Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Will Charges Be Filed Against Lindsay Lohan?

There are two different issue to consider in the latest Lindsay Lohan incident (a possible assault charge against her from a run in with a female worker at the Betty Ford Rehab Clinic last night). First issue: are there going to be charges in this case, and second: is this going to be a violation of her probation. Either one could land her back in custody.

This is a "she said/she said" kind of situation so it is all about credibility here. Lindsay Lohan does not have very good credibility, so the issue is now going to be, is this worker, Dawn Holland, credible? The worker, Holland, was just fired because she broke the confidentiality rules at the clinic. There are rumored allegations that Holland has a former assault charge against her husband, which also goes toward her credibility.

Anytime that there is a confidential situation with leak of information, there is going to be a mark against credibility. Here also though we have a drug addict, Lohan, who will go to any desperate measures to be able to use and abuse drugs. We have someone who has lied to the court before, someone who has done very little to stay out of jail. So in a credibility call, it is hard predict where the truth will come down.

Lohan was only two weeks away from her end of the stay. It is hard to believe that she would risk everything by sneaking out, according to what many witnesses are saying, since she did not have permission to leave the clinic that night. If she sneaked out and used drugs, it would make sense why she refused to take a test and became agitated with Holland. Judge Fox specifically kept Lohan in custody to make it through the difficult time of the holidays, ending her stay on January 3rd. 

Although some may want to believe Lohan is now cured after her rehab stay, it seems consistent with her continued addiction that she is relapsing again. After several months in rehab, why is she resorting to this kind of behavior? Is she really taking it all seriously? No one seems truly convinced that Lindsay Lohan has been cured. She has not admitted she has a problem. It seems she is utilizing rehab as a way of avoiding jail.  Bar-hopping and drinking is is not on the Betty Ford list of approved activities. However, they have given Lohan opportunities to have day passes because these are markers that Betty Ford uses to test how well a patient is committed to the process. Lohan had permission to shop, but not to drink.

Lohan is probably going to be facing a Judge, yet again, and possibly even facing now criminal charges. The real problem is, from a PR point of view, that Lohan is on the defensive once again. Until she really takes an offensive approach to her problem, she will always be steps behind. If this assault allegation and violation has anything to do with drugs or alcohol, and that is proved, Judge Fox will put Lohan back in custody.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Justice For Smart Family

Just want to echo the simple yet eloquent words of 23-year-old Elizabeth Smart as she said today: "I am so thrilled with the verdict, but not only that I am so thrilled to stand before the people of America today and give hope to other victims who have not spoken out about what’s happened to them," Smart said from the steps of the federal courthouse in downtown Salt Lake City Friday afternoon.

Today was a win, even if it wasn’t surprising, it certainly relieving and thankfully quick to justice with only five hours of deliberation (two hours yesterday and three today). This has been an excruciatingly long process for the
Smart family. Thankfully, justice delayed is still justice.  Now we, again, wait to see what happens in the penalty portion of the trial. Let’s hope that the sentencing will be equally as quick and equally as just.

Happy Holidays to the Smart family and to all victims of crime who can only hope for justice even if it is prolonged.

Friday, December 3, 2010

The Last Few Weeks in Hollyweird

The Ronni Chasen case has everyone on the edge of their seats with new twists and turns around every corner.  Some call this case a strange murder mystery, but for Angelenos this is more than a captivating story – this is personal. We are all obsessed here. Obsessed with the clues and obsessed with the lack of 4-1-1.  
But the lack of 4-1-1 is a refreshing new change to the leaks that dominate celebrity justice.  But is no news really helping or are we now going the other way where the lack of clues and insights is causing new waves of rumor, speculation, and potential loonies falsely confessing?  Would it be helpful to get more information out there? Do we have  a right to know? 
Whatever your opinion, it is certainly refreshing to see the investigation begin and end with Beverly Hills Police Department.  They have said they are in charge and they certainly are.  Kudos to you and anytime you want to share news, I am here for you guys!!!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

10 Most Incriminating Types of Evidence

Evidence is crucial for ruling out suspects, finding criminals and proving their guilt. Many criminals go to great lengths to cover up their crime and leave no feasible trace of evidence, but major advances in forensics and investigation practices have made it possible to dig up various types of evidence that are admissible in court and bring police closer to catching criminals. Here are the 10 most incriminating types of evidence:

1. Fingerprints: Fingerprints are the most incriminating types of evidence used in criminal cases because it’s one of the most reliable forms of identification. No two people have the same fingerprint, making it a truly fundamental tool for accurate identification of criminals. Only when fingerprints can’t be traced back to a person with a criminal history do they have less power in an investigation. However, if the suspects can be narrowed down, their fingerprints can be tested to see which one matches.

2. Blood: Blood is an incriminating type of evidence for various reasons. DNA can be extracted from blood to find a criminal and blood type can be analyzed to help rule out suspects. Blood splatters can also help investigators piece together crime scenes and it provides more evidence to test.

3. Hair: Hair is another useful type of evidence that can bring police closer to a criminal. A strand of hair collected from a crime scene can be submitted for DNA testing. Forensic scientists may have a better chance at testing the DNA if the hair follicle is still intact. In addition, the color of a hair strand can also be used to rule out suspects whose hair does not match the recovered hair sample.

4. Skin: Although difficult to see at a crime scene, skin can be analyzed and tested to find a criminal. Like hair, skin samples can help determine the skin color of the person involved in the crime and DNA can be extracted for a more accurate identification of criminals. Skin can also be a harbinger of other evidence at the scene, which brings police closer to finding the criminal and understanding the crime in greater detail.

5. Witness Testimony: Testimony from a witness who was at the scene of the crime is one of the most incriminating types of evidence. How incriminating the testimony is depends on the credibility of the witness, which is determined by the jury. It can be the deciding factor in a case.

6. Written Documents: One of the worst things you can do as a criminal if you want to evade the law is write things down. Some criminals write in dairies, journals, letters and even e-mails to chronicle their plan of action or confess their guilt. Suspects may be in correspondence with others who can present these documents to police, or investigators may find such documents when searching a suspect’s home.

7. Semen: Semen can be used in several ways to verify rape accusations, as well as extract DNA to identify the criminal. Semen can also be analyzed and tested to determine if there was more than one person involved in a sexual crime.

8. Shoe Prints: Shoe prints are extremely useful in police investigations and they can be a very incriminating type of evidence. Police can tell by a lot about a shoe print, such as the make, model and size of a shoe, as well as the gender and approximate height of the person. Shoe prints also indicate the activity of the wearer when the print was made and, if the impressions are visible, police may be able to trace the criminal’s moves and follow their prints to the next destination, such as a nearby home or woods.

9. Videotapes/Photographs: Videotapes and photographs are both compelling and incriminating types of evidence. Whether the videos or photos capture the crime taking place or the people present during or after the crime, it is valuable evidence that can be used to rule out suspects and find the criminal.

10. Ballistics: Ballistics is the study of firearms and ammunition. This technical form of evidence includes shell casings, gun powder, bullets, gunshots and other firing characteristics of a weapon. Even the slightest remnants of a gunshot can be traced to a specific firearm, where it’s sold and its owner, if registered. 

From Criminal Justice Degrees Guide