Crimes and Their Punishments – Through the Ages

Punishments for Crimes through the ages – from the bizarre to outrageous, from the sublime to the ridiculous. We don’t know how lucky we are!

Many of us are apt to complain about sentences handed out by our Courts for crimes these days – too harsh, too lenient. But a quick look at some punishments for crimes through the ages, including in some countries today, we should really consider how much we really have to complain about.

Not only have punishments been truly shocking (and in some instances still are), but even some of the crimes are truly unbelievable.

Many Sydney criminal lawyers would have had their work cut out for them if some of these historical crimes were still on the statute books! Lucky for us that our complaints about the justice systems these days are limited to whether an offender should be given a jail sentence or community service, or whether a 2 year sentence is sufficient or whether 5 would have been better, and so on.

Thank goodness we don’t have to contend with crimes for which the penalty is being tortured to death by some truly unimaginable means. Criminal lawyers in Australia, as in Europe, the United States, Canada, New Zealand and others, these days don’t have to plead for the type of mercy that offenders of times gone by had to. And of course, some of these barbaric practices do still exist today in other parts of the globe, as you can see below.

Some Crimes and Some Punishments You Won’t Believe

Take a look …

Crimes and Their Punishments

Trump called Mexico the 2nd-deadliest country in the world, but the numbers say differently

Donald Trump

  • President Donald Trump asserted that Mexico was ranked the “second deadliest country in the world” on Thursday evening and cited “drug trade” as the cause.
  • When homicide numbers are compared on a per-capita basis, Mexico’s number of homicides per 100,000 people puts it on somewhat different ground, pushing it to the middle of the pack in Latin America.
  • The Mexican government was previously critical of the report, saying “Violence related to organized crime is a regional phenomenon” that goes beyond Mexico’s borders.

President Donald Trump on Thursday evening tweeted that “Mexico was just ranked the second deadliest country in the world, after only Syria. Drug trade is largely the cause. We will BUILD THE WALL!”

Trump was likely referring to a recent study by the London-based International Institute for Strategic Studies that named Mexico the second-deadliest conflict zone in the world, behind Syria and ahead of Iraq.

The president retweeted a link to a CNN story about the report when it came out in early May.

However, that study was highly disputed, and a number of factors undercut the assertion. (It should also be noted that a wall would not stop much of the drug flow into the US, and that drug-related violence in Mexico has largely not spilled over into the US.)

According to the IISS report, Mexico’s nearly 23,000 intentional homicide victims in 2016 fell short of the 50,000 seen in Syria and exceeded the 17,000 recorded in Iraq and the 16,000 registered in Afghanistan. The next country in the ranking — Yemen — was below 10,000 victims, and the following two, Somalia and Sudan, were both below 5,000.

As Trump said, organized crime related to the drug trade is behind much of Mexico’s violence, and the IISS ranking put Mexico on its list because, in its estimation, criminal violence in the country had reached “a level akin to armed conflict.”

Mexico Playa del Carmen nightclub shooting police

While Mexico did indeed have 23,000 intentional homicide victims in 2016 (and looks set to exceed that this year), not all of those deaths were related to organized-crime-related violence. According to research by the Justice in Mexico project, only about one-third to half of those deaths appear to be related to organized crime.

The IISS told Business Insider that it did not assess a more precise tally of organized-crime-related deaths because the Mexican government does not release it. (Indeed, it has been several years since such a figure was made public.) “If they released this number monthly, or at least annually, we would be happy to use it,” the think tank said.

Moreover, the comparison made by the IISS is based on absolute numbers. By that measure, other countries in Latin America — one of the most violent regions of the world — are close to or surpass Mexico.

The basis of the measure on absolute numbers was also disputed by a number of observers, as homicide comparisons are more often made based on per-capita numbers — typically the number per 100,000 people.

Ciudad Juarez Chihuahua Mexico crime violence homicide drug cartel killings

Measuring homicides by absolute numbers puts Mexico close to or behind other countries in Latin America.

In Venezuela, one nongovernment organization counted more than 28,000 violent deaths in 2016, more than 18,000 of which the government there classified as homicides. In Brazil, the last several years have seen total homicide counts close to 60,000. Colombia recorded about 12,000 homicides in 2016, its lowest tally in 32 years.

By comparison, the US had 15,700 homicides in 2016, according to the FBI.

When homicide numbers are compared on a per-capita basis, Mexico’s homicide rate puts it on somewhat different ground.

Homicide rates in Latin America

It falls to the middle of the pack just in Latin America. Comparatively, Mexico’s 2014 homicide numbers put it behind all the countries of the Northern Triangle — Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala — as well as Brazil, Colombia, Venezuela, and small countries like the Dominican Republic and Jamaica. Mexico’s official per capita homicide rate in 2016 was 17 per 100,00.

