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NAACP urges DOJ to press federal civil rights charges against George Zimmerman

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(Credit: Gary W. Green)

The NAACP has launched an online petition and written a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder urging the Dept. of Justice to press civil rights charges against George Zimmerman, who on Saturday night was acquitted over the death of unarmed 17-year-old Trayvon Martin.

From the letter to Holder:The Department of Justice has closely monitored the State of Florida’s prosecution of the case against George Zimmerman in the Trayvon Martin murder since it began. Today, with the acquittal of George Zimmerman, it is time for the Department of Justice to act . . .The most fundamental of civil rights — the right to life — was violated the night George Zimmerman stalked and then took the life of Trayvon Martin. We ask that the Department of Justice file civil rights charges against Mr. Zimmerman for this egregious violation.

Politicians like Rep. Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.) and Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.), along with civil rights icon Rev. Jesse Jackson, have expressed support for the NAACP’s sentiments and called for further review of the Zimmerman case.

As The Hill notes, however, the decision to pursue civil rights charges may be difficult: “The public pressure leaves Holder, the nation’s first African-American attorney general, facing a difficult decision on a controversial case that has grabbed the nation’s attention and sparked renewed debate about racial profiling.”

From The Hill:

The DOJ launched a review of the shooting earlier this year and Holder said that they would take proper action if they had evidence of a civil rights crime.“If we find evidence of a potential federal criminal civil rights crime, we will take appropriate action, and at every step, the facts and law will guide us forward,” said Holder in a speech in April to Al Sharpton’s National Action Network.

But Holder had cautioned in subsequent remarks that the DOJ faces a “very high barrier” when seeking to bring federal criminal charges in such cases.

Prachi Gupta is an Assistant News Editor for Salon, focusing on pop culture. Follow her on Twitter at @prachigu or email her at pgupta@salon.com.

About Post Author

Anthony Claret

Anthony-Claret is a software Engineer, entrepreneur and the founder of Codewit INC. Mr. Claret publishes and manages the content on Codewit Word News website and associated websites. He's a writer, IT Expert, great administrator, technology enthusiast, social media lover and all around digital guy.
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American Partial Justice: Man Convicted for Shooting Teenager

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Read Time:5 Minute, 21 Second

A Suffolk County jury on Saturday night found a black man guilty of manslaughter for shooting of an unarmed white teenager outside the man’s house last year, ending a racially charged trial.

John White after he was convicted on Saturday night.

The jury began deliberating on Wednesday, and on Friday indicated that it was deadlocked and racked with discord. But late Saturday night, it delivered its verdict: The man, John H. White, 54, was guilty of the second-degree manslaughter charge that prosecutors had sought, and of criminal possession of a weapon. Mr. White was allowed to remain free until sentencing, when he will face a maximum term of 5 to 15 years in prison.

Mr. White was convicted of shooting Daniel Cicciaro, 17, point-blank in the face on Aug. 9, 2006. Daniel and several friends had left a party and showed up Mr. White’s house just after 11 p.m. to challenge his son Aaron, then 19, to a fight, and had used threats, profanities and racial epithets. Mr. White awoke and grabbed a loaded Beretta pistol he kept in the garage of his house in Miller Place, a predominantly white hamlet on Long Island.

“We are elated and relieved and feel that Daniel has been vindicated and that justice has been served,” said Gregg Sarra, a longtime friend of the Cicciaro family and Daniel’s godfather.

“This situation was never about race, and we hope this verdict finally dispels the notion that any racism was involved,” he said. “The defense wanted to play the race card, and there was nothing there and the jury saw through that.”

After the verdict was delivered, the victim’s parents, Daniel and Joanne Cicciaro, hugged friends and relatives and walked out of the courtroom. Mr. Cicciaro raised his fist in the air and said, “Yeah, go Dano,” and Ms. Cicciaro said, “I love you, Daniel.”

The trial’s racial overtones were obvious from the start, suggesting that the tension associated with the Deep South was alive in a New York suburb with good schools, high property values and privileged children.

The courtroom gallery during the four-week trial was often clearly divided, with blacks seated on one side and whites on the other. Each family was buffered by intimidating groups: the White family by members of the Nation of Islam and the Cicciaros by burly men with shaved heads and biker clothing.

Mr. White testified that Aaron woke him from a deep sleep the night of the shooting, yelling that that “some kids are coming here to kill me.” Mr. White said he considered the angry teenagers a “lynch mob.”

He said their racist language recalled the hatred he saw as a child visiting the segregated Deep South and stories of his grandfather’s being chased out of Alabama in the 1920s by the Ku Klux Klan.

Mr. White testified that his grandfather taught him how to shoot and bequeathed him the pistol he used.

A lawyer for Mr. White, Frederick K. Brewington, insisted in his summation that this was a “modern-day lynch mob” and that Mr. White considered it “history replaying itself.”

