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An Appeal in Pistorius Case —but Not From Pistorius

Prosecutors say sentence was 'shockingly' lenient, want more jail time than 6 years

(Newser) - South African prosecutors announced their intention to appeal against Oscar Pistorius' six-year jail sentence for murder on Thursday, calling it "shockingly" lenient and a decision that could bring the country's justice system into "disrepute," the AP reports. The announcement prolongs the 3.5-year legal saga of... More »

9.5 in 10 American Prosecutors Are White

60% of states have zero black prosecutors

(Newser) - White men make up just 31% of the US population , but they enjoy a much higher percentage among elected prosecutors' ranks: 79%, while whites in general comprise a staggering 95% of all elected prosecutors nationwide, reports the New York Times . An analysis by the Women Donors Network parsed the database... More »

Suge Knight Pleads Not Guilty, Has Panic Attack

He's taken to the hospital

(Newser) - Marion "Suge" Knight pleaded not guilty this morning to murder and attempted murder, and it was apparently a stressful experience: TMZ reports that the former hip-hop music mogul suffered a panic attack and was rushed to the hospital. It's the second time he's ended up hospital-bound while... More »

Exonerations Hit All-Time High

Prosecutors more willing to revisit cases, study says

(Newser) - More wrongfully convicted people were exonerated last year than ever before in the US, a study by two law schools behind the National Registry of Exonerations finds. Some 87 people were found to have been wrongfully convicted, compared to 83 in 2009, the study's previous high, per the New ... More »

FBI Hunts Texas DA's Killers as Probe Widens

Houston prosecutor goes under 24-hour protection

(Newser) - Following a Texas district attorney's shocking assassination , dozens of FBI agents today joined the investigation while armed guards stood outside the Kaufman County Courthouse, CNN reports. Fears that a white supremacist gang is targeting law enforcement officials spread even to Houston, where the chief prosecutor has gone under 24-hour... More »

Attorneys 'Hounded' Swartz to His Death: Dad

They 'don't understand the nature of what they did'

(Newser) - Lawyers pulled Aaron Swartz into a legal maze that ultimately killed him, the Internet activist's father tells the Los Angeles Times . Swartz "was hounded to his death by a system and a set of attorneys that still don't understand the nature of what they did," Bob... More »

NBC Failed to Air Shocking Sandusky Footage

Bob Costas asked if Sandusky had 'classic MO of many pedophiles'

(Newser) - Jerry Sandusky's openness in an NBC interview last November may give prosecutors an unexpected boost in the courtroom, Fox News reports. Talking to Bob Costas, the former Penn State assistant football coach all but admitted to having inappropriate relations with at least some underage boys. "I didn't... More »

Judge May Order Lohan Back to Slammer Today

Prosecutors want her behind bars for blowing off community service

(Newser) - Prosecutors are out to put Lindsay Lohan back behind bars after she blew off her community service . Lohan has never shown up at an LA coroner's office, where she was supposed to work 120 hours, and rarely appeared at a women's shelter, where she was required to put... More »

Missouri Judges Weigh Prison Cost in Sentencing

'Smart sentencing' draws fire from prosecutors

(Newser) - We all know the punishment should fit the crime, but what if the punishment costs too much? Along with sentencing guidelines and legal statutes, Missouri judges now have state-supplied information on the bottom line of what various sentencing scenarios will cost. They'd know, for instance, that a three-year sentence for... More »

Polanski Taunt Brought DA Down on Him

Director's lawyers said prosecutors weren't trying to catch him

(Newser) - Roman Polanski may have his own lawyers to thank for his current predicament. This summer, in an attempt to get the charges against the director dropped, they told an appellate court that prosecutors weren’t actually trying to catch him, because they were afraid to face old misconduct allegations. That... More »

'Rockefeller' Jury Won't Hear of Calif. Case

Mystery man is person of interest in couple's disappearance

(Newser) - Prosecutors in the kidnapping trial of the man who calls himself Clark Rockefeller have agreed not to tell the jury that he is a "person of interest" in the 1985 disappearance of a California couple. But they want the jury to hear the dramatic 911 call and subsequent statements... More »

Rove Tight-Lipped After Grilling Over Attorney Firings

Bush aide cooperated with prosecutor: lawyer

(Newser) - Karl Rove stayed mum as he left an interview with a special prosecutor today about the firing of US attorneys during the Bush administration, the AP reports. Nora Dannehy questioned the former White House aide at his lawyer’s office; she left after about 4 hours. Rove’s attorney said... More »

Rove Will Be Questioned Over Attorney Firings

(Newser) - Karl Rove is on the hot seat tomorrow. The former Bush adviser will be interviewed by federal prosecutors as part of a criminal investigation into the firings of US attorneys in 2006, the Washington Post reports. Rove will meet with Connecticut prosecutor Nora R. Dannehy, who has been charged with... More »

DOJ Pulls Prosecutors Off Stevens Case

Judge finds lawyers in contempt for withholding documents

(Newser) - The Justice Department has yanked the team that prosecuted Ted Stevens off any future action in the case, Politico reports, after the judge found four of the lawyers—including chief prosecutor Brenda Morris—in contempt. Morris and company raised the judge’s ire by withholding documents related to FBI agent... More »

Rihanna Helps Cops Build Case Against Abusive Brown

Relationship with Rihanna filled with ongoing violence

(Newser) - Police are trying to beef up the case against Chris Brown and expect to complete their investigation next week, the New York Daily News reports. Rihanna is cooperating, and investigators expect to reinterview both parties before involving the DA's office, which has already asked for more evidence, a source tells... More »

Madoff Mails $1M in Bling; Feds Pounce

(Newser) - Prosecutors are fuming after Bernard Madoff mailed more than $1 million in jewelry to his sons on Christmas Eve, the New York Post reports. The Ponzi schemer was dragged into court today but left under house arrest pending written arguments. Madoff's bail agreement allows such a gift, but an SEC... More »

The 11th Commandment: 'Thou Shalt Not Forge'

Unscrupulous scholars fake history to make a buck

(Newser) - Fraudulent biblical artifacts come a dime a dozen, but reputable archaeologists are turning out to be far less common, Nina Burleigh writes in the Los Angeles Times. The latest example involves an Israeli collector who claimed to have relics from the time of Christ. Declaring the items forgeries, authorities prosecuted... More »

Judge Sends Stevens Jury Home, May Declare Mistrial

Prosecutors withheld FBI reports on witness

(Newser) - A federal judge sent the jury in Ted Stevens’ Washington corruption trial home today as he considers declaring a mistrial for the Alaska senator, the AP reports. Stevens’ lawyers claimed that prosecutors attempted to withhold FBI reports about the government’s key witness, former oil exec Bill Allen, that they... More »

No Charges for Biased Justice Officials: Mukasey

Former employees have already faced internal consequences, AG says

(Newser) - Michael Mukasey said today the ex-Justice Department employees who discriminated against candidates in hiring for political reasons will not face criminal charges, the New York Times reports. Prosecution would be inappropriate, the AG said, because the biased hiring practices violated federal civil service law, not criminal law. More »

No Crying in the Courtroom!

Murder case prosecutors seek ban on 'strategic bawling' by defense to sway jury

(Newser) - State prosecutors in Ohio want to ban teary-eyed appeals to the jury in an upcoming capital murder case, Time reports. A motion seeking to prohibit blubbering defense attorneys accuses them of crying on cue and violating a 1999 Ohio Supreme Court ruling that it’s “improper to inflame a... More »

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