The IISS also told Business Insider in a statement that inclusion on the list was based on three criteria:

“1-Sustained wide-ranging threat to state authority through years (not just spikes) from well-armed groups. 2-Groups control territorial spaces in several cities or rural areas 3- armed forces deployed frequently or permanently.”

By those standards, other countries in the region likely deserve inclusion but didn’t make the list. In Brazil, large armed gangs fight each other and have retaliated against police operations with public violence, and in Venezuela, organized armed groups challenge the state’s control in some areas.


Those two countries and the countries of the Northern Triangle — which also deals with powerful criminal groups like MS-13 and Barrio 18 — have all, like Mexico, deployed their militaries and militarized police forces to combat violence.

“They cite countries like Brazil, which have higher homicide rates per 100k inhabitants. The rate is a different measure, which is usually released much later in the year and is not doable for the ACD/ACS (since many conflict countries are measured in absolute number of fatalities, not rate per 100k),” the IISS told Business Insider in a statement when asked about these criticisms.

“Plus, we don’t follow Brazil, Venezuela and others because they don’t quite fit the criteria above,” the statement said. “There, criminal violence is much more fragmented and involves a great deal of micro-criminality, rather than heavy-calibre clashes for territories that we see in Mexico.”

The Mexican government was critical of the report when it was first issued in May.

“Violence related to organized crime is a regional phenomenon” that goes beyond Mexico’s borders, it said in a statement. “The fight against transnational organized crime should be analyzed in a comprehensive manner.”

Members of the military police carry out a routine foot patrol at El Pedregal neighbourhood Tegucigalpa, Honduras, May 3, 2017. REUTERS/Jorge Cabrera

Other experts who study crime and violence criticized the comparison.

“Equating these [countries] with Syria is analytically lazy and lends itself to the wrong policies,” Tom Long, a professor at the UK’s University of Reading, said on Twitter. “They aren’t mainly political conflicts.”

“Yes there’s tragedy in Mexico, but not accurate to suggest it’s like Syrian war,” Brian J. Phillips, a professor at the CIDE in Mexico City, said on Twitter, “and per capita other countries have much more violence.”

While the report itself was enough to elicit frustration in Mexico, Trump’s retweet of a Drudge Report tweet linking to a CNN story about the report added to the ire.

“I hope these morons are happy,” Mexican security analyst Alejandro Hope tweeted. “Their idiotic report was already retweeted by @realDonaldTrump.”

SEE ALSO: No, Mexico isn’t more dangerous than Iraq and Syria

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'Criminal Minds' and 'Mudbound' Writer Inks Overall Deal With Universal Television – Hollywood Reporter

Virgil Williams is exiting the CBS drama and will develop new projects for NBC’s studio counterpart.

Virgil Williams is moving out of Criminal Minds.

The longtime writer and co-executive producer has signed a two-year overall deal with Universal Television. Under the pact, he will develop new series for broadcast, cable and streaming services.

Williams spent six years on CBS’ Criminal Minds, contributing to nearly 140 episodes during his tenure. During that span, he also was involved in an on-set altercation in which original star Thomas Gibson allegedly kicked him. (Gibson was eventually fired from the ABC Studios-produced drama.) 

The Universal TV deal reunites Williams with Erin Underhill, the studio’s newly promoted executive vp drama development.

“Virgil and I first crossed paths while working on ER, and I couldn’t be happier to collaborate with him once again,” said Underhill. “He has a strong, distinct voice and point of view, and I look forward to developing great dramas together. We couldn’t be luckier to have him at Universal TV.”

Williams’ credits include the Sundance Film Festival hit Mudbound, the feature he co-wrote and executive produced, which sold to Netflix for $12.5 million following a bidding war earlier this year. On the TV side, he counts The Chicago Code and 24 among his credits.

“This new opportunity represents the culmination of years of hard work and I’m incredibly excited to get started,” said Williams. “[Universal TV president] Pearlena [Igbokwe], Erin and their team want to create high-quality, sophisticated television dramas, and I hope to contribute to that endeavor in a big way.”

Williams is repped by CAA, the Shuman Co. and attorneys Eric Sherman and P.J. Shapiro.

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The fired Han Solo movie directors who nearly finished it could now lose millions

Phil Lord Chris Miller Getty final

The Directors Guild of America is suddenly a major player when it comes to what happens with the director credit on the untitled Han Solo-focused “Star Wars” movie.

On Tuesday, directors Chris Miller and Phil Lord were reportedly fired from the movie by Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy following creative differences. The two had spent months shooting the movie and now with a few weeks left of principal photography, Lucasfilm is scrambling to find a replacement to finish the movie.

