Newsletter - Current News Newsen-us2014-04-19T23:47:18.263125-05:00Prosecutors confronting marijuana law’s challenges News&newsletterid=28204/16/2014 12:00:00 AMANNAPOLIS, Md. &#8212; A new law that will decriminalize marijuana in October involves some ambiguities that police and prosecutors are just beginning to confront.D.A. creates new unit to review homicide convictions News&newsletterid=28194/16/2014 12:00:00 AMIn announcing the creation of a new office to investigate claims of wrongful convictions, District Attorney Seth Williams proclaimed yesterday: "Philadelphians want us to charge the right people with the right crimes - nothing more and nothing less."&nbsp; His newly-minted Conviction Review Unit, headed by veteran homicide prosecutor Mark Gilson, will begin reinvestigating disputed homicide convictions that have "legitimate" claims of new evidence and declarations of innocence, Williams said at a news conference at his office.&nbsp; "The very legitimacy of the criminal-justice system comes when the populace believes that those who have violated laws are held accountable, and those that are truly innocent are set free," said Williams, who cautioned that the new unit is no "get-out-of-prison-free card."<br><a href="" target="_blank"></a>Man guilty of plot to decapitate judge, prosecutor News&newsletterid=28184/15/2014 12:00:00 AMNEW YORK - A con man already imprisoned in a collectible coin scam has been sentenced to life in prison for a failed plot to decapitate a New York judge and prosecutor.&nbsp; Another judge in Brooklyn imposed the sentence on Monday against Joseph Romano, 50.Court OKs Warrantless Animal Rescue When 'Appropriate' News&newsletterid=28174/15/2014 12:00:00 AMMassachusetts' highest court has ruled that officials may enter private property without a search warrant to rescue animals &#8220;in appropriate circumstances.&#8221;&nbsp; Ruling on an issue of first impression for the state&#8217;s high court on Friday in Commonwealth v. Heather M.Kansas shooting suspect to face hate-crime charges News&newsletterid=28164/15/2014 12:00:00 AMOVERLAND PARK, Kan. - Never one to keep his hatred to himself, Frazier Glenn Cross for decades sought out any soapbox to espouse his white-supremacist beliefs, twice running for federal office with campaigns steeped in anti-Semitism.Md. prosecutors urge veto of pot leniency bill News&newsletterid=28144/14/2014 12:00:00 AMFREDERICK, Md. &#8212; The Maryland State&#8217;s Attorneys Association is urging Gov.New FBI fingerprint technology key to resolving Illinois cold case News&newsletterid=28134/14/2014 12:00:00 AMNew FBI technology &#8212; including a sharper fingerprint identification system &#8212; is helping police resolve cold cases, such as the 1997 slaying of a teenage runaway from the northwest suburbs whose alleged killer was charged with the crime just last week.&nbsp; The federal agency's Next Generation Identification system sounds like the name of a futuristic crime show &#8212; and in some ways, it resembles one, with cutting-edge advances rolled out over the past few years.New York Prosecutors Open Another Front of Scrutiny for Port Authority News&newsletterid=28124/14/2014 12:00:00 AMManhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. subpoenaed a broad range of records last month from the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, a person familiar with the matter said, seeking information on some of the agency's highest-profile projects and correspondence among its top officials.Prosecutors Push Legislation to Combat Human Trafficking News&newsletterid=28114/11/2014 12:00:00 AMProsecutors from around the state spoke out this week in support of a bill -- drafted by the Riverside County District Attorney's Office -- aimed at cracking down on human traffickers while at the same time saving taxpayer dollars.&nbsp; "Senate Bill 939 ...Prosecutor's dad kidnapped in 'elaborate' plot; FBI rescues him News&newsletterid=28104/11/2014 12:00:00 AM(CNN) -- An elaborate kidnapping plot that targeted a Wake Forest, North Carolina, man ended with his dramatic rescue in Atlanta by an FBI hostage squad about midnight Wednesday, law enforcement said Thursday.