“Race has so much to do with this case, ladies and gentlemen, that it is painful,” Mr. Brewington said. He told the jury that to convict Mr. White would betray advances in civil rights.

Mr. Brewington said the verdict “indicates a mindset that says, ‘We’re O.K. with what happened.’” He said the jury failed to take into account that “John White and his family were scared to death.”

The lead prosecutor, James Chalifoux, said the trial did not hinge on race, but rather on the rash actions of a quick-tempered man who kept an arsenal in his house in preparation for such a situation. Mr. White admitted in court that he had not hunted in years and that the Beretta was unlicensed.

Instead of trying to calm the unarmed teenagers, or simply locking his doors and waiting for the police, Mr. White grabbed an unlicensed pistol and stormed out of his house to confront the teenagers, Mr. Chalifoux said.

The prosecutor acknowledged that the teenagers used epithets, but called Mr. White and his lawyers disingenuous in invoking a racial defense, noting that they missed few chances to embellish testimony with inflammatory references, and he said they used the “lynch mob” strategy to distract the jury from the charges.

He cited trial testimony that indicated that Mr. White fanned the gun menacingly at each teenager and that Daniel did not lunge, but rather defiantly slapped the gun away, with Mr. White retraining it on him, then shooting him point-blank in the face.

But Mr. White said the shooting happened accidentally after he began turning to retreat and Daniel lunged at the gun. He testified that he told his wife to call 911.

On Saturday jurors asked for a rereading of the trial testimony of Mr. White, his wife, Sonia, and Aaron. The jurors did not comment after the verdict was read.

Testimony throughout the trial suggested two decent lives colliding in a suburban driveway that night because of an Internet hoax.

Daniel was described as a hard-working, popular teenager who ran his own thriving car repair business. His parents adamantly insisted outside court that their son was not a racist, noting that Ms. Cicciaro is of Puerto Rican heritage, and that he had black friends, including Aaron White.

Daniel apparently believed a false rumor that Aaron was responsible for a message on an Internet chat room that threatened the rape of a girl they all knew. He showed up at the Whites’ house that night to defend the girl’s honor, his parents said, and he crossed paths with Mr. White, a hard-working father of three who had spent a lifetime striving to better his family’s lot by continually moving to better neighborhoods. Mr. White had finally bought his “dream house” in Miller Place in 2005, he testified, where his son could attend a good high school. It was there that Aaron White met Daniel Cicciaro and his friends.

Angela Macropoulos contributed reporting from Riverhead, N.Y.

About Post Author

Anthony Claret

Anthony-Claret is a software Engineer, entrepreneur and the founder of Codewit INC. Mr. Claret publishes and manages the content on Codewit Word News website and associated websites. He's a writer, IT Expert, great administrator, technology enthusiast, social media lover and all around digital guy.
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Justin Bieber Pees Into Restaurant Mop Bucket, Curses Off Bill Clinton For No Apparent Reason

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Read Time:2 Minute, 4 Second
Justin Bieber is making headlines again for more bad behavior. Here, he attends a Miami Heat game in June. (Ameri/FAMEFLYNET PICTURES)

Some might think Justin Bieber has unfairly gotten a bad rap, but a new video of the 19-year-old carelessly peeing into a restaurant mop bucket doesn't add to any good-boy image.

TMZ obtained a video of Bieber relieving himself into a mop bucket in the back of an unidentified restaurant in New York City earlier this year. The singer — whom TMZ describes as an "oblivious, self-important little twit" — apparently saw no issue with it, laughing through the recording despite the fact that some unwitting employee probably had to clean that up.

To top it all off, at the end of the clip Bieber sprays a photo of Bill Clinton with a cleaning liquid and says "F**k Bill Clinton!"

When contacted by The Huffington Post, representatives for Bieber declined to comment.

The pop singer has been making fewer headlines about his music and more about his behavior recently. A Twitter meltdown, drugs on his tour bus and an insensitive message written in the guestbook at the Anne Frank House are some of the lowlights. Most recently, Bieber was banned from an indoor skydiving facility in Las Vegas after he failed to pay a $1,600 bill for him and his friends, whom staff described as "a disrespectful bunch."

Bieber has attempted to defend himself by reasoning "I'm young and I make mistakes." His mother thinks he is a good kid just going through some changes.

"I think it's the same with any parent of an adult child," Pattie Mallette told "Fox & Friends" during an interview Tuesday. "You know, once they turn 18, 19, and they move away from home and they start making their own decisions. The parenting style changes and you hope to still be a voice in their ear and you."

"You know, you've got to love them and encourage them and he knows what I think," she added. "He knows the things that I agree with. He knows the things that I disagree with. But he also knows the many things that I'm really proud of him for. He does a lot of great things that don't show up in the headlines."