Many in Hollywood are now turning to the DGA, which protects the interests of feature film and television directors, to bring clarity to the options Miller and Lord have when it comes to director credit and residuals on the movie.

The Hollywood Reporter points out that the DGA has a strict rule, which prohibits replacing the director with someone else from the film’s team, except in the case of an emergency. The rule was created to discourage producers from forcing out the director and taking over a picture.

So even though reports have the movie’s screenwriter, Lawrence Kasdan, as a potential replacement, according to this rule he would not be allowed.

That leaves other names floating around like Ron Howard and Joe Johnston (1995’s “Jumanji”). But if either takes the job another question comes up: Who gets director credit on the finished film?

han solo cast photoThe DGA frowns upon multiple director credits. In the DGA Creative Rights Handbook, it states “only one Director may be assigned to a motion picture at any given time.” There are exceptions, as waivers can be sent to get a directing duo the same credit (presumably this would have happened for Miller and Lord). But it’s very hard to know if in this case, the DGA would allow a three-name credit.

There is no appeals process with the DGA. What they decide is final. 

Currently, Lord and Miller have not taken their names off the movie. But if they do, they would potentially lose millions of dollars. 

THR reports that the rules state if a director pulls their name from a movie, a pseudonym is put in their place (often the DGA uses the name “Alan Smithee”). The fired directors might also have to forfeit all residuals, which for a “Star Wars” movie would be a good chunk of change. It is not clear if the duo would lose their residuals if they don’t pull their names but are just off the movie.

The DGA did not immediately respond to Business Insider’s request for comment, but it’s obvious the lawyers and agents for the directors, Lucasfilm, and the DGA will be working some late hours trying to figure all this out. 

SEE ALSO: Everything we knew about the about the Han Solo movie directors being fired — and what happens next to the “Star Wars” spinoff

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Here's how the police officer who shot Philando Castile described the shooting

FILE PHOTO - Minnesota police officer Jeronimo Yanez, charged in connection with the shooting death of a black motorist Philando Castile last July, is shown in this booking photo taken November 18, 2016 in St. Paul, Minnesota, U.S..   Courtesy of Ramsey County Sheriff's Office/Handout via REUTERS

The Minnesota police officer who fatally shot Philando Castile said he thought Castile would act recklessly because he smelled marijuana in his car.

Jeronimo Yanez told the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension in an interview the day after the shooting that he initially pulled Castile over as he thought he matched the description of a suspect in a gas-station robbery he had responded to a week prior to the shooting.

Yanez said he smelled the odor of “burnt” marijuana in Castile’s car as he walked up to the driver’s side window.

He didn’t tell Castile that he smelled the marijuana at first because he didn’t want Castile to “react in a defensive manner.”

Yanez told Castile that he had had a busted taillight.

Yanez said he was worried that Castile may be carrying a weapon for protection from drug dealers or others trying to “rip” or steal from him.

“It appeared to me that he had no regard to what I was saying,” Yanez said. “He didn’t care what I was saying. He still reached down.”

“And at that point I was scared and I was in fear for my life and my partner’s life,” Yanez said. He said he saw Castile grab something near his right thigh.

“I know he had an object — and it was dark,” Castile said.

Yanez said he was concerned for the “little girl” in the back, who was Castile’s girlfriend’s daughter.

“As that was happening, as he was pulling at, out his hand I thought, I was gonna die and I thought if he’s, if he has the guts and the audacity to smoke marijuana in front of the 5-year-old girl and risk her lungs and risk her life by giving her secondhand smoke and the front seat passenger doing the same thing then what, what care does he give about me?” Yanez added.

Yanez said he remembered “smelling the gun smoke” and the “bright flashes from the muzzle.”

“And then I heard, a couple pops from my firearm,” Yanez said.

He shot Castile seven times just 38 seconds after he first pproached Castile’s window.

Yanez was acquitted by a jury last Friday of second-degree manslaughter.

SEE ALSO: Minnesota officials have released the dashcam footage showing Philando Castile’s shooting

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'Criminal Minds': Daniel Henney Of 'Beyond Borders' Joins … – Deadline

EXCLUSIVE: Daniel Henney, who co-starred on the recently canceled CBS drama Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders for two seasons, is staying in the franchise fold, joining the cast of flagship Criminal Minds as a series regular. Henney will continue in his role as Special Agent Matt Simmons.

Formerly with the International Response Team, Special Agent Simmons joins his colleagues in the Behavioral Analysis Unit, whom he has consulted with in the past, including helping with the release of Dr. Spencer Reid (Matthew Gray Gubler) when he was arrested in Mexico last season.

