Law

Law
4:34 pm
Tue October 30, 2012

Michigan Supreme Court Justice faces FBI investigation

Michigan Supreme Court Justice Diane Hathaway
michigan.gov

Michigan Supreme Court Justice Diane Hathaway is being investigated by the FBI for possible mortgage fraud, The Detroit News and Free Press report.

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Law
1:46 pm
Tue October 30, 2012

Andrew Shirvell to receive unemployment benefits after court ruling

A judge in Lansing says Andrew Shirvell is entitled to unemployment benefits after being fired as an assistant state attorney general.

Shirvell was discharged for misconduct, but the judge says he was simply exercising his free speech rights in a crusade against a gay student leader.

Andrew Shirvell drew widespread attention for his campaign to discredit the University of Michigan’s first openly gay student body president.

Shirvell wrote a blog, showed up to protest at events that were attended by Chris Armstrong, and staked out his house with a video camera.

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Law
11:24 am
Tue October 30, 2012

FBI sued over fatal shooting of Detroit imam

Imam Luqman Adbullah, Iman of the Masjid El-Haqq mosque
www.voiceofdetroit.net

DETROIT (AP) - The family of a Detroit mosque leader has filed a lawsuit against FBI agents, saying his rights were violated when he was gunned down during a raid.

Luqman Abdullah was killed when agents tried to arrest him at a Dearborn warehouse in 2009. He and his allies were accused of dealing stolen goods in an FBI sting operation.

A lawsuit filed Friday in federal court accuses the FBI of using excessive force in Abdullah's death. He was shot 20 times. The FBI has defended what happened, saying Abdullah was armed and resisted arrest.

The Michigan attorney general said the shooting was justified. The U.S. Justice Department's civil rights division also found no wrongdoing. The FBI declined to comment on the lawsuit Tuesday.

Abdullah was married and had 10 children.

Law
6:53 pm
Mon October 29, 2012

Big money reward for information to catch I-96 corridor shooter

Steve Carmody Michigan Radio

The reward for information in the I-96 shooting spree is now over $100 thousand.

Local, county, state and federal law enforcement agencies are investigating 25 shooting incidents along the I-96 corridor from Shiawassee County to Oakland County.  There’s only been one minor injury.

Gene Wriggelsworth is Ingham County’s sheriff.   He says More than 600 tips have come into the task force leading the investigation.   There is evidence linking some of the crime scenes, but Wriggelsworth is not ruling out a possible copycat shooter as well.

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Law
5:16 pm
Mon October 29, 2012

Stateside: Continued Proposal 1 clarification

Stateside's Cyndy Canty spoke with Sarah Hulett about Proposal 1.
Flickr

Earlier this morning, Michigan Radio Assistant News Director Sarah Hulett posted a piece investigating the multifaceted  Proposal 1.

Cyndy spoke with Hulett about the Proposal's details and how it could affect Michigan.

There are two ways you can podcast "Stateside with Cynthia Canty"

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Law
5:00 pm
Sat October 27, 2012

Police: Shooting of man on freeway linked to spree

Sketch of suspect in the recent string of shootings along the I-96 corridor between Lansing and Detroit
Credit Wixom Police Department

FOWLERVILLE, Mich. (AP) - Authorities are linking the shooting of a motorist driving along Interstate 96 in Livingston County to a string of shootings across southeastern Michigan.

Sheriff Bob Bezotte told WWJ-AM the man was taken to the hospital Saturday afternoon after being shot in the hip by a bullet that came through the driver's-side door. Bezotte says shots were fired at another car earlier but its two occupants weren't injured.

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Law
9:12 pm
Fri October 26, 2012

More protests at Secretary of State related to "Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals" program

Students line the outside of a Secretary of State's office in Kalamazoo Friday.
Credit Wendy Medrano / Michigan Organizing Project

More people are protesting against a decision to deny Michigan driver's licenses to immigrants granted work permits under a new federal deferred-action program.