&nbsp; Frank Arthur Janssen is receiving medical treatment but is safe after being held captive for five days by five people who face federal kidnapping charges, according to law enforcement officials who held a news conference in Wake Forest.Santa Clara County DA website launches sections on cold-case murders, consumer tips News&newsletterid=28094/10/2014 12:00:00 AMThe Santa Clara County Office of the District Attorney on Wednesday took its resurrected cold-case unit digital, hoping to enlist the public's assistance in solving old crimes.&nbsp; The office also began posting a "Consumer Corner" to help people avoid being victimized by scammers.State’s Attorney Alvarez: Caseload ‘staggering,’ funding shrinking News&newsletterid=28084/10/2014 12:00:00 AMHer office is struggling to keep up with the court system&#8217;s enormous crime and violence caseloads under countywide budget cuts, Cook County State&#8217;s Attorney Anita Alvarez complained to the City Club of Chicago on Tuesday.&nbsp; However, the county&#8217;s top prosecutor in her keynote also said she is buoyed by the success of new crime-fighting tools such as the state&#8217;s anti-racketeering and weapons laws targeting gangs, and is seeking to better battle sexual and domestic abuse crimes.Minnesota cops, prosecutors object to immunity in heroin bill News&newsletterid=28064/9/2014 12:00:00 AMDrug users who overdose and those who call 911 for help would be immune from prosecution under a bill that breezed through the Minnesota Senate on Tuesday by unanimous vote.&nbsp; But the measure, crafted as a response to the surge of heroin overdoses in the state, is triggering alarm among prosecutors and law enforcement officials, who say the immunity provision could protect drug dealers and other criminals.Prosecutor will appeal need for warrant for GPS News&newsletterid=28074/9/2014 12:00:00 AMThe Franklin County prosecutor will ask the Ohio Supreme Court to take up the issue of whether police can use GPS devices to track vehicles without a warrant.&nbsp; Ron O&#8217;Brien said he will make the request as an appeal of last week&#8217;s ruling by the Franklin County Court of Appeals, which upheld a judge&#8217;s decision to suppress evidence in a burglary case.Riverside prosecutors fight human trafficking with state bill that saves money, too News&newsletterid=28024/8/2014 12:00:00 AMRIVERSIDE &#8212; Prosecutors from around the state spoke out today in support of a bill &#8212; drafted by the Riverside County District Attorney&#8217;s Office &#8212; aimed at cracking down on human traffickers while at the same time saving taxpayer dollars.&nbsp; &#8220;Senate Bill 939 ...Santa Cruz DA puts target on repeat offenders News&newsletterid=28034/8/2014 12:00:00 AMSanta Cruz &gt;&gt; Over the next eight months, downtown Santa Cruz will be transformed into a criminal justice laboratory.&nbsp; Numerous local officials, including police, prosecutors, mental health providers, judges and elected officials, on Monday announced an intensive effort to target crime along the city's foremost public gathering strip, Pacific Avenue.Nassau DA Kathleen Rice renews call to reform animal protection legislation News&newsletterid=28044/8/2014 12:00:00 AMSome animal abusers escape harsher punishment in the state because animal protections are "tucked away" in agricultural law, next to rules on cheese marketing and bans on horses walking "plank roads," key animal advocates said yesterday in renewing calls for reform.&nbsp; Nassau District Attorney Kathleen Rice urged state lawmakers and animal lovers to push for her Consolidated Animal Crimes Bill, especially Wednesday, Humane Lobby Day, when animal advocates make their cases in Albany.Cook County State’s Attorney: More gang conspiracy cases coming, new division for domestic, sex assault cases News&newsletterid=28054/8/2014 12:00:00 AMIn what she called a &#8220;fresh approach&#8221; to targeting gun crimes, Cook County State&#8217;s Attorney Anita Alvarez said Tuesday she plans to increasingly use the state&#8217;s new anti-racketeering law to target gang leaders with sweeping indictments.