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

Harvey Weinstein will reportedly turn himself in and face sexual-assault charges in New York

harvey weinstein

  • Harvey Weinstein is expected to surrender to authorities on Friday, according to the New York Daily News.
  • The sexual-assault charges stem from an investigation by the Manhattan district attorney’s office and the New York Police Department into allegations against Weinstein, the Daily News said.
  • Weinstein has denied any wrongdoing related to several allegations that have been reported. 

Harvey Weinstein is expected to surrender to authorities on Friday in relation to an investigation by the Manhattan district attorney’s office and the New York Police Department into sexual-assault allegations against him, according to the New York Daily News.

The disgraced Hollywood producer will face a sexual-assault charge related to allegations from at least one accuser, Lucia Evans, according to the Daily News. Evans has accused Weinstein of forcing her to perform oral sex on him, and though the allegation is from 2004, the statute of limitations does not apply in this case, the newspaper reported.

Evans was one of the women who accused Weinstein of sexual assault in an October article in The New Yorker. A bombshell New York Times story that same month detailed three decades of sexual-harassment allegations by women in Hollywood against the producer. These two news stories — and dozens of follow-ups — led Weinstein to leave the business and his firm, The Weinstein Company.

Evans told The New Yorker that in 2004, when she was an aspiring actress and college student, she met Weinstein at the offices of Miramax (the company he ran before The Weinstein Company), where Weinstein forced her to perform oral sex on him.

Weinstein has denied any wrongdoing related to Evans’ allegation and numerous others that have been reported.

An attorney for Weinstein, Benjamin Brafman, declined to comment to Business Insider about Weinstein’s possible surrender to authorities.

SEE ALSO: 8 women accuse Morgan Freeman of inappropriate behavior, including sexual harassment

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“American Justice on Trial: People v. Newton” – the untold story by Lise Pearlman

LiseLise Pearlman is a retired California judge and award-winning author who appeared in Stanley Nelson’s 2015 film, “The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution” as the country’s leading expert on the 1968 Huey Newton death penalty trial. You can find a description of her four critically-acclaimed history books and bio at She is currently producing a nonprofit film project, “American Justice on Trial: People v. Newton.”  It is a companion work to the prize-winning book All Things Crime Blog has asked her to write about in an exclusive series of blogs. © Lise Pearlman

American Justice on Trial: People v. Newton – the untold story by Lise Pearlman

This year marks the 50th anniversary of People v. Newton, the internationally-followed death penalty trial of Huey Newton, co-founder of the Black Panther Party. 1968 was one of the most turbulent years in that century. Those of us college-aged at that time would agree with TIME magazine’s assertion — 1968 was “the year that shaped a generation.”  Before the shocking assassinations of Martin Luther King and Senator Bobby Kennedy, there was already substantial unrest over both the Vietnam War and the nation’s history of race bias.

Justice on TrialIt was in the context of abusive police practices stretching back two decades that the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense was formed in October 1966. By 1968, it spawned branches across the country — using the international attention drawn to the Newton death penalty trial as the Party’s launching pad. Even to this day the influence of the Panthers is felt, as reflected in the extraordinary popularity of Stanley Nelson’s 2015 film, “The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution” and the sell-out crowds who flocked to the extended run of the 2016-17 golden anniversary retrospective on the Black Panther Party at the Oakland Museum of California. The Panthers were the spiritual –and sometimes literal — grandparents of the current Black Lives Matter Movement.

HueyNewton seated on a wicker throne with a spear in one hand and rifle in the other has become a lasting icon symbolizing black militancy. (The photo is of a painting hanging in Oakland’s Merritt College Student Lounge dedicated to former students Huey Newton and Bobby Seale). Newton undoubtedly inspired the Oakland-based character Erik Killmonger in the 2018 blockbuster Marvel comic feature film “Black Panther” directed by Oaklander Ryan Coogler.

But my book focuses on the untold story of the Newton trial – its lasting impact on the system of justice, primarily in their demand for a true “jury of one’s peers” in criminal cases, and what it suggests regarding the critical role of diversity in further needed reforms to our justice system today.

The Sixth Amendment to the Constitution promised criminal defendants a “jury of one’s peers” but never effectively delivered on that promise from the eighteenth century to 1968.  Instead, until the Newton trial it had been customary, particularly in death penalty cases, to seat white men exclusively, or with token participation by women and minorities. Nor were jurors questioned strongly about race bias. Newton and his lawyers changed all that. That one widely-watched trial would wind up revolutionizing the approach of defense counsel in seating criminal juries nationwide. It is a key reason — but not the only reason — I have argued that it should be recognized as “THE TRIAL OF THE 20th CENTURY.”  All the ground-breaking aspects of the 1968 Newton trial are included in my two books on the subject: The Sky’s the Limit: People v. Newton, The REAL Trial of the 20th Century? [Regent Press 2012] and American Justice on Trial: People v. Newton, [Regent Press 2016].

