Savannah, Ga. — A former Georgia prosecutor was indicted Thursday on misconduct charges alleging she used her position to shield the men who chased and killed Ahmaud Arbery from being charged with crimes immediately after the shootings. A grand jury in coastal Glynn County indicted former Brunswick Judicial Circuit District Attorney Jackie Johnson on a felony count of violating her oath of office and hindering a law enforcement officer, a misdemeanor. The indictment resulted from an investigation Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr requested last year into local prosecutors’ handling of Arbery’s slaying after a cellphone video of the shooting and a delay in charges sparked a national outcry. “While an indictment was returned today, our file is not closed, and we will continue to investigate in order to pursue justice,” Carr, a Republican, said in a statement.
Maricopa County, AZ - In Washington, D.C., members of a pro-Trump mob that stormed the Capitol and killed a police officer are so far being charged mainly with disorderly conduct and unlawful entry. The man photographed with his feet on Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s desk faces three charges that carry a maximum penalty of one year in prison. After the violent siege, some members of the mob simply returned to their hotel. Many were quick to point out an apparent double standard when compared to the way police in D.C. treated Black Lives Matter protesters over the summer—like when they tear gassed protesters to clear the way for a Trump photo op, or when row upon row of National Guard troops stood on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial...
Dozens of legal organizations around the world representing more than 500,000 lawyers along with over 200 individual lawyers today submitted a judicial complaint documenting a series of shocking violations of the judicial code of conduct by United States Judge Lewis A. Kaplan targeting human rights lawyer Steven Donziger after he helped Indigenous peoples win a historic judgment against Chevron in Ecuador to clean up the pollution caused by decades of oil drilling with no environmental controls. The complaint was formally filed by the National Lawyers Guild in conjunction with the International Association of Democratic Lawyers (IADL). IADL was founded in Paris in 1946 to fight to uphold the rule of law around the world and has consultative status with UN agencies. The complaint documents what its authors say is a pattern of ethics violations committed by Judge Kaplan, a former tobacco industry lawyer. Kaplan denied Donziger a jury, put in place a series of highly unusual courtroom tactics, severely restricted Donziger’s ability to mount a defense, and through his had picked judge to try him for criminal contempt has had him detained him at home for more than one year on contempt charges that were rejected by the U.S. Attorney, and allowed him to be prosecuted by a private law firm that has Chevron as a client.
For Assange however, justice delayed is not only justice denied. With global attention shifting from Wuhan to Washington, from Minneapolis to Lebanon, the father of two young children has spent another five months in incarceration without access to lawyers or family visitations. It follows what is approaching ten years of what the United Nations has repeatedly labeled arbitrary detention – the British government has so far failed to respond to three separate U.N. reports and correspondences on the matter. Serena Tinari, a Switzerland-based investigative journalist, condemned Britain’s handling of the case. “How can the U.K. behave in this way?” she said following Friday’s hearing. “It is unacceptable. It’s a travesty of justice. No access to lawyers for months?
We write to you as legal practitioners and legal academics to express our collective concerns about the violations of Mr. Julian Assange’s fundamental human, civil and political rights and the precedent his persecution is setting. We call on you to act in accordance with national and international law, human rights and the rule of law by bringing an end to the ongoing extradition proceedings and granting Mr. Assange his long overdue freedom – freedom from torture, arbitrary detention and deprivation of liberty, and political persecution. We remind the UK government that the right to a fair trial is a cornerstone of democracy and the rule of law. It is a basic human right. These provisions, along with long-standing common law principles, demand a fair and public hearing before an independent and impartial tribunal, the presumption of innocence until proven guilty, the right to be informed promptly and in detail of the nature and cause of the charges, the right to be provided with adequate time and facilities for the preparation of one’s defence, and the right to have the ability to communicate with one’s counsel.
Adham Amin Hassoun, a 58-year old US citizen and a Palestinian born in Lebanon, who is the first person detained indefinitely under the Patriot Act over terrorism-related charges, has been freed. Hassoun has been deported after a legal battle to hold him indefinitely failed, Associated Press reports. He left the US for an unknown country aboard a charter flight arranged by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Last month, a judge ordered his release because the government failed to prove he is a threat to national security.
The Center for Constitutional Rights and a coalition of other civil rights organizations are calling on federal prosecutors to release on bail two New York attorneys who are accused of throwing Molotov cocktails into an empty New York police car during protests in Brooklyn on May 30. The lawyers — Colinford Mattis and Urooj Rahman — are facing a minimum of 45 years in prison if convicted on the federal charges. The two were initially released on bail, but then the federal government challenged the bail conditions, sending them back to pretrial detention — a move that shocked many in the legal community since neither Mattis nor Rahman have a criminal history.
