Category : Law & Legal Issues

A Statement from the Manchester Police about the Latest–22 Dead, 59 injured

You may find the BBC live feed there.

Posted in England / UK, Music, Police/Fire, Terrorism, Urban/City Life and Issues, Violence

TV recommendation–Happy Valley on Netflix

It is a superb UK drama for which the lead actress (deservedly) won a BAFTA for best actress. Definitely not suitable for under seventeens since it features content you would expect for a gritty investigatory story. Available on Netflix.

Posted in Entertainment, Movies & Television, Police/Fire

(IOL) Priest seeks R4m from Anglican church of Southern Africa over loss of job

The Anglican Church of Southern Africa faces a civil action of over R4 million from one of its former priests following differences with the church which span a period of more than 10 years.
Reverend June Major, who now lives in Durban, is suing for alleged financial loss, impairment to her dignity and emotional stress, allegedly as a result of a job she applied for in Australia and then did not get.

She has blamed the church’s failure to provide important “information timeously” to the Diocese of Wangaratta, for her inability to secure the job, which would have earned her R42 000 a month and other benefits.

Read it all.

Posted in Law & Legal Issues, South Africa

(CT’s The Exchange) Karen Swanson–NORP Think and the U.S. Criminal Justice System

Truth: Ninety-seven percent of all cases are resolved through a plea bargain. If all cases went to trial, the criminal justice system would collapse. Pleas can be used to intimidate inmates or to get them to help with other cases. For example, a woman was offered a lighter sentence if she would be wired and placed in a dangerous situation to get information for the police. There are times when people plead guilty to a charge they did not commit so they can be released from incarceration. For them, each day increases the risk of losing their job, home, and most importantly with women, custody of their children.

One of the most infamous cases of this is Kalief Browder, who was sent to Rikers Island when he was 16 years old because he was accused of stealing a backpack. Although he never stood trial or was found guilty, he spent three years at the New York City jail complex, nearly two of them in solitary confinement. He was beaten by corrections staff and other inmates. He refused to accept a plea deal even though it would have meant his immediate release because he insisted on his innocence. Ultimately, prosecutors dropped the charge. Haunted by the trauma of his ordeal, he committed suicide at the age of 22.

As Christians, we should be NORPs, but not have NORP think when it comes to the criminal justice system. I hope you will not tune out conversations about mass incarceration. As scripture says, “Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy” (Prov.31:8-9).

Read it all.

Posted in America/U.S.A., Law & Legal Issues, Prison/Prison Ministry

(WSJ DS) Betting markets started pricing in a small but rising probability that Donald Trump could lose the presidency

I will take comments on this submitted by email only to KSHarmon[at]mindspring[dot]com.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, Law & Legal Issues, Politics in General, President Donald Trump, Psychology

The Bishop of Derby, Dr Alastair Redfern on modern slavery (Human Trafficking)

The Bishop of Derby, the Rt Rev Alastair Redfern, has been at the forefront of efforts to raise awareness of modern day slavery. We joined him at a conference hosted by the Clewer Initiative – a three year project that aims to assist dioceses with detecting human trafficking – and spoke to him about the unique pastoral work dioceses are carrying out to support victims of modern slavery.

Listen to it all (about 6 1/2 minutes).

Posted in Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, Globalization, Law & Legal Issues, Sexuality, Violence, Women

(Economist 1843) The Law of Unintended consequences Dept–Social media is enabling a golden age of scamming

On the face of it these seem like tough times for financial scammers. The crash of 2008 burned investors, exposed fraudsters and has forced regulators to toughen up. Yet dodgy “pyramid” investment schemes that promise huge returns before inevitably collapsing are going strong, especially those targeting women. In late 2015 British regulators jailed the leaders of a plot that had duped over 10,000 women. In June 2016 authorities in Belize warned of a scam sweeping the country. America, India, Mexico and Indonesia have seen similar stories.

Read it all.

Posted in Consumer/consumer spending, Corporations/Corporate Life, Ethics / Moral Theology, Globalization, Law & Legal Issues, Science & Technology

(FT) Hackers prime second classified US cyber weapon

Criminal hacking groups have repurposed a second classified cyber weapon stolen from US spies and have made it available on the so-called dark web after the success of the WannaCry attack that swept across the globe on Friday.

The hacking tool, developed by the US National Security Agency and codenamed EsteemAudit, has been adapted and is now available for criminal use, according to security analysts.

As with the NSA’s EternalBlue, the tool on which WannaCry was based, EsteemAudit exploits a vulnerability in older versions of Microsoft’s Windows software in the way in which networked machines communicate with each other.

Microsoft issued patches for vulnerable versions of its Windows software over the weekend — though experts warn many organisations have yet to apply them.

Read it all.

Posted in Blogging & the Internet, Consumer/consumer spending, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, Globalization, Law & Legal Issues, Science & Technology

(NYT) Dutch Fertility Doctor Swapped Donors’ Sperm With His, Lawsuit Claims

Twelve people who were conceived with sperm from a Dutch fertility center have filed a lawsuit asserting that its longtime director is their biological father, and that over several decades, he swapped donors’ sperm with his own.

The 12 people, and 10 mothers who suspect that their children were conceived using the clinic director’s sperm, filed a lawsuit on Friday asking a court in Rotterdam to give them access to the DNA of the clinic director, Dr. Jan Karbaat, who died last month at 89.

“I’m hoping that the judge will allow us to extract the DNA so we can use it to find out if we are his children,” one plaintiff, Moniek Wassenaar, 36, said in an interview. The 12 people are 8 to 36 years old. Some of the 10 mothers in the suit conceived children who are still minors.

From 1980 to 2009, Dr. Karbaat ran a sperm bank in the rear of his stately yellow brick house in the Bijdorp section of Schiedam, near Rotterdam. He became well known in the field of assisted reproduction. About 10,000 children are estimated to have been conceived at the clinic.

