The death of Jeffrey Epstein did not represent the death knell of the investigation into allegations of sex trafficking. The criminal case is expanding and focusing on new suspects connected to Epstein, including high-profile entrepreneurs and powerful politicians.
After years of rumors and criminal charges surrounding his supposed proclivities for minor females, R. Kelly has replaced a wardrobe custom-made for a wealthy R&B mogul for an orange jumpsuit and ankle shackles.
One of the biggest cold cases in modern history made news about a year ago with the capture of the alleged “Golden State Killer.” The man identified as the suspect has been charged with 26 counts of murder for his alleged spree of murders and rapes in the 1970s and 80s across California.
"When protecting the defendant's right to a fair trial requires the government to disclose its confidential techniques, prosecutors face a choice: Give up the prosecution or give up the secret," an expert in computer crime law and former Justice Department lawyer told the nonprofit newsroom ProPublica recently.
While other types of evidence and forensic science are increasingly being challenged as unreliable, DNA analysis is the notable exception. It is usually considered the gold standard in the criminal justice arena, especially in prosecutions of violent crimes and sex offenses. And DNA evidence has been used to both convict and exonerate countless individuals.
Andre Haymond of Oklahoma was convicted in federal court of possessing child pornography in 2010. As part of his sentence, he was placed on supervised release for 10 years. When he was accused of violating his supervised release, he was ordered to serve an additional 5 years in prison -- longer than his original term of incarceration. Now, he is asking the U.S. Supreme Court to rule that he should have received a jury trial before being sentenced to the additional five years.
When a set of allegations is explosive enough, the police are under immense pressure to solve the crime. That can lead to corners being cut, such as targeting the most likely suspect to the exclusion of all others. Witness statements that don't match the police's theory may be ignored, as may evidence tending to show the suspect isn't guilty. When the allegations are especially shocking, the risk of a false conviction seems to increase.
In 1997, Michelle Moore-Bosko's husband discovered her body, raped, stabbed and strangled, in the apartment they shared. He had been at sea the previous week. The police immediately identified a neighbor, Navy sailor Danial Williams, as the prime suspect because he reportedly had a crush on the victim.
When a convicted sex offender on supervised release is accused of a new offense, how should they be sentenced? Should the penalty be the one for violating their supervised release terms, or should they be sentenced as if they had been convicted of the new offense?