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

Attorney Aaron Spolin of Spolin Law PC Analyzes Criminal Law Bill SB 775, Signed by Governor Gavin Newsom Yesterday – KKTV 11 News

Published: Oct. 6, 2021 at 3:46 PM MDT|Updated: 8 hours ago

LOS ANGELES, Oct. 6, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Link to video: Aaron Spolin Analyzes SB 775

Attorney Aaron Spolin of Spolin Law P.C. Analyzes Criminal Law Bill SB 775, Signed by Governor...
Attorney Aaron Spolin of Spolin Law P.C. Analyzes Criminal Law Bill SB 775, Signed by Governor Gavin Newsom Yesterday. (PRNewsfoto/Spolin Law P.C.)

After spending months in the California state legislature, Senate Bill 775 was just signed into law yesterday, October 5th, 2021, by Governor Gavin Newsom. This revolutionary new bill will change the lives of hundreds of California inmates, resulting in many individuals leaving prison decades before they would otherwise be free.

Criminal appeals attorney Aaron Spolin explains this new law, how it will affect criminal cases, and how prison inmates can achieve their freedom if their cases fall under the law. Mr. Spolin’s analysis has been published in video form, viewable here.

The following information explains the history of the law and some details about its application.

What is Senate Bill 775?

This bill, sponsored by District 13 senator Josh Becker, was introduced to the State Senate on February 19th, 2021, passed by the Senate on June 2nd, and passed by assembly on September 10th. Now, just leaving the Governor’s desk, this recently signed bill will serve justice to those wrongly convicted of a killing by expanding on the legal protections stipulated in Senate Bill 1437.

How does Senate Bill 775 differ from Senate Bill 1437?

Senate Bill 1437, passed in 2018, prohibited prosecutors from seeking first or second-degree murder sentences for a “felony murder” case in which the person on trial was “not the actual killer, did not act with the intent to kill, or was not a major participant in the underlying felony who acted with reckless indifference to human life.”

Senate Bill 1437, and now its counterpart Senate Bill 775, challenged the previously established “natural and probable consequences doctrine” under which someone’s malice was implied solely by their participation in the crime.

As these bills sought to highlight, such a concept had many flaws and fails to consider many very probable scenarios. As a result, those who may have participated in a crime, but were unaware of the killing and had no intent to inflict harm were put behind bars for murder in the first or second degree alongside the killer themself.

However, while Senate Bill 1437 was the first legislation to initially highlight this disparity in the criminal justice system, it did have some holes of its own that Senate Bill 775 hopes to fill and address; among the largest being the expansion of the Senate Bill 1437 protection to those convicted of manslaughter and attempted murder, not just murder.

Prior to the passage of Senate Bill 775, defendants in these situations would oftentimes plead guilty to a lesser charge than murder, like manslaughter, with hopes of a shorter sentence and a chance at a normal life once again. However in doing so, these people cut themselves out of chance to receive the post-conviction relief offered solely to murder convicts under Senate Bill 1437. Additionally, individuals convicted of attempted murder paradoxically received a worse outcome than those convicted of murder.

Senate Bill 775 has changed that, now allowing those with attempted murder and manslaughter convictions to petition to have those crimes (and the corresponding sentences) removed. Having this relief granted is not guaranteed, however, as they and their lawyer will need to convince a judge that they were not a “major participant who acted with reckless indifference to human life.”

Learn More About How an Inmate Can Benefit:

To hear criminal appeals attorney Aaron Spolin provide further commentary about yesterday’s new law, watch his analysis at the Spolin Law P.C. website. Spolin Law P.C. has already overturned multiple murder convictions through SB 1437 (the parent law of SB 775). The firm is excited to help more inmates with the benefit of this new law.

For further questions or to speak with Aaron Spolin or another attorney at Spolin Law P.C., call (866) 716-2805.

SOURCE Spolin Law P.C.

The above press release was provided courtesy of PRNewswire. The views, opinions and statements in the press release are not endorsed by Gray Media Group nor do they necessarily state or reflect those of Gray Media Group, Inc.

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These Criminal Minds Episodes Are Based On Real-Life Cases – Looper

Some serial killers like to collect body parts and keep them as souvenirs. This certainly applies to the despicable villain in “The Eyes Have It” episode from the fifth season of “Criminal Minds.” In this one, the BAU is tasked with finding an Oklahoma-based killer who removes his murder victims’ eyes using surgical instruments. As a result of his crimes, the media dubs him “The Eye Snatcher.”