About Post Author

Anthony Claret

Anthony-Claret is a software Engineer, entrepreneur and the founder of Codewit INC. Mr. Claret publishes and manages the content on Codewit Word News website and associated websites. He's a writer, IT Expert, great administrator, technology enthusiast, social media lover and all around digital guy.
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George Zimmerman Not Guilty and Not Innocent

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Read Time:5 Minute, 35 Second

After deliberating for more than 16 hours, a jury of six women on Saturday evening found George Zimmerman not guilty in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin, an unarmed 17-year-old in Sanford, Fla.
Zimmerman had pleaded not guilty to charges of second-degree murder with an affirmative defense, claiming he had shot Martin to save his own life after being attacked by the teen on Feb. 26, 2012. The trial, televised nationally on cable networks and streamed live across the Internet on various sites, kept the country captivated awaiting a verdict on the tragic events that took place that rainy night.
Following four weeks of testimony, more than a dozen witnesses and a host of controversy, Zimmerman walked out of court a free man.
The case first drew national attention during the 44 days the Sanford Police Department took to decide that Zimmerman should be arrested and charged with murder. During that tense period, protests were held across the country calling for Zimmerman's arrest. Those protests were buttressed by the controversy's strong presence across the Internet, with hashtags like #JusticeForTrayvon becoming mainstays on Twitter. Celebrities including LeBron James and his Miami Heat teammates and Jamie Foxx were photographed wearing hooded sweatshirts like Martin had been wearing the night he died.
That night, Martin was walking back to the home of his father's fiancee from a local 7-Eleven convenience store after purchasing a can of iced tea and a bag of Skittles. He was spotted by Zimmerman, a neighborhood watch volunteer, who thought Martin looked suspicious because of what he described as an unnaturally slow and meandering gait. Zimmerman called the police and proceeded to follow the teen through the Retreat at Twin Lakes, the gated community where Zimmerman lived and where Martin had been staying. A confrontation ensued, Zimmerman shot Martin, Martin died, and six weeks later, Zimmerman was arrested and charged with second-degree murder.
On March 16, 2012, police released audio of the 911 calls made by Twin Lakes residents who were witness to the altercation between Martin and Zimmerman occurring near their homes. In one chilling call, a voice can be heard screaming for help in the background. The wailing ends as the loud crack of a gun shot rings out. Those screams and the question of who was making them would become pivotal for both the prosecution and the defense, with the implication being that the person screaming was the one being attacked.
As attention around the case mounted before the trial, details emerged about the teenager and the man involved in the fatal confrontation.
It turned out this wasn't Zimmerman's first run-in with the law. He had previously been accused of domestic violence by a former girlfriend, and he had also previously been arrested for assaulting a police officer. More controversially, in July 2012, an evidence dump related to the investigation of Martin's death revealed that a younger female cousin of Zimmerman's had accused him of nearly two decades of sexual molestation and assault. In addition, she had accused members of Zimmerman's family, including his Peruvian-born mother, of being proudly racist against African Americans, and recalled a number of examples of perceived bigotry.
The national focus on the case also brought into question, for some, the character and life history of Trayvon Martin. As time passed, websites like The Daily Caller found Martin's posthumously scrubbed Twitter page, which featured the teen at times tweeting profanities and showing off fake gold teeth. To some, these behaviors, along with the hoodie Martin wore the night he was killed, were an indication that he was something other than an innocent teenage boy who was shot while walking home from the store. To others, the attention paid to Martin's tattoos, gold teeth and hoodie were symptomatic of the same kind of stereotyping and profiling that led to Zimmerman's assumption that the teen was "up to no good."
While much of this background information proved inadmissible at trial, the characterizations of the two men helped drive an often racially charged polarization on the issue at the heart of the case — whether the killing of Trayvon Martin was self-defense or murder.
The prosecution argued that Zimmerman had profiled Martin, deeming him "suspicious," as indicated by Zimmerman's description of the teen to the non-emergency hotline he called for police assistance. The prosecution said that he then stalked Martin, initiating an unnecessary confrontation that led to his shooting the 17-year-old in the chest at point-blank range.
The defense maintained that Zimmerman was just walking back to his car when Martin confronted him, punching him in his face and knocking him to the ground. According to the defense, Martin then mounted Zimmerman and smashed his head into the concrete pavement multiple times, forcing the older man to shoot the teen in order to save his own life.
Testimony at the trial was, at times, contentious. Defense attorney Don West aggressively questioned Rachel Jeantel, the friend to whom Martin was talking on the phone just before he was killed. Jeantel, who speaks English as a second language, kept her answers tersely short and stuck to her understanding of what had transpired that night, despite the defense's attempts to undermine her account. Her perceived lack of polish on the stand, though, thrust the teenager into a national conversation about whether she had hurt or helped the state's case.
The testimony of Dr. Shipping Bao, the medical examiner who performed the autopsy on Martin, was also highly contested. Bao often clashed with the defense as he repeatedly made sure that everyone in the courtroom understood the difference between what he saw as facts and what he considered opinions related to the case.
Both the prosecution and the defense went to great lengths to show who was screaming for help in the background of that 911 call. The prosecution called Trayvon Martin's mother, Sybrina Fulton, and his brother, Jahvaris Fulton, who testified that it was Martin. The defense called George Zimmerman's mother, father and a host of friends to testify that it was Zimmerman screaming.
Ultimately, there are only two people who ever knew for sure who was screaming for his life that fatal night. One of them is dead, and the other has been acquitted in his killing. And with that acquittal, this chapter of the Trayvon Martin case, one that has captivated and divided a country for almost 17 months, has been brought to a close.

