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

Here are all the theories about Biggie and Tupac's unsolved murders

biggieandtupac roxyreleasing

There’s a good chance you’ve heard a “Tupac is alive” joke more than once in your life (or heard it posed as a serious theory). The 20th anniversary of Tupac’s death was in September of last year, and March marks the 20th anniversary of the death of The Notorious B.I.G., aka Biggie or Biggie Smalls. The untimely, tragic shootings of the rap stars still weigh heavily on the music world.

To this day, both murders remain unsolved. Over the past two decades, so many conspiracy theories have been spread surrounding their deaths. And the cases are eerily similar in many ways. 

Here’s everything you need to know about the deaths of Biggie and Tupac and the theories about their cases: 

SEE ALSO: The 18 worst new TV shows of the year so far, according to critics

Tupac and Bigge used to be friends.

The hip-hop icons met in 1993. Tupac (real name: Tupac Shakur), though only a year older than Biggie (real name: Christopher Wallace), was something of a mentor to him. Tupac often gave Biggie career advice since he had a couple years more experience, and was more well-known when they met. 



But then a violent rivalry started.

By the mid-1990s, the West Coast had proved itself in the hip-hop world with Death Row Records, the label that included Tupac, Dr. Dre, and Snoop Dogg.

Meanwhile, Biggie’s 1993 album “Ready to Die” helped give the East Coast label Bad Boy Records — Puff Daddy’s label — some recognition, along with Jay-Z’s “Reasonable Doubt.”

Tupac and his fans interpreted Biggie’s 1994 song “Who Shot Ya?“ as a diss track because he had been robbed and shot two months before the song’s release. The track’s lyrics described a situation very similar to what happened to Tupac. 

In the 1996 song “Hit ‘Em Up,” Tupac struck back: He alluded to having an affair with Biggie’s wife, Faith Evans. 

Source: LA Times


Tupac was murdered on September 7, 1996, in Las Vegas.

Tupac and Suge Knight — the founder of Death Row Records — were driving to a party around 11:15 p.m., after watching a Mike Tyson fight in Las Vegas. When they stopped their black BMW at a red light waiting for it to change, a white Cadillac pulled up next to them. Fourteen shots were fired, six of them hitting Tupac, who was in the passenger’s seat. One shot punctured his lung. Tupac died six days later, at only 25 years old. 

The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department told Business Insider of Tupac’s murder in a statement, “The case is still open and under investigation. At this time, we have no additional updates to provide.”

Source: Biography

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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CBS renews 16 shows, 'Criminal Minds' and '2 Broke Girls' not among them (yet) – TVbytheNumbers

The annual CBS spring tradition of picking up a host of shows for the coming continued Thursday with the announcement that 16 shows will be returning for 2017-18.

The network has picked up five of its freshman series — “Bull,” “Kevin Can Wait,” “MacGyver,” “Man with a Plan” and “Superior Donuts.” Also returning next season are 11 veteran shows: “48 Hours,” “60 Minutes,” “Blue Bloods,” “Hawaii Five-0,” “Life in Pieces,” “Madam Secretary,” “Mom,” “NCIS: Los Angeles,” “NCIS: New Orleans,” “Scorpion” and “Survivor.”

The 16 shows join the previously renewed “NCIS” and “The Big Bang Theory,” locking in 18 shows and the equivalent of 15 hours of a 22-hour primetime schedule.

Several other veterans, including “2 Broke Girls,” “Code Black,” “Criminal Minds,” “Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders,” “Elementary” and “The Amazing Race,” aren’t on the list. Nor is first-year comedy “The Great Indoors.”

“Criminal Minds” also wasn’t included in the early-renewal list last year, as CBS and co-producer ABC Studios were working out contract details. It ultimately ended up coming back for a 12th season (obviously).

“Beyond Borders” and “Elementary” are on the lower end of the ratings for CBS scripted shows, although “Elementary” also has a fairly rich syndication deal in place. Whether it’s enough to keep a show whose current same-day ratings are barely at replacement level remains to be seen.

“Code Black” is also on the bubble, having averaged a 1.0 rating among adults 18-49 in its second season. “2 Broke Girls” has ratings basically equal to those of “Man with a Plan,” “Superior Donuts” and “Life in Pieces”; its fate may come down to contract negotiations as well. “The Amazing Race” is set to premiere March 30.