The 1968 murder trial of Huey Newton is now recognized as “a world-changing true story.” I am pleased to share that my book American Justice on Trial won a 2017 award for best book on Law and was named a finalist in Multiculturalism and U.S. History. Just this month, it was also named a finalist for the 2018 Next Generation Indie Book Awards in the category of “Current Events/Social Change.”  So I want to share with you why this is such an important story to revisit now.

Let’s begin my weekly blog entries with the “Author’s Note” to the book when it was released in the fall of 2016. I believe my observations then remain acutely relevant today:

As I write this, the nation is still reeling from multiple shocks in July 2016. First, as the month began, came yet two more videotaped incidents of police shooting to death black arrestees after many other such widely-publicized incidents over the previous several years. The day after the Fourth of July holiday, disturbing footage went viral of Baton Rouge police outside a convenience store firing repeatedly at 37-year-old Alton Sterling while two white policemen already had Sterling pinned face down on the ground. A day later, a thousand miles away in a suburb of St. Paul, Minnesota, the quick-thinking girl friend of Philando Castile used her cell phone to capture a local policeman still waving his gun outside Castile’s car window as Castile lay bleeding to death seated beside her following a traffic stop. This graphic image was followed within days by breaking news of a horrific sniper attack on Dallas policemen who were monitoring one of many Black Lives Matter protest rallies prompted by the deaths of Sterling and Castile. Then, on July 17, 2016 came another attack, this time on Baton Rouge police.

The carnage and proliferation of demonstrations and hostile reactions in the aftermath have drawn renewed national focus to fractured police-community relations in cities across country, the very issue that gave rise to the Black Panther Party a half century ago. Indeed, the day after video footage went viral of Castile dying from gunshot wounds following a traffic stop, AlterNet reporter Alexandra Rosenmann drew a direct comparison to the sensationalized 1968 murder trial of Panther Party co-founder Huey Newton. Rosenmann titled her web article, “Gun Rights, Police Brutality and the Case of the Century: Philando Castile’s tragic case of police brutality pulls one of the most famous cases back into focus.”   (Alexandra Rosenmann, “Gun Rights, Police Brutality and the Case of the Century,” Alternet, July 7,

The two incidents did start out in similar ways. In the early morning of October 28, 1967, Oakland policeman John Frey stopped the car Newton was driving to write a ticket for an unpaid traffic fine. A shootout ensued that left Officer Frey dead and Newton and a back-up officer seriously wounded. Newton claimed to have been unarmed and the victim of an abusive arrest; no gun belonging to Newton was found. His death penalty trial the following summer drew international attention to whether any black man could get a fair trial in America.

Before the deadly July 2016 incidents occurred, interviewees for this book had already noted the remarkable relevance of the 1968 Newton case to current events. Among them is William “Bill” Patterson, a former President of the Oakland NAACP and the first black foreman of the Alameda County Grand Jury: “It does resonate today. A young man [Oscar Grant III] being killed in the BART station by BART police and how that played out. The Florida case . . . again another young man [Trayvon Martin] shot to death. These situations continue to emerge and if we are not careful, we will find history repeating itself.”

In the past several months, both champions and critics of the Black Lives Matter movement have drawn parallels to the split among Americans in the turbulent 1960s. The comparisons reached a point where President Obama felt compelled to reassure the world, on July 9, 2016, that most Americans are not as divided as we were fifty years ago: “When we start suggesting that somehow, there’s this enormous polarization and we’re back to the situation in the ’60s, that’s just not true. You’re not seeing riots, and you’re not seeing police going after people who are protesting peacefully. . . . We’ve got a foundation to build on . . .” (Kathleen Hennessey, “Obama asks Americans not to fear a return to a dark past,” Associated Press, July 10, 2016) []

President Obama himself symbolizes the profound change in the fabric of our nation over the past half century. So, too, do black police chiefs like Dallas Police Chief David Brown. Chief Brown’s reaction to a black gunman ambushing randomly chosen white officers on the evening of July 7, 2016, captured the sentiments of most Americans: “We are heartbroken. There are no words to describe the atrocity that occurred in our city. All I know is this must stop: this divisiveness between our police and our citizens.” (Greg Hanlon, “Police Chief David Brown on Dallas Ambush of Officers: ‘All I Know Is This Must Stop,’” People: True Crime, (quoting Dallas Police Chief David Brown. July 7, 2016). []

This book scrutinizes the 1968 Newton trial and its context and poses the same questions President Obama and others have recently addressed: what has changed in this country in the last half century and what has not? How do we best move forward?

