Murder

7th Circuit affirms murder, racketeering convictions despite government error

December 5, 2016
Olivia Covington
Despite improper statements made by the government during closing arguments of a trial, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the defendant’s murder and racketeering convictions, writing that the statements constituted harmless error.
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Jury selection begins in high-profile Saints star's death

December 5, 2016
 Associated Press
Conflicts settled by gunfire are tragically common in New Orleans, but there was nothing routine about this one: The dead man was retired football player Will Smith, a star on the 2006 Saints team who helped lift the stricken city's spirits with a winning season after Hurricane Katrina, and played with the team when it won the franchise's only Super Bowl three seasons later. Jury selection begins Monday in the trial of the man accused in his killing after a road-rage incident.
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Indiana mother pleads not guilty in kids' fatal stabbing

November 30, 2016
 Associated Press
A central Indiana woman who admitted fatally stabbing her young son and daughter has pleaded not guilty to murder charges.
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Indiana mother accused of fatally stabbing kids is jailed

November 29, 2016
 Associated Press
A central Indiana woman who confessed to fatally stabbing her young son and daughter has been released from a hospital and booked into jail.
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Retrial planned for man in Fort Wayne triple slaying

November 28, 2016
 Associated Press
A retrial is planned after a jury failed to reach a verdict in the triple slaying trial of a 19-year-old Fort Wayne man.
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Bail set in 1980 death of Indiana police officer

November 22, 2016
 Associated Press
Bail has been set for a northwest Indiana man charged in the 1980 death of a police officer killed while working a side security job.
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Jury unable to reach verdict in triple slaying trial

November 18, 2016
 Associated Press
A jury has failed to reach a verdict in the triple slaying trial of a 19-year-old Fort Wayne man.
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Appeals court blocks 'Making a Murderer' inmate's release

November 17, 2016
 Associated Press
A Wisconsin prison inmate whose case was featured in the Netflix series "Making a Murderer" will stay behind bars while state attorneys appeal a decision overturning his conviction, a panel of federal appellate judges ruled Thursday.
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Wisconsin to appeal to feds over 'Making a Murderer' inmate

November 16, 2016
A federal judge told Wisconsin prison officials on Wednesday that they must release an inmate featured in the Netflix series "Making a Murderer" by Friday evening.
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COA upholds murder conviction after rejecting involuntary manslaughter appeal

November 15, 2016
Olivia Covington
The Indiana Court of Appeals has upheld a man’s murder conviction after rejecting his claim that the jury should have been instructed on an involuntary manslaughter charge because he did not intend to kill his victim when he was beating her.
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Authorities, schools on alert as Cincinnati awaits verdict

November 10, 2016
 Associated Press
Authorities were on alert and school officials took precautions Thursday as jurors deliberated a second day in the Ohio murder trial of a white former police officer who said he feared for his life before fatally shooting an unarmed black man during a traffic stop last year.
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Police level of force raised in Charleston shooting trial

November 8, 2016
 Associated Press
Testimony in the trial of a white former Charleston, South Carolina, police officer in the shooting death of an unarmed black motorist is raising questions about how much force is justified.
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Former police officer in murder trial: I feared for my life

November 8, 2016
 Associated Press
A white former police officer in Cincinnati on trial for murder has taken the stand to tell jurors he feared for his life when he fatally shot an unarmed black motorist during a traffic stop in Ohio.
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Mental defect defense sought for woman in Amber Alert deaths

November 4, 2016
 Associated Press
Attorneys for an Indiana woman accused of abducting her two young children and smothering them are seeking a defense of mental disease or defect for her.
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2nd man pleads guilty in Harrison County couple's slayings

November 3, 2016
 Associated Press
A man has admitted to murder and felony murder charges in the 2013 slayings of a southern Indiana couple under a deal with prosecutors in which he'll avoid the death penalty.
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Justices reject appeal from Alabama death row inmate

October 31, 2016
 Associated Press
The Supreme Court of the United States has rejected an appeal from a death row inmate in Alabama who said evidence withheld by prosecutors entitled him to a new court hearing.
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Mistrial declared in Indianapolis murder-for-hire case

October 27, 2016
 Associated Press
A mistrial has been declared in a double-homicide case of an Indianapolis man who was charged in a murder-for-hire scheme that authorities say led to the fatal shootings of four men in early 2014.
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Police arrest 3 after death of Terre Haute radio personality

October 25, 2016
 Associated Press
Police say they've arrested three people in connection with the death of a Terre Haute radio personality.
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Man charged with killing woman wants rape charge dismissed

October 21, 2016
 Associated Press
Attorneys for a southern Indiana man accused of killing his former girlfriend and eating parts of her body have asked that a rape charge against him be dropped.
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Man who killed Gary police officer in 1981 to be released

October 18, 2016
 Associated Press
A man who struck a deal with prosecutors to avoid facing the death penalty after being convicted of killing a Gary police officer will be released from prison next year.
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Competency evaluation sought for mom in Amber Alert deaths

October 18, 2016
 Associated Press
The attorney for an Indiana woman accused of smothering her two children after abducting them is seeking a competency evaluation for her.
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Judge: Man incompetent to stand trial for killing officer

