crime

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.

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.

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. 

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.

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.

Malware is malicious, bad software. It's the code that cybercriminals use to steal credit card numbers and bank accounts. And the big hack against Target showed how good these criminals are getting: They've built a thriving underground where credit cards go on sale before anyone even knows that a massive breach has happened.

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Federal prosecutors want a man convicted in a failed 2001 shoe bomb plot to testify at the sentencing of two British citizens imprisoned in Connecticut for supporting terrorism. 

Maik Pereira / Creative Commons

Yale Law School is hosting a conference on law enforcement and computer hacking. The conference, "Law Enforcement and Hacking: When Cops Control Your Webcam," starts at 1:00 pm on Tuesday. 

It will focus on the increasing use of sophisticated tools to hack into the computers of targets, including remotely enabling webcams, turning on microphones, and downloading documents and other files from hacked computers.

A mistrial was declared on Saturday in the first-degree murder charge of Michael Dunn after a Florida jury failed to come to an agreement. The jury did find Dunn guilty on four lesser charges, including three counts of attempted second-degree murder in the 2012 killing of a teenager in a Jacksonville gas station parking lot.

Police say Dunn shot and killed an unarmed man, Jordan Davis, 17, after an argument broke out over loud music coming from Davis' car. Dunn had claimed he acted after being threatened.

Attorney General Eric Holder called on 11 states to repeal "counterproductive" laws that bar convicted felons from "the single most basic right of American citizenship-the right to vote."

In a speech Tuesday at Georgetown University law school, Holder used his bully pulpit to note that 5.8 million people are prohibited from voting because of current or former felony convictions, including 1-in-5 black adults in Florida, Kentucky and Virginia.

It hasn't been easy for Barbara Amaya to talk about her past. She was abused at home as a child, and when she was 12 she ran away to Washington, D.C. — where she was picked up by sex traffickers and forced into prostitution.

"I fell into the hands of a woman. I was sitting in the park and she just started talking to me," Barbara tells her daughter, Bianca Belteton, on a visit to StoryCorps in Arlington, Va.

Tomasz Wyszołmirski/iStock / Thinkstock

Connecticut was among the states with the most recorded exonerations in 2013, according to a new report from the National Registry of Exonerations.

It was a record year for exonerations. Eighty-seven prisoners falsely convicted of crimes were exonerated in the U.S. in 2013. 

The FBI nabbed five alleged mobsters in a series of predawn raids in New York on Thursday in connection with the infamous 1978 Lufthansa heist that netted $6 million in cash and jewels and that inspired the film GoodFellas.

The luxury retailer Neiman Marcus says it has begun notifying customers whose credit cards were compromised during a security breach.

The AP spoke to Ginger Reeder, spokeswoman for Dallas-based company, who would not estimate how many customers could be affected.

WNPR/CPTV

Governor Dannel Malloy announced an appointment Wednesday to a newly-created cabinet level position within his administration advocating on behalf of the state’s disability community.

Jonathan Slifka will be responsible for increasing outreach on behalf of the governor and executive branch agencies to people with disabilities, in order to provide policy and practical recommendations for advocacy and employment programs.

HPD

The 2013 crime statistics from the city of Hartford are in. And police say most major crime numbers are down.

State of Connecticut

There are a lot of people who, for understandable reasons, would like the story of the Sandy Hook shootings to fade away. But, of course it never will. It's part of our molecular structure, especially here in Connecticut. 

This hour, we touch on some of the questions answered  by the release of the state's so called final report on the murders. We also talk about some of the questions that haven't been answered and the peculiar, to some of us, reluctance by the state to release this report. 

Chion Wolf / WNPR

The state said that a new law aimed at getting juveniles out of the adult prison system is working. It's called the "raise the age" law and was fully implemented last year.

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A Francis Bacon triptych, "Three Studies of Lucian Freud" sells for $142.4 million.

