crime

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."

It's the moment many victims of former Boston mob boss James "Whitey" Bulger have been waiting decades for: In federal court in Boston, relatives of those killed by Bulger will face the former gangster and describe their pain.

Bulger was convicted in August of taking part in 11 murders while running a massive criminal enterprise for decades. There is little suspense around Bulger's sentencing — even the minimum would be enough to send the 84-year-old away for the rest of his life.

To many victims, Wednesday's sentencing hearing is less about Bulger than it is about them.

The first thing T. Jeremy Gunn says when you ask him about President John F. Kennedy's assassination is, "I'm not a conspiracy theorist. I don't have a theory about what happened."

Chion Wolf

Okay, this is sad. Like a lot of people, I have trouble achieving the deep focus needed to enjoy long fiction. And, like a lot of people, I have trouble finding time to read novels.

Recently, I came up with a solution. I go to the gym, get on a recumbent bike, and I read while I pedal for an hour, so yes,  I kill two birds with one Robert Stone.

In New York City, the country's largest police force has been involved in a high-profile legal battle over its stop-and-frisk policy.

Few policies of outgoing New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg have been as controversial as stop-and-frisk, the tactic New York police use to stop people on the streets without a search warrant.

The police department says it's been vital in catching criminals and reducing the city's crime rate.

State of Connecticut Judicial Branch

From the Associated Press in New Haven:

A Connecticut judge has granted a new trial for Kennedy cousin Michael Skakel, ruling his attorney failed to adequately represent him when he was convicted in 2002 of killing his neighbor in 1975. Judge Thomas Bishop's ruling marks a dramatic reversal after years of unsuccessful appeals by Skakel. 

CT-N

A state board has voted unanimously to release Bonnie Foreshaw from prison. Foreshaw has served 27 years for fatally shooting a pregnant woman, but had garnered support from advocates who said she was unfairly tried and convicted.

Connecticut Department of Correction

Bonnie Jean Foreshaw, a woman believed to be Connecticut’s longest-serving female prison inmate, will have the rare chance for early release Wednesday. The clemency hearing is to be held at Gates Correctional Institution in Niantic.

erin_can_spell / Flickr Creative Commons

Welcome to autumn in New England. The weather is getting crisper, you can get pumpkin flavored lattes, beer and donuts, and it's prime apple-picking season. 

Most apple pickers do it the legal way. You get a bag, pick the ripest, biggest apples you can find, and then you pay for them. Apparently, some people are forgetting that last step.

In the woods outside Huntsville, Texas, scientists are trying to determine whether they can use the microbes that live on the human body as microscopic witnesses that could help catch criminals.

It's a strange scene at the Southeast Texas Applied Forensic Science Facility. At first, it's easy to miss the human bodies scattered among the tall pines, wild grass and weeds.

NamUs.gov

Cold cases are frustrating to police and to family members whose loved ones disappear. Jan and William Smolinski of Cheshire have been looking for their son, Billy, for nine years. He disappeared in 2004.

Speaking on WNPRs Where We Live, Jan Smolinski says while there are missing person cases that do not involve a homicide, they suspected foul play when he disappeared. She says the night he went missing, her son called another man who was dating Billy's girlfriend. 

via justice4billy.com

We know about some of the famous cold cases – the JonBenét Ramsey case, the Zodiac Killer and Jack the Ripper. But there are hundreds of thousands of cold cases throughout the country and most of them don’t get nearly the same amount of attention.

On Where We Live, we talk to someone who follows cold cases in Connecticut and with the parents of a man who has been missing for a decade. How much time is spent working on these cold cases? And how has technology changed the way they’re solved?

On Saturday night, the emergency room staff knows all too well what's coming — people showing up with a broken jaw, a knife wound or a bashed-in face, often after too many hours in a pub. Doctors at the emergency department in Cardiff, Wales, realized that many of the people who were injured in fights never reported it to the police. That realization led to a simple program that has radically reduced the toll of violence.

Jim Michaud / Journal Inquirer

Lawyers for Richard Lapointe will argue for their client's right to a new trial today before the State Supreme court. State prosecutors appealed last year's ruling by the state appellate court, which granted Lapointe a new trial. 

This case has garnered national attention. Lapointe is an intellectually disabled man with Dandy-Walker syndrome. He was convicted in 1992 for the 1987 rape and murder of his wife's grandmother in Manchester.

While you probably never give a second thought to the clippings scattered about when you get a haircut, Philip Musica turned this trash into cash. Millions of dollars of cash. 

http://www.thehallofinfamy.org/

We're fascinated by Bernie Madoff and Frank Abagnale, larger than life con men who somehow got perfectly sane and intelligent people to trust them when there was ample reason not to.

The art world in northwestern Connecticut was rocked last week when a longtime assistant to artist Jasper Johns was arrested for stealing 22 works from Johns and selling them for $6.5 million. The NY Times reports on the case against James Meyer.

Jury Duty

Aug 12, 2013
pds209 on Flickr Creative Commons

The American jury system is a great leveler. Rich and powerful men such as Kenneth Lay and Jeffrey Skilling of Enron, suddenly find their fates in the hands of very average Americans who earn and possess a tiny fraction of what they have. Most of the news we get about juries concerns cases in which an unusual and possibly controversial verdict was reached.

The Department of Justice announced Tuesday that it was suing Bank of America for allegedly lying to investors about the riskiness of about $850 million worth of mortgage-backed securities back in 2008.

According to a press release by the Justice Department, the action is part of efforts of the Obama administration's Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force's RMBS Working Group.

Sage Ross, Wikimedia Commons

Got time for a little news diversion while you wait to find out if A-Rod will play in Chicago tonight? You're at the right place. Here are a few stories you should know about today.

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NO INDIVIDUAL HEALTH INSURANCE EXCHANGE FOR YOU
Aetna withdraws from Access Health CT.

Whitey Bulger Decides Not To Take The Stand

Aug 2, 2013

One of the most anticipated testimonies in a criminal trial will not happen: James "Whitey" Bulger, the notorious Boston gangster, decided not to testify in his own defense, today.

whologwhy/flickr creative commons

One of the world's most beautiful endangered species, butterflies are as lucrative as gorillas, pandas, and rhinos on the black market. In this cutthroat $200 million business, no one was more successful—or posed a greater ecological danger—than Yoshi Kojima. Jessica Speart’s Winged Obsession covers the pursuit of the world’s most notorious butterfly smuggler. Speart is our guest.

During a 72-hour operation that spanned 76 cities in the United States, the FBI says, agents rescued 105 sexually exploited children and apprehended 150 alleged pimps.

Prosecutors said a large volume of evidence including electronic messages, court-ordered wiretaps and consensual recordings is stacked against a Connecticut-based hedge fund that pleaded not guilty Friday to criminal charges accusing it of letting insider trading flourish for more than a decade.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Antonia Apps told a federal judge in Manhattan that investigators had “voluminous” evidence against SAC Capital Advisors, a Stamford, Conn.-based firm owned by billionaire Steven A. Cohen.

Willie Louis may be one of the most celebrated but least-known figures in a pivotal point in American history: He testified against the men accused of kidnapping and murdering 14-year-old Emmett Till. He died July 18, but his wife, Juliet, announced his death this week.

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