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Criminal Defense News 03/2007



Padilla Ruled Fit for Trial on Terror Charges (New York Times)
It was a significant victory for the government in the high-profile criminal case of a United States citizen.

U.S. terror suspect ruled competent to stand trial (International Herald Tribune)
The ruling was a significant victory for the U.S. government in the high-profile criminal case of a U.S. citizen who was initially designated an "enemy combatant" and held without charges.

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Judge stripped of some criminal cases (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)
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Attorney: Insanity defense planned for Flagler murder charge (Daytona Beach News-Journal)
PALM COAST -- According to a Flagler County sheriff's report, deputies found retired doctor Jack Dunn's body in his home with a knife and two forks plunged into it.

Local attorney joins Pa. advisory panel (Delaware County Times)
By MARLENE DiGIACOMO [email protected] Delaware County attorney John McDougall, who for decades has been a passionate voice for the defense, is among more than 30 lawyers, judges and others across Pennsylvania named to a special panel to study how the criminal justice system can remedy wrongful convictions.

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Sousa supporters start fund for chief's legal defense (Norwich Bulletin)
PLAINFIELD -- Some residents are rallying around Police Chief Gary Sousa by raising money for his legal defense.

Defense challenges police dog's 'degree' (The Plain Dealer)
Fostoria, Ohio - An attorney challenging the authority of the city's police chief wants the department's police dog to appear in court as an exhibit, because he says the dog and the chief have criminal justice degrees from the same online school.

Defense lawyer expected to be `superb' judge (The Kalamazoo Gazette)
Gary C. Giguere Jr. doesn't wear his love of law on his sleeve. ``Lady Justice'' is tattooed on his right arm. The recently appointed replacement for retired Kalamazoo County Circuit Judge William G. Schma got the tattoo several years ago while helping oversee a moot-court competition in Lansing.

US busts Wall St. insider trading 'ring' that pocketed millions (AFP via Yahoo! News)
Federal authorities Thursday announced they had busted a major Wall Street insider trading ring of securities dealers, hedge fund traders and a corporate attorney, and had filed criminal charges against 13 people.

New: Parishioners come to defense of pastor (The Beacon News)
GENEVA — Parishioners at St. Peter’s Catholic Church said Thursday that their patience has run out.

SoCal man convicted of murdering girlfriend with cocaine (The Daily Comet)
A man was convicted of murdering his girlfriend, a criminal defense attorney, with an intentional overdose of cocaine. Shawn Lawrence Putansu of Garden Grove was convicted Wednesday and will be sentenced March 18, according to the Orange County district attorney's office.

SoCal man convicted of murdering girlfriend with cocaine (The Fresno Bee)
A man was convicted of murdering his girlfriend, a criminal defense attorney, with an intentional overdose of cocaine.

Lawyer: Chief, dog have same degree (AP via Yahoo! News)
The city's police chief and police dog have degrees from the same online school, according to a defense lawyer challenging the chief's authority.

Alleged Madam Threatens to Sell List of 10,000 Clients (Washington Post)
A woman accused of running a prostitution service catering to men in hotels and homes in the Washington area was indicted on federal racketeering charges yesterday in a case with a twist: She has threatened to peddle "the entire 46 pounds of detailed and itemized phone records" of her clients to raise money for her defense....

Defense lawyer claims Ohio police dog, chief have degrees from same online college (Arizona Daily Star)
FOSTORIA, Ohio — The city's police chief and police dog have degrees from the same online school, according to a defense lawyer challenging the chief's authority.

Nacchio witness, evidence lists shared (Denver Post)
Documents detailing the witnesses and evidence that prosecutors may use during the criminal insider-trading trial of former Qwest chief executive officer Joe Nacchio will be kept from public view until the trial begins March 19.

