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March 10, 2014 | By Bradley Zint
An attorney representing a group of Muslim students found guilty of disrupting a speech by the Israeli ambassador said she will appeal the case, which she said tests whether “peaceful, measured student protests” should be a crime. "We are confident that a higher court will overturn the convictions and protect this important right for every individual," said Jacqueline Goodman, who represents some members of a group of students who became known as the “Irvine 11.” Ten of the 11 students were convicted in 2011 of disrupting Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren's speech at UC Irvine on American-Israeli relations.
March 7, 2014 | By Robyn Dixon
JOHANNESBURG, South Africa - The International Criminal Court on Friday handed down the second conviction in its 12-year history, finding former Congolese warlord Germain Katanga guilty on four counts of war crimes and one count of crimes against humanity. Katanga, a leader of the Patriotic Resistance Force in Ituri, one of the myriad armed militias in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, was found guilty of being an accomplice to murders and pillage during a 2003 attack on the village of Bogoro.
March 5, 2014 | By Patrick McGreevy
SACRAMENTO - The state Senate is under pressure to expel Sen. Roderick D. Wright for felony convictions that involve lying about living in his district when he ran for the upper house. But such a vote might be awkward for some of his colleagues who have faced questions about their own residency. Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacramento) raised the issue during a bitter floor debate last week, before a Republican motion to oust Wright was blocked by his fellow Democrats and sent to a committee to languish until the lawmaker's May 16 sentencing.
March 4, 2014 | By Scott Gold
GUADALUPE, Calif. - As a nearby tractor purred to life, Miguel Villagomez picked up his knife and stepped into a furrow of dirt amid thousands of plump heads of cauliflower ready for cutting. "This," the 19-year-old from Michoacán, Mexico, said with a touch of pride, "is my place. " For decades, the lush soil in this corner of California has been tilled largely by immigrants from Latin America, many returning year after year. But that long-standing relationship has encountered unexpected turbulence in recent weeks.
March 4, 2014 | By Stuart Pfeifer
A Northern California man was convicted of fraud for duping investors out of $7 million with false promises of big returns in alternative energy technology, prosecutors said Tuesday. Richard Rossignol of Shingle Springs, Calif., was accused of defrauding more than 300 investors from 2001 to 2010. A jury at the federal courthouse in Los Angeles convicted Rossignol, 63, on Friday of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and wire fraud. He is scheduled to be sentenced June 16. PHOTOS: The 10 wealthiest people in the world During a seven-week trial, prosecutors alleged that Rossignol conspired with William A. Stehl of Ventura to defraud investors by falsely claiming that several companies had agreed to license technology that Stehl had developed.
March 3, 2014 | By Patrick McGreevy
SACRAMENTO -- On paid leave as he prepares to fight felony convictions for perjury and voter fraud, state Sen. Roderick Wright (D-Inglewood) said Monday he is finding it frustrating to be away from the policy debate in Sacramento and being stuck in a world of legalese in the criminal justice system. “It's challenging" to be away from Sacramento, he said in his first extensive interview since he was convicted by a jury Jan. 29 of eight felonies. "I have been kinda, sorta involved in public policy for a long time.” Prosecutors said Wright lied when he claimed to live in Inglewood when he actually lived in the upscale Baldwin Hills neighborhood outside his Senate district.
March 3, 2014 | By Maura Dolan
SAN FRANCISCO - The California Supreme Court upheld a death sentence Monday for a man who was forced to wear a stun belt during his trial, rejecting arguments that the prospect of being electrically shocked adversely affected his demeanor before jurors. In a 6-1 decision, the majority noted that the prosecution had conceded the court erred in requiring the stun belt, but the justices concluded that it did not affect the outcome of the trial. The ruling came in an appeal by Jonathan Keith Jackson, who was convicted of murdering Monique Cleveland during an attempted drug-related robbery in Riverside County in 1996 and attempting to murder her husband, Robert.
March 2, 2014 | By Julie Makinen
BEIJING - The headline news on state-run Chinese Channel 13 was juicy: A mining tycoon and 35 others had been charged with running a mafia-style enterprise in Sichuan province, gunning down enemies in the street, bribing people and operating an illegal casino. But viewers didn't have to just listen to police or prosecutors describe the evidence against the three dozen suspects: CCTV aired extensive clips of many of them, dressed in blue jailhouse jackets, admitting their misdeeds.
February 28, 2014 | By Victoria Kim
In 2008, several scared and hesitant young Cambodian girls stood before U.S. District Judge Dale Fischer to tell her what Michael Joseph Pepe had done to them. "Please don't allow this to happen again," one pleaded in a barely audible voice. "Thank you that you helped me find justice," another told her. Six years and a lengthy legal battle later, Fischer finally handed down a sentence Friday for the onetime U.S. Marine captain, convicted of sex acts with young girls in Cambodia: 210 years in prison, the statutory maximum, effectively a life sentence.
February 28, 2014 | By Victoria Kim, This post had been corrected. See note below for details.
Saying she was sending a message to any American who would consider traveling abroad to sexually exploit children, a federal judge on Friday sentenced a retired U.S. Marine captain convicted of having sex with young girls in Cambodia to life in prison. Michael Joseph Pepe, 60, was convicted in 2008 of illegal sex acts with seven girls ages 9 to 12. Six of the girls flew to the U.S. to testify at trial that Pepe, who was working as a civilian teacher in the country at the time, had drugged, bound, beat and raped them in his compound in Phnom Penh.
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