Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot Says People Charged With Violent Crimes Are Guilty Because Prosecutors Say So

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot has repeatedly blamed bail reforms and local judges for exacerbating gun violence by releasing defendants back onto the streets, but on Monday she took her rhetoric a step further, saying that people charged with violent crime should be kept in jail because only guilty people get charged with violent crimes.

The comments, first reported by the Chicago Tribune, were part of a longer harangue against the Cook County courts and bail reform efforts.

“We shouldn’t be locking up nonviolent individuals just because they can’t afford to pay bail. But, given the exacting standards that the state’s attorney has for charging a case, which is proof beyond a reasonable doubt, when those charges are brought, these people are guilty,” Lightfoot said. “Of course they’re entitled to a presumption of innocence. Of course they’re entitled to their day in court. But residents in our community are also entitled to safety from dangerous people, so we need to keep pressing the criminal courts to lock up violent dangerous people and not put them out on bail or electronic monitoring back into the very same communities where brave souls are mustering the courage to come forward and say, ‘this is the person who is responsible.'”

The comments outraged civil liberties advocates and public defenders in Chicago, and rightly so. They should offend anyone familiar with the American criminal justice system and why it places such an emphasis on the presumption of innocence: to force the government to prove its case and shield defendants from prejudice and demagoguery. Lightfoot’s statements are particularly absurd, given the enormous amount of taxpayer money Chicago has spent settling wrongful conviction lawsuits.

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Black Secret Service Agent, Jailed for JFK Plot Warning, Cleared: The Full Story

On April 26, President Joe Biden pardoned Abraham Bolden, an 87-year-old who was the first Black man to join the presidential Secret Service security detail.

Bolden’s presidential pardon — for a ginned-up 1964 bribery conviction based on the testimony of witnesses who later admitted to lying — was the first introduction for many Americans to Bolden. The pardon statement characterized him as a brave and noble advocate for racial justice, who spoke out against the racist behavior of other Secret Service agents, and who maintained his innocence during his bribery trials and subsequent prison term. 

But neither Biden nor the international news media that briefly picked up on Bolden’s pardon mentioned the explosive core issue: the ex-agent’s role in trying to prevent the assassination of John F. Kennedy. 

To this day, Bolden believes that it was his warnings about problems with the Secret Service prior to Kennedy’s death, his knowledge of a conspiracy to kill Kennedy in an early November trip to Chicago, and his efforts to share what he knew with the Warren Commission that led to his being targeted with false charges. 

This crucial context was not included in the White House press release, nor in most of the press coverage.

I think readers don’t understand at all,” Bolden told WhoWhatWhy. “They just understand that I was pardoned. 

“They don’t have the details of what occurred and what it had to do with the assassination of President Kennedy, how I was treated, the reason for my incarceration, the effort to declare me insane. Or the fact that I wrote a book that explained everything. That’s not before the public.” 

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Over 230 People Freed After a Single NYPD Cop Caught Framing Innocent People for Drug Crimes

Charges against the now-disgraced NYPD detective Joseph Franco are being welcomed by the families of more than 130 more New Yorkers as it is leading to the dismissal of their family members’ charges. Franco was reportedly caught framing innocent individuals last year and this is the second wave of case dismissals tied to his corruption..

Last April, Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez’s Conviction Review Unit asked for the dismissal of 27 felony convictions and 63 misdemeanor convictions based on Franco’s corrupt policing. Now, that number has grown as Bronx Supreme Court Justice David Lewis granted the motion to drop the felony cases against 133 defendants who were indicted between 2011 and 2015.

“We did not want to dismiss or vacate out of hand all cases he was involved in; we investigated those that hinged on his testimony and sworn statements,” Bronx County District Attorney Darcel Clark said in a statement.

“[Franco’s] compromised credibility suggests a lack of due process in the prosecution of these defendants, and we cannot stand behind these convictions.”

An addition 250 cases are under review and a total of 500 cases could be dropped.