&nbsp; Alvarez also told an audience at the City Club of Chicago luncheon that she will combine her office&#8217;s sex-assault and domestic violence units into a single division under one leader in an effort to increase efficiencies.Bristol County DA's Special Victims Unit brings abusers to justice News&newsletterid=28014/7/2014 12:00:00 AMFALL RIVER &#8212; The jury was out, and Assistant District Attorney Silvia Rudman sat on a wooden bench outside the courtroom.&nbsp; &#8220;It&#8217;s heart-breaking to see the impact child sex abuse has on the victims and their families,&#8221; Rudman said as she waited this past Wednesday for jurors in superior court to return their verdict in the trial of Roland Hill, a Taunton caretaker accused of physically abusing three children, one of them sexually.Ramsey County, St. Paul prosecutors focus on domestic violence, sex abuse cases News&newsletterid=28004/7/2014 12:00:00 AMA woman reports to police that her boyfriend hit her and she tried to call 911, but he took the phone away from her. She also confides a key detail to investigators: She was trying to break up with the man.Florida Senate OK’s ‘warning shot’ bill News&newsletterid=27974/4/2014 12:00:00 AMTALLAHASSEE -- The state Senate passed a bill Thursday that grants immunity to people with clean criminal records who fire a warning shot or threaten to use deadly force in self-defense. It also seals court records of those charged with firing a weapon but later have those charges dropped.DA plans rare strategy to try to keep sex offender in state hospital News&newsletterid=27984/4/2014 12:00:00 AMThe San Luis Obispo County District Attorney&#8217;s Office plans to present victims from decades-old crimes to a jury in an effort to keep a convicted sex offender with an intriguing past off the streets. But a defense attorney says James Hydrick has served his time and does not pose a threat to the public.New bill will add 14 new Mississippi prosecutors News&newsletterid=27954/3/2014 12:00:00 AMSouth Mississippi prosecutors will get more help from a bill passed by the House and Senate during a special session of the Legislature called Wednesday by Gov. Phil Bryant.Weapon Used To Kill Texas Prosecutor Found In Lake: Official News&newsletterid=27964/3/2014 12:00:00 AMDALLAS (AP) &#8212; A dive team has recovered a weapon from a North Texas lake that authorities say was used in the fatal shooting of a prosecutor last year, authorities said Wednesday.&nbsp; The gun was linked to the January 2013 slaying of Assistant District Attorney Mark Hasse outside a courthouse in Kaufman County, southeast of Dallas.Police, prosecutors, community groups focus on gang crime News&newsletterid=27924/2/2014 12:00:00 AMCombating gang activity in San Luis Obispo County continues to top the list of public safety priorities, but local programs to prevent youth gang involvement have flourished in the last three years, officials told the county Board of Supervisors Tuesday.&nbsp; That was the message the county&#8217;s Anti-Gang Coordinating Commission gave as it updated supervisors on its activities since 2009, when the supervisors approved the commission&#8217;s strategic plan.Phila. D.A. building bridges to LGBT community News&newsletterid=27934/2/2014 12:00:00 AMDistrict Attorney Seth Williams on Tuesday led the first of a series of forums to improve relations between law enforcement and the lesbian and gay community in Philadelphia.&nbsp; The focus of the forum, held at the District Attorney's Office, was safety and crime prevention, but it reflected a trend in law enforcement to better serve and be sensitive to the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) community.Palm Beach County criminal convictions up News&newsletterid=27944/2/2014 12:00:00 AMState Attorney Dave Aronberg told reporters this week that recently reported statewide statistics show his office is no longer dead last among the 20 judicial circuits for county criminal convictions.&nbsp; But there remains room for improvement, because the same data show the 15th circuit covering Palm Beach County still trails the statewide average for county criminal guilty pleas and verdicts.