crime

Alternatives to Incarceration
8:35 am
Tue August 5, 2014

Instead of Jail, Judges Take More Hands-On Role With Addicts in Connecticut

Support Court participant Rosa, left, with U.S. District Judge Vanessa Bryant.
Connecticut U.S. District Court

Support courts for defendants with substance abuse issues have existed for over two decades in many states, including Connecticut. They give people an opportunity to seek treatment to avoid the cycle of repeated incarceration. In recent years, federal courts have begun similar programs. 

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Wrongful Conviction
4:27 pm
Tue July 29, 2014

Man Wrongfully Imprisoned for 21 Years Seeks Damages From Connecticut

Kenneth Ireland spent 21 years imprisoned for a crime he didn't commit.
Credit Connecticut Innocence Project

Kenneth Ireland was released in 2009 after DNA tests exonerated him for a crime he didn't commit. Now the state of Connecticut is holding hearings about how much to compensate him.

When police questioned 17-year-old Kenneth Ireland for the rape and murder of a Wallingford woman in 1986, he thought it all would pass. "I figured they would figure this out and that it would just go away," he said. "I just went on with my life. I joined the National Guard to get the grant for college. I had gotten a decent job for my age. I was heading down this path where I was constructing a life."

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Drug Offenders
3:01 pm
Fri July 18, 2014

Drug Sentencing Guidelines Reduced For Current Prisoners

Attorney General Eric Holder, seen here Monday, has supported changes in drug sentencing, but the Sentencing Commission went further than he preferred
Pablo Martinez Monsivais AP

Originally published on Fri July 18, 2014 2:51 pm

The U.S. Sentencing Commission on Friday voted unanimously to reduce terms for drug traffickers already in prison.

More than 46,000 drug offenders will be eligible for early release, unless Congress makes a move to stop the plan by Nov. 1.

On average, sentences could be reduced by more than two years.

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Courts
2:56 pm
Wed July 16, 2014

UK Man Sentenced for Taliban Support

Babar Ahmad.
Credit BBC

A British citizen imprisoned in Connecticut for supporting terrorism was sentenced in federal court in New Haven today.

Babar Ahmad was given 12 and half years in prison, with credit for the ten years he’s already served.

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Fifth District
12:02 pm
Thu July 10, 2014

Roraback's Biggest Rowland Complaint in 2012 Was Lack of Disclosure

Former Governor John Rowland faces charges stemming from his involvement in the 2012 congressional race.
Credit Shawn Sienkiewicz / The Hartford Courant

Federal prosecutors allege that former Governor John Rowland used his radio show on WTIC-AM to prop up Lisa Wilson-Foley's candidacy during the 2012 race in Connecticut's Fifth Congressional District. 

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The Colin McEnroe Show
6:00 am
Tue July 8, 2014

Philippe Petit's "Perfect Crime"

High Wire artist Philippe Petit.
Credit Wikimedia Commons

Philippe Petit made his walk between the towers of the World Trade Center 40 years ago. He stayed up on that wire for 45 minutes, made 8 passes between the towers, got down on his knees, and he even laid down on it! But it's more than that one feat - it was a placeholder for a much broader philosophy of risk and creativity, and evidence of who the man really is.

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Political Crime
7:23 am
Tue July 1, 2014

Rowland's Lawyers Say Charges Are Unconstitutional

Former Governor John Rowland talks to the media in 2009.
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

Lawyers for former Connecticut Gov. John Rowland argue that some of the federal charges he faces are unconstitutional.

They filed new arguments Monday night seeking to have much of the case against the 57-year-old former governor dismissed.

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World
1:58 pm
Mon June 30, 2014

Israel Says Bodies Of 3 Students Have Been Recovered

Originally published on Mon June 30, 2014 11:38 pm

Israeli officials say they have found the bodies of three teens captured earlier this month.

Yeshiva students Gil-Ad Shaer,16, Eyal Yifrah, 19, and Naftali Fraenkel, 16, were kidnapped late at night on June 12 from a hitchhiking point in Gush Etzion. Fraenkel is a dual Israeli-American citizen.

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Massachusetts
8:31 am
Wed June 25, 2014

Trouble In Paradise: Opiate Use Spikes On Martha's Vineyard

A cache of Percocet and other opiates seized by Oak Bluffs police in an arrest earlier this year.
Courtesy of Oak Bluffs Police

Originally published on Wed June 25, 2014 12:48 pm

Underneath the charm of Martha's Vineyard's picturesque beaches, peaceful woods and luxury homes is a problem: Since August, there have been six overdose deaths on the island.

"That's a phenomenal rate for a community of 16,000 people — and that's not to mention the overdoses that haven't been fatal," says Charles Silberstein, an addiction specialist and psychiatrist at Martha's Vineyard Hospital. "We've had overdoses for years, but I don't think we've ever seen this kind of number or frequency."