About Post Author

Anthony Claret

Anthony-Claret is a software Engineer, entrepreneur and the founder of Codewit INC. Mr. Claret publishes and manages the content on Codewit Word News website and associated websites. He's a writer, IT Expert, great administrator, technology enthusiast, social media lover and all around digital guy.
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US Attorney General Eric Holder faces big decision on Zimmerman

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Read Time:3 Minute, 3 Second

 

Attorney General Eric Holder faces a crucial decision on whether to press federal civil rights charges against George Zimmerman, after the neighborhood watchman was acquitted Saturday in the shooting death of unarmed black teenager Trayvon Martin.

The NAACP and other leading civil rights groups are pressing for Holder to open a federal case against Zimmerman, after he was found not guilty on second-degree murder and manslaughter charges by a Florida jury.

The public pressure leaves Holder, the nation’s first African-American attorney general, facing a difficult decision on a controversial case that has grabbed the nation’s attention and sparked renewed debate about racial profiling. 

In a statement from NAACP President Ben Jealous, the civil rights group said they were “not done demanding justice for Trayvon Martin.”

“The most fundamental of civil rights—the right to life—was violated the night George Zimmerman stalked and then took the life of Trayvon Martin. We ask that the Department of Justice file civil rights charges against Mr. Zimmerman for this egregious violation,” said the group in a petition unveiled Saturday night. “Please address the travesties of the tragic death of Trayvon Martin by acting today.”

On CNN Sunday, civil rights leader Rev. Jesse Jackson also demanded that the Justice Department “intervene” and “take this to another level.”

Many Democratic lawmakers are also joining those calls, with Rep. Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.) tweeting a message from Jealous asking for the DOJ to act.

Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) tweeted he was “deeply saddened” by the verdict, but was “pleased that DOJ is continuing to evaluate evidence.” 

The DOJ launched a review of the shooting earlier this year and Holder said that they would take proper action if they had evidence of a civil rights crime. 

“If we find evidence of a potential federal criminal civil rights crime, we will take appropriate action, and at every step, the facts and law will guide us forward,” said Holder in a speech in April to Al Sharpton’s National Action Network. 

But Holder had cautioned in subsequent remarks that the DOJ faces a “very high barrier” when seeking to bring federal criminal charges in such cases.

The decision to act against Zimmerman after a jury acquitted him could also put Holder again at odds with Republican lawmakers, with whom he has had a contentious relationship. 

The House voted him in contempt last year after he failed to turn over documents subpoenaed in a probe of the ATF’s botched gun-tracking program, Operation Fast and Furious. 

Holder has also faced congressional anger over the DOJ’s probe of journalists over national security leaks, including questions about whether he lied when testifying before Congress that he was unaware of efforts to prosecute reporters.

Holder spoke in April about the shooting death of Trayvon Martin personally, saying that “as a parent, I reacted to it.”

“This is a pain that no parent should have to endure. The notion of having to bury a child is something that is, I think in some ways for a parent, the ultimate pain,” Holder said. 

“The primary responsibility we have in the Justice Department is to support the state in its ongoing investigation, to do our own thorough and parallel investigation which we are in the process of doing and try to resolve this matter in as fair and complete a way and as quickly as we can.”

About Post Author

Anthony Claret

Anthony-Claret is a software Engineer, entrepreneur and the founder of Codewit INC. Mr. Claret publishes and manages the content on Codewit Word News website and associated websites. He's a writer, IT Expert, great administrator, technology enthusiast, social media lover and all around digital guy.
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US Injustice: Marissa Alexander Gets 20 Years For Firing Warning Shot

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Read Time:6 Minute, 24 Second
TAMPA, Fla. — Marissa Alexander had never been arrested before she fired a bullet at a wall one day in 2010 to scare off her husband when she felt he was threatening her. Nobody got hurt, but this month a northeast Florida judge was bound by state law to sentence her to 20 years in prison.

Alexander, a 31-year-old mother of a toddler and 11-year-old twins, knew it was coming. She had claimed self-defense, tried to invoke Florida's "stand your ground" law and rejected plea deals that could have gotten her a much shorter sentence. A jury found her guilty as charged: aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. Because she fired a gun while committing a felony, Florida's mandatory-minimum gun law dictated the 20-year sentence.