Parishioners come to pastor's defense (The Beacon News)
A group identifying itself as "registered and true parishioners" of St.Peter's Catholic Church in Geneva said Thusday they support its pastor, the Rev. Joseph Jarmoluk. They said there are wrong impressions and information about the parish circulated as fallout from the case of Mark Campobello, a parish priest-in-residence, who pleaded guilty in 2004 to two counts of criminal sexual abuse ...

Local attorney joins Pa. advisory panel (Delaware County Times)
Delaware County attorney John McDougall, who for decades has been a passionate voice for the defense, is among more than 30 lawyers, judges and others across Pennsylvania named to a special panel to study how the criminal justice system can remedy wrongful convictions.

Opening salvos fired in trial of Lonoke 3 (NWAnews.com)
CABOT — Prosecuting Attorney Lona McCastlain told jurors Thursday that she would prove that former Lonoke Police Chief Jay Campbell masterminded a criminal organization seeking sex, drugs and money, but a defense lawyer vowed to expose her case as “smoke without a fire.” (Arkansas Democrat-Gazette Northwest Edition)

Lawyer: Police chief, dog have diplomas from same school (CNN.com)
FOSTORIA, Ohio (AP) -- The city's police chief and police dog have degrees from the same online school, according to a defense lawyer challenging the chief's authority.

Charges dropped in E2 nightclub case (Chicago Sun-Times)
A Cook County judge dismissed all charges this morning in the criminal case stemming from the deadly E2 nightclub stampede. Judge Dennis Porter ended the trial before any defense testimony was presented, ruling that prosecutors had not made a strong enough case for the trial to continue.

Former Department of Defense Official Pleads Guilty to Stealing Over $100,000 in DOD Intelligence Funds (U.S. Newswire via Yahoo! News)
A former Department of Defense (DOD) official pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia to one count of theft and embezzlement of public money, Assistant Attorney General Alice S. Fisher for the Criminal Division announced today.

Libby Jury Asks for Definition of `Reasonable Doubt' (Bloomberg via Yahoo! News)
March 2 (Bloomberg) -- Jurors in Lewis ``Scooter'' Libby's perjury trial in the CIA leak case asked the judge for help in understanding the ``reasonable doubt'' standard required for a criminal conviction.

Yemeni editors face criminal prosecution over critical reporting (CPJ Press Freedom Online)
New York, March 2, 2007— The Committee to Protect Journalists is deeply concerned by criminal defamation prosecutions of three Yemeni editors.

Napolitano vetoes bill to make self-defense change retroactive (FOX 10 Phoenix)
By PAUL DAVENPORT Associated Press Writer PHOENIX (AP) -- Gov. Janet Napolitano on Friday vetoed a bill that would have made a 2006 self-defense law apply retroactively to cases pending at the time the law was passed, a change intended to help a hiker sent to prison for a fatal trail shooting that drew national notice among gun-rights supporters.

Ex-defense official pleads guilty to theft (The Washington Times)
A former Defense Department official yesterday pleaded guilty in federal court to charges of embezzling more than $100,000 in funds destined for use by government intelligence agents, Assistant Attorney General Alice S. Fisher said.

Gov. vetoes self-defense law change (Arizona Daily Star)
PHOENIX — Gov. Janet Napolitano refused Friday to change self-defense laws to help at least two people — and maybe more — who killed others.

Gov. vetoes retroactive self-defense measure (Tucson Citizen)
Gov. Janet Napolitano on Friday vetoed a bill that would have made a 2006 self-defense law apply retroactively to cases pending at the time the law was passed, a change intended to help a hiker who was sentenced to prison for a fatal shooting.

In Defense of the Poor (RedNova)
Whatever else good or bad comes out of their actions in the recently adjourned General Assembly, Virginia lawmakers truly struck one blow for justice.

Kuwaiti court acquits 2 ex-Gitmo inmates (AP via Yahoo! News)
A criminal court on Saturday acquitted two former Guantanamo Bay prisoners of joining al-Qaida or the Taliban.