Jeff Koons work sells for $58.4 million, making it the most expensive art by a living artist to sell at auction.

Is any art really worth this much or do a few wealthy investors artificially drive up the market to divert the rest of us from the reality of overall declining sales. If art is not worth as much as certain vested interests want us to believe, how do we determine the real worth of art?

BBC

Two terror suspects who were extradited from Britain a year ago pleaded guilty Tuesday in federal court in New Haven. The men admitted to raising funds for terrorists through a Connecticut-based web company that was unaware of it's clients' business practices.

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The Monkees were the first group to exhibit all or most of the qualities we now associate with the term "boy band." They were assembled through auditions. They had a set of visual styles imposed on them. They were incredibly popular with tween-aged girls. They were plagued by the accusation that there was less to them than meets the eye. That last accusation was false, by the way.

State of Connecticut

This week, the long-awaited report was released on last year’s shootings at the Sandy Hook Elementary School. On our weekly news roundtable, The Wheelhouse, we discuss the report and other evidence that may soon be released to the public. Also on the day the report came out, we had yet another campus scare, this time at Yale University.

Note: During the show, Colin mentioned this New York Times story about a death in St. Augustine, FL. That story presents what we see as a compelling reason for the public release of crime scene documents and 911 calls. This story was also the subject of a PBS Frontline documentary, which you can watch here via CPTV. - jd

Robert Elyov on Flickr Creative Commons

Why should sex feel bad? It shouldn't, and Bill Gates is offering $100,000 to the inventor of a condom that puts the pleasure back in sex. And, it isn't just about pleasure. Scientists at the University of Manchester's National Graphene Institute say a "redesigned condom that overcomes inconvenience, fumbling, or perceived loss of pleasure would be a powerful weapon in the fight against poverty."

Former chemist Annie Dookhan began serving a 3-to-5 year sentence in a Massachusetts prison on Friday after pleading guilty to falsifying tests of drug evidence and helping to create one of the nation's largest drug lab scandals.

Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley says the state is taking steps to improve forensic testing:

"It is certainly lessons learned," she says. "We hope that we've made changes in the system that will mean this unique case will not happen again in Massachusetts."

State and federal regulators have hailed Tuesday's $13 billion settlement with JPMorgan Chase & Co. over faulty mortgage assets it sold in the years leading up to the financial crisis as a big victory for the judicial system.

But like other big settlements to emerge from the financial crisis, the deal leaves unclear just what the bank did wrong.

A former chemist for the state of Massachusetts' crime labs pleaded guilty Friday to falsifying drugs tests that potentially compromised tens of thousands of criminal cases. WBUR reports she admitted all 27 counts against her.

Update at 4:40 p.m. ET: Prison Sentence Of 3-5 Years

Judge Carol Ball sentenced Annie Dookhan, 36, to three to five years in prison, plus a probation period. Prosecutors had requested a sentence of from five to seven years in prison.

Our original post continues:

CT-N

Michael Skakel walked out of Stamford Superior Court this afternoon after posting a $1.2 million dollar bond. He has served eleven years in prison after being convicted in the 1975 death of Greenwich neighbor, Martha Moxley when they were 15.

Mark Pazniokas / CT Mirror

We’re less than a year away from the 2014 midterm election, but we’re still wrapping up a major story from the last congressional election. One of the key figures in the Chris Donovan scandal involving illegal campaign contributions was sentenced on Monday.

James "Whitey" Bulger has been sentenced to two terms of life in prison, to run consecutively, plus five years for his role in the murder of 11 people. Bulger, 84, is also being punished for racketeering and other crimes. Before announcing the sentence, U.S. District Judge Denise Casper read aloud the names of Bulger's victims.

(With the day's court action over, we updated this post at noon ET.)

Confronting James "Whitey" Bulger, who she believes killed her father in addition to the 11 people he's been convicting of murdering, a woman told the mob boss Wednesday morning that "we got you, you rat."

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