Henney, whose addition fills the void left by the recent departure of Criminal Minds regular Damon Gupton after one season, has appeared on the long-running series twice as Simmons — in the backdoor pilot episode for the spinoff in 2015, and the crossover episode this past February revolving around Spencer’s Mexico arrest on murder charges.

This is not the first time an actor from one show in a CBS procedural franchise transitions to another following a cancellation. When the mothership CSI series ended its run in 2015 after 15 seasons, star Ted Danson joined spinoff CSI: Cyber.

Before his casting in Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders, Henney appeared on three other CBS drama series, Three Rivers, Hawaii Five-0 and NCIS: Los Angeles. He also did an arc on NBC’s Revolution. Henney, whose feature credits include Big Hero 6, X-Men Origins: Wolverine and The Last Stand, is repped by CAA and More/Medavoy Management.

Season 13 of Criminal Minds premieres Wednesday, September 27, at 10 PM. The series, from ABC Studios and CBS TV Studios, stars Joe Mantegna, Paget Brewster,  Gubler, A.J. Cook, Aisha Tyler, Kirsten Vangsness and Adam Rodriguez.

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Pence Hires Criminal Defense Lawyer to Aid Him in Investigations – New York Times

WASHINGTON — Vice President Mike Pence has hired a personal criminal defense lawyer to guide him through the various investigations encircling the White House, an aide said on Thursday.

Mr. Pence has retained Richard Cullen, a former United States attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, becoming one of the most prominent figures in the Trump administration to have taken on personal white-collar criminal defense counsel.

Mr. Pence, who had little relationship with the president before joining the campaign ticket just before last July’s Republican convention, is most likely a peripheral figure in the government’s inquiry into Russia’s interference in the election and potential collusion with members of the Trump campaign. Paul Manafort — Mr. Trump’s former campaign chairman who has been scrutinized for financial ties to a pro-Russian political party — was instrumental in recruiting Mr. Pence.

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But as the special counsel investigation progresses — focusing increasingly on the president himself and his actions in office — the vice president’s account as a possible witness may become more relevant.

“The vice president is focused entirely on his duties and promoting the president’s agenda and looks forward to a swift conclusion of this matter,” Jarrod Agen, Mr. Pence’s communications director, said in confirming the hiring, which was first reported by The Washington Post.

Major Washington investigations, whether the inquiry into Bill and Hillary Clinton’s Whitewater real estate holdings or the inquiry into the leak of a covert C.I.A. agent’s identity during the administration of George W. Bush, have been boons for the practice of white-collar law, which blossomed during the Watergate scandal and transformed boutique practices into major business for global firms.

The list of potential witnesses in such politically perilous investigations can be long, and even witnesses with little direct involvement are likely to need lawyers to shepherd them through interactions with the authorities.

“Whenever a Washington scandal breaks that comes close to the White House, you have people at all levels scrambling for a good white-collar lawyer,” said Julie O’Sullivan, a professor of criminal law at Georgetown University who worked on the Whitewater case.

Ms. O’Sullivan said that anyone subpoenaed to testify before a grand jury should consider invoking the Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination, which she called a “white-collar rule of thumb.”

“In Washington, people often don’t follow that,” Ms. O’Sullivan said, adding that many politicians wrongly equated exercising that right with telegraphing guilt. “Experience is everything,” she said.

Mr. Cullen, a partner at the Richmond, Va., firm McGuireWoods, has played a part in major Washington investigations.

During Watergate, he worked as a staff member in the office of Representative M. Caldwell Butler, a Republican from Virginia who cast a key vote on the House Judiciary Committee to impeach President Richard M. Nixon weeks before he resigned.

During the Iran-contra scandal, he was special counsel to Senator Paul S. Trible Jr., a Virginia Republican who served on the Senate select committee investigating the affair.

Mr. Cullen was later appointed United States attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia by President George Bush in 1991, after which he served as Virginia’s attorney general in the late 1990s.

In his recent years at McGuireWoods — where James B. Comey, the F.B.I. director Mr. Trump fired last month, worked in the 1990s — Mr. Cullen has represented a range of clients.

They included Tom DeLay, the former House majority leader scrutinized for his dealings with the disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff. Mr. DeLay was prosecuted in Texas but not federally charged.

Mr. Cullen has also represented Sepp Blatter, a Swiss national and the longtime president of international soccer’s governing body, who was ousted after the United States announced a sweeping global corruption case in 2015 and criminally charged dozens of soccer officials but not, to date, Mr. Blatter.

This year, Mr. Cullen announced that another client, Jeffrey M. Lacker, who abruptly resigned as president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, would not be prosecuted by the Justice Department for having broken Fed rules by discussing confidential information with a financial analyst.

