Gang Rapists On Trial

Justin King 2012

The second of four Pittsfield defendants – Justin A. King – charged with gang raping a University of Massachusetts student is scheduled to start today following a last-minute slate of motions argued in Hampshire Superior Court last week.

Defendant Emmanuel Bile was tried and convicted in March and has begun serving an 8- to 10-year state prison sentence.  Adam T. Liccardi and Caleb Womack are due to be tried in that order after King.

King, 21, Liccardi, 20, Bile, 21, and Caleb Womack, 20, were each charged with raping the student in Pierpont Dormitory on Oct. 13, 2012, according to masslive.com.

The judge in the King rape trial told the lawyers for both sides Friday that she will question the jury. On Friday, Hampshire Superior Court Judge Bertha D. Josephson told defense lawyer Terrence Dunphy and prosecutor Jenifer Suhl that she would conduct a “voir dire” of the jurors as they are seated.

The additional questioning is made possible by an order of the Massachusetts Superior Court handed down in February. The ruling allows lawyers to gather more information from prospective jurors, but judges still have the discretion to question the jurors themselves during the enrolling of a jury, writes masslive.com.

(Updated article)

http://www.masslive.com/news/index.ssf/2015/06/primer_on_justin_king_rape_tri.html

http://www.masslive.com/news/index.ssf/2015/06/hampshire_superior_court_judge_9.html

UNT Women’s Basketball Player Death Ruled A Suicide

University of North Texas basketball player Eboniey Jeter committed suicide in her dorm room, according to the Tarrant County Medical Examiner’s Office report released yesterday, May 8th.

She was a forward on the UNT women’s team.

The Denton Record-Chronicle newspaper states the report by Dr. Nizam Peerwani, chief medical examiner, revealed how Ms. Jeter took her own life.

The Record-Chronicle decided not to include the details of the suicide out of respect to her grieving family.

The newspaper was unable to reach family members Friday afternoon for comment.

(Updated article)

http://www.swishappeal.com/2015/5/8/8574125/north-texas-forward-eboniey-jeters-ruled-a-suicide

A ‘Poignant’ Writing On Sociopaths

Recently, Debbie Borman, a law professor at Northwestern University wrote a blog post about sociopathy for the website “Mom, I Think I’m Poignant!” on chicagonow.com. The article was based on the case of the Boston Marathon bomber, as well as two recently-sentenced Chicago-area murderers in Bali.

Debbie writes:

“The news reports regarding the sentencing phase of the trial of accused Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev are now focused on Tsarnaev’s demeanor. As the prosecutors present victim-impact testimony, reports focus on Tsarnaev’s lack of demonstration of remorse, about how he is stoic and expressionless and lacking in emotion. Tsarnaev committed a horrible crime and he should receive the worst kind of sentence, either the death penalty for those who believe that is appropriate within the statutory possibility, or life in prison, so he can live out a miserable life behind bars.

“The accused shows no emotion, no remorse. He is a sociopath with no empathy.

“But there is a worse kind of sociopath, the sociopath who lacks empathy, but is so charming he shows artificial remorse and convinces the world that the opposite is true.

“Consider the sentencing yesterday of Tommy Schaefer, the 21-year old 50% responsible for the bludgeoning death of Sheila von Wiese-Mack. Schaefer and his complicit girlfriend, Weise-Mack’s daughter Heather Mack, repeatedly struck Wiese-Mack in the head, and then stuffed Ms. Wiese-Mack’s body in a suitcase and left it in the trunk of a cab in Bali. Schaefer was spared the death penalty in an Indonesian court and sentenced to a mere 18-years imprisonment, because of his artificial tears and phony demeanor: ‘Presiding Judge Made Suweda described his crime as ‘sadistic’ but said the defendant’s politeness and expression of remorse during the trial warranted that the Oak Park resident be spared a harsher sentence,’ according to a story in the Chicago Tribune.

“Heather Mack was an only child and sole beneficiary of a $1.56 million trust fund.