October 14, 2016
 Associated Press
A man accused of fatally shooting an Indianapolis police officer two years ago has been found incompetent to stand trial.
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Indiana prosecutor seeking life for mom in kids' deaths

October 14, 2016
 Associated Press
A prosecutor announced Thursday that he's seeking a sentence of life without parole for an Indiana woman accused of smothering her two children after abducting them, saying such a sanction was appropriate "given the gravity of this horrible crime."
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Appeals panel affirms murder conviction, sentence

October 13, 2016
Dave Stafford
An Indianapolis man who objected to his murder trial being scheduled later than permissible under the speedy trial rule failed to persuade the Indiana Court of Appeals to reverse his murder conviction.
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Family still hopes father's homicide can be solved

October 13, 2016
 Associated Press
A newspaper article at the time called the July 5, 1971 murder of Sterling Brewery worker Paul Roedel "the biggest crime puzzle in Evansville" in almost two years.
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  1. OK so I'll make this as short as I can. I got a call that my daughter was smoking in the bathroom only her and one other girl was questioned mind you four others left before them anyways they proceeded to interrogate my daughter about smoking and all this time I nor my parents got a phone call,they proceeded to go through her belongings and also pretty much striped searched my daughter including from what my mother said they looked at her Brest without my consent. I am furious also a couple months ago my son hurt his foot and I was never called and it got worse during the day but the way some of the teachers have been treating my kids they are not comfortable going to them because they feel like they are mean or don't care. This is unacceptable in my mind i should be able to send my kids to school without worry but now I worry how the adults there are treating them. I have a lot more but I wanted to know do I have any attempt at a lawsuit because like I said there is more that's just some of what my kids are going through. Please respond. Sincerely concerned single parent