Her case in Jacksonville has drawn a fresh round of criticism aimed at mandatory-minimum sentencing laws. The local NAACP chapter and the district's African-American congresswoman say blacks more often are incarcerated for long periods because of overzealous prosecutors and judges bound by the wrong-headed statute. Alexander is black.

It also has added fuel to the controversy over Florida's "stand your ground" law, which the judge would not allow Alexander to invoke. State Attorney Angela Corey, who also is overseeing the prosecution of shooter George Zimmerman in the Trayvon Martin case, stands by the handling of Alexander's case. Corey says she believes Alexander aimed the gun at the man and his two sons, and the bullet she fired could have ricocheted and hit any of them.

At the May 11 sentencing, Alexander's relatives begged Circuit Judge James Daniel for leniency but he said the decision was "out of my hands."

"The Legislature has not given me the discretion to do what the family and many others have asked me to do," he said.

The state's "10-20-life" law was implemented in 1999 and credited with helping to lower the violent crime rate. Anyone who shows a gun in the commission of certain felonies gets an automatic 10 years in prison. Fire the gun, and it's an automatic 20 years. Shoot and wound someone, and it's 25 years to life.

Critics say Alexander's case underscores the unfair sentences that can result when laws strip judges of discretion. About two-thirds of the states have mandatory-minimum sentencing laws, mostly for drug crimes, according to a website for the Families Against Mandatory Minimums advocacy group.

"We're not saying she's not guilty of a crime, we're not saying that she doesn't deserve some sort of sanction by the court," said Greg Newburn, Florida director for the group. Rather, he said, the judge should have the authority to decide an appropriate sanction after hearing all the unique circumstances of the case.

U.S. Rep. Corinne Brown, D-Jacksonville, has been an advocate for Alexander. Brown was present at the sentencing, where she and Corey had a brief, terse exchange afterward as sign-toting supporters rallied outside the courthouse.

"The Florida criminal justice system has sent two clear messages today," Brown said afterward. "One is that if women who are victims of domestic violence try to protect themselves, the `Stand Your Ground Law' will not apply to them. … The second message is that if you are black, the system will treat you differently."

Victor Crist was a Republican state legislator who crafted the "10-20-life" bill enacted in 1999 in Gov. Jeb Bush's first term. He said Alexander's sentence – if she truly did fire a warning shot and wasn't trying to kill her husband – is not what lawmakers wanted.

"We were trying to get at the thug who was robbing a liquor store who had a gun in his possession or pulled out the gun and threatened someone or shot someone during the commission of the crime," said Crist, who served in the state House and Senate for 18 years before being elected Hillsborough County commissioner.

On Aug. 1, 2010, Alexander was working for a payroll software company. She was estranged from her husband, Rico Gray, and had a restraining order against him, even though they'd had a baby together just nine days before. Thinking he was gone, she went to their former home to retrieve the rest of her clothes, family members said.

An argument ensued, and Alexander said she feared for her life when she went out to her vehicle and retrieved the gun she legally owned. She came back inside and ended up firing a shot into the wall, which ricocheted into the ceiling.

Gray testified that he saw Alexander point the gun at him and looked away before she fired the shot. He claims she was the aggressor, and he had begged her to put away the weapon.

A judge threw out Alexander's "stand your ground" self-defense claim, noting that she could have run out of the house to escape her husband but instead got the gun and went back inside. Alexander rejected a plea deal that would have resulted in a three-year prison sentence and chose to go to trial. A jury deliberated 12 minutes before convicting her.

"The irony of the 10-20-life law is the people who actually think they're innocent of the crime, they roll the dice and take their chances, and they get the really harsh prison sentences," Newburn said. "Whereas the people who think they are actually guilty of the crime take the plea deal and get out (of prison) well before. So it certainly isn't working the way it is intended."

Alexander was also charged with domestic battery four months after the shooting in another assault on Gray. She pleaded no contest and was sentenced to time served.

Her family says that doesn't erase the fact that a relatively law-abiding person – a woman with a master's degree – who was making positive contributions to society will endure prison for two decades over a single violation in which no one was hurt.

"She had a restraining order against him. Now Marissa is incarcerated and he's not," said her father, Raoul Jenkins. "I'm wrestling with that in my mind and trying to determine how the system worked that detail out. It's really frustrating."

Newburn says Alexander's case is not an isolated incident, and that people ensnared by mandatory-minimum laws cross racial barriers.

In central Florida, a white man named Orville Lee Wollard is nearly two years into a 20-year sentence for firing his gun inside his house to scare his daughter's boyfriend. Prosecutors contended that Wollard was shooting at the young man and missed.