President Obama announced the "Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals" program in June. It provides work permits and Social Security cards to young people brought to the United States without legal permission.

But Michigan Secretary of State Ruth Johnson will not issue those in the program driver’s licenses because she says they don’t have legal status.

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Law
12:30 pm
Fri October 26, 2012

Michigan Court of Appeals shoots down Lansing library firearms ban

Steve Carmody Michigan Radio

A state court has struck down a Lansing library’s ban on people openly carrying guns in its branches.

The Capitol Area District Library instituted its policy banning patrons from openly carrying firearms in 2005.

A group called Michigan Open Carry challenged the ban, claiming the ban violated a state law which blocks local units of government from instituting rules that restrict gun owners.     And a majority of the Michigan Court of Appeals agreed.

From the conclusion of the opinion released by the Court of Appeals:

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Law
12:59 pm
Thu October 25, 2012

Stateside: Justice Markman on balance, reelection

Michigan Supreme Court Justice Stephen Markman.
markmanjustice.com

Supreme Court Justice Stephen Markman is running for reelection in November.

Markman, appointed Justice in October of 1999 continued to win reelection two subsequent times.

Markman spoke with Cyndy Canty about the role of the Supreme Court in today’s society and what he views as balanced justice.

During Markman’s twelve years on the Supreme Court, he feels he played an integral role in improving the Supreme Court.

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Crime
3:14 pm
Mon October 22, 2012

Stateside: I-96 Shooter, Commuters safer than they may think

A sketch of the suspected I-96 shooter.
MSP

Police are searching for the person responsible for a series of shootings along the I-96 corridor. From  October 16-18, 22 people were reported being shot and although no one was injured, there were some close calls.

Complaints came from Oakland, Livingston, Ingham and Shiawassee counties.

These random attacks evoke memories of the 2002 Washington D.C. shootings that left 10 people dead and three critically wounded.

Often these violent acts are accompanied with a considerable amount of worry and fear- their erratic nature is the source of our distress.

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Law
1:46 pm
Mon October 22, 2012

Stateside: Lobbying in Michigan, the 'Wild, Wild West'

Jocelyn Benson announcing the launch of a ballot campaign to require corporations to disclose their political spending on the steps of the state Capitol in Lansing.
Rick Pluta MPRN

It seems nearly every leader who takes office, including President Barack Obama and Governor Rick Snyder, promises to make transparent the dealings between lobbyists, special interest groups and our elected officials.

The results of these promises, however, are often underwhelming.

The Center for Public Integrity recently gave Michigan an “F” on its Corruption Risk Report Card.

With this dismal grade comes the question: Why is Michigan lacking in the areas of ethics and transparency?

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Law
10:53 am
Sat October 20, 2012

Shots fired at vehicles along I-96 corridor in three Michigan counties

WIXOM, Mich. (AP) - The Oakland County sheriff says authorities are investigating at least 16 shootings for any common threads in many Michigan communities.

Sheriff Mike Bouchard says no one has been injured but there have been "some very close calls." He told reporters Friday that cars and people appear to be the targets. Shootings have been reported in Oakland, Livingston and Ingham counties.

Bouchard says the shootings occurred Tuesday through Thursday. Someone shot at five vehicles in Wixom in just a few minutes Thursday.

10:27 am
Fri October 19, 2012

Witness testifies how he kept money flowing to the Kilpatricks

Lead in text: 
An update on the public corruption trial of former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, his dad, his friend Bobby Ferguson, and former Detroit Water and Sewerage director Victor Mercado.
When Kwame Kilpatrick needed money, wealthy homeless shelter operator Jon Rutherford always delivered. Rutherford told jurors in the ex-mayor's public corruption trial Thursday that he helped bankroll Kilpatrick's political campaign, his lifestyle and his father's $10,000-a-month salary to the tune of more than $440,000 over a two-year period.
Law
5:35 pm
Wed October 17, 2012

Lawsuit claims flaws in Michigan's parole system

The Department of Corrections is being sued over how it supervises parolees and handle parole violators.
Eddie Mingus flickr

A lawsuit filed this week alleges the state Department of Corrections has been too lax in supervising roughly 18,000 paroled felons in Michigan.