Read it all.

Posted in Health & Medicine, Law & Legal Issues, Life Ethics, Science & Technology, The Netherlands

(Chic Tribune) Student who tried hacking into grading system sues school board for expelling him

The lawsuit argues that state law and legal precedence require that school districts consider other measures of punishment before expulsion, and that failed to happen in this case.

According to the hearing officer’s report, an administrator at the Northbrook school did not specify whether other measures were considered but said a disciplinary committee that investigated “felt it was important to send a message.”

“If (the student) is allowed to return to school after serving a suspension, then other students could certainly decide that attempting to access a teacher’s account to change grades is worth the risk,” the report said.

The lawsuit contends that the student has not had disciplinary problems at school and that his actions caused no disruption to school operations, factors that the suit contends should have resulted in lesser punishment.

Read it all.

Posted in America/U.S.A., Education, Ethics / Moral Theology, Law & Legal Issues, Science & Technology, Teens / Youth

(Law & Religion UK) frank Cranmer–Church of England: confusion over episcopal consecration in Newcastle

Theological disputes within the Church of England are emphatically not a matter for me; however, if I may be forgiven a nit-picking academic/legal technical point, the views in the passage quoted from the Jesmond Conference paper seem to rest on a category mistake, confusing the nature and role of the Church of England with the issue of legal personality. The former is (presumably) about its theology, mission and ministry: the latter is about its lack of capacity to bring legal proceedings and nothing more.

Nor is it alone in that lack of capacity. The Church of Scotland is not generally regarded as having legal capacity qua Church of Scotland: an action would be raised either by the General Trustees or by one of the Boards or Councils of the Kirk, as appropriate to the issue: see, for example, Percy v Church of Scotland Board of National Mission [2005] UKHL 73. Similarly, in an action involving British Methodism, the claimant or defendant would be the President of the Methodist Conference, not “The Methodist Church”: see, for example, President of the Methodist Conference v Preston [2013] UKSC 29.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Church of England (CoE), England / UK, Law & Legal Issues, Religion & Culture

([London] Times) Exploit weak US gun laws to kill hostages, Isis guide orders

Islamic State has published a guide that encourages potential jihadists in America to exploit relaxed US gun laws to arm themselves and kill hostages.

The latest edition of the Isis magazine Rumiyah also made a plea to potential British recruits, saying: “Guns are readily available for purchase on the streets of Britain, even if not to the extent of their availability on the streets of its crusader European partners.”

The magazine provides details of how guns can be purchased in the US without background checks. “In most US states, anything from a single-shot shotgun all the way up to a semi-automatic AR-15 rifle can be purchased at showrooms or through online sales — by way of private dealers — with no background checks and without requiring either an ID or a gun licence,” it says.

Read it all.

Posted in America/U.S.A., Law & Legal Issues, Terrorism

(Local Paper) Finding the right sentence for former policeman Michael Slager is marked with uncertainty

Michael Slager now sits in jail as a convicted felon, much like the person who occupied his cell before him.

But unlike Dylann Roof, the mass killer whose death sentence was broadly expected, Slager’s fate will remain a mystery until a judge decides it.

Much is riding on the result.

Some advocates, who point to the video of the former North Charleston patrolman shooting Walter Scott, want a stiff penalty that deters other police officers from using excessive force. But experts doubt that the prison sentence, lengthy or not, would do that.

Read it all.

Posted in * South Carolina, Law & Legal Issues, Police/Fire, Violence

(CNS) Belgian brothers to allow euthanasia for nonterminal psych patients

A group of psychiatric care centers run by a Catholic religious order in Belgium has announced it will permit doctors to undertake the euthanasia of “nonterminal” mentally ill patients on its premises.

In a nine-page document, the Brothers of Charity Group stated that it would allow doctors to perform euthanasia in any of its 15 centers, which provide care to more than 5,000 patients a year, subject to carefully stipulated criteria.

Br. Rene Stockman, the superior general, has distanced himself from the decision of the group’s largely lay board of directors, however, and has told Belgian media that the policy was a tragedy.

“We cannot accept that euthanasia is carried out within the walls of our institutions,” said Stockman, a specialist in psychiatric care, in an April 27 interview with De Morgen newspaper in Brussels.

Read it all.

Posted in Aging / the Elderly, Belgium, Children, Death / Burial / Funerals, Ethics / Moral Theology, Law & Legal Issues, Life Ethics, Marriage & Family, Roman Catholic

Church of Ireland to debate Motion on Same-sex Relationships at its General Synod which begins Tomorrow

From here (Motion 12 on page 5):

PRIVATE MEMBER’S MOTION
Proposer: Dr Leo Kilroy
Seconder:
Rev Brian O’Rourke
Notwithstanding the diversity of conviction regarding human sexuality, and in order to maintain the unity of the Church of Ireland, the General Synod

A. Acknowledges the injury felt by members of the Church who enter into loving, committed and legally-recognised, same-sex relationships, due to the absence of provision for them to mark that key moment in their lives publicly and prayerfully in Church.
and

B. Respectfully requests the House of Bishops to investigate a means to develop sensitive, local pastoral arrangements for public prayer and thanksgiving with same-sex couples at these key moments in their lives, and to present their ideas to General Synod 2018, with a view to making proposals at General Synod 2019.

The development of any such pastoral arrangements should not infringe Canon 31 and the facilitation of such arrangements would not impair the communion between an individual
bishop or diocese with any other bishop or diocese of the Church of Ireland.

Posted in --Civil Unions & Partnerships, --Ireland, Church of Ireland, Law & Legal Issues, Marriage & Family, Religion & Culture, Same-sex blessings, Sexuality, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion)