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American Justice - FBI lab overstated forensic hair matches in 95% of cases, including 32 death sentences

The Justice Department and FBI have formally acknowledged that nearly every examiner in an elite FBI forensic unit gave flawed testimony in almost all trials in which they offered evidence against criminal defendants over more than a two-decade period before 2000.

Of 28 examiners with the FBI Laboratory's microscopic hair comparison unit, 26 overstated forensic matches in ways that favored prosecutors in more than 95 percent of the 268 trials reviewed so far, according to the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL) and the Innocence Project, which are assisting the government with the country's largest post-conviction review of questioned forensic evidence.

The cases include those of 32 defendants sentenced to death. Of those, 14 have been executed or died in prison.

"These findings are appalling and chilling in their indictment of our criminal justice system, not only for potentially innocent defendants who have been wrongly imprisoned and even executed, but for prosecutors who have relied on fabricated and false evidence despite their intentions to faithfully enforce the law," Blumenthal said.

- From the Washington Post article: FBI Overstated Forensic Hair Matches in Nearly All Trials efore 2000
© Bonnie Jo Mount/The Washington Post
FBI headquarters in Washington.
The American justice system is broken. Completely and totally broken. This has been one of the key themes here at Liberty Blitzkrieg since inception, and I've come to realize that the death of the rule of law is the single most important issue facing our society at this time.

This site has focused on the increased use of selective prosecution in these United States. If you are poor, disenfranchised, or a dissident, the full force of the law will rain down on your skull like a thousand tons of bricks. We have seen this repeatedly in cases such as the South Carolina man who was fined $525 and fired from his job when he failed to pay for a $0.89 soda refill. We saw it in the case of Aaron Swartz, the child prodigy was driven to suicide by overly aggressive and ambitious feds.

Finally, we saw it in the case of Barrett Brown, who was threatened with over a century in jail for essentially exposing the criminality of certain very rich and/or powerful individuals.

On the other side of the fence, we see that anyone associated with the power structure can do whatever they want with zero repercussions. We saw this in the case of General David Petraeus, who received a slap on the wrist for passing on highly classified information to his mistress and biographer Paula Broadwell. We saw it in how DEA agents were't even fired from their jobs despite participating in sex parties filled with prostitutes that were paid for by drug cartels, and sometimes taxpayer funds. Most despicably, we have seen it in the explosive use of deferred prosecution agreements when it comes to all the bailed out Wall Street banks, thus ensuring that no senior bankers went to prison and that their bonuses would be forever protected.

Chart Bar

Raising the minimum wage to $15 would benefit all workers as well as the economy

Giant corporations and the wealthy are naturally united in their hatred of the $15 minimum wage. Surprising, however, is the strong opposition sometimes encountered by workers who make barely above $15 an hour.

The anti-$15 logic of these workers varies. Some simply repeat the misinformation they hear on the media, that a higher minimum wage would cause mass inflation and unemployment, regardless of the fact that, according to the U.S. Department of Labor there is no evidence to support these claims.

Some workers against $15 say such an increase isn't fair, since they haven't had a raise in years and have worked hard to get what little they have. Unfortunately, it's becoming increasingly untrue that people "get ahead" when they work hard. The economy has fundamentally shifted in the last 30 years to the point where the average fast food worker is now 29 years old.

Opportunities to earn a living wage have shrunk exponentially. According to a recent study 43 percent of the U.S. workforce earns under $15 an hour. There are simply not enough high wage jobs to leap into; the leaping is now going in the opposite direction.

Comment: In a world that was not ruled by psychopaths, there wouldn't be such inequality in income and paying people a living wage would be a matter of course. However, the elites have always manipulated the system to keep them in power and their ruthless greed will continue to put downward pressure on wages until the global economy collapses, which may happen rather soon. While the PTB may, in fact, be aware of the coming economic catastrophe, what they do not realize is that they too will most likely be destroyed as they have lost their Mandate of Heaven.


Alarm Clock

State lets police take teenagers away from parents if they are left home alone

© King 5 News
Erica May Carey being arrested while her children are taken away
A new Illinois law is threatening parents who leave their children home alone if they are 13-years-old or younger. The new Illinois law states that parents who leave 13-year-olds home are guilty of neglect, and subject to arrest, as well as their children being taken away by police.

The new law states that "any minor under the age of 14 years whose parent or other person responsible for the minor's welfare leaves the minor without supervision for an unreasonable period of time without regard for the mental or physical health, safety, or welfare of that minor" is now considered "neglected."

This is the strictest law related to child neglect in the entire nation. Most states do not have a minimum age for leaving children home alone.

In three states, 12 is set as the minimum age. Once you are a teenager, even they say you are old enough to be left home alone.

Three other states set the bar at 8-years-old. Kansas says 6 is the minimum age. But more than 30 states say it is all very relative and the State should not define neglect based upon a sweeping generalization of age.

The Illinois law says that any child left home "without supervision" for "an unreasonable period of time" is being left "without regard for his or her mental or physical, health, safety or welfare."

The law, seemingly intentionally, neglects to define "unreasonable period of time" or "regard for the mental or physical health, safety or welfare." This way, police get to discriminate and determine who they think is being "unreasonable." Do you think they will make this call in affluent areas or poor ones?

We all know the answer to this question.

The law was written to discriminate against those communities which are already disempowered.

Furthermore, the law says that taken children away can be done by police without a warrant.

Even if a court later decides that the parents were in the right, the damage to the children and family has already been done. As well, it puts the onus on innocent parents to prove their innocence, based on police subjectively deciding that they think a 13-year-old left at home is being "neglected."

Nearly all 13-year olds are capable of being left at home while their parents are at work or run out to the store. This law disproportionally targets single-parent households, where one parent is unable to stay at home with a child in this case. As well, lower-income households in general seem to be the target of the legislation.

As this is in Illinois, it is worth noting that Chicago Public Schools have the shortest school days in the nation. This would mean that the working poor would have to fork over money for daycare for their 13-year-olds, or face arrest and having their children taken away. Put simply, this is absurd.

Beaker

Pesticide poisoning likely to have caused mysterious deaths in Nigeria

Pesticide poisoning was the likely cause of the mysterious deaths of at least 18 people in a southwestern Nigerian town earlier this week, the World Health Organization said Sunday.

The "current hypothesis is cause of the event is herbicides", WHO spokesman Gregory Hartl said in a tweet.

"Tests done so far are negative for viral and bacterial infection," he added.

The victims began showing symptoms early last week in what Ondo state spokesman Kayode Akinmade called a "mysterious disease", prompting fears of a new infectious disease outbreak in a region ravaged by Ebola.

The victims, whose symptoms included headache, weight loss, blurred vision and loss of consciousness, died within a day of falling ill in the town of Ode-Irele, in southwestern Ondo state.

Comment: Despite the industry claims that such products are 'safe', the dangers posed by pesticide exposures are quite real. Some of their toxic effects include cancer, diabetes, Parkinson's, autism, infertility and birth defects, as well as nervous system damage.


TV

Why Rod Serling still matters

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Rod Serling.
I doubt there's anyone born in the age of television syndication who doesn't have a haunting, dream-intruding memory of a Twilight Zone episode. We all know them: ventriloquist dummies who talk on their own, gremlins on airplane wings, neighbors who are space aliens or -- worse still -- who accuse us of being aliens. The visuals of The Twilight Zone form a kind of collective generational nightmare.

The remarkable thing about the man who created many of these episodes from 1959 to 1964, Rod Serling, is that the writer-presenter learned his craft not in the visual era but in the age of radio drama. It has been observed that Serling, whose characters routinely launched into long (and often enrapturing) moralistic jeremiads, wrote more for the ear than the eye. And it was Serling's sense of moral outrage -- against conformity, scapegoating, war as a first resort, commercialism above quality -- that brought posterity to his scripts and stories, and that served to marry speculative writing and filmmaking, perhaps permanently, to some kind of ethical position-taking.

Heart - Black

Female psychopath: Texas veterinarian fired after bragging online about killing a cat with a bow and arrow

A veterinarian in Brenham, Texas lost her job and has allegedly received death threats after posting a picture online of herself with a cat she killed with a bow and arrow, KBTX-TV reported on Friday.
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Officials at the Washington Animal Clinic terminated Kristen Lindsey's employment after the picture from her Facebook page surfaced on Thursday. Lindsey can be seen holding the arrow, which is stuck inside the animal's head.