Lise Pearlman
Oakland, California
September 2016

Update May 2018: We can add several lethal police shooting incidents in the last twenty months to those I cited in 2016 and more violent protests and counter-protests. We are exhibiting far greater polarization as a nation than President Obama observed in 2016 and than I, or probably most of us, imagined could take hold just two years ago. The about-face in Washington by President Trump and Attorney General Sessions on Obama-era criminal justice policies and priorities clearly played a large role in ramping up the intensity of racial divides. Yet the two questions I asked then are equally relevant now. What has changed in this country in the last half century and what has not? How do we best move forward?

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A Chinese-Australian billionaire funded UN bribes investigated by the FBI, an Australian politician alleges

United Nations General Assembly

  • An Australian billionaire and political donor allegedly funded a $200,000 bribe to a former president of the UN General Assembly, according to an Australian MP.
  • The MP said he “confirmed” the identity of the alleged co-conspirator from US authorities.
  • $1.3 million in bribes were prepared for the UN president in hopes of helping Chinese business interests.
  • Billionaire Chau Chak Wing is an influential donor who has attracted attention in the past.

An Australian MP took an extraordinary step on Tuesday night when he claimed a mystery co-conspirator in an FBI bribery case is a Chinese born, Australian billionaire.

Andrew Hastie, the chair of Australia’s intelligence and security committee, identified political donor and philanthropist Chau Chak Wing as “co-conspirator 3 [CC-3]” who allegedly funded a $200,000 bribe to UN General Assembly president John Ashe in 2013.

Hastie met with US authorities last month where he said he “confirmed” the identity of CC-3, and then made the statement in parliament, a forum exempt from defamation laws, which Chau has used to sue multiple media outlets in the past.

“During discussions with US authorities I confirmed the long-suspected identity of CC-3. It is now my duty to inform the House and the Australian people that CC-3 is Dr Chau Chak Wing,” Hastie said.

“CC-3 is a Chinese-Australian citizen, he has also been a very significant donor to both of our major political parties. He has given more than $4 million since 2004, he has also donated $45 million to universities in Australia,” he said. [It is] the same man who conspired to bribe the UN president of the general assembly John Ashe.”

An FBI indictment previously referred to CC-3 as a Chinese real estate developer who requested Ashe’s attendance, in an official capacity, at a conference in China in return for a $200,000 payment. At that conference, Chauk and Ashe were photographed together, according to Hastie.

He added: “On November 4, 2013, John Ashe confirmed receipt of the $200,000 from China from one of CC-3’s companies.”

A number of defendants were convicted for supplying Ashe with $1.3 million in bribes, which he spent on Rolex watches, bespoke suits, BMW lease payments, and even a basketball court. The bribes were given in order to advance Chinese business interests. Ashe died before he got to trial.

“For reasons that are best undisclosed, the US government did not seek to charge CC-3 for his involvement in the bribery of John Ashe,” said Hastie, adding that Chau has consistently disputed similar allegations in the past.

Hastie also suggested a link between Chauk and China’s overseas influence arm, United Front. According to a government cable sent by a US consul general in China and described by Hastie, Chauk was allegedly the head of a business association that included the director of the United Front department and the association was “essentially a creature of the Chinese Communist Party’s United Front program.”

According to research by China expert Anne-Marie Bradysome of United Front’s activities include “co-opting” members of the elite to promote Beijing’s interests and using business people with links to the Chinese Communist Party to orchestrate targeted political donations.

Chau previously told The Australian he didn’t have any connections with United Front.

“For clarity, I am not and have never been a member of the Chinese Communist Party, and I completely reject the suggestion I have acted in any way on behalf of, or under instruction from, that ­entity,” he said.

Chinese interference is gaining more attention in Australia

china military flag

Earlier this month, Hillary Clinton warned that countries need to take China’s political interference “seriously.”

“What we’re seeing now is a desire by China to extend its influence and project its power. First throughout Asia — then, throughout the world,” Clinton said. “I would hope that Australia would stand up against efforts under the radar, as we say, to influence Australian politics and policy.”

Relations between Australia and China have significantly deteriorated since December last year when Canberra proposed broadening the definition of foreign interference, with Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull citing “disturbing reports about Chinese influence.”

“The central pillar of the government’s counter foreign interference strategy is sunlight,” said Hastie on Tuesday.

