2014 Review of the Judiciary

first_imgThere were several high profile cases in 2014 that were decided by the criminal courts.  One of them was the handing down of life sentences on June 17  against 18 Liberians by then Judge Emery Paye of Criminal Court D’ at the Temple of Justice.The men were convicted for their involvement in a cross border raid in neighboring Cote’d Ivoire where hundreds of people, including seven United Nations peacekeepers, were killed. Judge Paye’s sentencing followed the Jurors’ guilty verdict against the defendants.  However, the case is still before the full bench of the High Court to which the defendants’ lawyers have appealed against the lower court’s ruling.Another dramatic decision in 2014 saw the Supreme Court reverse the guilty verdict handed down by Criminal Court ‘A’ on March 10, 2010 against Hans Capehart Williams and Mardea Pakue.Williams and Pakue were declared guilty of murdering little Angel Togba in 2007.  Before their release the pair was imprisoned at the Monrovia Central Prison.In that judgment, Chief Justice Francis Saye Korkpor himself declared that under the law, every accused person is presumed innocent until proven guilty, and the prosecution must prove the guilt of the accused with such legal certainty and beyond a reasonable doubt.Those were the reasons relied on to drop the charge against the couple and to release them from further detention, the Chief Justice said. He further maintained that Hans and Mardea were charged with murder, a capital offense, and as such, it was the duty and responsibility under the law for the prosecution to establish the cause of death attributable to the accused, otherwise the accused is entitled to acquittal.The Chief Justice said the prosecution failed to meet these mandatory threshold standards to convict Capehart Williams and Madia Pakue Williams, which the lower court ignored.A major achievement of the judiciary in 2014 was the manner in which it handled complaints surrounding the just ended Special Senatorial Election, where it managed to place a stay order on all electoral activities.Some of the complaints were the holding of the election amid the deadly Ebola Virus Disease (EVD), which the complainants felt was unconstitutional.That argument was put to rest when three of the two justices of the Supreme Court of Liberia decided to deny the request and ordered that the election proceed as planned while the virus, though ongoing, was subsiding and preventive measure had been incorporated in the voting process.Another major issue of contention during 2014 was the Executive Order Number 65  issued by President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf prohibiting, banning or proscribing the  “mass movement of people,  including rallies, parades and demonstrations,” in the wake of the Ebola virus. The order came at a time of mounting public concern about the mass gathering of people during the senatorial campaign period. The concern stemmed from heightened awareness that the Ebola virus is contracted by touching people with the disease.President Sirleaf on signing Executive Order No. 65 on December 3, 2014, said the order was intended to strengthen the Government’s efforts to contain the spread of Ebola, protect the security of the State, maintain law and order and promote peace and stability in the country.The order noted that the existing law requiring persons desiring to march or demonstrate to obtain prior permits from the Ministry of Justice had proven ineffective to address rallies, parades and concerted mass movements on the streets of Monrovia and its environs.The Government argued that the increasing number of incidents of concerted mass movements of people on the streets of Monrovia and its environs, including in particular rallies, demonstrations and parades, led to persistent and frequent violations of the Vehicle and Traffic Laws of Liberia, obstruction of the free flow of traffic and the movement of peaceful citizens, the disruption of economic activities, and concomitant panic in the city with total disregard of the consequences thereof.  An example of this was the mass rally of then Montserrado Senatorial candidate George Weah which paralyzed the capital city from morning to night.The order noted that to allow the mass rallies to continue with impunity and without control, would frustrate efforts to contain the Ebola virus disease in Liberia, undermine the security of the State and the maintenance of law and order, and negatively impact the economy.Interestingly, those who filed the complaints including Robert Sirleaf, one of the President’s sons, later chose to drop the contention against Executive Order No.65.It is yet to be explained what motivated complainants against the order to withdraw their case before the full bench of the Supreme Court?A major failure of the Judicial Branch of Government is closely related to its lack of capacity to disseminate information to the Liberian public. This includes the handling of civil and criminal cases. Admittedly, the Chief Justice is to be commended for often publishing the Opinions delivered by the Full Bench of the Supreme Court.  But the opinions of the lower courts, on the other hand, are hard to obtain. Much needs to be done in that direction.For argument’s sake, the High Court is not a political institution, like the other two branches of government.The Liberia National Bar Association (LNBA), during 2014 did not take the initiative to engage in creating awareness about how the courts make decisions  to enlighten the public, which is one of their functions.The general public and even the practicing legal professionals know remarkably little about the judges—how they decide cases, how they allocate work between staff and themselves, their work ethic, philosophies, and extralegal influences that play on them.We further mention the slow pace of work in criminal courts, A, B, C, D and E in the handling of case during 2014. Despite 2014 being a challenging year, those courts judged over 100 cases only, a problem they constantly blamed on “limited budgetary allocation.”For the most part of 2014 the Judiciary has continuously advocated for more budgetary allocation because, according to them, it is the only way they can improve the justice system in the country. Only one of those courts, Criminal Court ‘C’ presided over by Judge Yussif Kaba, can be said to have made great strides, during 2014.Judge Kaba alone dropped over 50 cases on grounds that the state failed to collect evidences to prosecute those accused of committing the crimes. This begs the question, why didn’t he complain of budgetary constraints?The courts’ failure to perform their duties expeditiously is responsible for the overcrowding of prison facilities throughout the country.There were many other discrepancies in the judiciary in 2014, such as the bribery allegations involving potential jurors to bring down verdicts in the favor of party litigants.Surprisingly, if that individual juror is caught, the court does not go after or punish any other party such as the lawyer and party litigant; instead, it is the juror that usually bears the full weight of the law.While the Judiciary was struggling to make progress, earlier in the year, unfortunately, the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) broke-out.  The Full Bench of the Supreme Court of Liberia contributed 25% of their salaries and allowances to fight the disease. But they warned that a mechanism for the strictest accountability must be established to ensure proper use of the funds. This concern is apparently because of the manner in which funds are handled by government. The High Court Bench comprises of the Chief Justice and four Associate Justices.Each of the Associate Justices receives US$9,000 monthly take home pay while the Chief Justice receives US$12,000 per month.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