"My first bow kill, lol," she wrote. "The only good feral tomcat is one with an arrow through it's [sic] head! Vet of the year award ... Gladly accepted."

Lindsey took down her page after criticism began flooding in, but at one point she bragged that she would not lose her job over killing the cat, stating, "Like someone would get rid of me. I'm awesome!"

Instead, her name was covered up on the facility's sign by Friday afternoon. The clinic reportedly received more than 500 phone calls denouncing Lindsey's actions.

Comment:


Sheriff

Phoenix shooting leaves 5 dead in suspected family dispute

Image
© AFP Photo/Scott Olson
Police used a megaphone to try to speak with the relatives during a standoff at the scene of a domestic shooting in Arizona
Five adults were found dead inside a north Phoenix home after a shooting Thursday in a suspected dispute about the family's business, police said.

The names and ages of the three men and two women weren't immediately released. But police said the three men were brothers and the dead women apparently were the men's mother and a spouse of one of the brothers.

Two other women and two children managed to escape the home unharmed, according to police.

One of those women told officers that the shooting stemmed from a family dispute gone wrong, police spokesman Sgt. Trent Crump said.

"Our dispatcher could hear shots fired in the background while that call was coming in," Crump said. "A caller had been able to escape the home at that point, get out and start to give us information."

Comment: Time will tell as more details unfold as to why this unnecessary shooting took place. Sad day in this Phoenix neighborhood for sure.


Heart - Black

Goldman Sachs banker celebrates his birthday by raping a woman


Jason Lee
A married investment banker with Goldman Sachs raped a woman because he said that he wanted to have sex on his birthday and "was going to do whatever he had to do to get it."

Jason Lee was celebrating his 37th birthday in his extravagant Hamptons, New York rental property in 2013, when according to his accuser, he forced himself into a bathroom with her, pinned her down, covered her mouth with his hand and raped her.

The woman, who was 20-years-old at the time of the assault, met the banker at a New York nightclub while visiting her brother and a friend from Ireland. The trio, along with Mr Lee, then took the party to his Hamptons mansion after the last call was made at the club.

Comment: Rape Culture in America - How the system protects the rapists and fails the victims


Heart - Black

Boy defends medical marijuana in class, cops charge his mother with possession and remove him from home


Screenshot featuring Shona Banda from a video by MedicalMarijuana411.com.
Most Americans who attended school after the year 1983 are likely familiar with D.A.R.E., a privately and federally funded anti-drug program notorious for using exaggerated facts, falsified science, and fear tactics to scare kids into "just saying no". Not only is their approach to drug prevention laughable (at best), it is a complete and utter failure.

As if spreading misinformation to children isn't despicable enough, it would appear that they are willing to ruin lives to protect their propaganda.

Brick Wall

Texas moves to block cities from instituting local fracking bans

© Reuters/Shannon Stapleton
The Texas state House of Representatives has passed a bill that would block cities in Texas from banning the controversial oil and gas exploration method known as hydraulic fracturing, or fracking.

After an overwhelming vote of 122-18, the proposal - House Bill 40 - advanced to the state Senate, where lawmakers have not taken up the bill just yet. The bill featured 70 co-sponsors and had the support of the oil and gas industry.

The House vote comes just a few months after voters in a small Texas town called Denton approved a measure that banned fracking in the area. Denton was the first Texas city or county to ban the practice, the oil industry has already filed a lawsuit seeking to reverse the prohibition.

On Friday, Rep. Drew Darby (R-San Angelo), who introduced the bill, said the ban on banning fracking was needed to ensure that cities didn't implement different regulations that harm the state's economy.

"In the absence of this bill, a statewide patchwork of oil and gas regulation is likely," Darby said to the Houston Chronicle.

Comment: If there was any question as to just how much influence the Oil & Gas industry wields, this should remove all doubts. Citizens concerned about the many dangers to their health and the environment will have even fewer abilities to protect themselves. And this is what we call democracy?