Freshman drama “Doubt” is already canceled, and “Pure Genius” and “Training Day” are pretty unlikely to return for second seasons. Third-year comedy “The Odd Couple” also looks like a long shot.

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At 94, 'Bergen's Busiest Criminal Lawyer' still loves his courtroom job – USA TODAY

HACKENSACK, N.J. — Voice rising and arms emphatically chopping the air, the silver-haired lawyer stands before the bench in a courtroom, pleading for leniency for a sales executive with a history of DWI.

If the theatrical delivery and the red pocket square peeking from the sharp pinstriped suit seem familiar, they should. Frank P. Lucianna has been at this longer than most of his listeners, including the judge, have been alive.

“Your Honor, sometimes I wish they would throw all the laws out!” the 94-year-old says during a soliloquy in which he rails about mandatory sentencing, flatters the judge for being “assiduous in your pursuit of justice” and praises the “young prosecutor.”

Turning to his client, he goes on: “The only person who was harmed was the defendant himself! He’s a gentleman, in every sense of the word! A pure gentleman! There is no victim in this case except the defendant!”

Lucianna, a decorated World War II vet and an Englewood Cliffs resident, has defended everyone from killers to wayward politicians to thieves to lousy drivers during a 66-year career that has won him lifetime achievement awards and unofficial status as the mayor of the Bergen County Court House. Seemingly everyone stops him in the corridors to pay homage. “Hello, young man! … Hello, beautiful ladies!” the lawyer, guilty of gregariousness, is apt to call out.

Forty-five years ago, The Record anointed Lucianna “Bergen’s Busiest Criminal Lawyer.” Twenty-two years ago, the newspaper described him as a “consummate showman” and the oldest active trial attorney in the county, if not the state. Along the way, he was the first in New Jersey to use the battered woman’s defense at a murder trial, a gambit that won acquittal for a housewife who blew away her abusive husband.

That Lucianna is still practicing full time reflects an ironclad commitment. The law truly is his mistress, and his wife, Dolores, is OK with the arrangement. She long ago stopped begging him to knock off early on Fridays.

“I’m very thankful that I’m in love with this beautiful profession and the beautiful people in the courthouse,” Lucianna says, adding that his desire to assist people in trouble also keeps him going.

But it takes more than passion for a man nearing the midpoint of his 10th decade to plug away in a demanding field. Criminal defenders deal with difficult people. They have to think fast on their feet. Testimony must be followed and processed; arguments and objections, made. They also must be on their feet, schlepping to courthouses and jails and standing before juries and judges.

The founder of Lucianna & Lucianna in Hackensack is fortunate to be surrounded by a loving staff that includes his daughter Diane Lucianna, the firm’s managing partner. They support the nonagenarian in various ways, such as driving him to the county jail where he meets with clients, or to the courthouse when he doesn’t feel like walking the three blocks. Also, to augment his hearing, another lawyer is usually with him in court.

“He’s had me with him for 35 years and we keep an eye on him,” Diane says. “He’s had the same secretary for 30 years. Physically, we help him. Like, he was wearing shoes that were way too heavy. I said, ‘Dad, you need new shoes!’ So we took him to the orthopedic shoe store for a new pair. Little things like that. But mentally, he’s terrific. No one is covering for him.”

Indeed, Lucianna is a source of marvel in the legal community. Frank O’Marra Jr., executive director of the Bergen County Bar Association, and John L. Higgins III, Bergen County first assistant prosecutor, both pointed to his energy and active caseload. “He may walk a little more slowly these days,” Higgins says, “but don’t assume anything with Frank.”

Superior Court Judge Margaret M. Foti, before whom Lucianna argued on behalf of the DWI defendant (the man received a jail sentence likely to spring him after 180 days, less than what he originally faced), made clear that, where Lucianna is concerned, age is just a number. In a statement, she called Lucianna “an experienced attorney who regularly appears” in her courtroom, “on time, impeccably dressed, prepared and ready to proceed” and “an able and articulate advocate for his clients and a role model for young lawyers.”