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Transportation
7:36 am
Fri June 20, 2014

Metro-North Service Resumed Through Fairfield After Suspicious Package

Metro-North service is shut down in Fairfield.
Credit WalkingGeek (Flickr Creative Commons)

Metro-North Railroad said train service was temporarily suspended through Fairfield while authorities investigated a suspicious package near the station.

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Thu June 19, 2014

The Second Amendment, Colt, and Tracing Guns

Emily Stanchfield Creative Commons

The Second Amendment is just 27 words long, but it has caused more debate than just about anything else in the Constitution. "It’s confusing and self-contradictory and we spend a lot of time trying to figure out what its clauses and commas mean," said Michael Waldman, author of the new book The Second Amendment: A Biography. We talk to him about the history and odd syntax of this Amendment and the debate over it that was renewed by the tragedy in Newtown.

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LEGO Heists
3:21 pm
Tue June 3, 2014

Leggo My Legos! Australian Toy Stores Hit By Series Of Thefts

An Australian detective says a recent string of Lego thefts sounds like the work of organized criminals.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Tue June 3, 2014 12:11 pm

Toy stores in Australia have been hit by a series of high-dollar Lego heists, and a police detective thinks the thefts might be the work of a crime syndicate specifically targeting the toys.

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Cybersecurity
5:34 pm
Thu May 22, 2014

Connecticut Investigates Attack on eBay With Other States

Credit Ebay

Connecticut's attorney general is working with other states to try and prevent data breaches like the ones that happened to eBay, Target, and Neiman Marcus.

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Death Penalty
2:56 pm
Thu May 22, 2014

Connecticut Inmate Sentenced to Death

Richard Roszkowski.
Credit Connecticut Department of Correction

A Connecticut man was sentenced to death for gunning down two adults and a nine-year-old girl on a Bridgeport street in 2006. 

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Technology
3:08 pm
Wed May 21, 2014

Saying It Was Hacked, EBay Urges Users To Change Passwords

Hackers broke into a database containing customer information, auction site eBay said Wednesday. The company is based in San Jose, Calif.
Paul Sakuma AP

Originally published on Wed May 21, 2014 8:20 pm

Online marketplace eBay says it was the target of a cyberattack in which hackers accessed a database of its encrypted passwords. The auction site says no financial data were revealed — but it's urging its users to update the passwords on their accounts.

EBay says that it hasn't seen any sign of fraudulent activity since the problem was first detected "about two weeks ago." It also said that it stores financial data and customer records in different places and that accounts of its direct-payment subsidiary, PayPal, were not affected by the data breach.

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Hate Crime
9:29 am
Wed May 21, 2014

Torrington Students Accused of Vandalizing School

Torrington High School.
Credit nwcc.commnet.edu

Three Torrington High School students have been charged with painting racist and sexual graffiti on the school in March.

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New England Patriots
11:32 am
Thu May 15, 2014

Aaron Hernandez Indicted on Additional Murder Charges

Former New England Patriots player Aaron Hernandez is already being held after pleading not guilty to an unrelated murder charge.
Credit Jeffrey Beall / Creative Commons

Prosecutors say former New England Patriot Aaron Hernandez, who already faces a murder charge in a man's shooting death last year, has been indicted on new murder charges in an unrelated 2012 double slaying in Boston.

The victims in that killing, Daniel de Abreu and Safiro Furtado, were shot to death as they sat in a car in Boston's South End on July 16, 2012. Police have said they were shot by someone who drove up alongside in an SUV and opened fire. 

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Missing Children
11:56 am
Tue May 13, 2014

Three Missing Vernon Boys Found After Amber Alert Issued

Missing brothers Ryan, Dylan and Brandon Lewis.
Credit Vernon Police Department

Police have found three missing boys in Bangor, Maine after issuing a multi-state Amber Alert.

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Mass Kidnapping
7:13 am
Mon May 12, 2014

Boko Haram Says Video Shows Missing Nigerian Girls

A still image taken from a video that the extremist group Boko Haram says is of more than 100 girls who were abducted from a Nigerian school last month.
AFP/YouTube

Originally published on Mon May 12, 2014 8:08 pm

The group that took more than 200 girls from a Nigerian school last month released what it says is a video of the girls, along with demands that the government release militants from prison. The group's leader, Abubakar Shekau, says the video shows around 130 of the girls.

In the undated video released Monday, a crowd of girls is seen outdoors, arranged as if for a class photo. They are wearing the full-length hijab; some portions of the footage show them praying.

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Mass Kidnapping
9:48 am
Tue May 6, 2014

Kidnappers In Nigeria Wore Uniforms, Escaped Girl Says

Muslim women march as part of a call for Nigeria's government to increase efforts to rescue more than 200 girls who were kidnapped from their school last month.
Sunday Alamba AP

Originally published on Tue May 6, 2014 11:38 am

The gunmen who abducted 276 girls from a school in Nigeria last month wore uniforms and said they were soldiers who had come to help, according to a girl who escaped her captors. The girls were led outside — and it wasn't until the gunmen stole food and set fire to the school that the girls became certain they were in trouble.

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Statistics
11:13 pm
Sat May 3, 2014

Who's Waiting On Death Row?