“Which sociopath is worse for our society–the sociopath who makes no mystery of the fact of his contempt for human life? Who kills and runs and hides in boat the way a cat hides under the couch with his tail sticking out? Or the charmer-murderer, who tells you that he loves you because he wants your money, and then convinces you to, and helps you kill your mother?”

(Updated post)

Liberty Students Required To Attend Cruz Speech: Huffington Post

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) delivered his first official 2016 presidential campaign speech Monday during a “convocation” ceremony at Liberty University, a religious institution in Lynchburg, Virginia.  During that speech, he announced he would be running for president.

A convocation (from the Latin convocare meaning “to call/come together”, a translation of the Greek ἐκκλησίαekklēsia) is a group of people formally assembled for a special purpose, mostly ecclesiastical or academic, states Wikipedia.

A synodical assembly of a church is at times called “Convocation.”

“Some of the students who witnessed the launch of Cruz’s 2016 presidential campaign were…only in attendance so they wouldn’t get fined,” at the fundamentalist Christian school, states the Huffington Post.

Convocation at Liberty University is a mandatory Monday, Wednesday and Friday event — and they are penalized with fines if they skip an assembly.

“They make you come. If you don’t come, you get punished,” said Ana Delgado, a sophomore at Liberty, who said students face a $10 fine for not showing up at convocation, according to National Journal.

Born in Canada to a Cuban father, Cruz does not seem to fear lawsuits over his right to be president.

In the past, “birther” lawsuits challenged Barack Obama’s right to be President, claiming that he was not a natural-born citizen.  He was born in Hawaii to an American mother and Kenyan father.

Sheriff Richard Mack, who now heads the Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association said in a Blog Talk Radio interview that he believes Cruz is ineligible for the presidency. Mack is known as a prominent “birther.”

Oddly, Cruz has stated that we should abolish the Internal Revenue Service and put “every one of those 110,000 [IRS] agents…on our southern border.” (82,000 people work for the IRS, according to FactCheck.org.)

This is from a man whose father immigrated from Cuba and who himself was born in Canada.

More here

Liberty Off Campus Living Guide here

(Updated post)

Economists Argue That College Athletes Should Be Paid

The average pro basketball player makes $24.7 million over his 4.8 year career, according to The USA Today.

The average pro football player makes $6.7 million over his 3.5 year career.

But the average college basketball or football player doesn’t even make $1.  While they may receive full or partial academic scholarships, not a single college athlete is paid.

The NCAA, which regulates 23 sports at 1,200 schools across the US, has repeatedly argued student-athletes should not get salaries. They say this “undermines the purpose of college: an education.”

“Student-athletes are not employees, and their participation in college sports is voluntary.”

In their recent report, The Case For Paying College Athletes, economists Allen Sanderson and his co-author John Siegfried claim this system is not only unfair, but possibly illegal.

“Last year in March, the National Labor Relations Board decided Northwestern’s football players were primarily athletes, rather than students,” says Allen Sanderson, senior lecturer in economics at the University of Chicago and co-author of the article.

Northwestern players can now get employee medical benefits and unionize, according to USA Today.

Although it doesn’t matter whether they unionize or not, Sanderson says, “because the overriding principle is they fall under labor law, not ‘student law.’”

Northwestern quarterback Kain Colter. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh, File)

Northwestern is now appealing that decision.  The economists feel that Northwestern will lose the case.

“They’re going lose, they know they’re going lose,” Sanderson says. “Can the NCAA survive [players being labeled as employees]? Yes. But it’s going to be messy.”

Sanderson and his co-author John Siegfried believe the NCAA might not survive the outcome of the Kessler case.

“The Kessler case is a lawsuit [filed by Jeffrey Kessler] against the NCAA, arguing that it is price-fixing when the NCAA sets the amount for the grant-in-aid, tuition, room and books [student-athletes receive],” Sanderson explains.

Which School Signed The Better Defensive Ends In 2015? Alabama vs. Auburn

Alabama and Auburn signed important defensive ends.  Which school signed the better ones?

