Extra Extra : Justice (courts/crime/law)

Extra Extra Monday: National Guard cronyism, forfeiture abuse, a web of lawyers

Racial bias, cronyism tearing apart N.J. National Guard, senior officers allege | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com

The New Jersey National Guard prides itself on rigor and readiness, and, from its sprawling base southeast of Trenton, its members became a beacon of help after Tropical Storm Irene and Hurricane Sandy ravaged portions of the state. But internal records obtained by NJ Advance Media show the Guard now faces a storm of its own, with at least four senior officers, including two top minorities, alleging a "toxic command climate," fueled by racial discrimination and retaliatory actions.

Iowa forfeiture: A ‘system ...

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Municipal courts are well-oiled money machine

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch investigated the municipal court system and found a money-driven system favoring connections and cash over justice.

The report reveals the system is set up to operate in secret and to direct business to lawyers. It expands on the Department of Justice’s findings that Ferguson’s police department acted as a collection agency for a "constitutionally deficient" court.

To read the full story, click here.

Oregon man commits no crime, but held in jail for 900 days

A material witness in a murder case has been held in jail pending trial for nearly 900 days, according to a report by The Oregonian. Benito Vasquez-Hernandez, 58, spends his days like any other inmate at Washington County Jail, despite the fact he’s not charged with any crime.

After report, prosecutors charge man in connection with real estate fraud scheme

Prosecutors have charged a man in connection with a widespread real estate fraud scheme detailed in reports by KSHB-Kansas City.

Willis L. Watson, 35, faces nine different counts of felony forgery and theft, according to KSHB’s latest report.

Reporter Ryan Kath found that someone had been stealing homes by forging signature of both the living and the dead. Often, he found, the homeowners had no idea.

Kath discussed the investigation as part of IRE’s "Behind the Story" and "Story Shorts" series. 

Sex crime suspects rarely sent to prison in Southern Illinois

The Belleville News-Democrat has revealed in a three-part series that from 2005 to 2013, 70 percent of sex crimes reported to police in Southern Illinois were never even brought to a courtroom. Overall, in a 32-county area, only 1 in ten felony sex crimes suspects were convicted and sent to prison.

Perhaps even more disturbing, cases involving sexually assaulted children often go nowhere.

Click here for parts two and three.

Government hired collectors to go after debtors

Debt collection horror stories are nothing new. But there's a whole other side to the industry that no one’s talking about: collectors hired by government agencies to hunt down debtors.

CNNMoney spent months investigating this booming business and one of its biggest players, Linebarger Goggan Blair & Sampson. Hundreds of consumer complaints were analyzed from state attorneys general and the Federal Trade Commission, among other organizations, and dozens of attorneys and other experts were interviewed.

Oklahoma Parole Board grants few approvals

The Oklahoma Pardon and Parole Board recommended for parole just 30 of the 322 inmates that came before them in January, according to a report by The Oklahoman.

In recent months Gov. Mary Fallin appointed three board members – all with ties to the Oklahoma City Police Department or former Oklahoma County District Attorney Bob Macy. There are five seats on the board, although one is currently vacant.

Some defense attorneys believe the board is now stacked against inmate seeking clemency.

In D.C. area dozens killed for cooperating with police

According to a Washington Post examination of hundreds of police and court records, at least 37 people in Washington, D.C. and Maryland have been killed since 2004 for cooperating with law enforcement or out of fear that they might. Eighteen of those occurred in the District. Comparable data in Virginia could not be obtained.

In jurisdictions where homicides can be tough to prosecute even when witnesses to crimes cooperate, the killing of those witnesses has made it more difficult to bring criminals to justice, often resulting in violent offenders remaining on the streets. The slayings of seven witnesses or ...

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Extra Extra Roundup: Stolen weapons, wage enforcement and prison inmates

Business tangles with wage enforcement system for decades | Rocky Mountain PBS I-NEWS

More than 30 years of public records and internal documents dealing with Bradley Petroleum, one of Colorado's oldest employers, show the company has repeatedly been investigated for violating federal and state labor law, Rocky Mountain PBS I-News has found. In particular, for a pattern of suspending employees for shortages, reporting them to the police for alleged theft, and then permanently withholding the employee's final check despite a lack of evidence of any wrongdoing

 

No new conviction, but sent back to prison | Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

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Extra Extra Monday: Jailers without jails, deadly debris, and state medical examiners

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Only in Kentucky: Jailers Without Jails | Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting

Jeanette Miller Hughes is the personification of a wasteful, nepotism-laced but little-discussed system that costs Kentucky taxpayers approximately $2 million annually. She is one of 41 elected county jailers across the state who don’t have jails to run. And she is the highest paid of them all.

Only in Kentucky does this curious practice ...

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