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Articles Posted in Criminal defense

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court will hear two points that were raised by Bill Cosby’s defense attorneys in his 2018 sexual assault case. Cosby is accused of drugging and raping several women. Cosby, who is now 82, was convicted in 2018 of three counts of sexual assault and battery related to a single victim. He was sentenced to 10 years and has remained behind bars since then.

Two lower courts have already refused to overturn Cosby’s conviction. However, the Supreme Court could, if the rules of procedure were not followed properly, vacate the conviction and order a new trial.

What Arguments Will the Supreme Court Consider?

A top FBI agent who worked right here in Chicago’s organized crime division is being accused of stealing classified information and “hoarding” it. Yen Cham Yung managed to achieve top government clearance, but now he will be brought to Chicago to face charges.

Yung was accused of keeping hundreds of classified documents without consent. These documents did not contain information about spies or UFOs, but they did detail undercover informants, surveillance activity, and memos sent between supervisors concerning gang activity.

Yung also had a memorandum between CIA and FBI agents concerning activities in both the U.S. and abroad. Memoranda like these become necessary when the FBI and CIA are conducting operations against one another without realizing they are working for the same side. This memorandum was accessed by someone using Yung’s credentials.

Three men are facing federal charges after using a crowbar to break into a Bank of America ATM. These are among the latest charges levied against Chicagoans during the several days of civil unrest that followed the murder of George Floyd. Chyenne Simpson, Rickie Foy and Pierre Harvey have each been charged with one count of attempted bank theft. 

The three were among a larger group of people who were caught on the bank’s security footage attempting to use various tools to crack open the ATM located in the vestibule outside of the bank. While the ATM contained at least $300,000 worth of cash, authorities report that none of the money was actually stolen. 

The group scattered once officers arrived, but they were able to detain the three men near the scene of the heist. The men denied being part of the attempted robbery of the ATM. 

Nearly 1,500 Chicagoans were arrested as violence continued across the U.S. as Americans took to the streets to protest the death of George Floyd. Roughly 80% of those facing charges are facing simple disorderly conduct charges. Chances are, many of the misdemeanor charges will be dropped, although disorderly conduct can be charged as high as a class-three felony in certain situations.

253 cases have been handed over to Chicago’s felony review division. Of those, 184 charges remained, the majority of those relating to unlawful possession of a weapon. Another 40 charges were for burglary. The majority of those cases have been approved and will be prosecuted. 

What is Felony Disorderly Conduct?

You have likely heard this from both President Trump and your local news anchor. Out-of-state provocateurs infiltrated the peaceful protests to instigate violence and looting. But is it true? Well, they caught at least one man who has been arrested for looting in Chicago, but who also made an appearance at the Minneapolis riots. The man appears to be encouraging others to attack police and destroy private property.

Matthew Lee Rupert has been charged with civil disorder, carrying on a riot, and possession of unregistered destructive devices. These are all federal crimes

U.S. officials are attempting to determine if extremist groups had anything to do with the escalating violence. Meanwhile, President Trump has declared Antifa a terrorist group, something that experts are unsure that he has the authority to do, amid reports that far-right groups also may have contributed to the chaos of the past few days.

Two individuals are facing charges after Chicago police dispersed a gathering in Englewood. 21-year-old Jaquan Hayden is charged with one count of aggravated use of a weapon and two counts of resisting arrest. 42-year-old Sedrick Monroe is facing one count of being a habitual criminal in possession of a firearm.

Monroe was arrested after laying down his weapon in front of a car. He attempted to flee on foot but was eventually caught by officers. Hayden was arrested after a call for shots fired. Police caught up with him running through an empty parking lot. Officers were able to recover a revolver from Hayden. Neither man had a license to carry concealed weapons. 

Three others were arrested and charged with misdemeanors. 

For millions of Americans, Memorial Day weekend felt like a watershed moment when the momentum of the pandemic finally appeared to be rolling back. Americans came out and enjoyed beautiful weather, picnics, music, and beaches. For Chicago, the city experienced its most violent Memorial Day weekend in five years, and Mayor Lori Lightfoot was not at all pleased.

Lightfoot called out police superintendent David Brown for not strategizing to prevent more violence. Lightfoot said publicly that, “We need to do better,” and that the “weekend’s violence was out of control.”

Memorial Day’s Sad Statistics

Criminal justice is a complex issue, and it is no secret that innocent people are convicted every day while guilty ones go free. Furthermore, the role that prisons and prisoner health plays in the process of criminal justice is a controversial one. 

Every prison has a duty to the inmates to ensure that their basic needs are met. This means that they remain healthy, fed, and in a sanitary environment. When prisons cannot do this, they are liable to the families if prisoners die under their watch. Families file wrongful death lawsuits against prisons all the time. While prisoners do not make ideal plaintiffs, the government is not an ideal defendant, either. 

So what happens now that you have a pandemic going on? Well, some of those awaiting trial have already been released to their families (depending on the charges) while others, who are considered low-risk, are also being released.

A University of Illinois student pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct after police discovered that he left a noose made out of string in a dorm elevator. 20-year-old Andrew Smith was sentenced to a year of probation

Smith was originally charged with a hate crime, which is a felony. He was also charged with three counts of disorderly conduct, one for each student who was alarmed or disturbed by the noose. 

The charges were reduced and the prosecuting attorney accepted Smith’s guilty plea after he appeared contrite and remorseful. Smith sent a written letter of apology and officers were not able to find anything in his history that would suggest he was part of an organized hate group. 

Yesse Yehuda, the politically-connected head of the FORUM non-profit, has been charged by federal authorities for misappropriating $200,000 in funds earmarked to develop south suburban properties and fund a workplace training program.

Yehuda has been charged with eight counts of bank fraud and seven counts of wire fraud

Where Did the Money Go? 

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