FindLaw Blotter - The Findlaw Crime and Criminals Blog

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


Last week, federal agents raided the offices of Rentboy.com and arrested its CEO along with six other employees. The Justice Department alleged "Rentboy.com attempted to present a veneer of legality, when in fact this Internet brothel made millions of dollars from the promotion of illegal prostitution."

The authorities seem to have strong evidence that Rentboy was in violation of prostitution laws. Nonetheless, the raid has raised questions regarding the motivation and efficacy of busting the website. Many people contend that Rentboy helped to make sex work safer.

A 17-year-old high school student has been sentenced to 11 years in federal prison for using social media accounts to assist supporters of the Islamic State. U.S. officials have declared the militant group, also referred to as ISIL or ISIS, a terrorist organization.

Ali Shukri Amin admitted to using his Twitter account to provide advice on how to travel to Syria to join ISIL and how to use Bitcoin to funnel money to the group.

Kids are heading back to school, which may mean your house will be empty while you're at work all day. Even if your neighborhood has never experienced burglaries, that doesn't mean it won't happen.

Daytime burglaries are the most common and can be the costliest. Here are some tips to make your home harder for burglars to break into: 

Aurora, Colorado shooter James Holmes was recently sentenced to over 3,000 years in prison on top of 12 life terms. That could sound lenient (he did avoid the death penalty) or needlessly excessive (he'll never serve that many years). But his is only the fourth-longest prison sentence in United States history.

Who's gotten a longer prison sentence? Here are the top five:

In the two weeks following Dylann Roof's massacre of nine parishioners in a Charleston, South Carolina church, seven other churches in five states caught fire. A connection with the shooting, and with the history of racist violence against black churches, seemed obvious.

But none of these fires have been charged as hate crimes. Why not? Shouldn't all church burnings be hate crimes?

It's all about disruption these days -- Uber disrupted the taxi industry; Airbnb disrupted the hotel industry; Facebook disrupted everyone's productivity at work. So what's the next industry ripe for disruption?

One company will tell you it's the world of private investigations, and considering the recent Hack That Shall Not Be Named, the demand for P.I. services may never have been higher. So is it a good thing (or even legal) to have private investigators at the touch of an app?

Just as the Second Amendment doesn't guarantee you the right to have arms made out of actual, live bears (thanks, framers of the Constitution), it also doesn't guarantee you the right to any type of weaponry. Generally speaking, state gun control laws can restrict the types of firearms citizens may own.

A recent case in Massachusetts may stretch the limits of state gun restrictions, specifically whether the right to bear arms extends to Tasers and stun guns.

There are currently fourteen wildfires burning in California, covering a total of almost 250,000 acres. In the fourth year of a historic drought, keeping these fires contained has been a challenge for fire crews statewide.

So who's doing the firefighting? As it so happens, quite a few of California's prison inmates are helping battle the blazes.

Our legal system is predicated on the rule of law -- that our laws apply to everyone, equally, and that everyone is entitled to equal protection under the law. Nowhere is this principle more important and necessary than our criminal justice system.

We expect prosecutors to treat every defendant equally, but new research suggests this might not be the case. Instead, prosecutors often treat minority criminals far more harshly -- especially in terms of crimes carrying mandatory minimum sentences.

Most of us have heard the apocryphal tale of Kitty Genovese, a woman who was brutally attacked and murdered in New York in 1964 while her neighbors ignored her screams for help. While many of the details of that particular story have been refuted, anecdotes about neighbors who don't want to get involved in possible criminal situations abound.

As uncomfortable as intervention can be, none of us want to be known as the person who did nothing when calling the police might have saved someone's life. So when you hear your neighbors fighting, and it sounds bad, should you call the cops?