One of those young lawyers is his junior partner Frank V. Carbonetti, whose prosecutor grandfather used to square off against Lucianna in court. Calling Lucianna “my partner, my teacher, my best friend,” the 43-year-old Carbonetti says he has learned from his boss “that if you love something, it keeps you going … and I’m ready to rock and roll with that plan.”

Lucianna, compact and solid-looking, is quite the specimen. The lifelong runner – he captained the Dwight Morrow High School track team and Fordham University cross-country team – stopped running just a year ago because of a fractured vertebra that put him in a back brace for a while but did not slow him down professionally. He credits his athleticism with giving him the stamina to soldier on.

He takes care of himself. “I’ve got to get rest at night; otherwise, it’s difficult to be in court,” he says. “I try to get to bed at 10, 10:30, and I’m up at 6:30. Eight hours of sleep. I need to get up early and get to the office early, because I’m the centerpiece here. I have to show everyone that I will be here on time and let them in.

“This is a very consuming profession and it has taken a lot out of my life. I am constantly involved in preparing cases, and it’s a tremendous strain, both mental and physical. Physical because when you go to trial in a case, your whole being is obsessed with trying to help the person you represent, and it places your body and mind under tension. I spend many sleepless nights … I still have that anxiety. My life is constant effort to maintain my stability.”

In a graying field – one in seven American Bar Association members are age 62 and over – Lucianna is among the grayest. Observers say he is 20 or so years older than the next oldest lawyer who appears regularly at the Bergen County Court House. Michael Jay Badger, a Seattle psychologist and organizational consultant who has written about cognitive issues faced by older lawyers and has assisted them, says he has encountered only three in the profession over 90. All were desk-bound and worked part time.

After watching a video of Lucianna in action in court, Badger declared the lawyer “remarkable” and the embodiment of the old cliché “use or it lose it.”

A native of Englewood and son of Italian immigrants, Lucianna hung out a shingle in 1951 after receiving a Fordham law degree. Two decades into his career, a Sunday magazine profile in The Record reported that he represented more accused criminals than any attorney in Bergen County – sometimes 50 cases a week. “I can’t think of anything else I would rather do. I never plan to stop until I can’t go on anymore,” he said then, in 1972. As it turned out, he wasn’t kidding.

The article noted a Lucianna courtroom trademark – a hunch of the back. “I’m trying to convey to the jury what a burden I have to show my client is really innocent,” he was quoted as saying. He still hunches, but now, age may have something to do with it.

Lucianna wondered whether his vintage works to his and his clients’ advantage. “Jurors could feel a little more sympathy to me because I’m 94. I had some case in Paterson, and the judge asked me, ‘How old are you?’ I said 94. And he said, ‘Well, I appreciate having you here, Mr. Lucianna!’ And everyone clapped. The case worked out fine. The guy didn’t go to jail.”

Could there be a halo effect?

“I can speak only from a prosecutor’s standpoint,” says Higgins, “but by virtue of his charm and his age, Frank Lucianna does not get a better deal than anyone else.”

Amazingly, Lucianna isn’t even the oldest active lawyer on Main Street in Hackensack. Albert Burstein has him beat by two months.

The former state assemblyman is a partner in the Archer law firm. Unlike Lucianna, Burstein works part time and focuses on estate law.

The 94-year-olds run into each occasionally. Burstein holds his slightly younger colleague in awe.

“The obligations Frank takes upon himself are astonishing and well beyond the norm,” he observes. “The norm is a guy like me sitting behind a desk, but to see Frank as a litigator is worthy of note and admiration – not only because he still has his intellectual capacities, but because of the physical element to the work he does. Even in my most athletic days, I would come back to the office exhausted if I had to be in court.”

Burstein says he still practices because he enjoys giving counsel and seeing clients. “It’s not that I don’t have other things to do,” he says, “but I have to say that if I felt I were losing my grip, as it were, then I would stop cold. The question is: Do you realize your limitations, or do you have to have somebody tell you?”

That’s a question Lucianna and his family have pondered. Diane Lucianna says she would prevail on her father not to go to court if she and others felt he was losing his mental acuity.

Frank Lucianna, who says he feels 64, gives mixed signals on the subject.