County seeks home detention for inmates

first_img“By putting those inmates on involuntary home monitoring, it will hold them longer,” said Anna Pembedjian, justice deputy to Supervisor Mike Antonovich. But, she added, “We’re not actually adopting a program yet.” There are 410 inmates already serving their time in home detention, and an estimated 800 more of the county’s 19,500 inmates will qualify for the program, Yim said. The number is relatively small because home monitoring can only be used for sentenced inmates, and 91 percent of county inmates are awaiting trial, Pembedjian said. That leaves about 2,300 inmates, most too violent to qualify for ankle monitoring, Yim said. The percentage of time served has changed since Knabe first proposed the legislation, too. Although female inmates are still likely to get out of jail after serving 10 percent of their sentences, an increase in the number of jail beds for male inmates means most serve 70 percent of their sentences, Yim said. Ideally, inmates on home detention will serve 100 percent of their sentences, said Deputy CEO Doyle Campbell. But contrary to supervisors’ original hopes, a mandatory home detention program might not mean inmates will do 100 percent of their time, Yim said. “Our goal is 100 percent, obviously,” he said. “But if you make it too high, it would be difficult to put them on that program. It is involuntary, but you have to keep it competitive or they’ll go noncompliant and then wind up back in jail again.” The cost is also undetermined. The existing electronic monitoring program costs about $10 a day and uses radio frequency tags, meaning monitors can tell how far inmates stray from their homes, but not where they’ve gone. If the inmate is allowed out during the day to work, the ankle bracelets don’t indicate whether the inmate went somewhere else instead. The department wants to start using GPS anklets so they know where inmates are at all times, Yim said – but the cost isn’t pinned down yet. “I’d like to implement it as quick as I can,” Yim said, “It probably will start in February or early March.” alison.hewitt@sgvn.com (626) 962-8811, Ext. 2730160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWhicker: Clemson demonstrates that it’s tough to knock out the champIn the past, inmates have chosen jail time over electronic monitoring – “not that our jails are posh,” said David Sommers, spokesman for Supervisor Don Knabe. The early release program was easing overcrowding by letting inmates out after serving just 10 percent of their sentences as opposed to 100 percent in electronic monitoring, Sommers said. It was out of the county’s hands because state law didn’t allow the Sheriff’s Department to require inmates to accept electronic monitoring. Until now. In July 2006, Knabe proposed legislation – picked up by state Sen. Gloria Romero – that would hand that power over to the county. The bill was signed in September by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. The county on Tuesday moved toward requiring certain inmates to strap on electronic ankle bracelets and serve sentences at home instead of jail. The new program being developed by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, chief executive office and Probation Department would move small-time criminals out of jail and free bed space for more violent offenders, said Cmdr. Alexander Yim, acting chief of the sheriff’s Correctional Services Division. In the overcrowded county jails, every bed counts, he said. The Board of Supervisors voted Tuesday for staff to develop the program, which means determining how many inmates will be included, how much it will cost, where funding will come from and more. Supervisors will need to approve the finalized program. “What we plan to achieve by using this is that those high-security inmates who need to be in jail will have a bed in jail, and low-level misdemeanants in for quality-of-life crimes are not in jail but are still paying their debt to society,” Yim said. “You end up with a jail almost exclusively of high-security inmates.” last_img read more