“In Australia it is clear that the Chinese Communist party is working to covertly interfere with our media, our universities, and also influence our political processes and public debates.”

SEE ALSO: An Australian state is ‘reviewing’ its relationship with a Chinese government-run education program over fears of covert foreign influence

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9 star lawyers helping blockchain companies navigate the tricky waters of cryptocurrency regulation (SQ)

Lindsay Lin

Considering bitcoin’s origins as a decentralized technology designed to disrupt the world banking system, it’s no surprise that the cryptocurrency community has a rather tepid relationship with financial regulators like the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). 

Meanwhile, alleged cryptocurrency scams like Centra Tech — which the SEC believes raised $32 million in a fraudulent initial coin offering last fall — have done little to help the relationship from the regulator’s perspective.

Add this complicated background to the fact that the SEC is still developing its official policy on how to regulate cryptocurrencies, and you’ve got an incredibly vague and shaky legal environment from which to try to run a business.

Now, as companies big and small compete for a piece of the cryptocurrency pie, much of the ground work is being done by an invisible force in the C-suite: the general counsel — which is to say, cryptocurrency companies’ in-house lawyers.

Many of the lawyers on this list have spent their careers in finance law or in-house at other tech companies. One lawyer went in-house just one year after finishing her law degree, while another held senior-level roles across three different presidential administrations before finding his way into the world of bitcoin. 

Whatever their experience, these 9 lawyers are helping some of the biggest names in cryptocurrency navigate the shaky and ever-changing landscape of blockchain regulation and compliance. 

Here’s who you need to know.

SEE ALSO: This partner at Sequoia Capital thinks cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups have big potential — and he’s investing millions.

Brynly Llyr — Corporate Counsel at Ripple

Undergrad: Mills College
Law school: University of California, Berkeley 

Why you should know her: 
Llyr’s career has spanned both tech and finance, making her uniquely qualified to work in cryptocurrency.

“I joined Ripple in 2016 for the company’s technology and vision,” Llyr told Business Insider. “Improving the efficiencies with payments helps real people around the world – many of whom are either shut out of the banking system altogether or are subject to high fees and poor visibility into the payment system.”

Prior to joining Ripple, she was at PayPal and eBay for a combined total of five years and managed a range of issues from litigation to patents. Before that, she was at a law firm representing both corporate and individual clients in regulatory investigations, among other things. 

But one of Llyr’s most defining experiences may likely be one that happened before she had a law degree at all. Llyr spent seven years as a project manager and stock broker at Charles Schwab, which gives her unparalleled understanding of the financial systems that Ripple is trying to conquer.

Mike Lempres — Chief Legal and Risk Officer at Coinbase

Undergrad: Dartmouth College
Law school: University of California, Berkeley 

Why you should know him: 
Lempres’ career has spanned both public and private sectors, including time in senior government positions under three different presidential administrations.

He joined Coinbase in January from a similar role at another blockchain company, Bitnet Technologies. Before that, he was assistant general counsel at Silicon Valley Bank’s financial group.

“I first heard about cryptocurrencies from friends who were on it very early. Later I was working at a bank that focused on technology companies in the Bay Area, and a few crypto companies were looking for a bank,” Lempres told Business Insider. “The space was fascinating to me, and I began to believe it could change the world […] I still love the technology and the legal art in this space. No looking back!”

Lempres also has a less conventional item on his resume — mayor of Atherton, an affluent Silicon Valley town and the most expensive zip code in America, which is home to influential tech billionaires like former HPE CEO Meg Whitman and former Google chairman Eric Schmidt. He still sits on the Atherton city council. 

Marco Santori — President and Chief Legal Officer at Blockchain

Undergrad: University of California, Berkeley 
Law school: University of Notre Dame 

Why you should know him: 
Santori is likely the crypto lawyer with the most name recognition among his peers — and with good reason. In addition to practicing law, he has been a central figure on the foundation level, helping bring legal clarity to a developing field. 

Santori joined Blockchain from Cooley LLP, where he was head of the financial technology group. While he’s spent most of his career at law firms, Santori started building a name for himself in crypto around 2013, when he joined the Bitcoin Foundation as chairman of the regulatory affairs committee.

He even co-authored the authoritative white paper on Simple Agreements for Future Tokens (SAFT) — a new investment vehicle which has given venture capitalists and other investors a way to invest in blockchain startups outside of the traditional equity model. The SAFT model is used by top investors, like Sequoia Capital’s Matt Huang, today. 

Read more about how SAFT investments have reimagined venture capital. 

