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March 2014 Archives

Should rap lyrics be allowed as evidence in violent crimes cases?

For some of our readers here in Alameda County, the question in today’s post title may seem strange and might solicit a resounding 'no' from many people. But this is the question being posed in courtrooms across the nation as prosecutors try to close cases by pointing to rap lyrics as potential evidence.

California woman who spent 32 years in prison finally freed

Many of our readers, at one time or another, may have considered what it would be like to be wrongfully convicted. Although most people have faith in the justice system, we all know that mistakes can be made. But these mistakes often lead to lengthy prison sentences for people who should otherwise be free. This was the case for a 74-year-old California woman who is grateful that her own wrongful conviction is finally over.

Federal indictment accuses 11 of smuggling drugs in US airports

Four baggage handlers and seven others are facing serious criminal charges this month after federal investigators accused them of smuggling cocaine and methamphetamine in and out of airports across the United States. As some of our readers can imagine, the charges against them are fairly steep including drug possession and possession with intent to distribute.

Alameda County one of many yet to implement Laura's Law

It’s been 12 years now since the California legislature passed Laura’s Law, which was supposed to allow for court-ordered treatment of people with mental illness who were a danger to themselves and others. But there was one stipulation: each county was responsible for approving its own program. But because of concerns over civil rights violations, only one of California’s 58 counties has implemented the law. And after a heated debate last month here in Alameda County, it doesn’t look like we could see this change anytime soon.

Gang member who killed 6-year-old may face death penalty

A man who was in a gang made a crucial mistake when he thought that people who were having a house party were actually members of another gang, one that his gang considered to be a rival. The party was taking place in the garage, and the man walked up to an older man and his daughter. He asked the older man if he was connected to a different gang from the area. What the man said in return has not been reported, but the young man pulled out a gun and opened fire, spraying shots into the garage. One of those shots struck the young girl, and she was killed.

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