Three Chicago teens accused of gang-raping a 12-year-old girl at gunpoint and posting the video to Facebook will face charges as adults, Cook County prosecutors announced Friday. A judge ordered Justin Applewhite, 16, Kenneth Brown, 15, and Scandale Fritz, 16, each held on $900,000 bond.
First - and arguably foremost - there is virtually no difference among upper, middle and lower classes in Iceland. And with that, tension between economic classes is non-existent, a rare occurrence for any country.Björgvin SigurðssonSocial Democratic Alliance
A study of the Icelandic class system done by a University of Missouri master’s student found only 1.1% of participants identified themselves as upper class, while 1.5% saw themselves as lower class.
The remaining 97% identified themselves as upper-middle class, lower-middle class, or working class.
On one of three visits to Althing, the Icelandic parliament, I met Bjorgvin Sigurdsson, former chairman of the parliamentary group of the Social Democratic Alliance. In his eyes - as well as those of many Icelanders I spoke with - equality was the biggest reason for the nation’s relative lack of crime.
“Here you can have the tycoon’s children go to school with everyone else,” Sigurdsson says, adding that the country’s social welfare and education systems promoted an egalitarian culture.
Crimes in Iceland - when they occur - usually do not involve firearms, though Icelanders own plenty of guns.
GunPolicy.org estimates there are approximately 90,000 guns in the country - in a country with just over 300,000 people.
The country ranks 15th in the world in terms of legal per capita gun ownership. However, acquiring a gun is not an easy process -steps to gun ownership include a medical examination and a written test.
Police are unarmed, too. The only officers permitted to carry firearms are on a special force called the Viking Squad, and they are seldom called out.
In addition, there are, comparatively speaking, few hard drugs in Iceland.
According to a 2012 UNODC report, use among 15-64-year-olds in Iceland of cocaine was 0.9%, of ecstasy 0.5%, and of amphetamines 0.7%.
There is also a tradition in Iceland of pre-empting crime issues before they arise, or stopping issues at the nascent stages before they can get worse.
Right now, police are cracking down on organised crime while members of the Icelandic parliament, Althingi, are considering laws that will aid in dismantling these networks.
When drugs seemed to be a burgeoning issue in the country, the parliament established a separate drug police and drug court. That was in 1973.
In the first 10 years of the court, roughly 90% of all cases were settled with a fine.
He put a shame on our family…He put a shame on the entire Chechen ethnicity…Those who suffered, we’re sharing with them, with their grief — and ready just to meet with them, and ready just to bend in front of them, to kneel in front of them, seeking their forgiveness…in the name of the family, that’s what I say.
Ruslan Tsarni, the paternal uncle of the Boston bombers, as reported in Slate.
The Royal Canadian Mounted Police spent a year investigating a gang-rape case to no end. Anonymous spent two hours searching and has the case practically gift wrapped.
Junius Stinney was the youngest person in America to be executed on death row in 1944 at age 14. He was quickly accused by the (white police) of ‘killing’ two little (white girls) with lack of evidence. His conviction and sentencing opened and closed in one day. There were no witnesses called and there was no transcript of the trial details and black people were not allowed inside the courtroom during that time.
[I always repost this because i don’t want anyone to forget about him!]
Stinney walked to the execution chamber with a Bible, under his arm, which he later used as a booster seat in the electric chair. Standing 5’1” and weighing just over 90 pounds, he was small for his age, which presented difficulties in securing him to the frame holding the electrodes. The state’s adult-sized face-mask did not fit him, and when he was hit with the first 2,400 V surge of electricity, the mask covering his face slipped off, “revealing his wide-open, tearful eyes and saliva coming from his mouth”…After two more jolts of electricity, the boy was dead.” Stinney was declared dead within four minutes of the initial electrocution. From the time of the murders until Stinney’s execution, eighty-one days had passed
At least 14 bodies of youths have been brought to three hospitals in eastern Baghdad bearing signs of having been beaten to death with rocks or bricks, security and hospital sources told Reuters under condition they not be identified because they were not authorized to speak to the media.
Nine bodies were brought to hospitals in Sadr City, a vast, poor Shiite neighborhood, three were brought to East Baghdad’s main al-Kindi hospital and two were brought to the central morgue, medical sources said.
Six other young people, including two girls, were wounded in beatings intended as warnings, the security sources said.
“Last week I signed the death certificates of three of those young people, and the reason for death I wrote in my own hand was severe skull fractures,” a doctor at al-Kindi hospital told Reuters. “A very powerful blow to the head caused these fractures which totally smashed the skull of the victim.”
Other sources put the”emo” death toll much higher. Hana al-Bayaty of Brussels Tribunal, a nongovernmental organization dealing with Iraqi issues, said the current figure ranges “between 90 and 100,” Arabic-language newspaper Al Arabiya reported on its website.
A leaflet distributed in the Shiite Bayaa district of east Baghdad seen by Reuters on Saturday had 24 names of youths targeted for killing.
“We strongly warn you, to all the obscene males and females, if you will not leave this filthy work within four days the punishment of God will descend upon you at the hand of the Mujahideen,” the leaflet said.
Two people were arrested in Britain Thursday over an assault on an “emo” teenager — the first such move after police began recording attacks on subculture members as “hate crimes.”
The term, short for “emotive” or “emotional,” usually refers to an introspective style of music — somewhere between punk and grunge — and its associated fashion styles.
Earlier this month, Greater Manchester Police became the first force in the U.K. to treat attacks on groups such as goths, emos and punks in the same way as crimes based on race, religion, disability or sexual orientation.
The victim “describes himself as an emo,” police said in a statement, adding that officers had arrested a 14-year-old boy and a 44-year-old man over the attack.
“The assault has been reported as an alternative subculture hate crime and will be investigated as such,” the statement added.
A spokesman for Greater Manchester Police said the injured teen was hit “several times.”
Garry Shewan, assistant chief constable of Greater Manchester Police, said: “It is unfortunate that this incident happened, but the fact we were able to identify this as a hate crime is very positive. Just last Thursday we announced that we will now record alternative subculture as a hate motivation.”
“We hope this encourages victims to continue to come forward so we can take positive action against offenders,” he added.
In England, a hate crime is defined by prosecutors as “a criminal offense motivated by prejudice based on a person’s disability, race, religion, gender or sexual orientation.”
The decision by police to include subcultures was partly a result of the 2007 killing of Sophie Lancaster, a 20-year-old in the northern England county of Lancashire, who was kicked and stamped to death for being a goth
Seventeen-year-old Rehtaeh Parsons’ suicide was the harrowing end to a story involving not only sexual assault, but also the issues of harassment and victim-blaming that are problematic symptoms of rape culture. According to her mother Leah Parsons’ post on her Facebook, Rehtaeh was subject to significant bullying from her peers, who labeled her as a “slut”:
“The [p]erson Rehtaeh once was all changed one dreaded night in November 2011. She went with a friend to another’s home. In that home she was raped by four young boys…one of those boys took a photo of her being raped and decided it would be fun to distribute the photo to everyone in Rehtaeh’s school and community where it quickly went viral. Because the boys already had a “slut” story, the victim of the rape Rehtaeh was considered a SLUT.”
Parsons didn’t know about the assault until days after it happened, when Rehteah broke down in the kitchen crying. At that point, it was too late for a rape kit — which may have contributed to the fact that the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) dropped their investigation after a year without charges.
But there were other issues with the investigation as well, Parsons told the Halifax Chronicle Herald: “[t]hey didn’t even interview the boys until much, much later” and “nothing was done about [the photos] because they couldn’t prove who had pressed the photo button on the phone.” She was told that even the distribution of the photos was “not really a criminal issue,” despite the fact that Rehtaeh was 15 at the time, meaning the photos constituted child pornography.
While the investigation was ongoing, Rehtaeh struggled with anger and depression leading to her hospitalization on one occasion. She also moved to a different city to avoid harassment of her peers, including a barrage of texts asking “Will you have sex with me?” and telling her “You’re such a slut.” The Steubenville victim similarly faced harassing text messages after her identity was revealed by news coverage, including threats resulting in charges against two teens.
In the period of the review, there were 5,651 prosecutions for rape and 111,891 for domestic violence. During the same period there were 35 prosecutions for making false allegations of rape, six for making false allegation of domestic violence and three for making false allegations of both rape and domestic violence.
A 12-year-old boy from a Pennsylvania town is now deadweeks after being attacked and beaten at his school. The local NBC reports that the boy, Bailey O’Neill, died because of “a medically-induced coma after suffering several seizures.”
O’Neill turned 12 the day before he died. He suffered a concussion and broken nose from his attackers. His family says that he was bullied before being attacked.
Flags at his school in Glenolden, Pennsylvania flew at half-staff yesterday in O’Neill’s honor.
The very public trial of the very publicly shamed “rape crew” will begin on Wednesday in Steubenville, Ohio, and despite pre-trial testimony from three as-yet-untried high-school athletes who say they witnessed an unconscious 16-year-old dragged around by her hands and feet, and slurring her words, and at one point lying on the ground before she was penetrated, it appears that the lawyers for Trent Mays and Ma’lik Richmond will say the case’s Jane Doe consented to the whole thing. We’re not kidding. “Defense attorneys believe the girl, who lived across the river in Weirton, W.Va., made a decision to excessively drink and — against her friends’ wishes — to leave with the boys. They assert that she consented to sex,” reports the Cleveland Plain-Dealer’s Rachel Dissell. Richmond’s attorney, Walter Madison, is getting specific, citing “an abundance of evidence here that she was making decisions, cognitive choices … She didn’t affirmatively say no.”
The alleged victim is not expected to testify when the trial begins in Jefferson County juvenile court — before outside judge Tom Lipps took over for a recused judge with ties to the famed Steubenville High football team, a West Virginia judge blocked a subpoena of the girl and two other witnesses called by the defense. But that hasn’t stopped Richmond’s attorney from using Jane Doe’s so-called “silence” against her: ”The person who is the accuser here is silent just as she was that night, and that’s because there was consent,” Madison said.
May we take a minute, while allowing all due process to run its course, to remind America that date rape exists? That under the law, even though a woman or girl may accompany her attacker, that does not equal consent? And that, under the law, a woman or girl under the influence of drugs or alcohol, willingly or unwillingly, is not at fault for being sexually assaulted?
Mississippi mayoral candidate was found dead Wednesday and the case is being investigated as a homicide, authorities said.
Coahoma County Coroner Scotty Meredith said the body of 34-year-old Marco McMillian was found on the Mississippi River levee Wednesday at about 10 a.m.
The 34-year-old McMillian was running for mayor of Clarksdale, a Blues hub where actor and Mississippi native Morgan Freeman co-owns a music club with Howard Stovall, a Memphis entertainment executive, and Bill Luckett, who also is running for mayor.
Meredith said the body was found between Sherard and Rena Lara and was sent to Jackson for an autopsy. He declined to provide further details or speculate on the cause of death.
The sheriff’s office said Wednesday in a news release on its Facebook page that a person of interest was in custody, but had not been formally charged.
The department also said authorities had been looking for McMillian since a man crashed the candidate’s car into another vehicle on Tuesday. McMillian was not in the car. The sheriff’s office said deputies responded to the two-car crash on U.S. Highway 49 South near the Coahoma and Tallahatchie county lines on Tuesday about 8 a.m.
Will Rooker, a spokesman for the sheriff’s office, declined to release other details. He said the investigation is ongoing.
McMillian was a Democrat. Campaign spokesman Jarod Keith said McMillian’s campaign was noteworthy because he may have been the first openly gay man to be a viable candidate for public office in Mississippi.
n the hierarchy of information, most would agree that it’s more important to know whether someone is a rapist than whether someone is failing Chem 100. But administrators at Oklahoma State University apparently misunderstood the Federal Education Rights Privacy Act, which grants students some rights to privacy about their grades and other information. Nevertheless, in a moment of over-zealousness, the university decided not to go to the police multiple times to report alleged sexual assaults, because it—it says—it was worried about violating this privacy act.
