Aug. 8, 2011


by James Harmon



I just thought I'd bring this word back to life. "Tragiconsequences" was last seen being dragged from the sidewalk into a black van by two guys who looked a lot like Anderson Cooper and Brian Williams.

I see that Havard has done away with their, or its, case law courses. Another name for case law, organic law. How can you argue against organic law, you can't!

Also on life support: "machismo".

WASHINGTON - Federal prosecution for serious financial crime plummeted as the nation headed toward one of the worst economic meltdowns in U.S. history, a USA TODAY examination of Justice Department records shows.

That drop in enforcement touched everything from stock-trading schemes and corporate wrongdoing to fraud aimed at individual consumers, according to the records. From the fiscal years 2003 to 2009, the number of federal corporate fraud cases plunged 55%; securities fraud charges dropped 17%; and bankruptcy fraud cases fell by 44%.

Justice Department officials, under pressure from lawmakers, have promised to reverse that trend, and have launched thousands of new criminal probes, targeting financial crimes. But while the number of new cases filed in federal courts has increased slightly in recent months, it remains a fraction of what it was a few years ago.

"There's no doubt that if we got started two years ago, we would have gotten a lot more of these guys. Because we didn't, there are people who are going to get away with it," said Sen. Ted Kaufman, D-Del. "We should never have left ourselves naked when it comes to financial fraud."

Associate Attorney General Tom Perrelli said federal investigators are moving as quickly as they can to prosecute crimes linked to the financial crisis. "The administration is very much focused on the prevention and deterrence side of this," he said.

Federal prosecutors charged 91 people in corporate fraud case in the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30. Justice Department figures show. In 2003—the first year for which reliable figures were available—they charged 313. They charged 82 people with bankruptcy fraud, fewer than before the recession caused a surge in bankruptcies.

These figures are consistent with separate reports from the office that oversee federal courts, and from TRAC, a Syracuse University research group. The drop in enforcement came as the Bush administration pushed the FBI and federal prosecutors to focus on terrorism and national security, said Ellen Podgon, a Stetson University law professor who studies white-collar crimes.

[poster's commentary: First Minnesota Stat Gov't shutdown ('05). Bush waited for three years after 9/11 to focus on terrorism? As my grandpa would say, "Baloney."]

Killings will be Solved
All Hutchens knows about her grown son's whereabouts that night is that he picked up Hurd from work and then drove to North Pole to pull someone out of a ditch. He later picked up Hurd's girlfriend from work. Her shift usually ended at midnight.

A dog walker found the men's bodies near Quincy Hutchens' pickup truck on the morning of Oct. 26, 2006.

Naming a killer won't bring back her son, Deborah Hutchens said.

"Nothing is going to change whether someone is arrested or not," she said.

Hoty is less philosophical.

"If this kid was to jail and locked up like he should have been, then (maybe) my son would still be alive."

Steward's mother, who also is grieving the loss of a son, said that whatever Brandon might have been mixed up in, he paid with his life.

[poster's commentary: You're not seeing things. The editor added the "maybe" to this woman's quote. This mother's quote.

This is despicable.]


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