He rejected a plea deal that offered probation but no prison time. Like Alexander, he took his chances at trial and was convicted of aggravated assault with a firearm. Circuit Judge Donald Jacobsen said he was "duty bound" by the 10-20-life law to impose the harsh sentence.

"I would say that, if it wasn't for the minimum mandatory aspect of this, I would use my discretion and impose some separate sentence, having taken into consideration the circumstances of this event," Jacobsen said.

About Post Author

Anthony Claret

Anthony-Claret is a software Engineer, entrepreneur and the founder of Codewit INC. Mr. Claret publishes and manages the content on Codewit Word News website and associated websites. He's a writer, IT Expert, great administrator, technology enthusiast, social media lover and all around digital guy.
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Obama Files Federal Charges Against George Zimmerman Following Acquittal

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Read Time:1 Minute, 48 Second

Just when we thought the George Zimmerman/Trayvon Martin case was over after Zimmerman’s acquittal, the Obama Administration has taken the steps needed to file federal charges, thus sidestepping the well established double jeopardy, against Zimmerman. Unidentified sources within the Administration have confirmed that Obama, and Justice Eric Holder at the Department of Justice have filed charges against Zimmerman for “violating Trayvon Martin’s civil rights”.

Double jeopardy is an often misunderstood concept in American Law. The rule merely states that an individual cannot be tried twice for the same crime in the SAME COURT. Liberal Justice Department officials often charge Americans with crimes from which they have previously been acquitted by filing federal charges on a similar crime in a federal court.

At approximately 10:01 pm EST this evening Judge Debra Nelson (pictured right) announced that the all women jury had found Zimmerman not guilty of fatally shooting and killing the 17-year old Trayvon Martin in Sanford, FL, just over one year ago.

The case has received national attention and nearly wall-to-wall coverage on all mainstream media outlets. While Al Sharpton and the entire staff at MSNBC has advocated heavily for a guilty verdict, we on the right have been praying for an acquittal for Zimmerman who was simply exercising his right to “Stand your Ground” (a Florida statute that apparently allows individuals to follow, track, then attack young Black youth before shooting them dead if feeling at all threatened throughout the process).

Obama has actively used his influence throughout the case (think “If I had a son he would look like Trayvon”). Earlier this week, multiple sources, including Fox News, Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck and the entire right wing, has reported on the involvement of the Federal Government in spending millions of dollars in support of anti-Zimmerman protests (race riots). According to Fox News, ” The Community Relations Service (CRS), a unit of DOJ, reported expenses related to its deployment in Sanford to help manage protests between March and April 2012, according to documents obtained by the watchdog group Judicial Watch.”

About Post Author

Anthony Claret

Anthony-Claret is a software Engineer, entrepreneur and the founder of Codewit INC. Mr. Claret publishes and manages the content on Codewit Word News website and associated websites. He's a writer, IT Expert, great administrator, technology enthusiast, social media lover and all around digital guy.
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Jury finds George Zimmerman not guilty

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Read Time:4 Minute, 6 Second

George Zimmerman is acquitted by a Florida jury on all charges in the shooting of teenager Trayvon Martin.

SANFORD, Fla. — In a case that touched off a national debate on race and guns, George Zimmerman was acquitted of all charges in the shooting of Trayvon Martin, an unarmed black teenager killed during a confrontation on a rainy night in Florida last year.

"There's to be no outbursts upon the reading of the verdict or afterwards," Judge Debra S. Nelson warned the packed courtroom in Seminole County awaiting the verdict from the jury of six women who began deliberating on Friday and worked a 13-hour day Saturday.

Zimmerman stood at the defendant's table, flanked by his lawyers as the verdict was read.

As he had been throughout the trial, Zimmerman was impassive. He seemed not to move a muscle until the jurors were taken out of the courtroom. Then the tension drained out of his face. A small smile began at the corners of his mouth and very slowly spread.

"Your bond will be released," Nelson told Zimmerman. "Your GPS monitor will be cut off, and you have no further business with this court."

Then the defendant's side of the courtroom exploded in hugs. Zimmerman hugged his wife, Shellie, and friends who have waited during the long trial that began with jury selection last month. Zimmerman's parents, Robert Sr. and Gladys, hugged each other. Gladys Zimmerman reached over to hug defense attorneys Don West and Mark O'Mara, who broke out in smiles.

"He's very, very happy with the result," O'Mara told reporters. "I think it's probably going to settle on him tonight with his family when he realizes he doesn't have to come back to the courthouse tomorrow or ever again. I think he's still very, very worried."

Outside the courthouse, where about 100 people had gathered to await the verdict in a small park, many reacted in disbelief. Many were African American. They stood, stunned, as the verdict was announced.

"I have two sons of my own," said Cathy Cole, one of the protesters. "I think the child was murdered."

Zimmerman, 29, had been charged with second-degree murder in the shooting of Martin on Feb. 26, 2012, in Sanford, in central Florida.

