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Law And Order
February 4, 2019

Inmates at a Brooklyn jail were locked up without heat or hot water this weekend, sparking what attorneys call a "humanitarian crisis" in a lawsuit filed Monday.

As temperatures dipped to some of their lowest of the season on Thursday, a partial power outage at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn, New York, left inmates without lights or heat. Activists and politicians gathered around the jail to protest and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) called for a federal investigation into the matter.

Lighting was restored at the end of the day Sunday, NBC New York reports, but that was far from the end of the ordeal. The federal public defenders' office filed a lawsuit in Brooklyn's U.S. District Court on Monday morning, alleging inmates' constitutional rights were violated as they were denied access to counsel during the outage, per The New York Times. A hearing for the lawsuit was quickly held at 11 a.m., and a judge ordered the jail to take one sick inmate to the hospital, Reuters says.

The detention center houses more than 1,600 inmates, largely accused of low-level offenses, ahead of their trials. Rep. Nydia Velázquez (D-N.Y.) visited the prison, which is in her district, and described it as a "nightmare ... like living in a closet without lights."

A Department of Justice spokesperson confirmed conditions were restored Sunday night and said "the facility can now begin to return to regular operations." Representatives from the DOJ and Federal Bureau of Prisons declined to comment on the suit to the Times. Kathryn Krawczyk

December 21, 2018

The former chairman of Nissan Motor Co. was re-arrested Friday in Japan, with prosecutors accusing him of shifting personal losses to the company, Japanese media reports.

It's alleged that Carlos Ghosn had Nissan briefly take on a private investment loss of approximately $16.6 million during the global financial crisis in October 2008. On Nov. 19, Ghosn and former Nissan executive Greg Kelly were arrested and later indicted on charges they underreported Ghosn's compensation in security filings for several years.

Ghosn has spent the last month in a Tokyo jail. On Thursday, a court denied the request of prosecutors to extend his detention, and before he was re-arrested on Friday, it was believed that he might be let out on bail before the weekend. Catherine Garcia

December 17, 2018

Therese Okoumou, the activist who scaled the base of the Statue of Liberty on the Fourth of July, was found guilty on Monday of misdemeanor charges of trespassing, interference with an agency's function, and disorderly conduct.

Okoumou said she was protesting the separation of families at the southern border, and wanted to "send a strong statement that children do not belong in cages." U.S. Magistrate Judge Gabriel Gorenstein said motivation aside, what Okoumou did was against the law, and if he didn't find her guilty it would "violate the oath of my office."

Okoumou was born in Congo and is a naturalized U.S. citizen living on Staten Island. While leaving the courthouse, she said she is standing "on the right side of history. I am not a bit discouraged today." Her sentencing is scheduled for March 5, and she could receive up to 18 months in prison. Catherine Garcia

October 12, 2018

Prosecutors in Los Angeles charged Lancaster resident Craig Shaver with two felony counts Thursday for allegedly threatening to kill Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and illegal possession of a revolver by a felon. The Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office said Shaver, 47, was convicted of grand theft in 1991. If convicted of the two new charges, he faces a maximum sentence of three years in state prison. Prosecutors did not disclose the contents of the Sept. 30 email Shaver allegedly sent to Feinstein, but Feinstein is the top Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee, which at the time was in the middle of contentious hearings over Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh. President Trump has started attacking Feinstein at his rallies. Peter Weber

October 9, 2018

Anthony Weiner, the former Democratic congressman from New York who pleaded guilty last year to one charge of transferring obscene material to a minor, is scheduled for early release from prison, CNN reported Tuesday.

Weiner pleaded guilty in May 2017, and was sentenced to 21 months in federal prison. He reported to prison on Nov. 6, 2017, and would have been let out in August 2019, but the Federal Bureau of Prisons website shows his release date is now May 14, 2019. "This projected release date includes credit for good conduct time earned and good conduct time that may be earned throughout the remainder of his sentence," the Bureau of Prisons told CNN in a statement.

Weiner's guilty plea stemmed from communications he had with a 15-year-old girl online between January and March 2016. Speaking in court, he said this was "my rock bottom. I have no excuse. ... I victimized a young person who deserved better." In 2011, a year after he married Huma Abedin, Weiner resigned after it was discovering he was sexting women, and more explicit messages were released in 2013 when he ran unsuccessfully for mayor of New York City. Abedin filed for divorce last year. Catherine Garcia

September 20, 2018

Marion "Suge" Knight, the former rap mogul who founded Death Row Records in the 1990s, pleaded no contest on Thursday to a voluntary manslaughter charge.

Knight was accused of running over one man and hitting another with his truck in a Compton, California, parking lot in 2015. Terry Carter, 55, was killed, and Cle "Bone" Sloan sustained serious injuries. The incident took place near where the movie Straight Outta Compton was being filmed, and was caught on surveillance tape. Sloan was working security for the film set, and Knight claimed he was speeding away because Sloan had a gun.

Knight will be sentenced Oct. 4, and is expected to receive 28 years in prison, ABC Los Angeles reports. Under the plea deal, the judge will dismiss additional charges against Knight during his sentencing: making criminal threats and stealing a camera. Catherine Garcia

August 8, 2018

Two Manchester, New Hampshire, police officers shot by a mentally ill man in May are suing the gun shop that sold the man the handgun as well as the New Hampshire Department of Safety. In their lawsuit, officers Ryan Hardy and Matthew O'Connor argue that Chester Arms LLC, the Department of Safety, and Safety Commissioner John Barthelmes were negligent for allowing assailant Ian MacPherson to purchase the Smith & Wesson despite his history of mental illness and written and verbal warnings from the Merrimack Police Department that MacPherson was disqualified from buying a weapon.

The Department of Safety's Gun Line division is responsible for checking the background of customers at federally licensed gun dealers like Chester Arms, the New Hampshire Union Leader reports, and Hardy and O'Connor argue that MacPherson should have been barred from purchasing a handgun under federal gun laws. In the May 13 incident, MacPherson shot O'Connor in the leg and Hardy was wounded in the face, neck, and shoulder blade. MacPherson, 34, admitted to shooting the officers and pleaded not guilty due to insanity; he was sent to the state prison's psychiatric ward for five years. Peter Weber

July 31, 2018

Special Counsel Robert Mueller's first court trial begins Tuesday in Alexandria, Virginia, with selection of 12 jurors to consider Mueller's first 18 charges against President Trump's former campaign chairman Paul Manafort, most of them dealing with alleged financial crimes. Manafort, 69, has pleaded not guilty. The trial is expected to last about three weeks, and if convicted, Manafort realistically faces seven to 12 years in prison, based on federal sentencing guidelines. Mueller's team has named 35 potential witnesses to help make its case that Manafort fraudulently obtained loans and illegally failed to report a "significant percentage" of the $60 million he allegedly earned in Ukraine to the IRS.

Tuesday morning, before jury selection, U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis will adjudicate a motion by Manafort's legal team to exclude prosecutors' evidence detailing Manafort's work for a pro-Russia party in Ukraine, arguing that such information would be "irrelevant, prejudicial and unnecessarily time-consuming." In a second trial later this year, Mueller's team will argue that Manafort acted as an unregistered foreign agent. Mueller, who isn't expected to attend the Virginia trial, has won indictments or guilty pleas from 32 people and three companies, and Manafort is the only American who opted to try his luck in court. If you're wondering why Manafort isn't cooperating with Mueller, The Week's Matthew Walther has some theories. Peter Weber

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