That might sound like the plot of a slasher movie, but the storyline was based on the exploits of an unidentified criminal known as Charles Albright, otherwise known as “The Eyeball Killer,” who wreaked havoc in Dallas in the 1990s. As Oxygen points out, he was a carpenter with a fondness for taxidermy who murdered at least three women before being sentenced to life in prison in 1991. 

However, as the report highlights, the evidence against Albright was circumstantial. This factor, coupled with his refusal to admit to any wrongdoing, has caused some people to believe that the real killer is still out there.

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Donziger enlists defense pro William Taylor for criminal appeal – Reuters

  • Zuckerman Spaeder partner contesting Steven Donziger’s conviction and sentence
  • Taylor known for defending ex-IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn
  • Recent clients include Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou

The company and law firm names shown above are generated automatically based on the text of the article. We are improving this feature as we continue to test and develop in beta. We welcome feedback, which you can provide using the feedback tab on the right of the page.

(Reuters) – Disbarred lawyer Steven Donziger, whose decades-long legal battle with Chevron Corp over rainforest pollution in Ecuador led to his own criminal contempt prosecution in New York, has enlisted a new lawyer to try to undo his conviction and prison sentence.

William Taylor, a founding partner at national law firm Zuckerman Spaeder, on Monday filed a notice that he will ask the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to review Donziger’s July conviction and sentencing last week. U.S. District Judge Loretta Preska in Manhattan sentenced Donziger to six month behind bars on Friday for defying court orders.

Taylor declined to comment. He will work alongside Donziger lawyer Martin Garbus of Offit Kurman. Rita Glavin, a special prosecutor in the case, declined to comment.

Taylor has taken many high-profile cases over the years. His most recent clients include Huawei chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou, who reached a deferred prosecution agreement with U.S. prosecutors last month over bank and wire fraud charges, and social media persona “Roaring Kitty,” whose online posts helped spark January’s trading frenzy in GameStop Corp.

The Washington, D.C., lawyer represented Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the former International Monetary Fund chief who was accused of sexually assaulting a New York hotel maid in 2011 before the criminal charges were dropped.

He also represented former Obama White House counsel and ex-Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom partner Gregory Craig, who was found not guilty in 2019 of lying about work he performed for Ukraine in a case that grew out of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation.

Though many of Donziger’s attorneys have represented him pro bono, his former lead lawyer Andrew Frisch sued him last year for non-payment. Taylor did not respond to a question asking about his decision to represent Donziger and how he will be paid.

Donziger, who was disbarred in New York last year, was charged in August 2019 with failing to turn over his computer, phones and other electronic devices, among other conduct. The New York City resident has been in home detention since August 2019 to address concerns of flight risk.

His contempt case stems from post-judgment orders in a civil case in which a Manhattan judge in 2014 barred enforcement in the United States of a $9.5 billion judgment against Chevron Corp that Donziger had won in an Ecuadorian court. The judge said the Ecuadorian judgment had been secured through bribery, fraud and extortion.

Donziger remains under home confinement. Preska ordered him to begin his sentence unless he files a motion for release pending appeal by Friday that requests expedited consideration, said Ronald Kuby, another lawyer for Donziger.

The case is United States v. Donziger, U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, No. 1:19-cr-00561.

For United States: Rita Glavin of Glavin PLLC; and Brian Maloney of Seward & Kissel

For Donziger: William Taylor of Zuckerman Spaeder; Martin Garbus of Offit Kurman; and Ronald Kuby

Read more:

Lawyer who sued Chevron sentenced to six months in contempt case

Disbarred Chevron foe Donziger pleads for time served sentence

Special prosecutor: ‘no specific recommendation’ on Donziger sentence

Sebastien Malo reporters on environmental, climate and energy litigation. Reach him at sebastien.malo@thomsonreuters.com

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The Character That Criminal Minds Fans Wish Was Never Replaced – Looper

Out of approximately 1,200 votes, half of the Redditors voted for Gideon, with Alex coming in second, and Kate in third. Gideon, played by Mandy Patinkin, was the senior profiler on the team for the first two seasons before Patinkin left the show and was replaced by Joe Mantegna as Rossi. Alex (Jeanne Tripplehorn), meanwhile, came in Season 8 after Emily (Paget Brewster) left and stayed for two seasons. Kate (Jennifer Love Hewitt) then replaced Alex in Season 10, before leaving at the end of the season — evidently, not every fan wanted her gone, as a few commenters argued in her favor.