He maintained that he shot Martin in self-defense when the teenager attacked him. Prosecutors argued that he had profiled and stalked Martin, 17, who was returning from a convenience store after buying Skittles and a soft drink. Wearing the now-famous hoodie sweat shirt, Martin was walking in the rain back to the home where he was staying in the Retreat at Twin Lakes in Sanford.

After the verdict was read, the supporters and family of Martin left the courtroom silently, some shedding tears.

"We are very, very, very saddened, but we accept the jury's verdict in this case," Daryl Parks, one of the attorneys representing the Martin family, told reporters later. He said Sybrina Fulton, Martin's mother, and Tracy Martin, his father, "are just heartbroken."

In the protests before and after Zimmerman's indictment, hoodies played a prominent role. They, along with Skittles, were held up as symbols of racial profiling and of a senseless death.

"To everybody who put their hoodies on and to everybody who said, 'I am Trayvon,' his family expresses their heartfelt gratitude," another family lawyer, Benjamin Crump, said.

"Trayvon Martin will forever remain in the annals of civil rights history along with Medgar Evers and Emmett Till," said Crump, referring to two African Americans whose slayings were pivotal events in the civil rights struggle in the 1950s and 1960s.

After the shooting, local police had accepted Zimmerman's explanation that he acted in self-defense, but a special state prosecutor charged the neighborhood watch volunteer after weeks of protests and demonstrations by civil rights leaders across the nation. Much of the case's tension began in the six weeks between the shooting and the indictment of Zimmerman on the charge of second-degree murder.

The National Assn. for the Advancement of Colored People on Saturday night called on the U.S. Department of Justice to file civil rights charges against Zimmerman, said the group's president, Benjamin Jealous.

Led by the Martin family and civil rights leaders, supporters had called for Zimmerman, who identifies himself ethnically with his mother's Latino heritage, to be charged with the slaying. They argued that if a black man had shot an unarmed white teenager, authorities would have been less likely to accept the self-defense argument.

The furor reached all the way to the White House.

About Post Author

Anthony Claret

Anthony-Claret is a software Engineer, entrepreneur and the founder of Codewit INC. Mr. Claret publishes and manages the content on Codewit Word News website and associated websites. He's a writer, IT Expert, great administrator, technology enthusiast, social media lover and all around digital guy.
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Media blackout: Mob “hunted” white victims in Cincinnatti

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Read Time:1 Minute, 57 Second

On Monday, police in Cincinnati arrested a group of teenagers who reportedly terrorized folks in the downtown area, in a series of violent assaults.

All of the beatings and robberies took place between June 1 to July 4.

Cortez Baker, 16, Randolph Jones, 16, and Kentrelle Aldridge, 16, have all been charged with several counts of robbery and assault, and more charges are likely to be filed.

WKRC reported:

    Police say the teens essentially hunted their victims. One says the suspects were passengers on his bus when they targeted him. "They didn't ask me for anything."

    Chad Laumann was beaten and robbed on East Fourth Street last month while on his way to work. Though outnumbered, the 23 year-old says he outsmarted his attackers by intentionally staying in view of the surveillance camera. "So as they're attacking you, you tell them there's a camera. Yes, I tell them there's cameras. And what did they say? They didn't say anything. They just took off running."

Two of the assailants can be seen kicking and punching Laumann, while a third rifles through his pockets.

In fact, it was that same surveillance footage which was essential in the teens' capture.

A Cincinnati bike patrol officer recognized one of the suspects by the distinctive shirt he was wearing, which he also wore on the night of the attack.

In all, police believe the gang is responsible for at least four equally vicious attacks.

Cincinnati Police Capt. Paul Broxterman described the string of assaults to WLWT, as "a pack of lions hunting down a wounded zebra."

On Tuesday, another victim came forward, whose attack was also caught on video.

All three alleged assailants live in a group home operated by Kelly Youth Services and had been given an outside pass for 'good behavior,' the night Laumann was so brutally assaulted.

Police are asking that anyone who has suffered an attack in the area, or has further information on the suspects, call Crime Stoppers at (513) 352-3040.

Of course, not one national media outlet has seen fit to give these racially-charged attacks any coverage, while providing nearly around-the-clock coverage to the George Zimmerman trial.

About Post Author

Anthony Claret

Anthony-Claret is a software Engineer, entrepreneur and the founder of Codewit INC. Mr. Claret publishes and manages the content on Codewit Word News website and associated websites. He's a writer, IT Expert, great administrator, technology enthusiast, social media lover and all around digital guy.
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Will North Colorado Be The 51st State In The Union?

