Archive for the ‘court’ Category

Methamphetamine use costs U.S. $23 billion a year

February 4, 2009

Methamphetamine use costs the United States about $23.4 billion a year considering lost lives and productivity, drug treatment, law enforcement expenses and other factors, according to a report released on Wednesday.

Methamphetamine, also called meth, is a highly addictive stimulant that users inject, snort, smoke or swallow. A form called crystal meth looks like fragments of glass and is smoked using a glass pipe like those used to smoke crack cocaine.

By Will Dunham, Reuters

The report by the nonprofit RAND Corporation found that costs relating to the 900 people who died from using meth in 2005 and the addiction of many thousands of others accounted for two-thirds of the total economic burden.

“Our study represents the most comprehensive assessment so far of the economic costs of meth use in the United States. It shows the impact of methamphetamine is substantial,” RAND economist Nancy Nicosia said in a telephone interview.

Arresting, prosecuting and incarcerating methamphetamine users plus the economic cost of various crimes they commit amounted to $4.2 billion in 2005, according to the report.

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/2009020
4/hl_nm/us_methamphetamine_usa

Death, Life in Prison Sentences in China Poisoned Milk Trial

January 22, 2009

The Associated Press reported that a court in China gave a sentence of life in prison to the former boss of the dairy at the center of China‘s contaminated milk scandal.

Tian Wenhua, former board chairwoman and general manager of the Chinese dairy company Sanlu Group, will go to life in prison for her role in a tainted milk scandal that killed at least six infants and sickened nearly 300,000 others.

CNN reported that three other people were sentenced to death and two others to life in prison for their roles, while three others received prison terms of five to 15 years each. Many of those sentenced were middlemen who sold melamine to milking stations that added the chemical to the milk.

Tian Wenhua 
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Above: Tian Wenhua, chairwoman of the now-bankrupt Sanlu Group, enters a courthouse in China. Photo: Ding Lixin / Associated Press

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CNN:
http://edition.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/asia
pcf/01/22/china.tainted.milk/index.html

AP:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090122
/ap_on_re_as/as_china_tainted_milk

Amy Winehouse Summoned to Drug Court

December 31, 2008

British singer-songwriter Amy Winehouse has been summoned to appear in a Norwegian court on Jan. 12 in her appeal against a fine in a drugs possession case, a police prosecutor said Wednesday.

Winehouse and her husband, Blake Fielder-Civil, were arrested in the western city of Bergen in October 2007 during a concert stop on charges of possessing 7 grams (1/4-ounce) of marijuana. They were held overnight and released after paying fines of 3,000 kroner ($415) each.

The 25-year-old Winehouse later appealed the fine, claiming Norwegian police made mistakes in the case. An initial trial date in March 2008 was postponed at the request of her attorney.

Associated Press

In this Sunday, Aug. 17, 2008, file photo, British singer, Amy ... 
In this Sunday, Aug. 17, 2008, file photo, British singer, Amy Winehouse performs at the V Festival, near Chelmsford, England. Winehouse has been summoned to appear in a Norwegian court on Jan. 12 in her appeal against a fine in a drugs possession case, a police prosecutor said Wednesday, Dec. 31, 2008.(AP Photo/Joel Ryan, File)

Police prosecutor Rudolf Christoffersen says the star and her husband had been informed of the date by British police and will probably have to appear in person in the Bergen appeals court.

“She is the one who appealed, so that makes it her appeal,” Christoffersen told The Associated Press by telephone. “Often, if you don’t appear at your own appeal hearing, then the court will dismiss the appeal.”

Winehouse’s Norwegian attorney, Ole Kvelstad, has said that payment of the fine amounted to a guilty plea, which he said could have serious consequences if she sought to enter the United States. Winehouse was denied a U.S. visa this year when she wanted to perform at the Grammy awards ceremony.

Related:
Amy Winehouse: Topless Part “Looks Healthy!”
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Amy Winehouse: Turning Point?

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20081231/
ap_en_mu/eu_norway_people_amy_winehouse

Legal Hurdle: Blagojevich Has A Big Mouth But Was A Crime Completed?

December 16, 2008

When Patrick J. Fitzgerald, the United States attorney in Chicago, announced the arrest of the Illinois governor, Rod R. Blagojevich, Mr. Fitzgerald said he had acted to halt a political crime spree that included what he called an “appalling” effort to sell off the Senate seat vacated by President-elect Barack Obama.

By Dvid Johnston
the New York Times 

Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich leaves a downtown office building Monday, Dec. 15, 
AP Photo By Spencer Green
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But now some lawyers are beginning to suggest that the juiciest part of the case against Mr. Blagojevich, the part involving the Senate seat, may be less than airtight. There is no evidence, at least none that has been disclosed, that the governor actually received anything of value — and the Senate appointment has yet to be made.

Ever since the country’s founding, prosecutors, defense lawyers and juries have been trying to define the difference between criminality and political deal-making. They have never established a clear-cut line between the offensive and the illegal, and the hours of wiretapped conversations involving Mr. Blagojevich, filled with crass, profane talk about benefiting from the Senate vacancy, may fall into a legal gray area.

Robert S. Bennett, one of Washington’s best-known white-collar criminal defense lawyers, said Mr. Blagojevich faced nearly insurmountable legal problems in a case that includes a raft of corruption accusations unrelated to Mr. Obama’s Senate seat. But Mr. Bennett said the case raised some potentially thorny issues about political corruption.

“This town is full of people who call themselves ambassadors, and all they did was pay $200,000 or $300,000 to the Republican or Democratic Party,” said Mr. Bennett, referring to a passage in the criminal complaint filed against the governor suggesting that Mr. Blagojevich was interested in an ambassadorial appointment in return for the Senate seat. “You have to wonder, How much of this guy’s problem was his language, rather than what he really did?”

Read the rest:
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/12/16/us/politics/16legal.html?_r=1&hp