However, Gideon got the most love in the comments, with fans voicing a particular interest in seeing him teamed up with Rossi, as they were once best friends who founded the BAU together. User u/ExpressIsland211 wrote a vivid description of how they imagined the potential dynamic: “Gideon and Rossi being the two exasperated parents to a team of grown up children (minus Hotch who’s like the uptight eldest sibling). Gideon is the wine mom who grounds them and likes sitting on a porch and looking at birds while Rossi is the cool vodka aunt with 3 failed marriages and hella cash money.” User u/Padamson96 agreed, saying, “The idea of an older Gideon and an older Rossi working together is so great it’s almost sinful.”

The only time the two characters are together in the series comes in Season 10 when the team finds out Gideon has been murdered. The episode gives a peek into Rossi and Gideon’s history through several flashbacks of their early days working together. One fan, user u/mr_mini_doxie, commented that they’d love to see more scenes of their younger selves. In a way, that’s probably more likely than Patinkin coming anywhere near “Criminal Minds” ever again.

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Jenner & Block Lands Ex-CIA Lawyer, Organized Crime Prosecutor – Bloomberg Law

Jenner & Block has landed Shreve Ariail, a former Central Intelligence Agency deputy general counsel and federal organized crime and gangs prosecutor, the firm said Monday.

Ariail joins Jenner as a partner in Washington in several firm practices. He is the seventh former government official to join the firm so far this year, and is one of 11 former federal prosecutors at the firm.

Ariail will advise clients in industries such as technology, which has seen a rising number of national security and other investigations.

“Shreve’s unique background and expertise will immediately benefit clients who are facing sensitive national security issues, government investigations, or other multidimensional matters of importance,” said Co-Managing Partners Katya Jestin and Randy Mehrberg, in a statement.

Ariail said in an interview that he expects to “be handling white-collar investigations and most with a national security angle.” That could include foreign investment matters that come before the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, called CFIUS, at the Treasury Department.

While he was at the CIA, which he joined in May 2018, Ariail was the Deputy General Counsel for Litigation and Investigations. He advised agency leadership and managed its response to executive branch and sensitive congressional investigations.

Ariail headed all agency litigation, supervising its role in criminal cases brought by the Justice Department. Those cases included prosecutions for espionage, material support to terrorism, theft of trade secrets, disclosure of classified information, cyber-hacking, fraud and money laundering, among other matters.

“Shreve has proven to be thoughtful, careful, and strategic over the course of his career in public service,” said David Bitkower, chair of Jenner & Block’s Investigations, Compliance and Defense Practice and chair of the Data Privacy and Cybersecurity Practice, in a statement.

“He will be a key resource for our clients as they navigate government enforcement and national security concerns and congressional scrutiny.”

Prior to joining the CIA, Ariail spent a decade as an Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York. While leading the Organized Crime and Gangs Section, he supervised a unit of more than 20 lawyers, investigators, and staff prosecuting violent and corrupt criminal enterprises and business organizations for racketeering, money-laundering, public corruption, narcotics trafficking, violence, bribery, extortion, and fraud.

He also investigated and prosecuted terrorism cases brought by the Justice Department. They included U.S. v. Ibrahim Harun, where Ariail and his colleagues won the 2017 conviction of a senior al-Qaeda terrorist for his role in the deaths of two U.S. servicemen in Afghanistan, and in a plot to bomb the U.S. Embassy in Nigeria.

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The Criminal Minds Episode Fans Agree Is One Of The Creepiest In The Series – Looper

The Season 7 episode “Heathridge Manor” dabbles in gothic horror and has a spectacularly unnerving ending. In the episode, the BAU are called in when a dead woman is discovered in an abandoned asylum, dressed for the 16th century. They suspect Satanic worship is at play, but as the story unravels, we discover that the killer is the delusional James Heathridge (“Veronica Mars” star Kyle Gallner). His mother believed her mission was to kill the Devil’s wives, going so far as to mutilate her own daughter to make her less appealing to the Devil. Since his mother’s death, James has had hallucinations of her telling him to continue the mission.

James kidnaps women and drowns them in a pseudo witch hunt. He enlists his sister, Lara (Madeleine Martin), in making them elaborate historical dresses, which he forces his victims into. As the BAU closes in on him, he turns on Lara, believing her to be corrupted, and nearly kills her. However, in a fight with Hotch (Thomas Gibson), James accidentally dies, and Lara is saved.