Oklahoma State’s interpretation of the act was incorrect; the legislation allows administrations to call the campus police to investigate crimes. Whether the school genuinely misunderstood to act or used it as a shield to avoid reporting allegations of sexual assault remains unclear.
This news comes amidst the University of North Carolina continues to cause controversy over its efforts to intimidate a female student who has been outspoken about her sexual assault.
The first clue that things are done very differently on Bastoy prison island, which lies a couple of miles off the coast in the Oslo fjord, 46 miles south-east of Norway’s capital, comes shortly after I board the prison ferry. I’m taken aback slightly when the ferry operative who welcomed me aboard just minutes earlier, and with whom I’m exchanging small talk about the weather, suddenly reveals he is a serving prisoner – doing 14 years for drug smuggling. He notes my surprise, smiles, and takes off a thick glove before offering me his hand. “I’m Petter,” he says.
Before he transferred to Bastoy, Petter was in a high-security prison for nearly eight years. “Here, they give us trust and responsibility,” he says. “They treat us like grownups.” I haven’t come here particularly to draw comparisons, but it’s impossible not to consider how politicians and the popular media would react to a similar scenario in Britain.
There are big differences between the two countries, of course. Norway has a population of slightly less than five million, a 12th of the UK’s. It has fewer than 4,000 prisoners; there are around 84,000 in the UK. But what really sets us apart is the Norwegian attitude towards prisoners. Four years ago I was invited into Skien maximum security prison, 20 miles north of Oslo. I had heard stories about Norway’s liberal attitude. In fact, Skien is a concrete fortress as daunting as any prison I have ever experienced and houses some of the most serious law-breakers in the country. Recently it was the temporary residence of Anders Breivik, the man who massacred 77 people in July 2011.
Despite the seriousness of their crimes, however, I found that the loss of liberty was all the punishment they suffered. Cells had televisions, computers, integral showers and sanitation. Some prisoners were segregated for various reasons, but as the majority served their time – anything up to the 21-year maximum sentence (Norway has no death penalty or life sentence) – they were offered education, training and skill-building programmes. Instead of wings and landings they lived in small “pod” communities within the prison, limiting the spread of the corrosive criminal prison subculture that dominates traditionally designed prisons. The teacher explained that all prisons in Norway worked on the same principle, which he believed was the reason the country had, at less than 30%, the lowest reoffending figures in Europe and less than half the rate in the UK.
Best publicized, perhaps, is the plight of young people in Meridian, Mississippi, where a federal investigation is probing into why children as young as 10 are routinely taken to jail for wearing the wrong color socks or flatulence in class. Bob Herbert wrote of a situation in Florida in 2007, where police found themselves faced with the great challenge of placing a 6-year-old girl in handcuffs too big for her wrists. The child was being arrested for throwing a tantrum in her kindergarten class; the solution was to cuff her biceps, after which she was dragged to the precinct house for mug shots and charged with a felony and two misdemeanors.
In New York City, kids who make trouble are routinely removed from school altogether and placed in suspension centers, holding cells or juvenile detention lockups. In the old days, you got a detention slip for scrawling your initials on a desk. Now a student can be given a summons by a school police officer. If the kid loses it or doesn’t want to tell his parents, it becomes a warrant—and a basis for arrest.
According to the New York Civil Liberties Union, some 77 percent of New York’s school police interventions are for noncriminal matters like having food outside the cafeteria, having a cellphone or being late. Other minor offenses like shouting, getting into petty scuffles or being on school grounds after hours fall into the category of “disruptive behavior”—an offense that can get a student suspended. Just 4 percent of police interventions are in response to “major crimes against persons.”
But what’s a teacher to do? In New York City, police officers outnumber guidance counselors by more than 2,000.