crime

Vincent Asaro, 80, has been acquitted of charges that he helped plan the 1978 Lufthansa heist that was portrayed in the mob movie Goodfellas.

A jury in New York City found Asaro not guilty of charges of federal racketeering, the Associated Press reports.

While Asaro kept a low profile in the years following the $6 million robbery, he was arrested in 2014 after his cousin gave him up for his alleged role in the heist, a murder and other crimes.

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The lead singer for the band playing the night 100 people died in a 2003 nightclub fire in Rhode Island said he's making a documentary that will give him a chance to apologize and tell his side of the story. 

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Governor Dannel Malloy is encouraging the state to consider raising the age at which criminal offenders can be treated as juveniles.

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Federal, state, and local authorities have announced the formation of a task force to fight human and child sex trafficking in the state.

Paul Bass / New Haven Independent

A Yale University initiative is helping to reduce gang violence in the Elm City. It's called focused deterrence, and the strategy is simple: focus resources, like social services and more police, on those most likely to be affected by gun violence. In New Haven's case, that was street gangs.

If you've bought a bottle of nice wine recently, you'll know that the costs have gone up. And the price of really fine wines – the ones that cost at least several hundred dollars – have doubled, tripled and more over the past few years.

As prices rise, so, too, do the number of thefts.

Prima restaurant in Walnut Grove, Calif., has a celebrated wine list, with a number of Bordeauxs and Burgundies that can set you back several thousand dollars. Thieves have successfully targeted those wines several times now.

More technology is being put into fighting crime in Springfield, Massachusetts. The city’s police department will become the first in the Northeast to use a system that developers say allows for true real-time crime analysis.

When you’re on vacation or in an unfamiliar part of town looking for something to eat, you might look up restaurant reviews on Yelp to help narrow your choices. But now, prisoners across the country are also gravitating toward the platform and describing their experiences in jail. Review platforms like Yelp have become an unexpected online space for people to make the prison system more transparent while simultaneously fulfilling a personal and therapeutic void.

Every day in the court system, people are asked to inform on others when they don’t want to do so. Sometimes, the choices are especially stark, as is the case when people are ordered to testify or else face being sentenced to prison: contempt of court.

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

Bullets flew outside a campaign office of Bridgeport Democratic mayoral candidate Joe Ganim Thursday. Ganim has made reducing violence a theme of his campaign.

The candidate was not at the office at the time. There were no injuries reported.

Connecticut has received six federal grants totaling more than $2 million in support of efforts to reduce recidivism and better reintegrate nonviolent offenders after they are released from the criminal justice system.

Former House Speaker Dennis Hastert is expected to plead guilty later this month to charges that he agreed to pay $3.5 million to cover up allegations of misconduct and then lied about it to authorities, according to his lawyers.

Reporting from outside the federal courthouse in Chicago, NPR's Cheryl Corley tells our Newscast unit that the alleged wrongdoing "occurred decades ago when Hastert was a history teacher and a coach at Yorkville High School about 50 miles southwest of Chicago."

Cheryl reports that a plea agreement would allow Hastert to avoid a trial.

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The state of Connecticut has received $2.3 million in grants for programs aimed at reducing recidivism and giving ex-offenders better opportunities to restart their lives.

Jeff Cohen / WNPR

It was the summer of 2007. Eddie Perez was still Hartford’s mayor, he was in his office faced with a state investigator, and he told that investigator that he had paid a city contractor for work done on his house when he hadn’t.

Now, eight years later, that lie and the effect it may have had on his trial are at center stage.

A Vermont judge has ordered actor Randy Quaid held on $500,000 bail on charges that he and his wife skipped out of the country five years ago after being charged with vandalism in California.

The U.S. Supreme Court hears arguments Tuesday in a case that could determine the fate of more than 2,000 convicted juvenile murderers.

In 2012, the high court struck down as unconstitutional state laws that mandated an automatic sentence of life without any possibility of parole in these cases. The question now is whether that decision applies retroactively.

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Inmates from Connecticut are among those expected to be released from federal prisons at the end of October, part of the largest one-time release of federal prisoners in the nation's history. 

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Philippe Petit made his walk between the towers of the World Trade Center over 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.

Electric Boat

A Massachusetts man has been sentenced to three years in prison for importing counterfeit electronic components from China and Hong Kong for use by American customers, including builders of the U.S. Navy's nuclear submarines. 

Nate Gagnon / WNPR

More than two truckloads of contraband tobacco products and $120,000 have been seized by Connecticut tax officials, after a four-month investigation into illegal tobacco sales. 

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Governor Dannel Malloy is less than a year into his second term in office and it doesn’t look like it will be any easier than the first term.

The budget remains in a state of permanent fiscal crisis, forcing a $100 million cut to the budget, just months into a new fiscal year. Those cuts, especially the ones hitting social services and hospitals, have been criticized by Republicans and Democrats alike, and there are calls from editorial boards for a special session to reinstate some of the funding and find new ways to plug budget holes. 

West Midlands Police Department / Creative Commons

Governor Dannel Malloy has signed legislation that makes a number of changes to law enforcement practices in the state.

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New FBI data show that violent crime in Connecticut dropped by nearly ten percent in 2014 compared with the previous year, continuing a downward crime trend seen across the country. 

Connecticut House Democrats

A former Connecticut lawmaker who had been charged with election fraud for allegedly voting in a district where she did not live has pleaded guilty to lying to investigators, but avoided prison time. 

It was 60 years ago this week that an all-white jury acquitted two white men in the murder of Emmett Till, a 14-year-old black boy visiting Mississippi from Chicago.

The case shocked the nation — drawing attention to the brutal treatment of African-Americans in the Deep South, and the failure of the justice system. The men later confessed to killing Till for whistling at a white woman.

In a Democratic mayoral primary race in Bridgeport, Conn., that pitted a former mayor who served a seven-year prison sentence for corruption against a two-term incumbent, Joe Ganim pulled off a surprising comeback Wednesday night.

"Ganim's message that everybody deserves a second chance earned the former felon the endorsement of the city's police union and the support of the FBI agent who'd locked him up," Diane Orson of member station WNPR reports from New Haven.

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

Voters in Bridgeport, Connecticut go to the polls Wednesday in what’s seen as an improbable, but competitive Democratic primary. A former mayor, who spent seven years in federal prison for corruption while in office, has a shot at winning against a two-term incumbent. 

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Newtown and its schools are putting up a stiff legal fight against a wrongful-death lawsuit filed by the parents of two children killed in the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting.

TASER International

A lot of scientific research has focused on what police Tasers physically do to the body, but little has looked at how they impact the way people think. Now, results from a new study out of Arizona State University suggest police officers should look more carefully at how quickly they question a suspect after a Taser deployment. 

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A Connecticut man who spent more than 12 years in prison for a crime it was determined he did not commit has been awarded $4 million by the state.

Lawrence Miller Jr., who now lives in Branford, received the funds under a state law that established a mechanism to compensate those who file claims of wrongful incarceration and can validate their cases.

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