Mr. Pence’s choice to hire a private lawyer follows similar ones by other figures in the Trump administration.

Jared Kushner, Mr. Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser, is represented by Jamie Gorelick of WilmerHale, and Mr. Trump has called on his longtime personal lawyer — Marc E. Kasowitz, a civil litigator from New York — to represent him as the Russia inquiry moves forward.

Mr. Kasowitz is not, however, a white-collar criminal defense specialist, nor is he a Washington insider.

In recent weeks, he has taken the unusual step of providing legal advice about the Russia inquiry to White House staff members who are not his clients, prompting the Campaign for Accountability, a nonprofit government watchdog organization, to file complaints on Thursday with the District of Columbia and New York Bar Associations, requesting investigations into whether Mr. Kasowitz violated rules of professional conduct.

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Russia is reportedly behind a disturbing number of assassinations outside its borders

russian flag

Since 2003, more than two dozen murders or mysterious deaths in multiple countries seem to trace back to Moscow.

But no one seems to be doing much about it.

At least 33 people in the UK, US, Ukraine, Greece, India, and Kazakhstan have been murdered or died mysteriously in the last 14 years, according to recent reports by BuzzFeed News and USA Today.

Last week, BuzzFeed News released the first two parts of a two-year investigation detailing how US spy agencies gave the British government, upon its request, evidence linking the murders or deaths of 14 Russians and Brits in the UK to the Kremlin, the FSB — Russia’s security agency — or the Russian mafia, which sometimes works with the government. But the British government has ruled out foul play in each case.

The report was based on a large volume of documents, phone records and secret recordings, as well as interviews with American, British and French intelligence and law enforcement officials.

In early May, USA Today also reported that “38 prominent Russians” had been murdered or died suspiciously since 2014. Nineteen of the incidents happened outside of Russia: 3 in the US (2 in New York and 1 in Washington DC), 1 in Greece, 1 in India, 1 in Kazakhstan, and 12 in Ukraine. 

USA Today named three other victims, but could not determine the locations of the incidents.

On June 1, a Chechen assassin posing as a French journalist also tried to kill a married couple, Amina Okuyeva and Adam Osmayev, in Kiev. The Kremlin had accused the couple, whom later fought against Russian-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine, of trying to assassinate Putin in 2012.

When the Chechen assassin, Artur Denisultanov-Kurmakayev, was interviewing the couple in a car, he pulled out a gun and shot Osmayev. Okuyeva then pulled out a gun and shot the assassin four times. The assassin and Osmayev both survived, and the Ukrainian government has accused Russia of ordering the hit. 

Amina Okuyeva

The 14 victims BuzzFeed News has revealed had all gotten in the way or run afoul of powerful Russians. They were either stabbed, killed in mysterious crashes, hanged, driven to suicide after repeated threats against their lives, or poisoned. 

One victim, Alexander Litvinenko, a whistleblower, had traces of radioactive polonium 210 in his system, a substance only made in Russia, BuzzFeed News said. 

Even the scientist who found the trail of polonium all over London, Matthew Puncher, was eventually found stabbed to death, BuzzFeed News said. 

Scotland Yard’s former counter-terror commander, Richard Walton, told BuzzFeed News that Russia is skilled at “disguising murder” by using biological or chemical agents that leave no trace. 

But what all these deaths have in common is that the British government has done nothing, ruling out foul play in all cases, according to BuzzFeed News.

That’s because the British government is scared of any political, cyberwarfare or traditional warfare retaliation by the Russians, according to 17 US and British intelligence officials who spoke with BuzzFeed. They also have the incentive to keep Russian oligarch money in their banks. 

The Washington D.C. Police Department did not respond to request for comment on any ongoing investigation into the death of Mikhail Lesin, the founder of Russia Today and former Gazprom executive who was found dead in his D.C. hotel with blunt force head injuries. 

The New York Police Department declined to comment to Business Insider about the murder of Sergei Krivov, saying information could only be released via a Freedom of Information Act request. The NYPD pointed Business Insider to the United Nations when asked about the death of Vitaly Churkin, the former Russian diplomat to the UN, who died of an apparent heart attack.

Vitaly Churkin

The UN said to contact the Russian government. The Russian Embassy in D.C. did not immediately respond to a request for comment. 

One glaring difference between the deaths in the UK or US, and those in Ukraine, are the methods used. Almost every victim in Ukraine was shot, tortured or killed in a bombing, USA Today reported. 

The possible reasons for this are many, according to Stratfor Chief Security Officer Fred Burton.

Russian mobsters, who only know violent methods, may have been contracted, or Russia could be trying to send signals to Ukraine. It could also be because Russia is trying to evade the US and UK’s more sophisticated intelligence communities. 

As for recourse, the US and UK could make the Russian ambassadors persona non grata, ramp up surveillance of known Russian agents, or even put out Interpol warrants out on suspected assassins, Burton said. 

“But with that could come foreign policy blowback,” Burton told Business Insider. “I’m not optimistic.”

SEE ALSO: Ukraine has arrested suspects allegedly tied to the murder of a Putin critic

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'Criminal Minds' Season 13: One Major Character Is Forced To Leave The Show, Know Who He Is – MobiPicker

A bad news for the viewers is that ‘Criminal Minds’ season 13 is going to see the exit of everyone’s much favorite character, Stephen Walker played by Damon Gupton. In the previous season, we had seen the exit of Thomas Gibson who will be remembered for his character Aaron Hotchner.

Criminal Minds Season 13
Photo Credit: Facebook/Criminal Minds

‘Criminal Minds’ season 13 will be premiered in September but Damon Gupton won’t be seen in the series. The 44-year old actor, who was acquired as Special Agent Stephen Walker in ‘Criminal Minds’ season 12 after Thomas Gibson’s rejection, uncovered on Twitter throughout the end of the week that he lost his employment, as reported by TV Guide.

According to Blasting News, ‘Criminal Minds’’ actor Gupton has received inspiration from NFL player, Tyvis Powell’s words of wisdom. The 23-year charming football player aired a reminder-cum-suggestion on Saturday on the social media to those people who are going through some alterations in the lives.

“When obstacles arise, you change your direction to reach your goal, you do not change your decision to get there,” Powell aired.

The aforementioned suggestion suddenly caught Gupton’s attention who honestly admitted that he required those beautiful then because he lost his job.

“Wanted to let you know I appreciate this as I just lost my job. You throwing out the 1st pitch is pure class and a monumental image,” Gupton (@DamonGupton) tweeted on Saturday, June 10.

Apart from his exit, there is also a very less possibility for the avid viewers to get to see A J Cook and Kirsten Vangsness playing the role of JJ Jareau and Penelope Garcia respectively anymore because there is still no progress on their contract issue with the showrunners and producers.

Criminal Minds Season 13
Photo Credit: Facebook/Criminal Minds

‘Criminal Minds’ season 13 is expected to have its premiere on Wednesday, September 27, 2017, on CBS. Stay tuned with Mobi Picker to get latest updates on the series.

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The Truth About Being a Criminal Defense Attorney – WMOT

What is your dream job? Chances are most people wouldn’t answer that question with “being a lawyer.”

In fact, a 2013 Pew Research Center poll shows that Americans don’t think very highly of lawyers. When asked to rate various occupations by how much they contribute to society, the 4000-plus respondents of the poll ranked lawyers last, with only 18 percent saying that they contribute to society.

Despite this negative public perception, Robert Foley and Dana Kinsella, criminal defense attorneys, got into the profession to serve the public. They formed the Minneapolis-based law firm, Kinsella and Foley Defense in November 2016 and are passionate about fighting for the rights of their clients.

Rewire:  What drew you to the law?

Foley: I think for me the law is interesting because it’s kind of the boundaries and the rules and the hard lines that society has to live by in order to have an orderly, theoretically, society. But those rules can be stretched and they can be manipulated and they can be reformed, and you can really shape the way that society works and the rules that we all live and play by.

Robert Foley (left) and Dana Kinsella. Courtesy of Kinsella and Foley Defense.

It’s also the precision of those rules, and the fact that those rules and law, in general, can incorporate psychology, history, science and all these different areas of life can all be incorporated into these rules that we practice with.

Kinsella: I really wanted to get into politics when I was younger, and I thought that the best way to do it was to be a lawyer. I really do believe the law is very important. I know that it’s not perfect the way that we have it here, but it’s as good as there is in the world.

When you look at the way that people are dealt with in all of the other countries, it’s like we have something here that does protect us. When somebody is accused of the crime they’re not just automatically hand chopped off because they stole something here.

You do get your day in court, and you do have a chance, and you can get people like us who can actually defend you for these things.

Now, it doesn’t always work out the way that we want it to, but in theory you would hope that it would, so it’s become that more for me now.

Rewire: Why criminal defense, specifically?

Kinsella: I think the criminal defense attorney is what the majority of people think of when they think of a lawyer, when in reality we are a very niche portion of what lawyers are. Far more lawyers are the kind who are sitting there writing stuff and sitting in front of computers and never get in the courtroom.

Foley: I think for me, I’ve always had a soft spot for the underdog. I’ve been the underdog before. When someone’s faced with a criminal offense the entire weight of the justice system and the state and the prosecution is coming down hard on that person. People, a lot of times, will ask me, “How can you represent these people that have committed these horrible crimes?” My response is always, “I represent the person, not their crime. I’m helping someone that needs help.” A lot of times I’m helping turn that life around.

The Constitution guarantees somebody has their day in court, and I think that’s one of the things that makes us unique. One of the ways that I think about this is I care a lot about my clients as individuals, but just as much as that my client is also The Constitution of The United States.

Kinsella: We’re never going to get them off unless the cops made a mistake. And if they made a mistake then it’s good that we’re getting them off. The Constitution’s not doing its job if they’re making mistakes and they’re still getting convictions for these kind of things.

Foley: I think we’re an important part of the checks and balance system that makes things work, because if you look at the authority and the power that law enforcement has, if there wasn’t some mechanism in place to check that power, to double-check their work, to make sure that they’re following their own rules, just think about what we all be at risk of. And so I may defend this person or that person for a specific crime, but what I’m actually doing is protecting everyone’s rights.

Kinsella: We say it a lot in our line of work, “Good people make mistakes.” So many of these things, people think criminal defense attorney, “Oh, they’re getting murderers off.” I can tell you right now, I’ve never defended a murderer in my life. I haven’t had the opportunity to, but I haven’t. The most common things that people are seeing, they’re everyday people. We’ve defended celebrities. We’ve defended doctors. We’ve defended other lawyers. We’ve defended every kind of swath of our society.

When it comes down to it a lot of these people are good people that made one mistake, had too many drinks or had a bad day and reacted wrong for something. It’s like, “Now, should that one mistake this good person made be what dictates the rest of their life?” I don’t think so. I think anybody who has had that kind of thing happen to them is happy to have a second chance, and we can hopefully provide somewhat of that for them.

Foley: And even if the person [is] a murderer or somebody that’s committed a horrible crime, they’re still entitled to a defense, and you need to have somebody in place to double-check the police work and make sure that the state can meet their burden to get their conviction. Like Dana said, if they can meet that burden, then they’ve earned that conviction. But if law enforcement makes mistakes or even goes as far as planting evidence or lying or being dishonest, they’re entitled to a defense against that type of thing even if they’re not a good person. Even if they have a long record or have committed a horrible act, they deserve a defense.

Rewire: How does it feel when someone comes at you with that attitude that what you’re doing is bad and you are helping bad people? How does that make you feel?

Kinsella: It’s a really common thing that I see. Every single social gathering that I go to where I get introduced. It’s amazing how quickly somebody hears, “Oh, you’re a defense attorney?” It becomes the conversation. Inevitably somebody’s going to say at some point, “How do you sleep at night?” The fact of the matter is that it feels, I guess to answer your question directly, it doesn’t feel very good. They look at you like you’re a criminal for helping other people out. That doesn’t feel good.

My short answer all the time is, “I sleep very well,” because once again, as he says, I’m defending the Constitution.

Overall, the people that I work with, they’re not the crime, they’re the person. I work with a lot of really good people, and, actually, I form a relationship with most of them, and down the road I get to hear from them and get to see them turn around. They call me years down the road and they say, “Thank you for giving me the opportunity to turn this around.” That’s not in every case, but it does happen from time to time, and that makes it worth [it].

Foley: It’s actually pretty rare that a criminal case goes all the way to a jury trial. Most of the time that case is resolved short of trial with some kind of a plea bargain or a resolution or something. A lot of what we do is negotiating and helping our clients to just realy minimize the damage, get them back to their lives, try and get them moving forward with their life. Do cases go to trial? Sure, they absolutely do. But the vast majority of the time what we do is not what people think we do.

Rewire:  What would you say is the worst part of what you have to do in your job?

Foley: I think it’s the mental illness that’s pretty prevalent among our clients. I think that the majority of our clients, there’s a link between the crime that they’re charged with and some type of substance abuse, whether it’s drugs or alcohol or whatever it may be. That is, oftentimes, a symptom of some form of mental illness, whether it’s depression or anxiety, bi-polar, sometimes even schizophrenia.

When you take on a client and you form that relationship you’re taking on that whole person and all their issues and mental illnesses and substance abuse issues that they have, so that’s always a little challenging. Also, setting expectations can be tricky, too. We always like to be straight-up and honest with our clients. If we review the evidence and there doesn’t seem to be much there we need to set that expectation that we’re going to do the best we can for you and we’re going to minimize the damage, but you’re not getting out of this scot-free. That can be a little bit tricky, too.

Kinsella: The worst part is getting people who are four or five-time offenders. Not because I’m mad that they’re back again, but just seeing that, “Okay, we didn’t help them enough the first time.”

Rewire: Talk a little bit about forming your firm. Why did you do that? 