The lawsuit was first reported by The Detroit Free Press.

It was filed by the family of an elderly Royal Oak woman who was murdered in her home. Two fugitives on parole have been charged with the killing.

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Law
3:26 pm
Wed October 17, 2012

Michigan Appeals Court could determine resentencing of juvenile lifers

Michigan Court of Appeals
Mike Russell Wikimedia Commons

The Michigan Court of Appeals began hearing arguments Tuesday on a case that could determine the fate of Michigan’s “juvenile lifers.”

The case comes in the wake of a ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court in June determining  that mandatory life sentences without the possibility of parole for minors constituted cruel and unusual punishment.

MLive’s Jonathan Oosting has more:

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Law
3:40 pm
Thu October 11, 2012

Michigan Supreme Court hears medical marijuana cases

The Michigan Supreme Court has taken up two cases that address the distribution of medical marijuana.
user elioja Flickr

The future of medical marijuana dispensaries and growing cooperatives are on the line with two cases before the Michigan Supreme Court. The court heard arguments on those cases Thursday.

Isabella County Prosecutor Risa Scully said the medical marijuana act does not allow dispensaries where patients can share marijuana with each other.

“The act clearly delineates two methods in which a qualified patient may obtain their marijuana—they may grow it themselves or they may designate a caregiver to grow it for them,” Scully said.

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Law
4:25 pm
Wed October 10, 2012

Suit claims state's child abuse registry is unfair

southernfried MorgueFile

Four Michigan people are suing the state to change the process used to put someone on Michigan's Central Registry of Child Abuse and Neglect. 

The suit claims the registry is an unconstitutional and unfair blacklist of people accused by investigators of harming a child.

Attorney Elizabeth Warner represents the plaintiffs. She says some people are on the list for reporting abuse or neglect, or were victims of domestic violence. Warner says others were never notified that they were put on the list, and have never had a hearing.

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Law
3:39 pm
Wed October 10, 2012

Report critical of Michigan policies placing teen offenders in solitary confinement

An isolation cell is shown on the cover of a 141 page report on the effects of solitary confinement on teenage offenders
ACLU

Michigan jail and prison policies that place teenage offenders in solitary confinement are getting criticized in a new report.

“Growing Up Locked Down: Youth in Solitary Confinement in Jails and Prisons Across the United States,” is based on research in U.S. jails and prisons in Michigan and four other states: Colorado, Florida, New York and Pennsylvania

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Law
12:18 am
Tue October 9, 2012

Study will determine if racial profiling a factor in Kalamazoo traffic stops

The study will look at data from traffic stops in several locations in Kalamazoo.
Inventorchris Creative Commons

Kalamazoo’s Public Safety Department is conducting a study to see if its officers unfairly target racial and ethnic minorities.

The study is not being court ordered, the city isn’t being sued, and there hasn’t been any big incident that sparked the study. Kalamazoo Public Safety Chief Jeff Hadley says that’s a good thing.

“These types of issues can bring a lot of emotion… and it makes it a lot more difficult to talk reasonably and to talk productively and constructively in how we move forward,” Hadley said.

Hadley says the department wants to try to avoid problems and they’re hoping the study will help.

“Spending money on this type of study I think is really an investment into our relationship with the community; and how important they are in how we operate as a public safety department and how we keep this city safe,” Hadley said.

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Law
2:55 pm
Mon October 8, 2012

CEO of West Michigan auto supplier sues feds over Affordable Care Act provisions

The leader of another Michigan business is suing the federal government over provisions of the Affordable Care Act.

John Kennedy, CEO of Kentwood-based Autocam Automotive, filed a complaint in a federal court in Grand Rapids Monday. In it, he says his company shouldn’t have to provide employees with health insurance that includes contraception coverage he considers “intrinsically wrong and gravely sinful”.

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