Partnerships Trimming Facilities Footprint Are Keys for New ACSIM

first_img Dan Cohen AUTHOR Unsurprisingly, many of the priorities of Lt. Gen. Gwen Bingham, the Army’s new assistant chief of staff for installation management (ACSIM), are focused on ways to cope with severe funding constraints.One of her priorities is carrying out the Army’s ongoing “Reduce the Footprint” initiative, an effort to cut the overall cost of maintaining infrastructure by eliminating excess facilities. The Army spends an estimated $450 million to $500 million annually maintaining underused facilities, reports the Army News Service.“Right now we are in fiscally-constrained times. So being able to garner back dollars on reducing excess infrastructure is important,” Bingham said. “If you could imagine recouping that amount of money every year, and think about how we can invest that in the readiness of our soldiers — that’s huge.”To mitigate funding cuts for morale, welfare and recreation programs, as well as family support programs, Bingham plans to identify efficiencies, and establish and strengthen partnerships to sustain support for personnel and their families.“Realistically speaking, we won’t be able to do everything at the same level that we used to do it,” she acknowledged. “But I can assure you we will spare no effort to make sure that our soldiers and their families have that quality of life that they so richly deserve.”One solution will be to pursue partnerships with military service organizations, according to the story.“Any which way that we can partner to help retain as many of those programs we’ve had in the past, we are certainly going to do that,” Bingham said. “We’ve been doing that already. That’s not a new initiative. Partnerships occur at every level on the installation.”For top leaders in the Army, though, the No. goal is readiness. For Bingham, who assumed the duties as the ACSIM on June 30 after serving as commanding general for the Army Tank-Automotive and Armaments Life Cycle Management Command, that means ensuring installations can continue operating under any contingency, including a power outage.“Energy security is becoming an area of increased focus,” she said. “I see it … as a form of force protection and mission assurance. So being able to secure our energy on our own posts, camps and stations and installations is critical. That’s an area we are putting a lot of emphasis on. We have to make sure those installations are able to do their mission.”last_img read more