Auburn pulled off a huge move when it reeled in Byron Cowart and Edgewood Academy four-star Prince Tega Wanogho Jr.

Alabama had no late dramatics with defensive ends, but still signed two four-star prospects.

Which school got the better group?

Alabama signed Mekhi Brown and Anfernee Jennings.

247Composite ratings: Two 4-stars

Alabama added two defensive ends with good potential in Mekhi Brown and Anfernee Jennings, but both are likely years away from making a major impact. Brown has a good frame at 6-foot-4, 222-pounds, but he’s going to need to put on weight and get stronger to earn playing time at Alabama. Jennings has shown flashes of brilliance, but played against weak competition in high school so there are still question marks about him. He has a quick first step, but relies mostly on athleticism on this point and will need time to become more refined. Both are good candidates to redshirt next season.

Auburn signed Byron Cowart and Prince Tega Wanogho Jr.

247Composite ratings: One 5-star, One 4-star

It doesn’t get much better than signing the nation’s top defensive end. To put it simply, Cowart is a beast. He’s got a “high motor,” he’s athletic and he’s plenty strong enough.

At the Under Armour All-America Game, he was unstoppable. Even with Auburn returning multiple defensive linemen, it’s inconceivable to imagine Cowart not making an impact assuming he stays healthy. He has first-round NFL kind of talent. Wanogho Jr. is very talented too, though he’s likely two years away from making a real impact. He’s only played football for a single season since arriving from Nigeria, but he’s ridiculously athletic and strong. He’ll need to redshirt after suffering a serious injury during a basketball game, but he’s the ideal low-risk/high-reward type player. He has no bad habits yet and can be molded into whatever defensive coordinator Will Muschamp and defensive line coach Rodney Garner want.

AL.com states that the winner would be Auburn. “This one is about as much of a slam dunk as it gets. Auburn did a terrific job with its defensive end group, headlined by Cowart, who some analysts consider to be the top player in the country. Wanogho Jr. is a mystery, but there isn’t a player with a higher ceiling in Alabama this year. Jennings and Brown are two talented players and good gets for Alabama, but Auburn is the clear winner at this spot.”

Sister Of Muslim Dentistry Student Says ‘Parking Dispute’ Story Outrageous

In a Friday morning appearance on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” Dr. Suzanne Barakat, whose 23-year-old brother Deah was killed allegedly by neighbor Hicks, disputed the initial motive that Hicks shot the Muslim students due to a long-running parking dispute.  This was the initial motive laid out by the Chapel Hill, North Carolina, police.

Barakat said she had evidence that police may not have seen indicating that Hicks had a deeper problem with her brother and his wife, Yusor Mohammad Abu-Salha, both of whom were shot dead.

“I think it’s absolutely insulting, insensitive and outrageous that the first thing they come out and say and issue a statement that this is a parking dispute,” Barakat said.

“I’m not sure who they spoke to, because it took me all of five minutes of talking to [Deah’s] former roommate, whom they had not reached out to, to give me details, information, text messages,” she said, adding that police hadn’t yet reached out to her family either.

Barakat said she believed Hicks, whose apparent Facebook page showed he had strong anti-religion beliefs and identified as an “anti-theist,” had been “harassing” the family since they first arrived at the apartment complex because the women wore headscarves.

Were the shooting victims found in the parking lot?

The police warrant for the shooting shows Deah Barakat was shot in the head, and that Yusor Mohammad Abu-Salha and Razan Mohammad Abu-Salha wre shot inside the house, according to WKRG.com.

“When officers approached the apartment, they located a male subject that was bleeding from the head,” the warrant stated. “The male subject showed no signs of life,” according to WNCN.com.

Inside Apartment 272, the police found two bodies.

“One female was lying in the kitchen, near the dishwasher, and another female was lying in the doorway of the next room, near the kitchen. Both subjects showed no signs of life and were wearing Muslim headdresses,” the warrant said.

