When Ecuador’s National Assembly begins debating a draft criminal code reform today, Ecuadoran women will notice a regressive change to the draft debated last year—the law does not eliminate the prohibition of abortion in cases of rape.
This year, a dozen women’s rights groups in Ecuador presented petitions to the Justice Commission, which has been in charge of drafting the criminal code reform. The women’s right advocates called on the commission to make abortion legal in all cases of rape, not just when the womanis “an idiot or demented” as the code currently allows. The response of the commission? To change the wording to be less offensive (now “a woman suffering from a mental disability, rather than “idiot or demented woman”). But these changes do not dramatically alter the substance of the law.
Women with mental disabilities who are pregnant from rape may be able to access legal abortion.
All other women and girl rape victims will not.
There was so much physical evidence it never crossed my mind that I wouldn’t be believed.
Heartbreaking story of rape survivor being bullied into admitting she ‘had lied about her rape.’
The Black male owner of a head-shop selling so-called “tobacco” products in Scotia, New York seems to have been the victim of a police informant’s set-up. Surveillance video from Dapp City Smoke Shop shows an unnamed white man in a leather jacket pull what appears to be crack cocaine out of his pocket and place it on the counter. The paid, confidential informant for the Schenectady County Sheriff’s Office then photographs the drugs as “evidence.”
Head-shop owner Donald Andrews was charged with felonies — criminal sale and criminal possession of a controlled substance — that could have put him behind bars for 25 years. Forced to close his store, Andrews had spent three weeks in county jail before his lawyer insisted the grand jury view the surveillance footage. On April 25, after authorities saw the tape, charges were dropped.
This week, the community gathered at a Christian Leadership Conference and expressed their concern with policing tactics, particularly incentivizing bogus busts by using paid informants. Many of them, facing their own charges, have a lot at stake in procuring convictions, however unethically. Community members also expressed concern that the set-up was racially motivated.
”With an informant like this, he will lie and plant things and he can’t really be trusted,” Robert Outlar, told NEWS10 at the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. Many of Andrews’ supporters are concerned the same paid informant has acted afoul before, prompting calls for District Attorney Robert Carney to review past cases with which he was involved. The Schenectady County Sherriff Dominic Dagostino however, told NEWS10 he does not believe there are other problems related to the informant. How he could be so sure, given the circumstances, is not clear.
"We believe that police used this same person on other matters, including those involving residents who may have pleaded guilty out of fear of lengthier incarceration or after having concluded that no one would believe they were framed if they denied the accusations," Outlar also said.
Dagostino’s officers are currently on the look-out for the unknown informant, who skipped town and is facing perjury and possession charges. According to NEWS10, he participated in seven other cases, two of which led to convictions. Andrews’ case is not the first time a paid informant has been linked to shady behavior, but is simply the latest installment in examples of what can go wrong when cold hard cash is linked to a conviction.
Watch this and remember: this happens all the time. For every monumental injustice like this that gets uncovered, imagine how many limitless shenanigans have been successfully executed by the police.
MANY people serve sentences in prison who are innocent. This man, luckily, was saved by video surveillance but would otherwise have entered the criminal justice system because the police decided to PLANT crack on the counter of his smoke shop, which doesn’t even make any fucking sense why someone would be putting crack on the counter in the open like that anyway.
"The system was never broken it was built this way"
the sooner you realize this, the sooner you’ll realize what you should really be mad at
Black Americans are significantly less likely to be found justified in the deadly use of a firearm than white Americans, according to research by John Roman, of the Urban Institute’s Justice Policy Center.
Roman examined Supplementary Homicide Reports submitted to the Federal Bureau of Investigation between 2005 and 2010. He posted his findings on the Urban Institute’s MetroTrends Blog.
Roman found that “the difference between rates of justifiable rulings in cases with a white shooter and a black victim and cases with a black shooter and a white victim are astonishing.”
In cases in which both the shooter and victim are white, the shooting is ruled to be justified less than 2 percent of the time, according to Roman. If the shooter is black and the victim is white, the shooting considered justified about 1 percent of the time.
“However, if the shooter is white and the victim is black, it is ruled justified in 9.5 percent of cases in non-Stand Your Ground (SYG) states. In SYG states, the rate is even higher—almost 17 percent,” writes Roman.
In cases in which the shooter and victim are strangers and neither is law enforcement the disparity is even larger. Roman found that in cases with black shooters and white victims, less than 3 percent were ruled justified. But when the roles are reversed, 29 percent in non-SYG states were ruled justified, and almost 36 percent in SYG states.
“In a departure from long-established practice, the recently confirmed chairwoman of the Securities and Exchange Commission, Mary Jo White, said this week that defendants would no longer be allowed to settle some cases while ‘neither admitting nor denying’ wrongdoing,” the New York Times reports.
“Ms. White said that most cases would still be settled under the prevailing ‘neither admit nor deny’ standard, which, she said, has been effective at encouraging defendants to settle and speeding relief to victims… The policy change follows years of criticism that the S.E.C. has been too lenient, especially with the large institutions that were at the center of the financial crisis.”
“There’s little doubt that extracting admissions of wrongdoing gives the S.E.C. enormous new leverage, and not just because defendants want to avoid the damage to their reputation that comes with admitting misconduct. Any admission is likely to be seized upon by private litigants in civil lawsuits, including class actions, with potentially devastating financial consequences.”
from Taegan Goddard’s Wonk Wire on rollcall.com.