One of the local cops comments that Lara, the sister, will probably stay in the manor, calling it a “house that breeds delusions.” The camera then cuts away to some time in the near future, when Lara answers the door to find a tall, unidentifiable man dressed in black and carrying a cane decorated with a stylized cow skull. He, presumably the Devil, says he’s been waiting for her, but that it’s time for her to go with him. She takes his hand, but when the camera pulls away, she’s all alone — he is simply a hallucination. But of course, delusions are what drove her mother and brother to kill, so it leaves the audience wondering: What will Lara do next?

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Matt Gaetz Has Apparently Hired a Who’s Who of Sex-Crime Lawyers to Defend Him – Vanity Fair

One of them represented the gynecologist accused of sexual assault by 200 patients. 

The last time we checked in with the legal comings and goings of Congressman Matt Gaetz, things were not looking too hot for the Florida Republican from the perspective of not being charged with numerous crimes. Since the news broke this spring that he was under investigation for paying women for sex and, separately, for sleeping with a minor and transporting her across state lines, the various hits have included:

Gaetz has denied any and all allegations against him. And while the last month has seemingly brought a lull in developments re: his plight, which might lead some to believe the congressman, recently wed, is in the legal clear, a new report from The Daily Beast suggests that’s probably not the case:

While the federal sex crimes investigation into Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) has not fueled the kinds of explosive headlines it generated when the news first broke in late March, the case shows no signs of a slowdown. In fact, legal experts told The Daily Beast, the perceived lull is nothing outside the norm and can be chalked up to a number of factors—including a wide range of charges that investigators could be exploring. Although Gaetz and his allies like to interpret the lack of charges as an indication of innocence, the delays could just as easily suggest that the charges that could be coming down the pike are extremely grave and complex.

And if you were looking for an indication of just how seriously Gaetz himself is taking the prospect of charges, look no further than the high-powered team of attorneys the beleaguered Florida man has brought on for his defense.

That team, according to reporter Roger Sollenberger, includes attorney Marc Mukasey, who has defended the Trump Organization in a number of high-profile battles, as well as Isabelle Kirshner, a top criminal defense lawyer who represented Robert Hadden, the ex-Columbia University gynecologist accused by 200 patients of sexual assault. (In 2016, Hadden pleaded guilty to committing a criminal sexual act and forcibly touching two patients. He lost his medical license, but didn’t have to serve time in prison.) Meanwhile, Gaetz’s campaign has retained the services of New York trial lawyer Marc Fernich, who has the distinction of having defended some of history’s most notorious criminals, including monster Jeffrey Epstein, Mexican drug lord Joaquín Guzmán (a.k.a. El Chapo), and Keith Raniere, who was sentenced to 120 years in prison for running the NXIVM sex cult where women were branded and forced into sexual slavery.

All of which suggests Gaetz is taking the possibility of winding up in major legal trouble quite seriously!

Tristan Snell, a former assistant New York attorney general, told The Daily Beast that the lineup suggests the congressman is “anticipating a trial.”

“It looks like a scorched-earth approach,” Snell told The Daily Beast. “These are all big out-of-town lawyers. If your goal is to resolve something, you typically hire the top criminal defense attorney in the district, someone who’s a repeat customer there and has a good working relationship with that U.S. attorney’s office. But these attorneys can go down there, burn down the building, and not have to worry about going back in the next day.”

A spokesperson for Gaetz declined The Daily Beast’s request for comment. A lawyer familiar with the investigation told Sollenberger the defense team quite clearly reflects not just the gravity of the allegations but the scope of what the feds are looking into. “This is a sitting congressman, and they’ll fight everything tooth and nail,” the attorney said. “You’ve got to keep in mind there are a number of crimes under investigation here. There’s the [alleged] sex trafficking, prostitution, obstruction of justice, and the [Department of Justice] Public Integrity Unit has an even larger case with the political influence and marijuana stuff. And on top of that, it seems campaign finance as well.”

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Britney Spears’ Attorney Believes Law Enforcement Will Take ‘Hard Look’ Into Jamie Spears – Variety

After 13 years of being in charge of his daughter’s life, Britney Spears’ father has been suspended from her conservatorship. But the pop star’s attorney, Mathew Rosengart, is still pledging to fully investigate Jamie Spears’ conduct.

