"Most of them will not be prisoners with medical conditions or severe mental illness, and many will undoubtedly be fine physical specimens who have developed intimidating muscles pumping iron in the prison gym."
Justice Antonin Scalia dissenting on the Supreme Court ruling to relieve prison overcrowding in California, which may lead to the early release of inmates.
Inked on the pudgy chest of a young Pico Rivera gangster who had been picked up and released on a minor offense was the scene of a 2004 liquor store slaying that had stumped Lloyd for more than four years.
Each key detail was right there: the Christmas lights that lined the roof of the liquor store where 23-year-old John Juarez was gunned down, the direction his body fell, the bowed street lamp across the way and the street sign — all under the chilling banner of RIVERA KILLS, a reference to the gang Rivera-13.
As if to seal the deal, below the collarbone of the gang member known by the alias “Chopper” was a miniature helicopter raining down bullets on the scene.
Lloyd’s discovery of the tattoo in 2008 launched a bizarre investigation that soon led to Anthony Garcia’s arrest for the shooting. Then sheriff’s detectives, posing as gang members, began talking to Garcia, 25, in his holding cell. They got a confession that this week led to a first-degree murder conviction in a killing investigators had once all but given up hope of solving.
Gov. Pat Quinn today signed into law a historic ban on the death penalty in Illinois and commuted the sentences of 15 death row inmates to life without parole.
The governor said he followed his conscience. He said he believed in signing the bill he also should “abolish the death penalty for everyone,” including those already on death row.
“Fellow citizens, we cannot escape history,” Quinn told reporters afterward. “I think it’s the right, just thing to abolish the death penalty.”
This is a clear example of political courage and moral leadership on a question of fundamental human rights. But it also represents a challenge to both citizens and elected officials of other states who have not thought critically about the death penalty or who currently refuse to do so. Take a good look at the facts, consider your other moral and political commitments, and start working toward the day when every American state comes to the same conclusion as Illinois: we can keep ourselves safe, we can stand for the rule of law, and we can support victims of violence … all without taking lives.
From MJ's biz investigator/Wisconsin watcher Andy Kroll:
At the time I published my story, David J. Stern owned four Ferraris, four Porsches, a pair of Mercedes-Benzes, and a Bugatti. While secretive in his personal and professional life, Stern’s wealth was conspicuous enough that Fort Lauderdale’s Water Taxi boat captains made sure to point out his $15 million, 16,000-square-foot mansion on the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway.
But last fall, the business empire that allowed Stern to live like a king began to crumble. Days after Mother Jones published my investigation into Stern and the world of foreclosure mills, the Florida attorney general announced a probe into Stern’s firm and two others to determine whether “improper documentation may have been created and filed with Florida courts to speed up foreclosure processes, potentially without the knowledge or consent of the homeowners involved.” It’s all been downhill since then for Stern…