More:

http://www.wncn.com/story/28105951/warrants-man-accused-in-chapel-hill-shooting-had-at-least-12-guns

Three Muslim-American Students Killed In Chapel Hill, North Carolina

An image from the Facebook page Our Three Winners shows the three victims.

Three Muslims, including a newly-wed couple, were shot dead in their home in a North Carolina neighborhood in the US.  All three victims were shot in the head, sources told WRAL News.  A motive has not yet been confirmed.

Students Deah Shaddy Barakat, 23, his wife Yusor Mohammad, 21, and her sister, Razan Mohammad Abu-Salha, 19, were found dead at their apartment in Chapel Hill near the University of North Carolina (UNC) campus, according to Yahoo News.

Barakat was a second-year dental student at UNC, and Mohammad was due to begin her dental studies.  They were married in December.

A 46-year-old man, identified by police as Craig Stephen Hicks, has been charged with three counts of first degree murder.

Police arrived at the building complex following reports of gunshots at 5:11pm on Tuesday. The man reportedly turned himself in later than evening.

“It is with deep sadness that we share with you the news that the victims included Deah Barakat, a second-year student in the School of Dentistry, and his wife, Yusor, who had planned to begin her dental studies here in the fall. Her sister, Razan, a student at N.C. State University, was also killed,” UNC said in a statement.

More here

Duke University Muslim Call To Prayer: Who Gives A Damn?

This is an OK, Fine “op-ed.”

Duke University officials on Thursday reversed a decision to broadcast the Muslim call to prayer from the bell tower atop the Duke chapel.

(Trivia info:  the bell tower of Duke Chapel is modeled after the Bell Harry Tower of Canterbury Cathedral in Canterbury, in Kent, England.)

The plan was to recite and broadcast a call to prayer from the chapel for about three minutes, once a week, each Friday.

Why did they reverse the decision?

Speaking to a group of reporters and TV camera, Duke’s vice president of public affairs and government relations offered little insight into the cancellation besides saying there were “security concerns.” Neither he nor the dean of the chapel used the word “threat,” and it appeared no law enforcement agencies aside from Duke campus police were called to investigate.

However, other sources claim there were threats of violence made against the school.

Meanwhile, CBS reported on January 21st that the Duke University chapter of the Alpha Delta Phi fraternity has been suspended as police investigate rape allegations stemming from a frat party earlier this month.

The alleged sexual assault took place in an off-campus house and now officials are working to determine what happened.

In an affidavit obtained by “CBS This Morning,” a woman told police she was served “hot chocolate” at the party.  After drinking it, the next thing she remembered was waking up the next day in a “t-shirt she didn’t recognize,” wearing “no underwear and no bra,” and her leggings were “torn and on the ground.”

So, the real question about whether or not Duke University broadcasts a three-minute prayer every Friday is this:

Who gives a damn?

More:

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/pursuedbytruth/2015/01/tolerance-charity-and-the-muslim-call-to-prayer.html

Student Sues Her Divorced Parents For Tuition, Wins

gavel-promo-140.jpg

On Monday, a Superior Court judge in Camden, NJ ordered the parents of 21-year-old Temple University student Caitlyn Ricci to pay $906 of her tuition from Gloucester County College (now known as Rowan College at Gloucester County). She has been in a legal battle with her parents, Maura McGarvey and Michael Ricci, for more than a year.

The decision follows a ruling from this fall that bound her parents to pay $16,000 toward her tuition at Temple. The two have appealed that ruling.

Ricci sued her parents last spring, and reports say the woman has not seen her parents outside of court appearances in about two years. Her grandparents are paying her legal fees

Ricci’s legal victory has a legal precedent in Newburgh v. Arrigo, 88 N.J. 529 (1982). In that case, a judge ruled that divorced parents were legally responsible for paying for their children’s higher education.

In November, the parents told Chris J. Brown, a New Jersey assemblyman working to create legislation blocking adult children from suing their parents for tuition, that while they are divorced, they have jointly made decisions about raising their daughter.