“He says he will never retire, that he will die in his office,” Diane says. But asked on separate occasions what the future holds, Lucianna says: “If it gets to the point where I’m crazy and don’t know what I’m doing, I’ll stop.” And this: “I hope God lets me continue doing this. I don’t want to retire. I don’t want to go to Florida. I just want to do what I’m doing.”

Besides, Lucianna is one senior who’s no fan of the Sunshine State. The busy lawyer and his wife had a place there but got rid of it because they hardly used it.

“Florida is inhabited by a lot of old retired people who, if you are living among them, are annoying,” Frank Lucianna says.

He prefers Hackensack. Specifically, the area around the courthouse.

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2 high-profile jailbreaks have put the weakness of Mexico's prisons on vivid display

Escape tunnel Tamaulipas Mexico prison jail

On March 17, suspected Mexican drug trafficker Juan Jose Esparragoza Monzon busted out of a prison in northwest Mexico, accompanied by four other men.

Monzon is the son of Juan Jose Esparragoza Moreno, the most reclusive member of the Sinaloa cartel’s triumvirate of chieftains, alongside the jailed “El Chapo” Guzman and Ismael “El Mayo” Zambada, who remains at large.

Monzon and the four men who accompanied him — several of them cartel enforcers — are all believed to be tied to the Sinaloa cartel.

Their escape is not the most recent embarrassing incident for the Mexican prison system, however.

Late on Wednesday night, 29 inmates tunneled their way out of a jail on the other side of the country in Ciudad Victoria, the capital of Tamaulipas, the country’s northeastern-most state.

The men, nine of them federal prisoners and four of them directly tied to drug trafficking, burrowed out through a passage 5 meters deep and 40 meters long. Luis Alberto Rodriguez, the state security spokesman, said the tunnel had been hidden under a hut built illegally in a part of the facility that the prisoners basically controlled.

Once they had emerged, one of them shot and killed a passing motorist in what appeared to be an attempted carjacking.

A manhunt was quickly activated, with federal, state, and military personnel securing the prison’s perimeter. Twelve of the escapees have been recaptured, and, according to Rodriguez, at least 30 guards at the facility face investigations over the escape.

Tamaulipas is one of Mexico's most violent states with 5,700 of 28,000 people who have been reported missing in the past decade

The prison in question, the Center for Execution of Sanctions (Cedes) of Ciudad Victoria, is more than 40 years old, and the local government admitted that it had been “neglected in recent years” and did not have “adequate security measures,” according to El País.

In recent months, authorities have struggled to keep a grip on goings-on at the prison. According to Proceso, there have been riots and fights between inmates. The prison is over capacity by 160 inmates, and authorities have been looking to transfer prisoners elsewhere.

Two months ago, a leader in the Zetas cartel was killed inside the prison two days after being detained there. The Zetas have long been present in Tamaulipas and the surrounding area, and the group’s fight with other cartels for control of trafficking and other criminal activities in the region is responsible for some of Mexico’s most horrific drug-war violence.

el chapo jail

The Tamaulipas escape is similar to, though not as sophisticated as, that of “El Chapo” Guzman, who slipped out out of a maximum-security prison in central Mexico through a ventilated, mile-long tunnel using a motorcycle on rails in July 2015.

Guzman was recaptured in January 2016 and initially put back in the same jail.

A few months later Mexican officials moved him north to one of the country’s worst rated prisons, reportedly because they feared an impending escape attempt.

The complexity of Guzman’s escape, and the jailbreaks Mexico has seen since, underscore the deeply rooted weaknesses inside Mexico’s legal and prison systems.

“It should be remembered,” Mexican security analyst Alejandro Hope said after Guzman’s recapture, “some of the structural weaknesses of the Mexican prison system are still there … one of the persons that is being prosecuted for his escape was the head of the federal-prison system.”

“This was not just El Altiplano,” Hope added, referring to the jail Guzman broke out of. “This was systemic. And I think some of those weaknesses are still there.”

El Chapo Guzman Mexico prison

In the case of Monzon, the Sinaloa cartel figure who escaped earlier this month, he and one of his fellow escapees were being held in a lower-security facility despite their high profiles because of stays issued by the same judge in Culiacan, a city in the heart of the Sinaloa cartel’s home turf.

Mexico’s prisons are probably some of the most corrupt in the world,” Mike Vigil, former chief of international operations for the US Drug Enforcement Administration, told Business Insider earlier this year.

“I mean the prison administration is absolutely horrible, and if you have money it’s very easy to bribe the people that work at the penitentiaries,” added Vigil, author of “Metal Coffins: The Blood Alliance Cartel.”

“They give you access to communication, they give you access to members of your organization … and give you whatever you want.”

SEE ALSO: Mexico’s mass graves illustrate a horrifying norm for those living in cartel-land

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NOW WATCH: Here’s footage of ‘El Chapo’ arriving to the US

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'Criminal Minds' Actor Thomas Gibson Suffers Defeat in Fight Over … – Hollywood Reporter

California Labor Commissioner determines that Frontline’s Craig Dorfman didn’t illegally procure work for the actor.

Last August, Thomas Gibson lost his job on Criminal Minds after allegedly kicking a writer on-set. Now, the actor has suffered a kick himself in a bid to escape paying a 10 percent commission on the $4.8 million annual salary he earned for starring in the CBS series.

In August 2014, Gibson was sued by Frontline Entertainment over money allegedly owed to the firm’s Craig Dorfman. The lawsuit not only revealed the actor’s salary, but painted Gibson with an unflattering brush with word that he’s known as “Captain Vanilla” among industry professionals thanks to his “lack of professionalism.” According to Gibson, Dorfman was fired because the manager failed to get him a “bump” in salary between seasons 9 and 10 of Criminal Minds.

After the lawsuit was filed, Gibson filed a petition before the California Labor Commissioner with the contention that an oral agreement for 10 percent commissions should be voided because Dorfman acted as an unlicensed agent in procuring him work in violation of the Talent Agencies Act.

On Thursday, Barton Jacka, an attorney for the Labor Commissioner issued a determination (see here) refusing Gibson’s demand.

What was examined in the controversy was Dorfman’s alleged role in “procuring” the Criminal Minds gig for Gibson as well as some other work including a couple of commercials, Gibson’s role in the 2004 television movie In From the Night and a modeling job. There was also an offer to become a celebrity spokesperson for the Professional Golfers Association.

Dorfman began as Gibson’s talent agent, getting him the role on Dharma & Greg before moving into management. According to Gibson’s testimony, though, Dorfman was expected to do the same work he had done previously as an agent. 

Gibson attempted to make the case that Dorfman had leaned on his “old friend,” CBS Entertainment president Nina Tassler, to get him a starring role on Criminal Minds, and had helped him line up other work as well. During this time, Gibson paid agency commissions to The Gersh Agency and later to Paradigm.

The big issue before the California Labor Commissioner was not only whether Dorfman had acted as an unlicensed agent, but also what to do about a one-year statute of limitations.

In the one year before the petition was filed, the answer was pretty easy.

Jacka writes that the only alleged act of procurement on Dorfman’s part in this period was discussions pertaining to an Ion promo of Criminal Minds — which earned Gibson $45,000. The Labor Commissioner attorney says it’s a “close call,” but that “we cannot conclude that it is more likely than not that he did so.”

The more complicated issue involved Gibson’s older work, in particular his role on In From the Night and a “big pay commercial” in 2010. There, Jacka writes that Dorfman appears to have engaged in actual or attempted procurement. 

“These instances, however, appear to be sporadic and were dwarfed by the bulk of Respondents’ work for Mr. Gibson,” writes Jacka. “Although Mr. Gibson consistently used words such as ‘procure’ to describe Respondents’ work, his testimony about details was almost entirely lacking — i.e., he rarely knew anything specific about what Respondents had actually done. Mr. Dorfman admitted to almost nothing and neither of the two agents (Ms. Adler and Mr. Gersh) provided any evidence that would illuminate as to instances in which they were aware of unlawful procurement by Respondents.”

The Labor Commissioner attorney writes in other instances, Dorfman had merely passed information on to Gibson or his agents or fielded questions without making any offers or demands. Jacka also notes that Gibson did have real licensed agents, who performed work for him, and that evidence showed Dorfman actually did perform management services.

As for Criminal Minds, Jacka mentions one conversation concerning a request for a raise where Tassler told Dorfman,  “There is no more money. [CBS CEO] Les [Moonves] wants Thomas on the show. Please let him know that.”

But “this exchange would be a slender reed on which to base a nullification of that part of the Agreement whereby Mr. Gibson was required to pay Respondents commissions from his role on Criminal Minds,” writes Jacka.

The dispute now goes back to the Los Angeles Superior Court judge who paused Front Line’s lawsuit in the interest of letting the Labor Commissioner battle proceed first. Gibson may have other defenses to escape paying commissions, but he has whiffed on his attempt to exploit the Talent Agencies Act.

“We are pleased that our client Frontline prevailed in this matter,” says attorney Bryan Freedman. “The Labor Commission saw right through Thomas Gibson’s true motivation which was to avoid paying the commissions owed by once again creating a fictitious recollection of facts which did not exist. I would think that given his career trajectory since leaving my client that Gibson would realize that the truth and honoring his commitments might be an appropriate starting point to rebuilding his career. No doubt this guy will continue to blame others and take no responsibility.”

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Lawyer resists subpoena in Arpaio's criminal contempt case – ABC15 Arizona

Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio stands in front of his county jail the day Arizona’s immigration enforcement law SB 1070 went into effect on July 29, 2010 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)

John Moore

Copyright 2016 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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The father of a child with autism whom Trump's Supreme Court nominee ruled against urged senators not to confirm him

neil gorsuch confirmation hearing

The father of a child with autism whom Judge Neil Gorsuch once ruled against urged senators on Thursday to oppose the judge’s confirmation as a Supreme Court justice.

Jeffrey Perkins, whose son Luke was the subject of a unanimous 10th US Circuit Court of Appeals decision in 2008, was among several people called before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday for testimony on Gorsuch.

Perkins said Gorsuch’s views had threatened Luke’s access to an appropriate education and “a meaningful and dignified life” when the judge sided with Colorado’s Thompson School District over the family in the case.

The district argued it had complied with the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act when it refused to reimburse the Perkins family for Luke’s tuition at a private school in Boston. The Perkins family argued that the Boston school had produced “astounding progress” for their son and that remaining in the Thompson School District would have caused him to regress.

In his opinion, Gorsuch said that to comply with IDEA, the district needed only to show it had produced gains for students that were “merely more than de minimis.”

“Judge Gorsuch thought that an education for my son that was even one small step above insignificant was acceptable,” Perkins said on Thursday. “On behalf of all children, disabled, typical, and gifted, I urge you to deny confirmation to Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court of the United States.”

To demonstrate the progress Luke had made after attending the Boston school, Perkins showed the committee a small Lego model of the Capitol building that Luke had built. That drew audible gasps from the audience members in the chamber.

jeffrey perkins gorsuch confirmation hearing

The Supreme Court on Wednesday unanimously reversed the circuit court’s decision and sided with the Perkins family in the middle of Gorsuch’s confirmation hearing. Its ruling on the case said that the “more than de minimis” threshold for educating students with disabilities was inadequate.

“When all is said and done, a student offered an educational program providing merely more than de minimis progress from year to year can hardly be said to have been offered an education at all,” Chief Justice John Roberts wrote in his opinion. “For children with disabilities, receiving instruction that aims so low would be tantamount to sitting idly awaiting the time when they were old enough to drop out.”

Gorsuch, who learned of the ruling while he was on a five-minute bathroom break, was instantly put on the hot seat by Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois.

“Why in your early decision did you want to lower the bar so low to merely more than de minimis as a standard for public education to meet this federal requirement under the law?” Durbin said.

Gorsuch replied that he was bound by the precedent the circuit court had set more than a decade earlier.

“If anyone is suggesting that I like a result where an autistic child happens to lose, that’s a heartbreaking accusation to me,” Gorsuch said. “If I was wrong, senator, I was wrong because I was bound by circuit precedent. And I’m sorry.”

SEE ALSO: Schumer says he’ll vote ‘no’ on Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, signaling Democratic filibuster

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NOW WATCH: A body-language expert analyzes Trump’s unique handshakes

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So What the Hell Happened on Criminal Minds Last Night? – Relix (blog)

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So What the Hell Happened on Criminal Minds Last Night?

by Rob Slater on March 23, 2017

You’ve only ever watched the CBS show Criminal Minds if you’re home sick from school or work, scrolling the depths to find something to watch that isn’t a horrible daytime talk show. But while every channel under the sun airs reruns during the day, Criminal Minds still pumps out a new episode on CBS on Wednesday nights and something rather…..fishy….happened last night.

Let’s start with the criminal (or “unsub” as they call it) in the show: Trey Gordon as played by Johnny Wactor. Okay, probably just a coincidence. 

Then there’s the local police officer: Sergeant Suzanne Kuroda. And the Medical Examiner: Harry Greenberg. 

This can’t be. 

It gets downright comical from there. Characters named Janis Weir, Paul McConnell, Mike Hood, Lyn Anastasio, Jon Kreutzmann, Samuel Gordon and Bob Joplin all made appearances for an episode of Criminal Minds taken straight from the Jamband Mount Rushmore. 

Naturally, the internet had a field day with it. Live for Live Music rounded up some videos of the references so you can see just what a jamband crime scene would look like. Dania Bennett wrote the episode and took to Instagram before the episode to tease the references, saying there are “some easter eggs” in there for Phish and Grateful Dead fans. She wasn’t kidding. 

[embedded content]


Tags: all of the phish and dead references, criminal minds

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Criminal defense lawyer says shooting off N. Wahsatch could fall under “Make My Day” law –

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — A Colorado Springs man is facing a second-degree murder charge for shooting and killing a homeless man back in January.

A grand jury indicted 28-year-old Patrick Rau. Police say Rau shot and killed 37-year-old Donald Russell on January 19 after Russell entered a home converted into an apartment on N. Wahsatch and was confronted by Rau who lives in the complex.

Now criminal defense lawyers say this case may fall under the parameters of Colorado’s “Make My Day” law.

The “Make My Day” law was introduced in 1985. It justifies the use of force against an intruder inside a home, including the use of a deadly weapon. If they feel threatened, homeowners can face no legal charges if they choose to draw and use their weapon.

“A man’s home is his castle and it gives the property owner and the home owner the ability to protect their home from an intruder,” said criminal defense lawyer, Patrick Mika.

The law says a homeowner can only shoot if the person entering is unwelcome or if they feel their life or family’s life is in harm’s way.

“We’ve had cases in Colorado Springs where someone is trying to get in the door, is attempting to beat their way into door.” Mika said, “It doesn’t necessarily in my opinion mean that you have to wait breaks the plane of the door.”

The law gives full immunity for actions taken inside the home but it doesn’t apply outside like in your backyard.

In the case of the shooting on N. Wahsatch, the intruder was in what’s considered a common area of the apartment complex.

“I suspect that the defense will make an argument that this is part of the dwelling,” said Mika. “That part that is shared or used by the owner that’s connected to the home is part of the dwelling and therefore he has the right to protect himself.”

Rao has now been indicted on a second-degree murder heat of passion charge, which means there were highly provocative acts by the victim that stirred up a passionate response from the accused.

What that does is lower the potential consequences from a Class 2 felony to a Class 3.

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The GOP health care bill's defunding of Planned Parenthood is wildly unpopular

defund planned parenthood abortion

When Jaime Benner was a teenager, her mom took her to Planned Parenthood to get on birth control.

When she found a lump in her breast a decade later, a local provider told Benner it would take three weeks to see her. She again turned to Planned Parenthood, which saw her that day.

Near Benner’s tiny town of Rodman, New York, which she describes as the “middle of nowhere,” the Planned Parenthood center has been “part of the community” for decades.

Over half of Planned Parenthood’s 650 health centers are in rural or medically underserved areas with health professional shortages. In 105 counties across the US, Planned Parenthood is the only full-service reproductive health clinic. Benner’s Jefferson County is one of them.

“Especially in an area like this where we’re already underserved and Planned Parenthood is so consequential to our community, I cannot imagine what it would be like if we didn’t have them here,” Benner, a 30-year-old insurance agent who has been speaking out about her experiences with the organization, told Business Insider. “We need it, and I’m pretty sure the majority of the United States is rural … There are more places like where I live than big cities.”


Paul Ryan

Republicans have been trying to “defund” Planned Parenthood for years. The current plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act would bring that goal to fruition.

The GOP bill, known as the American Health Care Act, has a provision that wouldn’t allow states to use “direct spending” on “prohibited entities” with federal funds allocated from the AHCA.

Prohibited entities are defined in the bill as any “essential community provider” that is “primarily engaged in family planning services, reproductive health, and related medical care” or “provides for abortions” in any case besides saving the life of the mother, incest, or rape.

Planned Parenthood meets that definition, despite the fact that it is already illegal to use federal funds to pay for an abortion except in the case of rape, incest, or if the mother’s health is endangered. Congress first passed the Hyde Amendment blocking the funds in 1977, four years after the Supreme Court ruled women have a constitutional right to abortion in Roe v. Wade.

The move is wildly unpopular among Americans. A Quinnipiac University poll conducted in January found that 62% of voters oppose defunding Planned Parenthood. And a PerryUndem poll from March found that 74% oppose taking away Planned Parenthood funds that are used for birth control, well-woman care, and cancer screenings for low-income women.

According to the organization’s most recent annual report, most of its funds go to services other than abortion:

planned parenthood services BI Graphics_PP

Erica Sackin, director of political communications for Planned Parenthood, said the century-old family planning provider is more than just abortions for the 2.5 million people who visit their health centers each year.

“They can turn to us if they need to no matter what,” she told Business Insider. “That’s what’s under attack.”

‘Our nation’s most vulnerable patients’

Benner was between jobs, and health insurance, when she discovered the lump in her breast, and Planned Parenthood staff helped her sign up for Medicaid so she could afford her cancer treatment.

Nearly two-thirds of the organization’s patients rely on public programs like Medicaid to pay for their care. “Defunding” the organization, (as many states have and now Congress proposes to do with the AHCA), means those patients, like Benner, would have to pay for health care out of pocket.

A dozen associations of medical professionals sent a letter to Congress in February urging them not to cut funding for Planned Parenthood because it would “severely curtail women’s access to essential health care services.”

“At a time when there is much uncertainty about the future of affordable health care in our country, it is dangerous to cut off access to the life-saving preventive care that Planned Parenthood provides to some of our nation’s most vulnerable patients,” the letter reads.

In a tweetstorm on Wednesday, Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards criticized politicians that have suggested other health care centers could absorb the organization’s patients if the AHCA cuts its funding.

“To justify this attack, politicians like @VP, @SpeakerRyan, & @SecPriceMD have repeatedly—& falsely—claimed women can just go elsewhere,” she tweeted. “Why can’t women just go somewhere else instead of PP? For starters, in many communities, there *is* nowhere else.”

‘Programs like that saved my life’

planned parenthood defunding abortionWhen Benner went to Planned Parenthood for the lump in her breast, the nurse examined it and set up an appointment with a radiologist for her to have a mammogram.

The results were inconclusive, so staff got Benner an appointment at a clinic in Rochester that diagnosed her with breast cancer that day.

She received a double mastectomy 2.5 weeks later.

If she had waited the three weeks for the earliest appointment with the local provider, Benner’s condition would likely have progressed to advanced, Stage IV breast cancer since it was moving into her lymphatic system. As she underwent chemotherapy and radiation, Planned Parenthood staff checked in on her, and the doctor there stuck with her throughout her treatment.

After Benner’s breast cancer went into remission, staff at her clinic asked if she wanted to share her story, and she started speaking out about her experience with Planned Parenthood. She met with members of Congress at the US Capitol and appears in an ad for the organization encouraging President Donald Trump to “stand with survivors, protect Planned Parenthood.”

“Without programs like this, I wouldn’t be alive,” she said. “My story, like many other stories I’ve heard since I told my story, show that Planned Parenthood is a necessary medical provider.”

The vote in the House on the AHCA is scheduled for Thursday.

SEE ALSO: The Trump-era Supreme Court could erode abortion access with a ‘death by 1,000 cuts’

DON’T MISS: Planned Parenthood is gearing up for a fight

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NOW WATCH: TRUMP: Women who want abortions may have to ‘go to another state’

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