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Law

WNYC News

NJ Senator Warns Against "Retention Awards"

Monday, March 09, 2009

A member of the Senate's powerful Banking Committee says he's concerned that banks that got bailout money may be bending the rules to give big bonuses that are illegal under a new law. New Jersey Senator Robert Menendez says some banks are offering "retention awards" ...

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WNYC News

Assembly Passes Bill to Revise Drug Laws

Thursday, March 05, 2009

The state Assembly has passed a bill that calls for sweeping changes to New York's 36-year-old Rockefeller-era drug laws. WNYC's Elaine Rivera reports.

REPORTER: Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver says the bill is long overdue in addressing what he calls the state's outdated, failed drug policies. The ...

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WNYC News

Watch Out for Recession Scams

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Government agencies are warning of a sharp rise in frauds targeting people who have fallen into financial hardship because of the recession.

Mindy Bockstein, chair of the New York State Consumer Protection Board, says she saw a 300 percent increase last year in so-called "phishing scams" ...

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WNYC News

Deputy Mayor Foils Muggers

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Add law enforcement to Deputy mayor Ed Skyler's list of duties. Skyler helped a woman retrieve a cell phone that had been stolen from her by a group of teenagers.

He was on his way to dinner last night, near 48th and Sixth, when he saw ...

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WNYC News

Increased Oversight in Federal Contracts

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Bipartisanship was on display this morning at the White House. With his former opponent, Senator John McCain at his side, President Obama signed a memorandum changing the way government buys goods and services. The administration says new oversight and more competitive bidding will save the ...

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The Takeaway

When election contributions taint justice

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

When judges have received campaign contributions from interested parties in a case, should they recuse themselves? Caperton v. A.T. Massey Coal Co. goes before the U.S. Supreme Court today to answer that question. Adam Liptak, Supreme Court correspondent for The New York Times, joins Farai and John with a look at the case and how the system of electing judges influences the justice system.

For more on the implications of this case, read Adam Liptak's article, Case May Alter Judge Elections Across Country, in the New York Times.

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The Takeaway

Asylum cases skyrocket amid Mexico drug war violence

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

A rising tide of violence stemming from Mexico’s drug war has sent thousands of Mexican nationals fleeing across the border to the United States. Some of them go home, but thousands more say they cannot without fear of reprisal. Understandably, the number of Mexicans seeking asylum in the United States has skyrocketed in the past year. We’re joined by Carlos Spector an immigration attorney in El Paso, Texas, who has been helping people flee the violence.

Here is raw footage of Mexican troops being deployed to the border city of Ciudad Juarez, the country's most dangerous drug city.

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WNYC News

Reforms to NY Drug laws Expected

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

The New York State Assembly is expected to pass a bill this week that will reform the Rockefeller-era drug laws. As WNYC's Elaine Rivera reports, it would be the first major drug law reform in New York in decades.

REPORTER: Advocates are lauding the assembly bill ...

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WNYC News

Drug Laws Opposition Growing

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Legislation to soften New York's strict drug laws is gaining momentum in Albany. The State Assembly is scheduled to vote tomorrow on a bill that would give judges more leeway to sentence nonviolent offenders to parole and addiction treatment, instead of prison. Queens Assemblyman Jeff ...

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WNYC News

Indictments in Ecuadorian Murder

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Indictments were handed down today against two men in the murder of Jose Sucuzhanay, an Ecuadorian immigrant who was beaten to death last December. One of the indicted men recently said he acted in self defense a claim that upset Sucuzhanay's family. The family's lawyer, ...