iPhone XS specs vs XR XS Max X What is the same

first_img Sprint 458 ppi The iPhone XR, XS and XS Max are all available now. To put it all in perspective, check out the chart below, which compares the iPhone XS, XS Max, XR and last year’s X.  Water-resistant (IP68), dual-SIM capabilities (nano-SIM and e-SIM), wireless charging, Face ID, Memoji None $999.00 See It Processor 64GB, 128GB, 256GB 6.14 oz.; 174 g Not disclosed, but Apple claims it will last 30 minutes longer than iPhone X Now playing: Watch this: iPhone XS: Why it’s harder than ever to pick the best… 5.9x3x0.33 in. Connector Mentioned Above Apple iPhone XS (64GB, space gray) None Aug 29 • New iPhones, Apple Watch and more: Apple’s September event preview iPhone X Dual 12-megapixel 5.8-inch Super Retina OLED; 2,436×1,125 pixels $749 (64GB), $799 (128GB), $899 (256GB) iPhone XS Max 5.8-inch; 2,436×1,125 pixels Water-resistant (IP67), wireless charging, Face ID 3D unlock, Memoji $999 6.5-inch Super Retina OLED; 2,688×1,242 pixels Pixel density Display size, resolution Headphone jack Water-resistant: IP67, dual-SIM capabilities (nano-SIM and e-SIM), wireless charging, Face ID, Memoji 458 ppi Not disclosed, but Apple claims it will last 90 minutes longer than iPhone X The iPhone XS Max behemoth shown from every angle iOS 11 No iPhone XS features vs. XS Max, XR, X Lightning 143.6×70.9×7.7 mm 7-megapixel with Face ID 64GB, 256GB 157.5×77.4×7.7 mm 6.8 oz.; 194 g Apple Event The iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max and iPhone XR phones are updates to 2017’s iPhone X, 8 and 8 Plus. The iPhone XS retains the familiar design of the iPhone X, including a 5.8-inch OLED display and stainless-steel sides. Apple also offers a larger version of the XS with a 6.5-inch OLED display called the iPhone XS Max.Read: iPhone 11: 8 features I want real badWith a footprint about the same size as the iPhone 8 Plus (though the older phone has a smaller 5.5-inch LCD display), the iPhone XS Max has the largest display found on any current iPhone. Not disclosed Aug 26 • Every Apple TV Plus show announced so far No AU$1,579 (64GB), AU$1,829 (256GB) Lightning Price (AUD) iOS 12 7-megapixel 7-megapixel with Face ID Single 12-megapixel 66 $999 (64GB), $1,149 (256GB) Dimensions (millimeters) Front-facing camera AU$1,229 (64GB), AU$1,299 (128GB), AU$1,479 (256GB) See also 5.7×2.79×0.3 in. iOS 12 143.6×70.9×7.7 mm Dual 12-megapixel 4K Lightning Not disclosed $1,099 (64GB), $1,249 (256GB), $1,449 (512GB) Apple A12 Bionic Apple iPhone XS at Amazon Storage Battery Lightning Price off-contract (USD) iPhone X specs compared with iPhone XS, XS Max and XR Phones $1,099 (64GB), $1,249 (256GB), $1,449 (512GB) $999 Expandable storagecenter_img None (Face ID) Mobile software None (Face ID) 150.9×75.7×8.3 mm 4:51 iPhone XS Not disclosed The iPhone XS and XS Max come in silver, space gray and gold. Apple opted for more of a straw-colored gold this time than on previous gold iPhone models, which skewed closer to copper. £749 (64GB), £799 (128GB), £899 (256GB) iOS 12 Apple None (Face ID) Tags Fingerprint sensor RAM 7-megapixel with Face ID See All Boost Mobile None 6.24 oz.; 177 g £999 (64GB), £1,149 (256GB) The iPhone XS starts at $999, £999 or AU$1,629 for a 64GB model, while the iPhone XS Max costs $1,099, £1,099 or AU$1,799 for 64GB.  All three new phones have a new A12 Bionic processor that Apple claims is 15 percent faster than last year’s A11 chip in the iPhone X.The iPhone XR has a single rear camera, and the XS and XS Max both have dual rear cameras like the iPhone X. reading • iPhone XS specs vs. XR, XS Max, X: What is the same and different Aug 30 • Apple will launch iPhone 11 on Sept. 10 in Cupertino See it No Dual 12-megapixel Aug 30 • iPhone 11, 11 Pro, 11R and 11 Max: Price, specs and features we expect on Sept. 10 19 Photos 64GB, 256GB, 512GB None (Face ID via TrueDepth camera) Then there’s the iPhone XR, which has a 6.1-inch LCD display and an aluminum and glass body instead of the stainless steel and glass of the XS and XS Max. The iPhone XR comes in white, black, coral, yellow, blue and red (Product Red) and costs $749, £749 or AU$1,229. That’s $50, £50 or AU$150 more than the iPhone 8 cost when it launched in 2017. The XR’s colors are a callback to the iPhone 5C. $999 4K $999 (64GB), $1,149 (256GB), $1,349 (512GB) None 64GB, 256GB, 512GB Camera Apple A12 Bionic 5.7×2.8×0.3 in. Comments Video capture Not disclosed, but Apple claims it will last 90 minutes longer than iPhone 8 Plus 6.1-inch LCD Retina Display; 1,792×828 pixels AU$1,799 (64GB), AU$2,049 (256GB), AU$2,369 (512GB) Share your voice The iPhone XS Max behemoth shown from every angle £999 (64GB), £1,149 (256GB), £1,349 (512GB) 51 Photos Everything Apple announced at its Sept. 12 event iPhone XR, XS, XS Max: Apple’s three new iPhones Watch Series 4 starts at $399, packs larger displays, ECG sensor Pics of the new iPhone XS and XS Max in all their glory Dimensions (inches) $999 Best Buy Water-resistant (IP68), dual-SIM capabilities (nano-SIM and e-SIM), wireless charging, Face ID, Memoji 458 ppi CNET Review Apple iPhone XS We’d recommend the iPhone XR first, but here’s what the XS brings to the table. Read Review 326 ppi iPhone XR Price (GBP) See It CNET may get a commission from retail offers. 4K Review • iPhone XS review, updated: A few luxury upgrades over the XR Apple A11 Bionic 6.2x3x.3 in. 51 Photos Preview • iPhone XS is the new $1,000 iPhone X Apple A12 Bionic Weight (ounces, grams) Not disclosed, but lasted 11.45 hours in CNET’s looped video playback test • AU$1,629 (64GB), AU$1,879 (256GB), AU$2,199 (512GB) Not disclosed See It No 7.3 oz.; 208 g Apple Event 4K Special featureslast_img read more

