FindLaw Blotter - The Findlaw Crime and Criminals Blog

FindLaw Blotter - Crime Blog - Crime News - The FindLaw Crime and Criminals Blog


First Target, then Home Depot, now, everybody's favorite government agency, the IRS has been attacked by data thieves.

The IRS has admitted this week that 100,000 taxpayer files have been accessed by hackers in the last couple months. While 100,000 people is a small amount compared to the millions affected by Target's data breach, this theft is more worrisome because of how the thieves got the information.

The city of Cleveland and the Department of Justice (DOJ) reached an agreement Tuesday that will implement broad policing reforms focused on reducing the use of force and racial bias. The agreement follows a DOJ investigation in December that found the Cleveland Division of Police (CDP) "engages in a pattern or practice of the use of excessive force in violation of the Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution."

Cleveland has been one of the focal points of recent discussions and protests regarding police violence following the shooting of 12-year-old Tamir Rice and the acquittal of Officer Michael Brelo, who fired 49 shots at an unarmed couple following a police chase in 2012, killing them both.

Five years ago, a jury convicted Ingmar Guandique for the murder of Chandra Levy. It now appears that a new jury will re-hear the case.

Federal prosecutors have dropped their opposition to Gaundique's defense attorneys' requests for a new trial, paving the way for the case to return to court. Now the judge who presided over the first trial will decide if there will be a second.

Somebody smashed your car windows. Somebody stole your bike. Somebody mugged you in a dark alley after a night at the bar. Somebody assaulted you while you were drunk.

When you go to the police, they refuse to investigate your case. There are lots of reasons police won't pursue a case. Maybe the value of your loss is too little. Maybe after an initial look, there is just no evidence to warrant further work. Or bottom line, maybe the police think an investigation just isn't worth their very limited time and money.

Regardless of the reason given, what can you do if the police refuse to investigate your case?

A Baltimore grand jury indicted all six Baltimore police officers charged in the homicide of Freddie Gray. Gray died in April from injuries sustained while in police custody.

The officers allegedly gave Gray a "rough ride" in the back of a police van, resulting in fatal injuries to his spine. Gray's death had already sparked massive protests and riots in Baltimore, most of which were quieted with news of the criminal charges and arrests of the officers.

In April, Freddie Gray was arrested in West Baltimore for possessing a switchblade knife.

While most of the discourse surrounding this case has focused on police brutality, another important issue has arisen from the case: Knife laws. Baltimore prosecutor Marilyn Mosby claims that, under Maryland law, Gray's knife was not illegal. Alternatively, the arresting officers argue that the knife was illegal under Baltimore's ordinance.

With the different knife laws among cities and states, could they both be right?

Even though Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was sentenced to death last week, it could be another decade before he is executed. Tsarnaev was convicted in federal court, and the last federal execution took place in 2003.

There are a number of factors that contribute to the average time spent on death row, without taking into account the 152 exonerations of prisoners on death row since 1973. So how long will Tsarnaev's wait be?

Three years ago, Amanda Todd killed herself.

She was relentlessly harassed and bullied online. A man she met on Facebook charmed her into flashing her topless body to him. He took a picture and put it on the Internet where it went viral. Since then, Todd endured endless bullying and teasing. On October 10, 2012, she couldn't put up with the bullying and harassment any more and committed suicide.

Three years later, many people like Amanda are still victims of online harassment and bullying every day. Even celebrities are fair game. So what can you do to fight back against online harassment?

Pregnancy can be joyous, expectant, stressful, happy, or scary, or all of the above. Being pregnant in prison can be downright terrifying.

Statistics show that 4 to 7 percent of women entering prison are pregnant and a full 85 percent of incarcerated women are mothers. So what happens if you give birth in jail?

At the beginning of this year, 3,019 people are sitting in death row facing the death penalty. Last year 73 people were sentenced to death, and 35 were executed.

This month, Boston Bomber Dzokhar Tsarnaev was sentenced to death. However, he, and many other death row inmates, will spend years in prison awaiting several rounds of appeals before they are actually executed.