Governor vetoes Fish defense bill (Arizona Daily Sun)
With an override unlikely, there won't be a new trial in the trailside murder case

Lord Black: Unabashed, unbowed (Chicago Tribune)
Assets frozen; jail time possible Defendants facing criminal charges usually shun the limelight.

Harry Shearer: Next Time a Levee Breaks, Be a Veteran (HuffingtonPost)
Can't help but notice the alacrity with which the President and the Secretary of Defense have responded to the scandal at building 18 of Walter Reed Hospital. Within days of the publication of the Washington Post's series on the appalling conditions in the outpatient facility, the Secretary of the Army had been forced to resign, two heads of the facility had been fired in two days, and an ...

Lawyers for Indigent Up for Pay Increase (Washington Post)
Virginia's system of providing lawyers for poor criminal defendants, long ranked as the lowest-paying in the nation, is finally getting a transformation and an infusion of cash from the General Assembly, a step many believe will produce a fairer state justice system.

American Troops In Kosovo May Lose Their Combat Status (Washington Post)
Top Defense Department officials are considering a proposal to downgrade the combat status of U.S. forces who are part of the NATO peacekeeping mission in Kosovo, a decision that could cause the 1,500 U.S. soldiers currently deployed there to lose hundreds or even thousands of dollars each month in tax benefits and combat pay.

How courts line up defense for the needy (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)
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SoCal man convicted of murdering girlfriend with cocaine (Madera Tribune)
SANTA ANA - A man was convicted of murdering his girlfriend, a criminal defense attorney, with an intentional overdose of cocaine. Shawn Lawrence Putansu of Garden Grove was convicted Wednesday and will be sentenced March 18, according to the Orange County district attorney's office.

Kuwaiti court acquits two of alleged terrorist ties (The Philadelphia Inquirer)
A criminal court acquitted two former Guantanamo Bay prisoners yesterday of joining al-Qaeda or the Taliban. Omar Rajab Amin and Abdullah Kamel al-Kundari denied any connections with terrorist groups at the start of their trial. Their lawyers argued that there was no evidence against them and that the case was "political." Defense attorneys said the accused were in Afghanistan for charity work - ...

Matthews hires former Simpson attorney Shapiro (Los Angeles Times)
Gary Matthews Jr. launched a high-powered defense Saturday, retaining one of the top criminal defense attorneys and perhaps the most noted crisis management firm in Southern California to represent him amid allegations he received an illegal shipment of human growth hormone.

Matthews hires former Simpson attorney Shapiro (Los Angeles Times)
He also hires the most noted crisis management firm in Southern California to represent him amid allegations he received an illegal shipment of human growth hormone. Gary Matthews Jr. launched a high-powered defense Saturday, retaining one of the top criminal defense attorneys and perhaps the most noted crisis management firm in Southern California to represent him amid allegations he received ...

Domenici admits role in criminal probe (MSNBC)
New Mexico Sen. Pete Domenici acknowledged Sunday that he called a federal prosecutor to ask about a criminal investigation, but insisted he never pressured nor threatened his state’s U.S. attorney.

Domenici says he called fired prosecutor (AP via Yahoo! News)
New Mexico Sen. Pete Domenici acknowledged Sunday that he called a federal prosecutor to ask about a criminal investigation several months after calling for his replacement, but insisted he never pressured nor threatened his state's U.S. attorney.

Grant's lawyer quits, lobs more criticism at police, prosecutors (Macomb Daily)
Respected Detroit criminal defense attorney David Griem on Sunday announced he was cutting ties with accused wife killer Stephen Grant, but still questioned how police have handled the murder case.

Public Defenders Fighting the Image (Wheeling News-Register)
WHEELING — A group of Wheeling lawyers is speaking out against what may be an unfavorable image about a public defender’s ability or willingness to present a zealous criminal defense for people who cannot afford paid counsel.

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