Manhattan’s DA, Cyrus Vance Jr., issued a press release on Thursday, touting the indictment of two men for kidnapping a woman and forcing her into prostitution, but it comes after a big-time butch with another rape case, the infamous “rape cops.” Is he picking up the lost ground?
Clearly these are cases that need to be tried – and if the suspects are guilty they need to be locked up for life – but after a year of highly publicized losses, Vance might be loading his docket with high profile cases to improve his public perception. Why? Because it’s an election year.
The New York Times published an article that questioned whether Vance had a shot a re-election, given the host of losses that include the Dominique Strauss-Khan fiasco and the failure to charge two alleged terrorists with the most potent allegation: attempting mass murder.
Vance’s term expires on Dec. 31, 2013, but a candidate has yet to openly challenge the incumbent DA for his office. Maybe that’s because Vance’s war chest has a better record than he does. Or maybe it’s because Vance has been closing high-profile cases at a rate that didn’t look possible two years ago. He currently wins more than 60 percent of his cases, the most of any New York City DA.
The New York police officer who was accused of an elaborate plot to track down and cannibalize women was found guilty on Tuesday, but his lawyer said the conviction is based only on some “very ugly thoughts,” the New York Times reported. The problem with the “ugly thoughts” defense is that many crimes are based on thoughts.
Nobody wants to think that they can be penalized for their thoughts. In a perfect world people would be able to think what ever they want. But realistically, it’s the thought behind a crime that that is often on trial, not just the crime itself. That was the case for Officer Gilberto Valle.
There’s been a “thought police” debate going on for years now about ending the extra penalization for hate crimes as opposed to other, already illegal, violent acts. Whether or not the thoughts behind the actual criminal behavior is racist, homophobic, bigoted or “ugly,” many have argued, the crime still looks the same: One person behing beaten, abused or taken advantage of bdy another person. But the criminality is different. And it is different because of the aggressor’s thoughts.
Criminality is also judged differently if an act was premeditated or made as a reflex. Murder as a result of self defense is sentenced differently from murder as a crime of passion, and both carry lighter penalties than premeditated murder. In all three cases the victim is no less a victim, but the thoughts of the aggressor determine the weight of the crime.
Valle was found guilty because the jury believed his thoughts had been gaining momentum and his behavior reflected a willingness to act on them. Despite lamentation from defense attorney Julia L. Gatto, her client’s thoughts are exactly what this trial was always about and there’s a long list of precedents that weaken her defense.
The enigmatic policies of North Korea again leave the rest of the world unsure of whether to take its aggressions seriously or to ignore them.
The young general, Kim Jong-un, has yet to be tested, but his rhetoric has been practiced since his father, Kim Jong-il, died in December 2011. Jong-un announced on Monday his dissolution of the 1953 armistice that resulted after the Korean War. The declaration came just days after threatening a nuclear attack on Seoul, the capital of South Korea, and retaliations of the United States’ transgressions.
It also comes days after he treated basketball hall of famer Dennis Rodman to drinks and dinner when the Harlem Globetrotters came to Pyonyang, the nation’s capital city, to perform. So as the DMZ border tightens its already heavily fortified security, the Internet buzzes with disbelief of the the “great leader’s” claims after he made nice with the basketball star who showed up to his own book signing dressed in a wedding gown.
South Korea’s newly elected leader Park Geun-hye, the nations first female president, has vowed to wipe her northern neighbor off the map should Jong-un flinch first.
But, while these threats increase in potency, they are hardly new. North Korea has touted its nuclear developments, conducting a third nuclear test in February, and promised to defeat the “imperialist” United States. That month a North Korean propaganda video appeared on YouTube that showed an American flag in flames and New York City, or a metropolitan facsimile, being bombarded with missles.
BY Ryan Sit
The thief who stole a Salvador Dali painting from a Manhattan art gallery pleaded guilty on Tuesday at Manhattan Supreme Court to theft (?) charges.
“I removed the painting off the wall of the gallery and walked out,” Phivos Istavrioglou, 29, admitted to Justice Charles H. Solomon. “It was a really
stupid thing to do.”
On June 19, Istavrioglou walked into the Upper East Side gallery Venus Over Manhattan, popped the 1949 watercolor, “Cartel de Don Juan Tenorio,” off the wall Read more…
BY: RYAN SIT|
Rangers captain Mike Callahan gave New York a 2-0 lead in Tuesday night’s victory over the Philadelphia Flyers before he made an early exit with an apparent shoulder injury.
Callahan squared off with Flyers defenseman Kimmo Timonen after a scuffle broke out in front of the Ranger’s goalie Henrik Lundquist in the third period. Callahan dropped Timonen to the ice during the short altercation but was pulled down with him and rose grasping his left arm. He quickly made his way to the Madison Square Garden locker room and did not return to the game. Timonen finished with a power play goal in the third period, and the Flyers lost 2-1, their fifth loss of the truncated season.
BY RYAN SIT |
The homeless man accused of fatally shoving a Queens resident onto the subway tracks appeared in Manhattan Supreme Court on Tuesday, where his lawyer said he was only defending himself.
Naeem Davis, 30, was arrested last Wednesday, two days after he pushed Ki-Suck Han, 58, into the subway tracks at the 49th St.-7th Avenue station in Manhattan and fled the scene.
Assistant DA James Lin said he expects a grand jury to be empaneled before Davis’ next court date set for Dec. 18. Read more…