Tag Archives: CNN

Zimmerman’s Lawyer: “Pay Me”

Anderson Cooper visited Wolfson Children's Hos...

Anderson Cooper visited Wolfson Children’s Hospital. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In an interview on Tuesday, George Zimmerman‘s attorney, Mark O’Mara, told ABC News that he would no longer be representing Zimmerman. That isn’t surprising, considering that Zimmerman was almost arrested outside of the home of his estranged wife earlier in the week for an alleged domestic violence incident. While some media sites claim that the police stated Zimmerman didn’t have a gun, these reports, according to Zimmermans’s own attorney, are false. In an interview with CNN’s Anderson Cooper, O’Mara said that Zimmerman was in possession of a weapon when he went to his wife’s home.

O’Mara may not have dropped Zimmerman because of his tendency to get into trouble with the law. During the ABC interview, when O’Mara was asked if he had any advice for his former client, he said this: “Pay me.”

Read more: http://www.addictinginfo.org/2013/09/11/george-zimmerman-scam/#ixzz2ecTMN52m

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5 Rules for Talking about Rape

English: Miley Cyrus singing in concert

English: Miley Cyrus singing in concert (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Over at Salon, Katie McDonough has written a piece called “How not to be terrible when talking about rape.” It’s fantastic, and I’ve re-posted it in large part below (with editing for length and language). Head over to Salon to read the original.

 

Fourteen-year-old girls in juvenile detention facilities do not “consent” to rape by corrections officers. Latex-clad pop stars do not “encourage a teenage culture” in which boys can sexually assault unconscious girls. A thirty-day sentence for a convicted rapist who violated the terms of his rehabilitation programs has not received a sentence “appropriate given the nature of the case.”

A year after the “legitimate rape” comment that killed Todd Akin’s political career, it’s become clear that Akin’s view of sexual violence is how many people talk about rape: quick to blame survivors and excuse perpetrators.

It is so easy to be better. Here are five ways to start.

1. Being sexually assaulted is a tragedy. Going to prison for sexually assaulting someone is not. 

Empathy is a good thing. Empathy for people who commit terrible crimes can be a good thing.

Judge G. Todd Baugh initially agreed with Stacey Dean Rambold’s defense attorney when he argued that Rambold — a forty-nine-year-old teacher who raped his fourteen-year-old student — should not serve the recommended fifteen years behind bars because he had “suffered enough” during his trial.

Rambold’s victim, however, was repeatedly raped by an adult who was legally responsible for her care; she committed suicide at only sixteen years old.

To suggest Rambold’s experience of being found guilty of a crime is on par with the experience of being a victim of that crime is not only offensive — it’s delusional.

Then there was CNN’s commentary on Trent Mays and Ma’lik Richmond, the two high school football players found guilty of raping an unconscious teenage girl and, in Mays’ case, circulating photos of the assault. After delivering news of the guilty verdict, correspondent Poppy Harlow lamented:

Incredibly difficult, even for an outsider like me, to watch what happened as these two young men that had such promising futures, star football players, very good students, literally watched as they believed their lives fell apart … when that sentence came down, [Richmond] collapsed in the arms of his attorney … He said to him, “My life is over. No one is going to want me now.”

It isn’t a tragedy when people who commit crimes face consequences. It’s justice.

2. Female sexuality does not ever invite rape.

On Tuesday, the Washington Post ran a piece by Richard Cohen suggesting that Miley Cyrus might be responsible for the crimes committed in Steubenville.

In a story for USA Today, Joanne Bamberger took a similar position, blaming Cyrus for failures of accountability from the criminal justice system. Bamberger cites the pop star’s onstage writhing and grinding as the reason that judges like Baugh think girls like Rambold’s victim are “as much in control of the situation” as their assailants:

Even though [Cyrus] is 20, many of us still see her as the tween/teen star of Disney’s “Hannah Montana,” and maintain a mental image of her as that more wholesome child, even as she struts on stage today, inviting sexual attention. Shows like “16 and Pregnant” reinforce the idea that girls are sexually mature before they graduate from high school. The music industry inundates us with salacious female images, like the Britney Spears/Madonna French-kissing episode ten years ago on same MTV award show.

3. Being anti-rape is not anti-sex.

Only days before the Washington Post ran Cohen’s editorial, they published Betsy Karasik’s musings on why sending a forty-nine-year-old man who raped a fourteen-year-old girl to prison for longer than 30 days is “utter hysteria.” Teachers who rape students, Karasik says, exist on a “nuanced continuum of sexual interactions.”

As Katie Halper recently noted for Salon, a fourteen-year-old girl literally cannot consent to have sex with a forty-nine-year-old man. There is no “sex” between a teacher and a fourteen-year-old student. It is rape. The same goes for the recent trial of a forty-year-old corrections officer who raped an incarcerated fourteen-year-old girl.

The Poytner Institute has a wonderfully concise rule of thumb on distinguishing between rape and sex when reporting on sexual violence: “Describe charges of sex without consent as rape, not anything less … sometimes writers minimize the trauma of rape by describing it as sex or intercourse if the rape doesn’t involve the kind of physical violence that requires medical attention.”

4. Don’t use a stand-up comedian as the crux of your defense of a convicted rapist. 

Seriously. Just don’t do it.

5. “Prison rape” is rape.

Last month, the Daily Beast ran a piece announcing that “true rape” does not happen in prison and that it’s “really not that unusual” for incarcerated people to lie about being sexually assaulted. Mansfield Frazier’s piece (which has since been edited to remove this passage) continued:

Indeed, the vast majority of experienced convicts know that “true” rape is not a common occurrence in prison. That doesn’t mean that homosexual sex doesn’t occur — it certainly does. But it’s really not that unusual for a new prisoner to show up on the compound and begin walking around the yard in pants far too tight. Before long they drop the soap in the shower, get a little close to another naked man, and then — simply because they’ve never been able to come to terms with their own sexuality — tell anyone who will listen (but, interestingly enough, they usually never complain to the guards) that they were “raped.” And a week or two later it could happen again, and then again.

The story generated near-immediate outrage, which the editors responded to by significantly altering the piece and posting a public apology, but the Daily Beast was far from the first media outlet to make light of sexual assault in prison.

On CNN that week, Richard Herman said that Chelsea Manning, a transgender woman, would get “good practice at being a woman” while in prison. Disgusting.

As Salon’s Mary Elizabeth Williams noted in 2012, minimizing rape in prison isn’t funny. “Ever wonder why, though men make up at least 3 percent of rape victims, the crime so often goes unreported?” Williams asks. “Couldn’t have anything to do with our cultural propensity for turning sexual violence against men into a smug joke?”

Rape doesn’t suddenly become acceptable when it’s committed against a person who is incarcerated. It actually just keeps being rape.

Via Salon.

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Man Confesses to Killing Someone on YouTube

Matt Cordle just did an incredible thing: He confessed to killing a man. On YouTube.

Cordle says he was driving “blackout drunk” when he hit and killed sixty-one-year-old Vincent Canzani on June 22. Cordle was going the wrong way on an Interstate 670 near Columbus, Ohio.

No charges have been made in the accident. The county prosecutor called the video “compelling” and said a grand jury will be asked to indict him for aggravated vehicular homicide.

“When I get charged, I will plead guilty and take full responsibility for everything I’ve done to Vincent and his family,” Cordle says. “This video will act as my confession.”

Cordle says “If i took a different route maybe I would get a reduced sentence and maybe I would get off,” he says, but continues that he’s willing to the do the time because he wants to own up to what he’s done, and does so in the hope that his own story will serve as a cautionary tale for others to never, ever drive drunk.

The video was produced by Because I Said So, a new site that offers a forum for people to make good on their promises.

Founder Alex Sheen told CNN Cordle contacted him to make the video over Facebook. “Matt is doing as well as he can. He’s upset that people are calling his act of confession ‘courageous’ rather than focusing on the real issue: drinking and driving kills innocent people,” Sheen says.

Via Death and Taxes.

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Stewart Skewers McCain for Playing Game During Syria Hearing

Host Jon Stewart in the studio of The Daily Sh...

Host Jon Stewart in the studio of The Daily Show in 2004 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

On his second day back at “The Daily Show,” Jon Stewart skewered Senator John McCain for playing poker on his iPhone during a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on Syria“McCain! You’ve been hawking Syria for a year!” Stewart said. “And now you can’t be bothered because you’re a river card away from crushing ‘stashman_42?’”

“You know what, senator? Go. There’s a rascal scooter and a bucket of quarters with your name on it over at the Golden Nugget. You can play all the video poker you want, 99 cent prime rib. Instead of playing pretend poker in the actual Senate, go to an actual casino and pretend you know what the government should do.”

Sen. McCain laughed off the incident, but it quickly become a topic of controversy. He joked that the “worst part” about the game was that he lost “thousands of dollars” — a joke that didn’t quite land with CNN host Wolf Blitzer, who thought he was playing with real money.

Well, at least Sen. McCain is treating the possibility of going to war with all the gravity the situation deserves.

Click here to see the video.

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Judge Removes Herself from Trayvon Martin Case

A Florida judge has stepped aside from a criminal case involving a neighborhood watch volunteer who fatally shot seventeen-year-old Trayvon Martin.

The defense team for George Zimmerman requested Monday that Judge Jessica Recksiedler be removed because her husband works with a CNN legal analyst.

Mr. Zimmerman fatally shot Mr. Martin in Sanford, Florida, on February 26, a killing he has said was in self-defense. The case has stirred civil rights activists nationwide. Mr. Zimmerman faces a second-degree murder charge.

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Video of Rape in South Africa Goes Viral

South Africa (orthographic projection)

South Africa (orthographic projection) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A group of Soweto youths in South Africa filmed themselves raping a seventeen-year-old mentally ill girl.

The cellphone video has gone viral among school children, and #rapevideo was trending on Twitter in South Africa on Wednesday.

The Daily Sun, a South African tabloid, alerted the police after a mother whose daughter was watching the video handed it over to the paper on Tuesday.

The suspects, aged between fourteen and twenty, were arrested Tuesday morning and charged with kidnapping and rape.

The girl’s mother reported her missing on March 21.

Media reports suggest the police initially failed to open a missing persons case, but that they have since done so.

Police suspect the girl was kidnapped and turned into a sex slave.

A local radio station got hold of the video and has been getting requests to post it.

Via CNN.

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Romney Wins D.C.

Mitt Romney

Mitt Romney (Photo credit: Talk Radio News Service)

Mitt Romney has won the Republican presidential primary in the District of Columbia.

The former Massachusetts governor will take all sixteen delegates that were at stake Tuesday.

Earlier Tuesday night, Mr. Romney won in Maryland and took most of that state’s 37 delegates, which are awarded proportionally.

The wins put Mr. Romney past the halfway mark to the 1,144 delegates needed to clinch the nomination.

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Obama Clinches Nomination

Official photographic portrait of US President...

Official photographic portrait of US President Barack Obama (born 4 August 1961; assumed office 20 January 2009) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

President Barack Obama clinched the Democratic presidential nomination by winning primaries in the District of Columbia and Maryland.

Like his Republican counterparts, Pres. Obama has competed in primaries and caucuses this year. Unlike the Republicans, he faces no serious opposition.

On the Republican side, Mitt Romney reached a campaign milestone of his own with his projected win in Maryland. The Republican front-runner passed the halfway mark in the race for the 1,144 delegates needed to clinch his party’s nomination.

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Gingrich Preparing for Convention

Newt Gingrich has replaced his campaign manager and is laying off a third of his staff, but has vowed to continue his bid for the Republicanpresidential nomination, despite overwhelming evidence that the party no longer wants him to run.

November 8: Republicans gain control of Congre...

November 8: Republicans gain control of Congress (Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich pictured) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“The campaign is being redesigned to make it convention ready,” spokesman R.C. Hammond said. “Speaker Gingrich is committed to going all the way to Tampa.”

Tampa, Florida, hosts the party’s national convention in August.

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BREAKING: SCOTUS Concludes Arguments about Health Care Law

Jeffrey Toobin, author of The Nine: Inside the...

Jeffrey Toobin, author of The Nine: Inside the Secret World of the Supreme Court (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Supreme Court today concluded a debate on health care with Justices signaling a divide that could topple some or all of the law signed by President Barack Obama.

CNN senior legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin said he found the questioning by Justices signaled they are ready to invalidate the individual mandate.

At issue on the third day of debate was whether all the law’s 450 provisions would have to be scrapped if the individual mandate were found unconstitutional.

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