. [3] Consumers who try to use the official online site may encounter numerous challenges, some of them potentially serious.

by Mark Rasch

June 16, 2003

A few odd cases show that you don't have be a digital desparado to be accused of a cybercrime... particularly if you embarrass the wrong bureaucrats.

Some recent (and not so recent) cases illustrate how computer security professionals and well intentioned whistle-blowers face a genuine risk of running afoul of computer crime statutes simply for forgetting to ask the right person, "May I'," before doing a computer security assessment. Take the case of Scott Moulten, a computer security professional in Georgia. He was the principal person responsible for computer security (through a private company) for a county in Georgia. The county worked with various cities coordinating and providing 911 Emergency Response Services. When one city wanted to hook up to the county's 911 network, Moulten performed a port scan and throughput test on that city's network to see if the computers were vulnerable to exploit.

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