Crime in the News - FindLaw Blotter
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Cultural Destruction Is Finally Prosecuted as a War Crime

The International Criminal Court is prosecuting cultural destruction for the first time. Last week it began proceedings against Ahmad al-Faqi al-Mahdi, leader of the Islamist extremist group Ansar Dine that took over Timbuktu in 2012 and destroyed ancient artifacts before being ousted in 2013.

In its statement announcing the surrender of al-Mahdi last month, the ICC explained the legal basis for prosecution of cultural destruction as a war crime: "Intentional attacks against historic monuments and buildings dedicated to religion are serious crimes under the Rome Statute -- the founding treaty of the ICC, adopted by more than 120 states from around the world. No longer should such reprehensible conduct go unpunished."

UCC Shooting Review: Oregon Gun Laws

Yesterday's shooting at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon left 10 people dead, seven injured, and many wondering how such tragedies became commonplace. It was the 45th school shooting in the US this year.

"Somehow this has become routine," observed President Obama, speaking to reporters after the incident was announced. "We are the only advanced country on Earth that sees these kinds of mass shootings every few months."

Things are going from bad to worse for price gouging pharma bro Martin Shkreli. Just days after he gained Internet infamy for jacking up the price of life-saving drugs some 5,000 percent, it was revealed that federal prosecutors are investigating Shkreli on criminal charges related to his former biotech company.

Shkreli allegedly admitted to owing his former company profits from insider information stock trading and is accused of misappropriation of company funds and defrauding shareholders.

Marijuana Arrests Happened Every 51 Seconds in the U.S. Last Year

States are increasingly legalizing marijuana, but weed smokers are still not getting off scot-free. A marijuana possession arrest happened every 51 seconds somewhere in the US last year, according to FBI data on American crime in 2014.

These figures show law enforcement is out of touch with the public it serves, say marijuana legalization advocates. They point to the FBI's 2014 figures for serious violent crimes -- murder, rape, and assault -- noting that half of these cases went unsolved.

Employees Can Defend Themselves Against Criminals, Says Utah Court

Imagine getting fired from your job because you defended yourself during a robbery. Oddly, such things happen. Now the Utah Supreme Court has ruled that workers under serious threat can defend themselves and sue for wrongful termination if they are fired for failing to follow company safety policies.

The ruling stems from a 2011 incident when a shoplifter pulled a gun on Walmart employees. Six workers were fired for fighting the armed shoplifter, a move justified by their failure to follow designated de-escalation policies, the company said.

The case of 'Baby Doe' took Boston, and eventually the nation, by storm when the female toddler's body was found in a trash bag on Deer Island in the Boston Harbor. Yesterday, the girl's mother and her boyfriend were arraigned in District Court, accused of murdering the girl and covering it up.

Michael McCarthy has been charged with murder and held without bail, while Rachelle Bond was charged as an accessory after the fact and had her bail set at $1 million. Both have pleaded not guilty.

Most Wanted Fugitives: Uncle Sam's Hunt for Healthcare Fraudsters

Healthcare fraud does not make for great drama like, say, a bank robbery. But it does cost taxpayers millions of dollars every year, and its perpetrators are dangerous criminals of the most deceptive kind.

These fraudsters are often doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals entrusted with our care, and their schemes endanger lives. But these are the people we'd be least likely to suspect of crime.

Now the threat of healthcare fraud is made abundantly clear with the Office of the Inspector General's Most Wanted Fugitives website.

The arrest of a black doctor and her husband in Mississippi has added to the tensions between white police officers and the black community and has raised questions about the legality of the arrest itself. What began as a routine traffic stop ended with Dr. Marcia Bowden and her husband, Ira Marche, in jail, and Dr. Bowden was even taken to the emergency room during the incident.

How did things escalate so quickly? It's early in the case and there are competing reports from Bowden and the police, but here are a few questions raised by the arrest:

Psychedelic drugs like lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD), psilocybin contained in "magic mushrooms," and methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) remain listed as Schedule I narcotics by the federal government. As a result, these drugs are illegal under the Controlled Substances Act (CSA).

But recent studies have shown that certain psychedelics, when paired with psychotherapy, can have positive impacts for patients suffering from anxiety, addiction, and post-traumatic stress disorders (PTSD). Does that mean your therapist can prescribe you acid, Molly, or some other psychedelic drug?

While rare, home burglaries are inevitable, and can be emotionally traumatic. Beyond the physical damage and financial loss, a break-in can be scary, even if you're not at home.

And while you may not be able to prevent all home robberies, there are some vital first steps you can take afterwards.