Do you believe that the justice system is not fair? That it helps some while hurting others without any rhyme-or-reason to it all? These are common complaints because, admittedly, the justice system is imperfect. Plus, it will always feel unfair when you get the short end of the stick. That's why its important that those individuals who are a part of "the system," police, prosecutors, and judges, not only make sure to be impartial and objective, but also to work hard to remove the appearance of favoritism and subjectivity. It's because of these rules that the recent actions of four Wayne County prosecutors set off alarm bells.
In the Justice System, sentencing, and mandatory minimums for federal offenders are hot topics again. In March, 2013 Democratic Senator Patrick J. Leahy and Republican Senator Rand Paul introduced the Safety Valve Act of 2013. If the bill becomes law, it will allow federal judges to sentence offenders facing mandatory minimum sentences to less time in prison, regardless of the crime charged, provided that doing so does not jeopardize public safety. This does not mean that federal judges will be required to sentence offenders below the mandatory minimum, it merely permits judges to do so when the mandatory minimum sentence is unreasonable and does not fulfill the legislature's goals of punishment.
Police & You: It's Almost Halloween and someone is Watching You
One month after the start of the Bobby Ferguson bid rigging trial, the white-collar crime case was sent to a Detroit federal jury to begin deliberations. June 15, 2012 was the first day the jury began deliberating the guilt or innocence of Ferguson. He is accused of federal crimes in Detroit involving rigging contract bids in an effort to secure a $12-million project at the low-income housing project Garden View Estates. According to the prosecution, Ferguson allegedly ran Xcel Construction Services, the construction manager of the project, and authorized over $9 million worth of contracts to be acquired through his other company, Ferguson Enterprises. The prosecution argues that the Xcel checkbook was in Ferguson's possession, which is tantamount to controlling the operation, and amounts to a conflict of interest.
A retired Utica, Michigan, teacher who was recently convicted of possession of child pornography has been sentenced in the U.S. District Court for Eastern Michigan in Detroit to 20 years. The sentence was the maximum faced by the man after he pleaded guilty to the federal charge last year.