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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Netflix has a captivating true-crime series in 'Evil Genius,' the wild story of a 'pizza bomber heist'

Evil Genius

  • Netflix has a popular and compelling new docuseries in its recent original series, “Evil Genius.”
  • The four-part series explores the wild criminal case surrounding the 2003 death of Brian Wells, a pizza-delivery man who died after robbing a bank in Erie, Pennsylvania.
  • “Evil Genius” has a 73% critic rating on Rotten Tomatoes, but it has drawn significant buzz from audiences as another captivating entry in Netflix’s true-crime catalog. 

Netflix has another captivating docuseries in its recent original series, “Evil Genius: The True Story of America’s Most Diabolical Bank Heist.”

Over four episodes, the series explores the criminal case surrounding the 2003 death of Brian Wells, a pizza-delivery man who robbed a bank in Erie, Pennsylvania. Wells died shortly afterward when a bomb strapped to his neck detonated in front of police. 

The robbery was planned and executed by a group of four “fractured intellectuals,” including a woman named Marjorie Diehl-Armstrong — a “middle-aged mastermind” grappling with mental illness — and her former fiance, Bill Rothstein, who are the focus of the series. 

Diehl-Armstrong died in federal prison in 2017, serving a life sentence for planning the heist and murder.

But “Evil Genius” complicates the narrative of the heist and case with new evidence and a noteworthy confession.  

Executive produced by Mark and Jay Duplass (the producers of Netflix’s “Wild Wild Country”), “Evil Genius” has a 73% critic rating on the reviews aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, but its 88% audience rating is reflective of the significant buzz the series has drawn since its release last Friday. 

CNN’s Brian Lawry had one of the more laudatory reviews of the series, writing, “With Evil Genius there’s actually a sense of discovery, and a crime spree so unusual that it genuinely approximates a Coen brothers movie, down to the quirky assortment of culprits and stooges.”

Watch a trailer for the series below, and find “Evil Genius” on Netflix.

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Robert Mueller scores a victory as federal judge allows criminal case against Paul Manafort to move forward

Paul Manafort

  • A federal judge in Washington DC is proceeding with the criminal case brought forward by special counsel Robert Mueller, regarding Paul Manafort, Trump’s former campaign chairman.
  • US district judge Amy Jackson declined to throw out the case against Manafort, who faces two indictments from the special counsel.
  • “Given the combination of his prominence within the campaign and his ties to Ukrainian officials supported by and operating out of Russia, as well as to Russian oligarchs, Manafort was an obvious person of interest,” the ruling said.

A federal judge in Washington DC is proceeding with the criminal case brought forward by special counsel Robert Mueller, regarding Paul Manafort, President Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman.

US district judge Amy Jackson declined to throw out the case against Manafort, who faces two indictments from the special counsel. Manafort is charged in Virginia and Washington with tax and bank fraud connected to his lobbying work for the Ukrainian government and pro-Russia interests in Ukraine.

The judge deemed that the indictment “falls squarely within that portion of the authority granted to the Special Counsel.”

“Given the combination of his prominence within the campaign and his ties to Ukrainian officials supported by and operating out of Russia, as well as to Russian oligarchs, Manafort was an obvious person of interest,” the ruling reads.

Judge Jackson previously dismissed a civil case Manafort filed against Mueller, in which Manafort’s attorneys argued that the scope of Mueller’s investigation was too broad.

Manafort’s lawyers’ previous push for dismissal hinged on the argument that because the crimes in question do not directly relate to Mueller’s core mandate — investigating whether members of Trump’s campaign colluded with Moscow — he was not authorized to charge Manafort with them.

Judge Jackson added that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein followed the appropriate rules and possessed the judicial authority when he appointed Mueller to investigate the Russian government’s efforts to influence the 2016 US presidential election.

In appointing Mueller in May 2017, Rosenstein gave him broad authority not only to investigate “any links and/or coordination between the Russian government and individuals associated” with the Trump campaign, but also to examine “any matters that arose or may arise directly from the investigation.”

Earlier this year, it surfaced that Rosenstein also sent a memo to Mueller in August outlining the full scope of his mandate and specific threads he was allowed to investigate.

Per the memo, Mueller is authorized to investigate two threads related to Manafort:

  • Whether Manafort colluded with Russian government officials as Russia was trying to meddle in the 2016 US election.
  • Whether he committed any crimes “arising out of payments he received from the Ukrainian government before and during the tenure of President Viktor Yanukovych.”

Manafort pleaded not guilty to all of the charges.

Sonam Sheth contributed reporting.

SEE ALSO: Trump’s lawyers are ‘anxious’ for a ruling in Manafort’s case as they gear up to take on Mueller

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HBO is making a series that will 're-examine' the murder case of the 'Serial' podcast


  • HBO and Sky Atlantic are making a documentary series that will “closely re-examine” the murder case of Adnan Syed, the subject of the popular podcast “Serial.”
  • The four-hour series, directed by Oscar-nominated documentarian Amy Berg, is titled “The Case Against Adnan Syed.”
  • The series promises “new discoveries, as well as groundbreaking revelations that challenge the state’s case” in Syed’s trial.

HBO is teaming with the UK’s Sky Atlantic to release a documentary series following the murder case and conviction of Adnan Syed, the subject of the first season of the popular podcast “Serial” from 2014.

Directed by Oscar-nominated documentarian Amy Berg (“Deliver Us From Evil”), the four-hour series is titled “The Case Against Adnan Syed.” 

The series will “closely re-examine” the 1999 disappearance and murder of 18-year-old Baltimore high school student Hae Min Lee, and the subsequent conviction of Syed, her ex-boyfriend.

A press release on the series states that the show will present “new discoveries, as well as groundbreaking revelations that challenge the state’s case.”

Syed was convicted and sentenced to life in prison in 2000 for Hae Min Lee’s murder. In March of this year, Maryland’s court of special appeals granted a retrial for Syed’s case. The Baltimore Sun reported this week that Syed’s prosecutors had asked the court to reverse the retrial ruling. 

Berg has been working on “The Case Against Adnan Syed” since 2015, per the release. The show will also feature original music from singer-songwriter Nick Cave. 

“We’ll be offering viewers a compelling window into one of the most talked about murder cases in recent years,” Sky director of programming Zai Bennett told Variety of the series. “The hugely talented Amy Berg has unprecedented access to those closest to the investigation, which is sure to make unmissable viewing.”

HBO has not yet announced a release date for the series. 

SEE ALSO: The best TV show of 2018 on each network so far — from FX to Netflix to HBO

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Fox News settles a slew of discrimination lawsuits for around $10 million

fox news

  • Fox News reportedly reached a $10 million settlement for several discrimination lawsuits filed by 18 current and former employees.
  • The ranged from claims of racial, gender, and pregnancy discrimination.
  • The settlement would force the plaintiffs to drop their claims and find employment elsewhere, never to return to Fox News’s parent company, 21st Century Fox.

Fox News reportedly reached a $10 million settlement for several discrimination lawsuits filed by 18 current and former employees, according to The New York Times.

The lawsuits ranged from claims of mistreatment based on racial, gender, and pregnancy, including one that alleged no action was taken after repeated complaints about what was described as “abhorrent, intolerable, unlawful and hostile racial discrimination.”

“When it comes to racial discrimination, 21st Century Fox has been operating as if it should be called 18th Century Fox,” Douglas Wigdor and Jeanne Christensen, representatives of the plaintiffs, previously said in a statement cited by BuzzFeed News.

Fox News denied the allegations.

“We believe these latest claims are without legal basis and look forward to proving that Fox News at all times has acted appropriately, and lawfully,” a spokesperson said regarding a pregnancy discrimination allegation in 2017. “[Fox] is committed to a diverse workplace that is free from all forms of discrimination.”

The plaintiffs included Fox News reporters who appear on radio and television, including Kelly Wright, a black employee of the network since 2003.

Wright claimed in his filing that he was marginalized by the network’s so-called “plantation-style management.”

The settlement would bind the plaintiffs to drop their claims and find employment elsewhere, never to return to Fox News’s parent company, 21st Century Fox, according to The Times. The parties would be barred from disclosing their respective settlement amounts, but will not prevent them from discussing their allegations.

The settlement marks the end of another chapter in the network’s history of scandals. A string of sexual-harassment allegations have ratteled the network previously — which led to the ouster of several influential figures in 2017, most notably Bill O’Reilly, and then-chairman and CEO Roger Ailes.

SEE ALSO: Fox News is in the middle of a class-action racial-discrimination lawsuit

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NXIVM sex cult case: Nicki Clyne retains criminal 'super' lawyer; but who's paying for it? – Artvoice

By Frank Parlato
Nicki Clyne has got a criminal lawyer. She made soon need one.
On May 4, Assistant US Attorney Moira Penza told the Federal Court in Brooklyn that, in addition to indicted co defendants, Keith Raniere and Allison Mack,  the US Attorney’s office would likely be bringing charges against others in the NXIVM sex cult case.
Penza told the court that new defendants may be charged within the next few weeks.
Although Penza did not name the targets, it is believed that Clyne, the former actress, who became a sex slave follower of Mack and Raniere, may be one of these.
Clyne has now retained New York criminal lawyer, Edward Sapone, a founding partner of Sapone & Petrillo, LLP of New York City.

According to an online profile  Sapone “focuses his practice on handling state and federal criminal defense cases that involve the following matters: white collar, financial, fraud, violent and narcotics crimes.”

Since Clyne appears to have little or no money for a retainer for a top shelf lawyer – she works in a vegan restaurant, – it seems likely that cult leader, Clare Bronfman is footing the bill for her attorney.

According to his online profile  “Mr. Sapone has been named in The National Trial Lawyers: Top 100, and he holds an Avvo ‘Superb’ rating. He has received a Citation of Honor from the president of the Borough of Queens, the Hon. Helen M. Marshall, and from New York state assemblyman Francisco P. Moya, as well as a Proclamation of Honor from New York state Sen. Jose Peralta.

“A faculty member at the National Institute for Trial Advocacy, Mr. Sapone has taught at the Maurice A. Deane School of Law at Hofstra University. In demand as a legal analyst, he has appeared on a number of media outlets, including Court TV, MSNBC, CNN and Univision. Mr. Sapone is the president of The New York Criminal Bar Association, and he is a member of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, the Association of the Bar of the City of New York, the Federal Bar Council and the New York State Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers.”

He has been selected to “Super Lawyers” from 2014-2018.

Bronfman – the enormously wealthy Seagram’s heiress who, along with her sister, Sara Bronfman- Igtet – have funded the criminal cult for 18 years – is likely paying at least 12 lawyers to defend members of the cult.
Bronfman is believed to be paying Keith Raniere’ five lawyers, [Marc A. Agnifilo, Paul DerOhannesian, II, Danielle Renee Smith, Jacob Kaplan, Teny Rose Geragos];
Allison Macks’ three lawyers [Sean Stephen Buckley, Steven Gary Kobre, William F. McGovern];
The team of medical malpractice attorneys representing human fright experimenter Dr. Brandon Porter and human female brander, Dr. Danielle Roberts. (Abrams Fensterman Michael S. Kelton lead attorney);
 India Oxenberg’s civil attorney, Carla DiMare, [retained to sue India’s mother Catherine Oxenberg and others]
Bronfman’s own lawyers [Dennis Burke, William Savino and others].

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Mamaroneck cops' lawyer blasts father's attorney in Gabriella Maria Boyd case – The Journal News |


Mamaroneck Police attorney John D'Alessandro speaks out on process and procedure of the officers.
John Meore,

Mamaroneck police have come under scrutiny in the aftermath of Gabriella Maria Boyd’s death, primarily because a lawyer for the girl’s father accused them of failing to enforce a court order that gave the father custody the day before she died in her mother’s home.

Now a lawyer for the police union is turning the tables, assailing the father’s lawyer for not doing enough to protect Gabriella.

“He may not be a criminal lawyer but he knows damn well the Constitution doesn’t give cops the right to break down the door and take a child,” John D’Alessandro said of Martin Rosen, the lawyer for Stephen Boyd. “He’s recklessly pointing fingers but can he look in the mirror and say he did his job to the best of his ability?”

The focus has not been on the violence that occurred when police arrived too late to save Gabriella on April 28. Rather questions have swirled about whether enough was done the previous day, when two officers went to the Chestnut Avenue home to serve the court order but were turned away by Cynthia Arce, Gabriella’s mother.

Before becoming an attorney and joining the Quinn Law Firm, D’Alessandro was a Yonkers detective for years. When he retired in 2005, he was commanding officer of the department’s child abuse investigation team. He had previously spent time heading the county’s child abuse team and following his retirement he was the coordinator of the county’s child fatality review team.

He said Rosen should have done several things that might have convinced police the girl was in danger:

  • Rosen should have gotten an order of protection.
  • He should have included emergency language directing police to act.
  •  He should have provided an official copy of the order — with the affidavit detailing the underlying concerns — to police, D’Alessandro said.

D’Alessandro said there was no sense of urgency on the part of police because there was nothing that led them to believe she was in danger.

“I can’t think of any cops who would have knocked down the door in this circumstance,” he said. “There just wasn’t enough there.”

Asked in an email Friday about D’Alessandro’s criticism, Rosen said he would respond after he returns from a vacation in Europe on Tuesday.

He did insist that it was “obvious that the judge felt (the) child was in danger. That is why the Order to Show Cause was signed in the form that was submitted.”

TIMELINE: Gabriella Boyd’s death

GABRIELLA: Was enough done to save her?