Foley: I wanted to have more of a role in my future, and I wanted to be more responsible for my own income and my own success. When you work at a firm you can be successful and doing well and everything is going great, but there’s a ceiling on what you can really do. When you branch out and start your own or partner-up with somebody the sky’s the limit. That comes with other considerations, like the buck stops with me and Dana. It has its pros and its cons, but for me, the biggest thing was I just wanted to be able to control my financial future and presence and everything else.

Kinsella: Yeah. We’re only at about seven months right now, but we’re exceeding all expectations at this point. It’s been nothing but an awesome experience so far, and I can’t imagine it going any different at this point.

Rewire: If you could give yourself advice when you were first starting or before you went into law school about whether or not to go into it or what you need to know before you go into it, what advice would that be? 

Kinsella: We do have people who will come to us and say, “Hey, I want to go to law school.” The biggest thing that I always tell everybody is, the first question is, “Do you really want to be a lawyer? Is that something that you want to do is be a lawyer?” because if you want to be a lawyer, go to law school.

But if you think that you’re going to go to law school, you’re going to become a lawyer and you’re going to be this millionaire and everything, don’t, because you’re just going to get student loans. That’s what’s going to happen.

I love being a lawyer. I can’t imagine being anything else, to tell you the truth. You work with people. You do get to help people. Even though some people think it’s not what we’re doing, we are, we’re helping people. If that’s what you want to do, do it. It’s going to be hard, but it’s going to be worth it in the end if that’s what you want to do.

Foley: Don’t borrow so much money. Maybe put some away or work more and don’t borrow so much because those student loans are—god—even when you’re doing well, they’re a lot.

The other thing is I wish that I would have put in some more work before I went to law school just to kind of teach myself the basics of law. A lot of people in law school, their parents are lawyers or their siblings and they come from lawyer families or whatever. I didn’t have the background to know when it picked up, and they were using terms that seemed to be common knowledge that I didn’t know what they meant. And so I wish I would have taught myself a little bit more about the law before I went to law school. I think it would have sunk in better.

Kinsella: I worked for the public defender’s office while I was in law school. After my first year of law school, I hadn’t even had too many classes yet at this point. One year out of the three done, they literally gave me my own courtroom the first day, threw a stack of files in front of me like this. I learned more on that day than I did in the whole year of law school.

Foley: Another thing that law school doesn’t prepare you for is the business side of it. Even if you work for a big firm and you’re not doing any of your own marketing and business and accounting and that kind of stuff, you kind of have this idea in law school that, “I’m going to come out of law school. I’m going to have my JD. I’m going to be a lawyer, and I’m going to practice law, and I’m going to make a bunch of money.”

Like anything else it’s a business, but when you’re in law school you have these grandiose visions of being this lawyer and everything is going to be great. It’s like anything else, it’s highly-competitive and you have to pound the pavement, at least for what we do. It’s not what you think it is in law school.

Kinsella: But it’s worth it.

Foley: Yeah, absolutely. I wouldn’t do it any other way, and everything I just talked about I also love, I just didn’t realize it.



Dylan studied theater, video production, and film producing over the last 15 years and has worked in many different arenas along the way. He’s a sucker for Austin City Limits and would watch Antiques Roadshow every night if PBS would program it that way. Connect with Dylan on Twitter @DManMegaMix.

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What happens now that Bill Cosby's sexual-assault case has been declared a mistrial

Bill Cosby trial June 2017

Early this month, Bill Cosby went on trial on sexual-assault charges involving Andrea Constand, alleged to have happened more than a decade ago.

After five days of deliberation, the jury couldn’t reach a unanimous decision and the judge declared a mistrial.

Constand, a former Temple University employee, told police that the now 79-year-old comedian drugged and violated her at his home near Philadelphia in 2004.

It’s the first criminal case against Cosby over his conduct with women. Over the past few years, over 60 women have accused him of sexual assault. 

Here are the major developments during the trial, and what could happen next after the mistrial:

SEE ALSO: Bill Cosby accuser gives emotional testimony: ‘I had a secret about the biggest celebrity’

The juror selection process took days.

Ultimately, seven men and five women were selected. According to, more than a third of the 100 potential jurors said that they had already decided whether Cosby was innocent or guilty. 


Day 1: One of Cosby’s many accusers took the stand.

She worked as Cosby’s former agent’s assistant. She described in detail how Cosby had allegedly drugged and sexually assaulted her at a Los Angeles hotel 20 years ago.

Besides Constand, she was the only accuser out of more than 60 women who was permitted to testify at the trial.


Day 2: Andrea Constand took the stand and spoke about her alleged assault for the first time in public.

Her testimony took three hours. Constand went to police about a year after she says Cosby assaulted her, but at the time a prosecutor said her case was too weak for any charges. 


See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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