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Archive for the ‘PROVING CASES’ Category

It was said by Fox News Channel commentator Geraldo Rivera on Friday that the hoodie an unarmed black teenager wore when he was killed in Florida is as much responsible for his death as the man who shot him.

The veteran TV personality, speaking on Fox & Friends, waded in with an opinion on the shooting of Trayvon Martin, a story that has attracted attention across America over the past month. He later acknowledged that his comments were “politically incorrect”.

Killed ... Trayvon Martin.Killed … Trayvon Martin.

People wearing hooded sweatshirts are often going to be perceived as a menace, Rivera said.

“I’ll bet you money that if he didn’t have that hoodie on, that nutty neighbourhood watch guy wouldn’t have responded in that violent and aggressive way,” Rivera said.

The unarmed 17-year-old Martin was killed on February 26 in Sanford. He was wearing a hoodie and returning from a trip to a convenience store when neighbourhood watch captain George Zimmerman started following him, telling police dispatchers he looked suspicious. Zimmerman hasn’t been charged and says he shot Martin in self defence.

Supporters of Trayvon Martin rally in Union Square during a Million Hoodie March in Manhattan.Supporters of Trayvon Martin rally in Union Square during a Million Hoodie March in Manhattan. Photo: Getty Images

The case brought hundreds of people together in New York with Martin’s parents for a protest march this week. The BET television network said it would air a special, Shoot First: The Tragedy of Trayvon Martin, on Monday.

Of Martin, Rivera said, “God bless him, he was an innocent kid, a wonderful kid.” But he said the case should be a warning to parents to watch what their children should wear.

“If you dress like a hoodlum eventually some schmuck is going to take you at your word,” he wrote in a commentary posted on Friday on the website Fox News Latino.

Geraldo Rivera ... "If you dress like a hoodlum eventually some schmuck is going to take you at your word."Geraldo Rivera … “If you dress like a hoodlum eventually some schmuck is going to take you at your word.” Photo: Getty Images

Hundreds of people had posted messages on Rivera’s Facebook page by Friday afternoon, the overwhelming majority of them negative about Rivera’s comments.

Rivera compared his own comments to those of fellow Fox analyst Juan Williams, who was fired by National Public Radio in 2010 for saying on Fox that he gets nervous when he sees people on a plane with clothing that identifies them as Muslim.

“No one black, brown or white can honestly tell me that seeing a kid of colour with a hood pulled over his head doesn’t generate a certain reaction – sometimes scorn, often menace,” Rivera wrote in his commentary.

ANCHORMAN ON CRUISESHIP ANSWERS CHARGES IN COURT


OBLIVIOT OF THE WEEK #896: "I guess he thought it was a big joke," said
  attorney Daniel L. Castillo about his client, Rick Ehlert, 45. Ehlert
  is "not denying he did it," Castillo says, but what he did shouldn't be
  considered a crime. He says Ehlert was drunk on a cruise ship headed
  for Tampa, Fla., when he broke into the control room and dropped the
  moving ship's anchor, and then tossed a life buoy overboard -- at 5:25
  a.m. The captain stopped the ship and assembled all passengers and crew
  on deck for a head count. No one was missing. "Everybody was mad at
  him," Castillo said, but "where's the crime?" The crime, federal
  prosecutors say, is attempting to damage the ship -- a statute that was
  strengthened after transportation-related terrorist attacks. Dropping
  anchor on a moving ship could damage it enough to cause it to sink. The
  719-foot MS Ryndam holds 1,260 passengers and 580 crew, and all were
  put in grave danger. Prosecutors are only calling for probation, but
  Castillo is trying to get him off in any case, noting "an alcohol-induced
  reckless act does not necessarily equate to a violation of federal
  criminal statutes." Also, Castillo added, "He's got a lot of money."
  (RC/Tampa Tribune) ...Oh, well, if he's got money, then by all means:
  let him commit "alcohol-induced reckless acts" with impunity.

Forensic scientists  would link

sex offenders to condoms

Sexual offenders are increasingly using condoms when committing their assaults, both to reduce the risk of sexually-transmitted diseases, and to avoid leaving their DNA at the crime scene. While an offender might still leave their fingerprints behind, that often only proves that they were at a given location, and not that they were involved in any wrongdoing. Researchers from the Biomedical Research Centre at Sheffield Hallam University, however, have recently developed technology that detects condom lubricant in fingerprints. If a suspect could be tied to a crime scene by their fingerprints, and be shown to have handled a condom at that location – well, they’d have a lot more explaining to do.

The process utilizes MALDI-MSI, or matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionisation mass spectrometry imaging – this allows for the analysis of fragile molecules, that fragment when subjected to more conventional ionization techniques. The Sheffield team previously researched the use of this same technology for mapping fingerprint ridge patterns.

In lab trials, the researchers were able to identify lubricant from two major brands of condoms in fingerprints, some of which were several weeks old. It is hoped that in the future, it might even be possible to match lubricant found in fingerprints to that found in vaginal swabs from victims, or to determine the brand of condom used.

“If condom lubricant can be detected in fingermarks it would improve the evidence for the prosecution by establishing the assailant’s presence at the scene and, crucially, having had contact with a condom,” said Dr. Rosalind Wolstenholme, co-author of a paper on the research. “This would enable forensic scientists to provide further support to the evidence in alleged cases of sexual assault.”

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