Chris Hedges discusses the extradition hearing of Julian Assange with lawyer, author and professor, Marjorie Cohn. Marjorie Cohn is professor emerita at the Thomas Jefferson School of Law, where she taught from 1991 to 2016, and a former president of the National Lawyers Guild. Professor Cohn is the editor of and a contributor to ‘The United States and Torture: Interrogation, Incarceration and Abuse’, and ‘Drones and Targeted Killings: Legal, Moral, and Geopolitical Issues’.
Four men have been charged with the destruction of federal property for allegedly trying to tear down a statue of US President Andrew Jackson in Washington, DC last week, according to a statement from the US Attorney's Office for the District of Columbia. The men are accused of damaging and attempting to tear down a statue depicting Jackson on June 20 in Lafayette Square, a seven-acre public park that sits right across the street from the White House and has been the site of racial inequality protests in recent weeks. The four men charged are 47-year-old Lee Michael Cantrell from Virginia, 20-year-old Connor Matthew Judd from Washington, DC, 37-year-old Ryan Lane from Maryland, and 37-year-old Graham Lloyd from Maine.
A coalition of four current and former district attorneys called on the State Bar of California on Monday to ban law enforcement unions from funding district attorney campaigns, saying the contributions represent a conflict of interest that must be urgently addressed in the wake of recent police killings of Black men and women. In a letter to the state bar association, the reform-minded district attorneys said their colleagues cannot ethically prosecute police officers if they are receiving funds and endorsements from unions that finance those officers’ legal expenses. “District Attorneys will undoubtedly review use of force incidents involving police officers,” San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin said in a statement. “When they do, the financial and political support of these unions should not be allowed to influence that decision making.”
On October 21, 2019, Assange appeared in court for an extradition hearing. Assange is being held in a British jail pending the US extradition, having served his sentence for going to the Ecuadorian, violating his bail condition, to avoid extradition. It is evident from this hearing that Assange is being railroaded and not receiving due process for an alleged crime that should not exist, i.e. being an editor and publisher that told the truth about US war crimes and other illegal actions, as well as the corporate control of US foreign policy. The judge refused to delay the hearing in the case when Assange’s lawyer, Mark Summers, argued that Assange’s extradition hearing should be delayed for three months.
Lead Prosecutor In Trump Inauguration Protest Trial Sanctioned For Due Process Violations Has Been Made Head Of Her Department
DC jurors weren’t particularly impressed with Assistant US Attorney Jennifer Kerkhoff’s claims that attending a protest makes one part of a conspiracy, as they failed to convict any of the nearly 200 people arrested during an anti-Trump protest. And Chief Judge Robert Morin, was similarly unimpressed by Kerkhoff’s decision to withhold evidence from the defense and mislead the court about it, which is why he sanctioned the prosecution. Yet, someone at the US Attorney’s Office must have been impressed, as since her ignominious defeat Kerkhoff has been promoted. From January 2017 to July 2018, the US Attorney’s Office attempted to criminalize protest itself through felony prosecutions of Trump Inauguration (J20) protests. According to their shocking theory, anyone who attended a protest was part of a criminal conspiracy. Acts such as marching or chanting were elements of a crime.
In a blow to the Trump administration’s efforts to quell dissent, on Thursday six defendants arrested at Inauguration Day “Disrupt J20” protests were found not guilty of all charges. The heavy prosecution of the “J20” case has become a bellwether for repression in the era of Trump, with this first wave of defendants facing multiple felonies and decades in prison for participating in—or simply being in proximity to—an anti-fascist and anti-capitalist mobilization. Betty Rothstein of Defend J20 Resistance said the acquittal “is a clear victory for the six defendants who were just tried, and a rejection of the government’s attempt to criminalize dissent.”
ByAndrea Germanos for Common Dreams. CODEPINK activist Desiree Fairooz, who was arrested after laughing during Attorney General Jeff Sessions' confirmation hearing, will face a second trial this fall after she rejected a plea deal on Friday. "I still cannot believe the government refuses to drop this. Vindictive!" she wrote on Twitter, while CODEPINK called it "ridiculous." She was convicted in May of disorderly and disruptive conduct during the hearing. While Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) argued that Sessions' record of "treating all Americans equally under the law is clear and well-documented," Fairooz, who was in the hearing room, laughed. She held up a sign that read "Support Civil Rights; Stop Sessions" as she was placed under arrest and taken out of the room.