Holding cells at a former prison.
Tracy King iStockphoto

Originally published on Sat May 3, 2014 5:21 pm

News of Tuesday's botched execution in Oklahoma got us thinking more generally about who is in prison and who is facing the death penalty.

Here are some figures that may surprise you:

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New Jersey
3:21 pm
Thu May 1, 2014

Senior Prank Gone Wild: Police Arrest 62 N.J. Students

A Bergen County, N.J., police officer (right) walks with a police dog into Teaneck High School, where 62 students were arrested during an overnight break-in on Thursday in Teaneck.
Julio Cortez AP

Originally published on Thu May 1, 2014 8:31 pm

We're pretty sure they've all realized what a horrible idea this turned out to be: Sixty-two students in Teaneck, N.J., were arrested after a senior prank went too far.

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New York
9:38 am
Sat April 26, 2014

Rep. Michael Grimm To Face Criminal Charges, Lawyer Says

Rep. Michael Grimm (R-N.Y.), seen here last year, is expected to be indicted on criminal charges. His lawyer says Grimm has done nothing wrong.
Alex Wong Getty Images

Originally published on Sat April 26, 2014 11:43 am

Rep. Michael Grimm's lawyer says he expects the New York Republican will be indicted on criminal charges. The exact charges haven't been announced. The Staten Island lawmaker and former FBI agent, who was first elected to Congress in 2010, has been under investigation for campaign finance and fraud.

Grimm's attorney says his client is innocent and is the target of a vendetta on the part of federal authorities that has included "malicious leaks, violations of grand jury secrecy, and strong-arm tactics."

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2010 Heist
1:45 pm
Wed April 23, 2014

Three More Charged in Eli Lilly Pharmaceutical Theft

The Eli Lilly warehouse in Enfield.

Federal authorities have charged three more Florida men in the 2010 theft of millions of dollars worth of prescription drugs from an Eli Lilly warehouse in Connecticut. 

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Law
7:35 pm
Tue April 22, 2014

Supreme Court Gives Police New Power To Rely On Anonymous Tips

Originally published on Tue April 22, 2014 7:40 pm

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that police can stop and search a driver based solely on an anonymous 911 tip.

The 5-4 decision split the court's two most conservative justices, with Justice Clarence Thomas writing for the majority and Justice Antonin Scalia penning the dissent.

In August 2008, an anonymous 911 caller in California phoned in a report that a pickup truck had run her off the road. The caller gave the location of the incident, plus the make and model of the truck and the license plate number.

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Racial Profiling
7:06 pm
Tue April 15, 2014

NYPD Shuts Down Controversial Unit That Spied On Muslims

Men pray on the street before the start of the American Muslim Day Parade in 2010 in New York.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

Originally published on Tue April 15, 2014 7:19 pm

The New York Police Department said Tuesday it would disband a special unit charged with detecting possible terrorist threats by carrying out secret surveillance of Muslim groups.

The squad that conducted the surveillance, known as the Demographics Unit, was formed in 2003. It brought the NYPD under fire from community groups and activists who accused the force of abusing civil rights and profiling.

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio said his administration has promised "a police force that keeps our city safe, but that is also respectful and fair.

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Tue April 15, 2014

Looking Back At The Boston Marathon Bombing One Year Later

One of many memorials that popped up after the Boston Marathon bombings.
Credit Yi-Chien Chang / Creative Commons

It's been one year since the Boston Marathon bombing, which killed three people and wounded hundreds more. It also changed the city of Boston, which was essentially shut down during the ensuing manhunt for the bombing suspects. 

We look back at that long week in April, and how things have changed both in Boston and throughout the country since the bombing. We're joined by people who were at the marathon that day, including a local professor who will once again run in this year's race.

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Campus Sexual Assault
4:45 pm
Thu March 13, 2014

Sexual Assault at Colleges Gets Local and National Attention

Claire Capozzi, a University of Hartford student, said that Greek groups at her school could do more to prevent sexual assault.
Credit Chion Wolf/WNPR

On Thursday morning, the Board of Regents governing Connecticut state colleges unanimously passed a sexual assault policy which would, among other things, require campuses to give victims detailed descriptions of what they can do. 

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Incarceration
10:55 am
Thu March 13, 2014

Holder Backs Reduced Sentences For Some Drug Traffickers

Attorney General Eric Holder appearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, in January.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Thu March 13, 2014 3:40 pm

Attorney General Eric Holder is backing a proposal to shorten sentences for nonviolent drug dealers in an effort reduce federal spending on prisons.

Holder appeared before the United States Sentencing Commission on Thursday to announce his support of the panel's recommendations to trim federal guidelines for sentencing of drug traffickers to 51 months from 62 months.

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Hartford's Former Mayor
9:58 am
Thu February 27, 2014

State Supreme Court Takes the Case of Eddie Perez

Credit Chion Wolf/WNPR

The Connecticut Supreme Court has agreed to take up the case of former Hartford Mayor Eddie Perez, according to the court's clerk.

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