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The McDonnell’s Day In Court

Former Virginia governor Robert McDonnell and his wife Maureen bowed their heads in prayer before entering the first of two courtrooms in U.S. District Court, Richmond.

Their first appearance was before Magistrate Judge David J. Novak, who ordered the couple to surrender their passports but set no bail.

The crowd then moved to a larger courtroom on the seventh floor where McDonnell and his wife were separately arraigned before Judge James R. Spencer.

WaPo story here.

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Chubby Jihad Jane

Colleen LaRose, aka Jihad Jane, appeared in a Philadelphia courtroom this morning to be sentenced for her part in a plot to murder Dutch artist Lars Vilks for his cartoon depicting the prophet Muhammad as a dog. She appears to have put on a few pounds during her four years of incarceration; she was considerably slighter when she plead guilty back in March 2010.

LaRose, who became involved with the muslim community over the internet and later converted to Islam apologized to Chief Judge Petrese B. Tucker.She told the judge, ”I was in a trance and I couldn’t see anything else,” she said. “I don’t want to be in jihad no more.”

Reuters story here.

 

 

 

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” What A Maroon ! “

Hip-Hop tweeting Tea-Party Republican congressman Trey Radel (third from right) pleaded guilty to cocaine possession in DC Superior Court this morning and was given a suspended sentence and one year probation. He is on the record, having voted in the House, in support of drug testing food stamp recipients.

You can read about it here.

 

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Life, Plus Life, Plus Five Years

“The scope, the callousness, the depravity of your crimes, are almost unfathomable,” Judge Denise Casper told Whitey Bulger before passing sentence. “The testimony of human suffering that you and your associates inflicted on others was at times agonizing to hear and painful to watch,” she said as the families of his victims sat on the right side of the courtroom.She then ordered Bulger, who throughout the two-day sentencing has sat facing forward making no eye contact with the public seated behind him, to stand for sentencing. “You are hereby committed to the Bureau of Prisons for the term of life,” said the judge.And this is probably the last we’ll see of Whitey Bulger.

Boston Globe story here.

 

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Victims Speak at Bulger Sentencing

At the beginning of the two day sentencing for Boston mobster Whitey Bulger the government asked for life, plus life for machine guns, plus five years for other guns. Assistant U.S. Attorney Brian Kelly said, “he is going to spend the rest of his miserable life in jail.”Then it was time for the relatives of Bulger’s victims to speak up.

Sean McGonagle, “My father was no Boy Scout, but he was a better man than you’ll ever be.

Whitey Bulger sentencingTom Angeli, “We feel robbed every day”.

Whitey Bulger sentencing

Marie Mahoney, “We got you, you rat.”

Whitey Bulger sentencingBulger was not convicted in the murder of Bill O’Brien’s father four days before the birth of the junior O’Brien. “I really got nothing out of this trial. I got more questions than answers.”

Whitey Bulger sentencing

Patricia Donahue said that Whitey killed her husband “while a corrupt FBI agent watched.”

Whitey Bulger sentencing

Meredith Rakes, “The healing can begin. The nightmare is over, the pain stops here.”

 

Whitey Bulger sentencing

Tim Connors, “Your legacy is already cemented as a rat.”

Whitey Bulger sentencing

Pat Callahan, “You won’t even turn around and look at us?”

Whitey Bulger sentencingKathleen Nichols, “I believe he is evil.”

Whitey Bulger sentencingTheresa Bond, “Mr. Bulger, can you look at me?” ( Whitey Bulger kept his head down throughout ) “I can’t judge you.”

Whitey Bulger sentencingSteve Davis, “You piece of shit, look at me”

Whitey Bulger sentencingDavid Wheeler, “Shame on you Mr. Bulger, for all your notoriety you are a punk.” Referring to his father’s murder, Wheeler  said that the FBI was “as responsible  . . . as the defendant here sitting before you.”

Sentencing proper will take place tomorrow.

NYT story here.

 

 

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Tsarnaev Hearing On Motions

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was not in the courtroom today as his defense team, pictured above, argued before Judge George A. O’Toole, Jr. on a motion lift the “Special Administrative Measures”, or SAMS, that interfere with this defendant communicating with his lawyers. Other issues discussed today concerned change of venue and whether the death penalty will be sought for the accused Boston marathon bomber. The government asked to set a trial date sometime next fall, but the judge opted to wait until those other issues are decided.

Andrew Cohen’s story on SAMs is here.

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Tsarnaev’s Pals Arraigned

 The two friends of Boston marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev who removed a backpack and laptop from his dorm room after seeing his picture broadcast were arraigned in federal court Tuesday.Dias Kadyrbayev and Azamat Tazhayakov are charged with obstruction of justice and conspiracy to obstruct. The entire proceedings took about five minutes, but fortunately there was time to get some sketches started before the defendants entered the courtroom. Tazhayakov’s family were seated in the front row with a toddler in tow who was exploring the strange surroundings. To calm the child down her mother began nursing. It was touching.

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Jesse Jackson Jr Sentenced

 Jesse Jackson Jr plucked tissue after tissue from a box on the lectern as he wiped away tears while addressing the court at his sentencing yesterday.

 Jackson’s wife Sandra was also sentenced for her part in the theft of $750,000. in campaign funds.

Judge Amy B. Jackson sentenced Jesse to 30 months, and Sandra got 12. They’ll be allowed to serve their prison terms consecutively so that their children have a parent at home.

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No Sign of Remorse at Tsarnaev Arraignment

 Boston Marathon bombing suspect slumped in his chair, smirked and generally seemed to display an attitude in court today. The only sign of the injuries he suffered during his capture was a cast or bandage on his hand.

The hearing wasn’t scheduled until 3:30 p.m., but a line had already formed by early morning.

We were allowed in the courtroom early and so had time to work on background, which helped since the arraignment proper lasted less than ten minutes.To each count Tsarnaev responded, “not guilty”.

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A Day Trip to Philly

Reading Market, PhiladelphiaI got a last minute call to go to Philadelphia to sketch the sentencing of abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell – a case I have not followed and therefore am thankfully unable to comment on – so I hit the road at 5:00 a.m. Arriving early I had a few minutes to do the sketch above before the courthouse openned.

After waiting several hours in the courtroom, sketching some of the evidence collected from Dr. Gosnell’s, the sentencing itself was very brief. Abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell is sentenced in Philadelphia courtroom

Sketch from Kermit Gosnell sentencing

Abortion clinic furniture in courtroom

You can read about it here.

 

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