“Jamie Spears and others are going to face even more serious ramifications for his misconduct,” Rosengart said on Wednesday during a brief press conference, following the hearing that resulted in the suspension of Spears’ father.

“I said at the outset that my firm and I were going to take a top-to-bottom look at what Jamie Spears and his representatives have done here,” Rosengart added. “That’s already in process, and it will continue for as long as it can possibly do that to get justice for Britney.”

Rosengart declined to comment on whether he believes Spears’ father is guilty of criminal conduct. But, he told reporters and fans that he suspects law enforcement will be taking a “hard look” into recent allegations that the singer’s father was behind a secret surveillance operation in his famous daughter’s home, bugging her bedroom and tracking her phone, without her knowledge.

If true, those claims could qualify as criminal activity, given that California, where Spears’ home is located, is a two-party consent state.

“I used to work for the justice department. I don’t anymore. I don’t have that kind of power,” Rosengart, a former federal prosecutor, said Wednesday afternoon, outside the Los Angeles Superior Courthouse. “But I suspect law enforcement — and it’s law enforcement’s decision, not mine — will be taking a hard look at what the Times uncovered and reported.”

Last weekend, The New York Times released its second documentary, “Controlling Britney Spears,” which unveiled explosive allegations that Spears had been subjected to electronic surveillance. Among the publication’s findings is that Spears’ father had hired a firm, Black Box Security, which planted a bug in Spears’ home, capturing private conversations between her children, boyfriend and counsel. According to the doc, Spears’ father paid the security firm with funds from his daughter’s estate, in his role as conservator of her estate. A former employee of Black Box, Alex Vlasov, provided the Times with extensive proof and materials to support the accusations.

In court on Wednesday, Rosengart told the judge that Spears’ father had “plotted and schemed to place a listening device in my client’s bedroom.” Rosengart also praised Vlasov as a “whistleblower.” (An attorney for the elder Spears, Vivian Thoreen, told Judge Brenda Penny, “We looked into this. We dispute the allegations,” but she did not elaborate any further.)

Speaking outside of the courthouse on Wednesday, Rosengart told the crowd he believes Thoreen was aggressively fighting for the conservatorship to be terminated — rather than her client being suspended — because termination would have effectively absolved Spears’ father of any potential wrongdoing.

With suspension, Spears’ father is now obligated, under the law, to turn over his files to Spears’ new, short-term conservators. (Accountant John Zabel is assuming temporarily control of the estate until next steps are determined, though Rosengart expects the conservatorship to be fully terminated at the next hearing on November 12.)

Rosengart told the crowd that the files being turned over are supposed to consist of attorney-client communication between Spears’ father and his lawyers.

“One question we’re going to be asking in regards to Mr. Spears’ representatives, not just lawyers, is what did they know and when did they know it, in regards to eavesdropping and putting a listening device under Britney Spears’ bed in her bedroom,” Rosengart said. “Something is very, very troubling. That is something that is for law enforcement, and not myself, to make the ultimate conclusion on, but my firm will be looking into it.”

He continued, “The attorney-client communications between Mr. Spears, on the one hand, and his lawyers on the other, I believe, will reveal corruption…and that’s something that we look forward to vigorously looking into.”

Rosengart was also asked by a reporter about the rest of Spears’ family, but declined to comment. In June, when the singer testified, she told Judge Penny that she wants to “sue” her entire family and believes her conservators should be in jail.

“There is definitely something to celebrate, but it’s also a solemn day,” Rosengart said on Wednesday. “Britney Spears has been faced with a decade-long nightmare, a Kafkaesque nightmare, orchestrated by her father and others.”

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The Criminal Minds Episodes Fans Always Skip – Looper

Spencer Reid (Matthew Gray Gubler) is one of the most beloved characters in “Criminal Minds.” So much so, some fans have claimed that they want to be interrogated by the eccentric BAU profiler. Unsurprisingly, then, some of those admirers had a tough time watching the Season 12 episodes where he spends time in prison for a murder he didn’t commit.

For some viewers, the storyline was a chore. As one Reddit user highlights, the storyline “dragged on” for too long and became boring as a result. While some people did agree with this opinion, the general consensus in the comments section implied that it was just too tough to watch the heroic character suffer.

Others found the prison arc to be problematic. According to u/sophialovxx, it only served to create more “trauma” for a deeply troubled character before he got sent down. He didn’t deserve more misery.

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