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March 30, 2010 | By Andrew Becker
Two mentally disabled Mexican immigrants, facing deportation for criminal assault convictions for which they have already served their time, continue to be held in detention facilities in violation of their constitutional rights, according to separate lawsuits filed in federal court. Jose Franco-Gonzalez, 29, of Costa Mesa and Guillermo Gomez-Sanchez, 48, of San Bernardino have languished in detention facilities for years because authorities deemed them mentally incompetent, their attorneys said.
December 15, 2009 | By David G. Savage
The Supreme Court said Monday it would consider whether a strict immigration law called for deporting noncitizens convicted of repeat misdemeanor drug offenses. The case before the court involves a legal immigrant from Texas who pleaded guilty to possessing less than two ounces of marijuana and later pleaded guilty to possessing a single tablet of Xanax, an anti-anxiety medication. Although the convictions were minor, judges in some regions have ruled that two misdemeanor convictions for drug possession can count as an "aggravated felony," which is grounds for deportation.
March 30, 2012 | By Richard Winton, Los Angeles Times
Lindsay Lohan will not be appearing in court anymore if she continues to obey the law, a Los Angeles judge told her Thursday after ending the actress' supervised probation on shoplifting and drunk-driving convictions. The hearing put an end to Lohan's five years of criminal court appearances that saw the actress bounce in and out of rehab and jail for violating her probation. L.A. County Superior Court Judge Stephanie Sautner declared "she did it," in announcing Lohan had completed 480 hours of community service at the county morgue and undergone dozens of therapy sessions.
November 30, 2011 | By Elaine Woo, Los Angeles Times
Dr. Louis J. Cella Jr., an Orange County physician, hospital developer and political donor whose convictions on tax evasion and Medicare fraud charges in the late 1970s set off a cascade of corruption investigations that altered the county's political landscape, died Nov. 7 in Palm Springs after a long neurological illness. He was 87. His death was confirmed by the Wiefels funeral home in Palm Springs, where he settled after completing his prison term. Cella was the state's largest political campaign contributor in 1974, when he lent and donated more than $500,000 to 60 candidates and causes in that year's primary and general elections.
A state appeals court on Thursday threw out the conviction of Dr. Thomas Gionis, who was accused of orchestrating an attack on his estranged wife--the daughter of actor John Wayne--and her boyfriend during a bitter custody dispute in 1988.
November 28, 2012 | By Steven Zeitchik, Los Angeles Times
NEW YORK - They were five men - boys, really - accused of a violent rape. They were prosecuted aggressively by district attorneys and vilified by a tabloid press, then sent to prison for as many as 13 years. In 1989, the case of the Central Park Five, as the attack on a 28-year-old white investment banker in uptown Manhattan has come to be known, roiled the country, touching on race and class and fears about crime. But the defendants - all black or Latino, none older than 16 - didn't commit the attack on the Central Park jogger.
In one of the county's longest-running criminal prosecutions, a Superior Court jury on Thursday found the former owners of a Pasadena mortuary guilty of misappropriating $100,000 in interest earnings from customer trust accounts. Returning verdicts on eight of 30 charges filed against Jerry W. Sconce, 60, and his wife, Laurieanne Sconce, 57, jurors found Jerry Sconce not guilty on four counts of illegally removing and selling body parts from corpses before they were cremated.
The son of fugitive Orange County banker Ottavio A. Angotti has been convicted by a federal court jury of conspiracy and making false statements on a home loan application. Antonio Mario Angotti, a former New York investment banker, was convicted late Thursday of falsifying his income and assets in an effort to obtain a $480,000 loan from Western Federal Savings & Loan in Los Angeles, which, in an unrelated action, was seized by regulators last June.
August 19, 2010
An appellate court judge once likened Gregory Taylor, a homeless man who was sentenced to 25 years to life in prison for trying to break into a church food kitchen because he was hungry, to Jean Valjean, the hero of Victor Hugo's " Les Miserables. " It was an apt comparison. Taylor, who was finally ordered released Monday by a Los Angeles County Superior Court judge, is a symbol of everything that's wrong with California's three-strikes law — just as Hugo intended Valjean to represent what was wrong with post-Revolutionary France.
November 30, 2009 | By David G. Savage
After Zacarias Moussaoui -- the accused "20th hijacker" in the Sept. 11 attacks -- was sentenced to life in prison in 2006 because one juror in Virginia refused to agree to the death penalty, Moussaoui clapped his hands and called out, "America, you lost and I won." Now the Obama administration plans to seek a death sentence for Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, the self-proclaimed Sept. 11 mastermind. Some legal experts say President Obama was overly confident when he predicted that critics of trying Mohammed in a federal courtroom in Manhattan would be silenced "when the death penalty is applied to him."
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