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Read Time:5 Minute, 36 Second

There are ten counties in northern Colorado that are discussing plans to secede from the state of Colorado in order to form a new state that would be known as "North Colorado".  North Colorado would have a population of more than 300,000 people, and it would be the 42nd largest state in the country by land area.  The county officials that are leading this movement say that a "collective mass" of issues has resulted in this desire to leave the state of Colorado for good.  In recent years, the Democratically-controlled state legislature has been pursuing new regulations on the oil and gas industries, it has imposed strict new renewable energy standards throughout the state and it has adopted new gun control measures that are highly unpopular with rural voters.  The desire to be independent of the meddling bureaucrats in the state capital is certainly a commendable goal, but there are some obstacles that will make establishing a new state very difficult.  Hopefully the challenges will not cause those pursuing this new state to lose heart.

Recently, representatives from ten Colorado counties held a meeting in the town of Akron to map out the boundaries for the new state…

    Ten counties, including Weld and Morgan, started talking about seceding last month. Now some people Lincoln and Cheyenne counties say they want to join a new state they’d call “North Colorado.”

    Organizers of the secession effort say their interests are not being represented at the state Capitol. Representatives from the 10 counties held a meeting on Monday in the town of Akron in Weld County to begin mapping the boundaries for the new state they say will represent the interests of rural Colorado.

Agriculture and the oil and gas industries would dominate this new state.  In fact, right now about 80 percent of the oil and gas revenue in the state of Colorado comes from the counties that are talking about seceding…

    “I say 80 percent of the oil and gas revenue in the state of Colorado is coming out of northeastern Colorado – Weld, Yuma County, and some of other counties,” Weld County Commissioner Sean Conway said. “Seventy percent of the K-12 funding is coming off the state lands in Weld County alone. I’m telling you we are economic drivers.”

So the state of Colorado may not be very eager to see those counties leave.

But water rights may be an even bigger issue.  Four of the five counties that do the most farming in Colorado would become part of North Colorado.  But the farmers in those counties are heavily dependent on the water rights that they rent from cities that would not be a part of North Colorado.

A new state could make getting the water that those farmers need much more difficult.  The following comes from a Huffington Post article…

    "A water right is the livelihood of many, many people in northeast Colorado … and if you put the security of that right at risk at all — as starting a brand new state might do — that could be enough to convince people they don't want to go forward with this (new state)," said James Witwer, a water attorney in Denver, who represents various municipalities and agricultural water users in northeast Colorado. "It would be problematic and risky."

    Eight major U.S. rivers flow from Colorado's mountains and into surrounding states and, because of that, Colorado has agreements in place with its neighbors — compacts that require certain amounts of water to flow across state lines.

    Such an agreement would have to be made between Colorado and North Colorado.

There are also significant political issues that make a new state a long shot.

Even if the voters approve seceding from the state of Colorado, the new state must also be approved by the Colorado General Assembly and the U.S. Congress.

And getting approval from Congress seems extremely unlikely.

First of all, Democrats in Congress would be fundamentally opposed to this new state for the same reason that Republicans won't let Washington D.C. become a state.  Democrats would not want to allow two new Republican senators from the state of North Colorado to shift the balance of power in the U.S. Senate.

Republicans may not like the idea of North Colorado either, because it could significantly hurt the Republicans in future presidential elections.  Right now, Colorado is considered to be a swing state.  If North Colorado was formed, the Republicans would always win that state, but Democrats would always take the much larger state of Colorado.  It would shift electoral college math even more in favor of the Democrats.

So it is definitely a long shot that we will ever see the state of North Colorado become the 51st state in the Union.

But without a doubt there are a lot of people that are very passionate about the idea.  In fact, those organizing this movement say that a few more Colorado counties may join and that even a couple of counties in neighboring Kansas have expressed interest.

And organizers hope to have something on the ballot this November possibly.

It will be very interesting to watch and see what happens.  No new state has been created out of an old state since West Virginia seceded from Virginia in 1863.  And of course that was during the Civil War.

According to the New York Daily News, there have been lots of attempts to create new states out of old ones in U.S. history, but the vast majority of them have ended up failing…

    This process has been successfully used in the past to create five new states — Vermont, Kentucky, Tennessee, Maine and West Virginia, according to the National Constitution Center.

    But the road to statehood is mostly littered with failures. There have been more than seventy-five unsuccessful attempts at statehood, including the fantasy states of Forgottonia, Texlahoma, Nickajack, Absaroka, and Long Island.

The odds are definitely against North Colorado.

But they should be applauded for stepping up and taking action.  You will never accomplish anything if you just sit on your sofa eating chips and watching television all the time.

So what do you think about the possibility of a 51st state called North Colorado?  Please feel free to share what you think by posting a comment below…

About Post Author

Anthony Claret

Anthony-Claret is a software Engineer, entrepreneur and the founder of Codewit INC. Mr. Claret publishes and manages the content on Codewit Word News website and associated websites. He's a writer, IT Expert, great administrator, technology enthusiast, social media lover and all around digital guy.
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