FATHER’S LAWYER: Police “refused” to enforce court order

The facts so far

Just after 1:30 p.m. on April 28, police responded to 507 Chestnut Ave. on a 911 call from the owner, Gabriella’s grandmother. They found the 2-year-old unresponsive and tried CPR. Arce allegedly attacked two officers with a pair of knives. An attempt to subdue her with a stun gun failed and another officer shot and injured her.

Gabriella later died at the hospital. The cause of death is still undetermined as the Medical Examiner awaits test results.

Arce was charged with attempted aggravated murder of a police officer and remains held without bail.

Two days after Gabriella’s death, Rosen held a press conference criticizing the police and District Attorney’s Office for “refusing” to enforce the order.

Village and police officials were mum in response, leaving police frustrated, D’Alessandro said. The Village of Mamaroneck Police Benevolent Association put out a statement two days later saying the officers had no indication that Gabriella was in danger and that they were told they had no authority to enter the home to take the girl.

The document police presented to Arce was a Family Court order granting temporary physical custody of Gabriella to the father, Stephen Boyd, and barring Arce from having contact with Boyd and the toddler.

Rosen had crafted the language as part of an Order to Show Cause he submitted to Judge Hal Greenwald on April 26, the day that Stephen Boyd received a disturbing phone call from Arce that led him to believe she was going to harm herself. 

Greenwald signed the order on April 27 and Rosen sent a copy of it to Boyd, who went to police headquarters to get them to serve the court order on Arce so he could get his daughter.

Everyone seems to have assumed that Arce would comply. Nobody planned for what would happen when she didn’t.

Stronger court order language?

Because Rosen wrote out the order that the judge signed, he could have written in language that police were directed to take the child, D’Alessandro suggested.

Then if the judge crossed it out, that would have said something about how serious he thought the situation was. If the judge kept that language in, that would have been the guidance police needed.

“That would have done the trick,” D’Alessandro said. “If the judged signed an order with that, it would have given cops the clear authority to take action and get the girl.”

Rosen did not directly address D’Alessandro’s point that Rosen should have included emergency language in the court order or language directing police to remove the child.

Even though police did not suspect Gabriella was in danger, they didn’t give up immediately.

They contacted a supervisor, who told them to reach out to the District Attorney’s Office. It was a Friday evening, so they reached out to prosecutors who were on weekend duty. They eventually heard back from Assistant District Attorney Mary Clark DiRusso, of the domestic violence bureau, who told them they had no authority to enter the house to get the girl.

“They’re cops, they have high school degrees, they’re not lawyers, they call the people who are supposed to have the answers,” D’Alessandro said. “And Mary made exactly the right call with what they had.”

Abuse hotline called

Police also called the state child abuse hotline, which triggered a notification of Westchester Child Protective Services. CPS initiated an investigation and reached out to the Mamaroneck police officers.

CPS investigators went to the house late that night but there was no answer. They did not ask for police to accompany them.

Police never went back to the house on Friday night or Saturday morning.

In refusing to comply with the order, Arce told the officers that Boyd had visitation with Gabriella the following day and they would handle it then.

D’Alessandro said the officers asked to see Gabriella but that Arce told them she was sleeping.

“If there was some belief that she was in danger, they would have said, ‘I don’t care if the child is asleep, wake her up and let us see her,’ ” D’Alessandro said. “But there was none of that.”

The visitation never took place as Arce told Boyd Saturday morning that Gabriella was sick and that she was taking her to the pediatrician. When Boyd checked with the doctor, at Rosen’s urging, he learned no appointment had been made.

Saturday morning actions questioned

If Rosen was fearful that Gabriella was in danger, D’Alessandro asked, why didn’t he or Boyd reach out to police Saturday morning to let them know Arce wasn’t going forward with the visitation and had lied about the pediatrician?

Asked whether police could have pursued an arrest warrant for criminal contempt because Arce was refusing a court order D’Alessandro said that was possible.

But he said that might not have been appropriate because they only had a copy of the order not the original and that might not have been proper service. There would have been some question about whether Arce could have intentionally violated a court order that she wasn’t properly served.

But D’Alessandro wasn’t certain that avenue was even explored by police and prosecutors.

He said the officers involved remain saddened by Gabriella’s death but are confident they did what they could with the information they had.

“The Mamaroneck cops have become the villains here but they had the least control in this whole situation,” D’Alessandro said. “We strongly believe they did everything they could. They didn’t blow this off. They took it very seriously and tried to do everything they could do within the law.”

Reporter Jorge Fitz-Gibbon contributed. Twitter: @jonbandler

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