Win up to 100000 Loyalty Rewards points with TravelBrands Booking Bingo

first_img Posted by Share Tags: TravelBrands Travelweek Group Tuesday, March 6, 2018 center_img Win up to 100,000 Loyalty Rewards points with TravelBrands’ Booking Bingo << Previous PostNext Post >> MISSISSAUGA — TravelBrands is inviting agents to play a game of Bingo for a chance to win Loyalty Rewards points.Beginning on March 5 and running until April 29, 2018, the promotional game includes ‘squares’ like air, car rentals, add-ons, cruise bookings, hotel bookings, TravelGenie bookings and more. When agents book a qualifying product on a square, they’ll receive a stamp and attempt to make a qualifying figure.“We launched Bingo as a way to connect with our trusted agents and have while doing so,” said Frank DeMarinis, President and CEO, TravelBrands. “Our Booking Bingo showcases the wide array of products and offerings TravelBrands has on its Access platform, while giving back to our agents as a gesture of gratitude for all of their hard work.”There are over 100 prizes to be claimed for agents who complete the qualifying figures. Prizing and figures are as follows:The first 100 participants to make and claim a vertical, horizontal or diagonal row will earn 5,000 Loyalty Rewards pointsThe first 30 participants to make and claim an ‘X’ will receive 10,000 Loyalty Rewards pointsThe first 30 participants to make and claim a ‘T’ will win 10,000 Loyalty Rewards pointsThe first 10 participants to make and claim all outside squares will earn 30,000 Loyalty Rewards pointsThe first 3 participants to make and claim a Full Card will win 100,000 Loyalty Rewards pointsMore news:  Sunwing to further boost Mazatlán service with new flights from OttawaTravel agents can access their electronic Bingo card in their Loyalty Rewards points’ account. Agents are responsible for determining what they need to book, following their progress, and claiming their prize. Stamps are made automatically and will be shown one day after booking. If a booking is cancelled, the stamp will be removed from the card.Since the number of winners per figure is limited, each claim submitted will be time-stamped to ensure fairness.The deadline for claiming a prize is May 7, 2018. Points will be credited to the winners’ accounts at the end of the Bingo game and no later than May 11, 2018.To make qualifying bookings and participate in Bingo, visit travelbrandsaccess.com.last_img read more