According to ABC 7, Franco was indicted in Manhattan for perjury, official misconduct and other charges in connection with four incidents whereby he allegedly framed numerous individuals for making narcotics transactions.

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Assange Prosecution Relied On False Testimony From A Diagnosed Sociopath And Convicted Pedophile

The Icelandic newspaper Stundin reports that a key witness in the US prosecution of Julian Assange has admitted in an interview with the outlet that he fabricated critical accusations in the indictment against the WikiLeaks founder.

“A major witness in the United States’ Department of Justice case against Julian Assange has admitted to fabricating key accusations in the indictment against the Wikileaks founder,” Stundin reports. “The witness, who has a documented history with sociopathy and has received several convictions for sexual abuse of minors and wide-ranging financial fraud, made the admission in a newly published interview in Stundin where he also confessed to having continued his crime spree whilst working with the Department of Justice and FBI and receiving a promise of immunity from prosecution.”

BREAKING: Lead witness in US case against Julian Assange admits to fabricating evidence against him in exchange for a deal with the FBI #Assange https://t.co/kZxsTi62q0

— WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) June 26, 2021

This major witness would be Iceland’s Sigurdur “Sigi” Thordarson, a paid FBI informant who after his short-lived association with WikiLeaks has been found guilty of sexually abusing nine boys as well as embezzlement, fraud, and theft in his home country. A court-appointed psychologist has found him to be a sociopath.

“The court found that Sigurður is by all definitions a sociopath, suffering from a severe anti-social personality disorder. However, the court found that he did know the difference between right and wrong and could not be considered insane and could therefore stand trial,” Iceland Magazine reported in 2015 during Thordarson’s child abuse case.

This was all public knowledge when the US government was building its case to extradite Julian Assange to America and try him under the Patriot Act for journalistic activity which exposed US war crimes, a prosecution for which Assange is still locked up in Belmarsh Prison pending Washington’s appeal of a UK court’s denial of the extradition request. And now we know for a fact that the odious person whose testimony formed the basis for much of that prosecution was lying.

“US officials presented an updated version of an indictment against him to a Magistrate court in London last summer,” Stundin says. “The veracity of the information contained therein is now directly contradicted by the main witness, whose testimony it is based on.”

What this means is that the US decided to add more accusations to its previous indictment because charging a journalist for standard journalistic practices was too weak on its own, and now this decision has bitten them in the ass.

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Half of All False Convictions in the U.S. Involved Police or Prosecutor Misconduct, Finds New Report

When innocent people are falsely convicted of crimes and later freed, in more than half of the cases, misconduct by police and prosecutors played a contributing role.

That’s the primary theme of a new report, “Government Misconduct and Convicting the Innocent,” released today by the National Registry of Exonerations, which has been tracking all known exonerations in the United States for the past 30 years. Every year they release a report documenting trends in exonerations, how often DNA evidence plays a role in determining an innocent person is behind bars, problems with eyewitness testimony, and of course, misconduct by officials.

This new report drills into all of the exonerations they’ve archived up until February 2019. That’s 2,400 cases. These are people who have been convicted of crimes, sentenced, then later cleared based on new evidence showing their innocence.

In 54 percent of these cases, misconduct by officials contributed to a false conviction. The more severe the crime, the more likely misconduct played a role when an innocent person was convicted.

Police and prosecutors, in general, engaged in misconduct at about equal rates, 35 percent for cops, 30 percent for prosecutors at the state level. In drug cases, though, cops were four times more likely to have engaged in misconduct than prosecutors. When it came to federal cases, prosecutors engaged in misconduct at rates more than twice as often as police. In white-collar cases, federal prosecutors engaged in misconduct seven times as much as police.

The most common type of misconduct involved concealing exculpatory evidence, which is evidence that suggests the defendant is not guilty. The National Registry of Exonerations found that evidence was deliberately concealed in 44 percent of the cases that ultimately resulted in exonerations. The 218-page report documents the many ways that police and prosecutors break the rules in order to get convictions, from fabricating evidence and manipulative conduct during interrogations to fraudulent forensics and flat-out lying in court.

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