  2. California Sex Offender Management Board (CASOMB) End of Year Report 2014. (page 13) Under the current system many local registering agencies are challenged just keeping up with registration paperwork. It takes an hour or more to process each registrant, the majority of whom are low risk offenders. As a result law enforcement cannot monitor higher risk offenders more intensively in the community due to the sheer numbers on the registry. Some of the consequences of lengthy and unnecessary registration requirements actually destabilize the life’s of registrants and those -such as families- whose lives are often substantially impacted. Such consequences are thought to raise levels of known risk factors while providing no discernible benefit in terms of community safety. The full report is available online at. http://www.casomb.org/index.cfm?pid=231 National Institute of Justice (NIJ) US Department of Justice Office of Justice Programs United States of America. The overall conclusion is that Megan’s law has had no demonstrated effect on sexual offenses in New Jersey, calling into question the justification for start-up and operational costs. Megan’s Law has had no effect on time to first rearrest for known sex offenders and has not reduced sexual reoffending. Neither has it had an impact on the type of sexual reoffense or first-time sexual offense. The study also found that the law had not reduced the number of victims of sexual offenses. The full report is available online at. https://www.ncjrs.gov/app/publications/abstract.aspx? ID=247350 The University of Chicago Press for The Booth School of Business of the University of Chicago and The University of Chicago Law School Article DOI: 10.1086/658483 Conclusion. The data in these three data sets do not strongly support the effectiveness of sex offender registries. The national panel data do not show a significant decrease in the rate of rape or the arrest rate for sexual abuse after implementation of a registry via the Internet. The BJS data that tracked individual sex offenders after their release in 1994 did not show that registration had a significantly negative effect on recidivism. And the D.C. crime data do not show that knowing the location of sex offenders by census block can help protect the locations of sexual abuse. This pattern of noneffectiveness across the data sets does not support the conclusion that sex offender registries are successful in meeting their objectives of increasing public safety and lowering recidivism rates. The full report is available online at. http://www.jstor.org/stable/full/10.1086/658483 These are not isolated conclusions but are the same outcomes in the majority of conclusions and reports on this subject from multiple government agencies and throughout the academic community. People, including the media and other organizations should not rely on and reiterate the statements and opinions of the legislators or other people as to the need for these laws because of the high recidivism rates and the high risk offenders pose to the public which simply is not true and is pure hyperbole and fiction. They should rely on facts and data collected and submitted in reports from the leading authorities and credible experts in the fields such as the following. California Sex Offender Management Board (CASOMB) Sex offender recidivism rate for a new sex offense is 0.8% (page 30) The full report is available online at http://www.cdcr.ca.gov/Adult_Research_Branch/Research_Documents/2014_Outcome_Evaluation_Report_7-6-2015.pdf California Sex Offender Management Board (CASOMB) (page 38) Sex offender recidivism rate for a new sex offense is 1.8% The full report is available online at. http://www.google.com/url?sa= t&source=web&cd=1&ved= 0CCEQFjAA&url=http%3A%2F% 2Fwww.cdcr.ca.gov%2FAdult_ Research_Branch%2FResearch_ documents%2FOutcome_ evaluation_Report_2013.pdf&ei= C9dSVePNF8HfoATX-IBo&usg=AFQjCNE9I6ueHz-o2mZUnuxLPTyiRdjDsQ Bureau of Justice Statistics 5 PERCENT OF SEX OFFENDERS REARRESTED FOR ANOTHER SEX CRIME WITHIN 3 YEARS OF PRISON RELEASE WASHINGTON, D.C. Within 3 years following their 1994 state prison release, 5.3 percent of sex offenders (men who had committed rape or sexual assault) were rearrested for another sex crime, the Justice Department’s Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) announced today. The full report is available online at. http://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/press/rsorp94pr.cfm Document title; A Model of Static and Dynamic Sex Offender Risk Assessment Author: Robert J. McGrath, Michael P. Lasher, Georgia F. Cumming Document No.: 236217 Date Received: October 2011 Award Number: 2008-DD-BX-0013 Findings: Study of 759 adult male offenders under community supervision Re-arrest rate: 4.6% after 3-year follow-up The sexual re-offense rates for the 746 released in 2005 are much lower than what many in the public have been led to expect or believe. These low re-offense rates appear to contradict a conventional wisdom that sex offenders have very high sexual re-offense rates. The full report is available online at. https://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/nij/grants/236217.pdf Document Title: SEX OFFENDER SENTENCING IN WASHINGTON STATE: RECIDIVISM RATES BY: Washington State Institute For Public Policy. A study of 4,091 sex offenders either released from prison or community supervision form 1994 to 1998 and examined for 5 years Findings: Sex Crime Recidivism Rate: 2.7% Link to Report: http://www.oncefallen.com/files/Washington_SO_Recid_2005.pdf Document Title: Indiana’s Recidivism Rates Decline for Third Consecutive Year BY: Indiana Department of Correction 2009. The recidivism rate for sex offenders returning on a new sex offense was 1.05%, one of the lowest in the nation. In a time when sex offenders continue to face additional post-release requirements that often result in their return to prison for violating technical rules such as registration and residency restrictions, the instances of sex offenders returning to prison due to the commitment of a new sex crime is extremely low. Findings: sex offenders returning on a new sex offense was 1.05% Link to Report: http://www.in.gov/idoc/files/RecidivismRelease.pdf Once again, These are not isolated conclusions but are the same outcomes in the majority of reports on this subject from multiple government agencies and throughout the academic community. No one can doubt that child sexual abuse is traumatic and devastating. The question is not whether the state has an interest in preventing such harm, but whether current laws are effective in doing so. Megan’s law is a failure and is destroying families and their children’s lives and is costing tax payers millions upon millions of dollars. The following is just one example of the estimated cost just to implement SORNA which many states refused to do. From Justice Policy Institute. Estimated cost to implement SORNA Here are some of the estimates made in 2009 expressed in 2014 current dollars: California, $66M; Florida, $34M; Illinois, $24M; New York, $35M; Pennsylvania, $22M; Texas, $44M. In 2014 dollars, Virginia’s estimate for implementation was $14M, and the annual operating cost after that would be $10M. For the US, the total is $547M. That’s over half a billion dollars – every year – for something that doesn’t work. http://www.justicepolicy.org/images/upload/08-08_FAC_SORNACosts_JJ.pdf. Attempting to use under-reporting to justify the existence of the registry is another myth, or a lie. This is another form of misinformation perpetrated by those who either have a fiduciary interest in continuing the unconstitutional treatment of a disfavored group or are seeking to justify their need for punishment for people who have already paid for their crime by loss of their freedom through incarceration and are now attempting to reenter society as honest citizens. When this information is placed into the public’s attention by naive media then you have to wonder if the media also falls into one of these two groups that are not truly interested in reporting the truth. Both of these groups of people that have that type of mentality can be classified as vigilantes, bullies, or sociopaths, and are responsible for the destruction of our constitutional values and the erosion of personal freedoms in this country. I think the media or other organizations need to do a in depth investigation into the false assumptions and false data that has been used to further these laws and to research all the collateral damages being caused by these laws and the unconstitutional injustices that are occurring across the country. They should include these injustices in their report so the public can be better informed on what is truly happening in this country on this subject. Thank you for your time.

  3. Freedom as granted in the Constitution cannot be summarily disallowed without Due Process. Unable to to to the gym, church, bowling alley? What is this 1984 level nonsense? Congrats to Brian for having the courage to say that this was enough! and Congrats to the ACLU on the win!

  4. America's hyper-phobia about convicted sex offenders must end! Politicians must stop pandering to knee-jerk public hysteria. And the public needs to learn the facts. Research by the California Sex Offender Management Board as shown a recidivism rate for convicted sex offenders of less than 1%. Less than 1%! Furthermore, research shows that by year 17 after their conviction, a convicted sex offender is no more likely to commit a new sex offense than any other member of the public. Put away your torches and pitchforks. Get the facts. Stop hysteria.

  5. He was convicted 23 years ago. How old was he then? He probably was a juvenile. People do stupid things, especially before their brain is fully developed. Why are we continuing to punish him in 2016? If he hasn't re-offended by now, it's very, very unlikely he ever will. He paid for his mistake sufficiently. Let him live his life in peace.

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