A 22-year-old Maine man who hoped to get community service after he suffocated, burned, then dumped the body of his 14-year-old Christian girlfriend at a Brooklyn beach last year because she refused to get an abortion, received a 25 years to life prison sentence in New York City on Monday.
Court papers cited by the New York Post said the man, Christian Ferdinand, confessed in January 2013 to the gruesome killing of his underage girlfriend, Shaniesha Forbes, and had hoped to get sentenced to community service for it.
"Do you think I can get some kind of community service?" Ferdinand reportedly asked officers shortly after he confessed, according to court files. After deliberating the evidence against him on Monday, however, a Brooklyn jury took just an hour to pronounce Ferdinand guilty and that he should spend the rest of his life in prison. more >>
Lots of people are apparently seeking their 15 minutes of fame by destroying the property and life's work of people unfortunate enough to live in Ferguson, Missouri. They don't seem to be worried that their face on ever-present network news will be used as evidence to convict them of looting, arson, vandalism, or other crimes. And is anybody concerned about prison time for incitement to riot? Inflaming passions, stirring up grievances, and providing excuses about "seeking justice" might all get cloaked in the First Amendment with the help of clever lawyers and controlled media.
But what is really going on? Does anybody believe that indicting a cop who was acting in self-defense, according to a grand jury, could be just? Or helpful? So why would anyone who suggests such an absurd idea get one minute of airtime?
People engaged in mob violence are not thinking logically. It's a form of insanity. But assignment editors, commentators, and editorial boards have no excuse. They sit protected in climate-controlled offices, and have access to the big picture. Riots, protests, and "die-ins" nationwide are not spontaneous events. They are carefully planned, orchestrated, and scripted. more >>
The grand jury decision in the Ferguson, Missouri police shooting case of Michael Brown by Officer Darren Wilson was not even close. Twelve people, black and white, came to the right conclusion.
When all the facts came out, race industry hustlers could hardly argue that the decision was unjust. Even Jesse Jackson, who took very little time away from Thanksgiving with his families, couldn't quibble.
Trying to incite further violence, Al Sharpton still preached, "don't take your gloves off" afterward. He should leave Ferguson, avoid the spotlight, and go where no one will see him: back to MSNBC. Sharpton demands accountability in others, often visits Obama in the White House, and owes $4.5 million in taxes. more >>
Bill Cosby has decided to resign from the Board of Trustees at Temple University to avoid being a distraction for the establishment amid growing allegations of sexual assault.
"I have always been proud of my association with Temple University. I have always wanted to do what would be in the best interests of the university and its students," Cosby said in a statement, according to the Associated Press. "As a result, I have tendered my resignation from the Temple University Board of Trustees."
Cosby, the 77-year-old comedian, seemed to be the object of the world's affection as the television father known as Cliff Huxtable on "The Cosby Show" that aired in the 1980s and 1990s. While the show has managed to stay in syndication long after it stopped producing episodes, seemingly long-forgotten rape allegations have made their way back into mainstream media. more >>
The headline of the 2014 midterm elections – and understandably so – was the dominating performance of the Republican Party in both federal and state races. As new officials prepare to take office, it is important that they not lose sight of an important lesson from Election Day: voters' desire for smart criminal justice reform and their fatigue with empty tough on crime rhetoric.
As a pastor who has worked in prison ministry, I have seen our criminal justice system up close and understand that it is dire need of reform. For decades, the prison population in the US has skyrocketed as policies have focused on incarcerating for longer periods of time more people, including nonviolent offenders. The majority of those affected by this troubled policy are people of color who have been incarcerated at an alarmingly high rate in relation to their percentage of the population.
It was evident on election night that there is now a real pushback against these policies. Most notably in California, Proposition 47 passed by a comfortable margin. This proposition will reclassify a number of nonviolent felonies to misdemeanors, reduce the prison population, and save California hundreds of millions of dollars. Across the country, voters sent a message that it was time to rein in the problem of over-criminalization. more >>
The wife of NFL player Ray Rice, who was knocked unconscious by her then-fiancé in an Atlantic City elevator, says the assault last February was part of God's divine plan to raise awareness for domestic abuse in America.
Although Janay Rice, formerly Janay Palmer during the time of the attack, told The Today Show's Matt Lauer on Monday that her physical altercation with Ray was just a one-time occurrence, she firmly believes that God used her and her now-husband as tools to raise awareness for the women that suffer from that kind of physical abuse on a regular basis.
"I feel like God chose me and Ray for a reason," Rice said. "It was definitely to bring awareness to what people are going through every day. more >>