JONATHAN TURLEY

By Mike Appleton, Guest Blogger

In 1984 Leonard and Harriet Nobelman purchased a condominium with the assistance of an adjustable rate mortgage loan from American Savings Bank.  Six years later, the Nobelmans encountered financial difficulties and filed Chapter 13 proceedings in bankruptcy court.  At the time of their filing, their mortgage balance, including accrued interest and late fees, was $71,335.00 and the fair market value of their home was only $23,500.00.  Accordingly, the Nobelmans proposed a reorganization plan which treated the difference between the mortgage balance and the fair market value, a total of $47,835.00, as unsecured debt.

Under bankruptcy law, the reclassification of indebtedness exceeding the value of the collateral from secured to unsecured status is known as a “cramdown.”  This is a commonly used device that effectively “strips” the lien of a security interest down to the collateral’s value.  It enables a debtor to retain property while insuring that the secured creditor will recover at least…

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Florida Is 6th Worst Toxic Polluter from Coal-Fired Power Plants Despite Natural Gas Gains

Published by FlaglerLive | August 9, 2012

Florida is the 6th worst state in the nation when it comes to exposing residents to toxic air pollution from coal-fired power plants, according to an analysis released today in Florida by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC).

Florida’s electric sector ranked 6th in industrial toxic air pollution in 2010, emitting nearly 16.7 million pounds of harmful chemicals, which accounted for 57 percent of state pollution and about 5 percent of toxic pollution from all U.S. power plants.

Florida ranked 15th among all states in industrial mercury air pollution from power plants, with about 1,710 pounds emitted in 2010, which accounted for 75 percent of state mercury air pollution and 3 percent of U.S. electric sector mercury pollution. Mercury contaminates fish and is most commonly absorbed by humans through fish consumption. Mercury poisoning can impair vision, speech and coordination, and lead to severe birth defects or worse.

On the national level, the report found a 19 percent decrease nationally in all air toxics emitted from power plants in 2010, the most recent data available, compared to 2009 levels. The welcomed drop, which also includes a 4 percent decrease in mercury emissions, results from two key factors. One is the increasing use by power companies of natural gas, which has become cheaper and is cleaner burning than coal; the other is the installation of state-of-the-art pollution controls by many plants–in anticipation of new health protections issued by the Environmental Protection Agency.

Read the rest of the story at: http://flaglerlive.com/42571/florida-coal-fired-pollution/

illinoisduilawyer

The Chicago Sun-Times has more information on Jamie O’Malley, the Cook County Deputy Sheriff who has been charged with aggravated DUI arising out of a fatal accident in Franklin Park last Sunday.

According to the Sun-Times,

The Cook County sheriff’s deputy charged with felony DUI for a fatal accident Sunday in Franklin Park reportedly told arresting officers, “Oh God, I hope I didn’t kill this guy.”

Jamie T. O’Malley, 37, of Franklin Park is charged with aggravated DUI for striking and killing Marcial Marias-Quevedo on Mannheim Road in Franklin Park at 1:43 a.m. Sunday, authorities said.

O’Malley smelled strongly of alcohol and told police he’d come from a party where he’d had “two beers,” Van Kampen said.

The 6-foot-tall, 200-pound O’Malley reportedly failed field sobriety tests, then refused a Breathalyzer test.

He later submitted to urine and blood tests. Those tests, administered 1-1/2 hours after the accident, yielded a…

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illinoisduilawyer

First of all, if you are criminal defendant, you should never miss court.  Your failure to appear will likely result in a warrant and/or judgment issued against you.  You might also miss an opportunity to have your attorney get something accomplished on your behalf.

But that is not what I am writing about today.

I saw this happen earlier this morning in Chicago’s Traffic Court.

A judge was going through her morning trial call to see which cases would be ready for trial.

A case was called that had been set for trial.  The defendant had not yet appeared. It was 10:00 a.m. and the case had been scheduled for 9:00.  The case was stricken from the trial call and was passed for the “no-show” or “warrant call.”  Had the defendant been there, the state would not have been able to answer ready for trial, because their arresting officer had…

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JONATHAN TURLEY

Respectfully submitted by Lawrence Rafferty (rafflaw)- Guest Blogger

It seems that almost everywhere you look, some State is trying to reduce the number of early voting days, purging the voting rolls and making it harder for citizens to cast their votes.  The State of Florida has recently attempted to remove legitimate voters off its voter rolls and the State of Georgia recently attempted to restrict the time when a military absentee ballot can be counted as I wrote about earlier on this blog. Georgia  Now, we have some hard evidence of just who is getting removed or impacted by the various State’s attempts to cure the imagined Voter fraud problem!

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JONATHAN TURLEY

Respectfully submitted by Lawrence Rafferty (rafflaw) Guest Blogger

I have discussed the Second Amendment and the difficulties I have in allowing citizens to own semi-automatic weapons and large capacity clips of ammunition in the past, but Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, in a recent Fox News interview, just took my concern over semi-automatic weapons and shot it down.. with a shoulder firing rocket! 

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How America’s Death Penalty Murders Innocents | Common Dreams

Published on Tuesday, May 22, 2012 by The Guardian/UK

How America’s Death Penalty Murders Innocents

The evidence is in: the US criminal justice system produces wrongful convictions on an industrial scale – with fatal results by  David A. Love

The US criminal justice system is a broken machine that wrongfully convicts innocent people, sentencing thousands of people to prison or to death for the crimes of others, as a new study reveals. The University of Michigan law school and Northwestern University have compiled a new National Registry of Exonerations – a database of over 2,000 prisoners exonerated between 1989 and the present day, when DNA evidence has been widely used to clear the names of innocent people convicted of rape and murder. Of these, 885 have profiles developed for the registry’s website, exonerationregistry.org.

The details are shocking. Death row inmates were exonerated nine times more frequently than others convicted of murder. One-fourth of those exonerated of murder had received a death sentence, while half of those who had been wrongfully convicted of rape or murder faced death or a life behind bars. Ten of the inmates went to their grave before their names were cleared.

Read more at: How America’s Death Penalty Murders Innocents | Common Dreams.

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