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Madame Prosecutor

Monday, March 02, 2009

When she was Switzerland's Attorney General, Carla Del Ponte gained international recognition for pursing the Sicilian mafia. In the late 1990’s she was asked to be chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia and for Rwanda. Chuck Sudetic chronicles Del Ponte’s work in the book

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The Takeaway

The unlikely friendship of a death penalty advocate and a condemned killer

Monday, March 02, 2009

When most lawyers debate the death penalty, they do it in a court room. Robert Blecker may be the only lawyer who goes into prisons and debates the death penalty with the residents of death row. As one of the few academics who makes a passionate argument in favor of capitol punishment, he’s spent the last 20 years speaking to those who face the ultimate punishment — and recording his visits on videotape. His relationship with one of those inmates, Daryl Holton, who admitted to killing his four children in 1997, is the subject of a new documentary, Robert Blecker Wants Me Dead. It just opened here in New York.

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The Takeaway

Making the judiciary look more like America

Friday, February 27, 2009

As America has become more diverse, its law schools and firms have followed suit. But the pipeline to the judiciary is blocked—white males are overrepresented on state appellate benches by a margin of nearly two-to-one. Ciara Torres-Spelliscy, one of the authors of a Brennan Center for Justice study on making the judiciary more diverse, and Kim Cocroft, a newly appointed judge in Columbus, Ohio, join John and Jerome with a look at the issue.

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WNYC News

Gun Buyback in Queens Nets Nearly 1,000

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

The NYPD says 919 guns were traded in for cash at the most recent gun buyback program, in Queens. That brings the total to over 3,500 guns handed in at houses of worship around the city in the last six months. Councilman James Sanders says ...

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WNYC News

City Considers Reforming Drug Laws

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

City lawmakers are hearing suggestions about reforming New York's 36-year-old Rockefeller drug laws. Critics say they disproportionately imprison minorities and have done little to curb drug use. Daliah Heller of the city's Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, says the highest population of drug users ...

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WNYC News

Police Get Guns Off Queens Streets

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

In the last six months the city has received 3,500 weapons through the gun buyback program, which assures gun owners of complete confidentiality. And at $200 per gun, the program isn't a bad way to make some extra cash. But officials say the smartest thing ...

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The Takeaway

Resisting foreclosure by any means necessary

Friday, February 20, 2009

It's the stuff of melodramas: "I can't pay the mortgage!" says the pretty young mother. "You must pay the mortgage!" replies the landlord, dressed in black with a dragoon's moustache. "I'll pay the mortgage!" says Dudley Doright. But what if you really can't pay the mortgage? And you really don't want to leave your home despite the eviction notice and there's no dashing Dudley Doright in sight? Answering that question is a group of activists in Baltimore who are using nonviolent resistance tactics as a way of keeping people in their homes. Joining us now is Melody Simmons, a reporter for WEAA in Baltimore, and Donna Hanks a homeowner facing foreclosure.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Reshaping the Law

Thursday, February 19, 2009

After 1968 the number of women who enrolled in law school jumped 50 percent. That demographic change has altered the legal profession and American law ever since. Fred Strebeigh tells the story of the female lawyers who took on sexual harassment, sexual discrimination and violence against women in the in ...

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The Takeaway

Swiss bank UBS letting go of some secrets

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Swiss banks have been revered, loved, and hated for their tightly-held secrets, but Swiss bank UBS has agreed to a legal settlement with the United States government after it was revealed that the bank was operating as a willing shelter for tax evaders. The bank is set to give U.S. tax regulators access to hundreds of bank accounts and will also pay close to $780 million in fees. For more on the story we turn to BBC business correspondent Mark Gregory.

Further details can be found in A Swiss Bank Is Set to Open Its Secret Files in today's New York Times.

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The Takeaway

Shoe chucker trial starts in Iraq

Thursday, February 19, 2009

The Iraqi journalist who threw his shoes at former U.S. President George W. Bush went to court today. He's charged with assaulting a foreign leader and faces a maximum sentence of 15 years, but he was greeted as a hero by supporters in the courtroom. The trial was almost immediately adjourned until March while the court sought the government's clarification on a point of order. For more on the man whose shoe was heard around the world, the BBC's Jim Muir joins us.

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