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February 2009


How to Become a Bounty Hunter

Archive for February, 2009

Inventor of the Taser stun gun Jack Cover Dies at Age 88

Jack Cover/taser co. photo

Jack Cover/taser co. photo

Most people never heard of Jack Cover. But they”ve certainly heard of his invention, the Taser stun gun, which became a household word.

New York Times

Jack Cover, the physicist who invented the Taser stun gun, the police weapon that subdues its targets with jolts of electricity, died Feb. 7 in Mission Viejo, Calif. He was 88 and lived in San Clemente, Calif.
The cause was pneumonia brought on by Alzheimer’s disease, said his wife, Ginny.
Mr. Cover (pronounced KOH-ver), who worked as an aerospace scientist and was affiliated with NASA’s Apollo moon landing program, came up with the idea for a nonlethal weapon for use in law enforcement in the 1960s as a response to emergencies in the news, including airplane hijackings.
The scientific inspiration, Ms. Cover said, was a newspaper article about a man who had inadvertently walked into an electrified fence and survived, though he was temporarily immobilized.
“When he read that had happened, he knew an electric current could be used without danger,” Ms. Cover said.

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Family of Slain Border Agent Happy With Arrest in Mexico

The family of the victim is happy authorities made the arrest. But they said they’ll be happier when the suspect is on American soil.

By Adriana M. Chávez
El Paso Times
EL PASO, Tex. — For the family of U.S. Border Patrol Agent Luis Aguilar Jr., who was killed last year near Yuma, Ariz., the arrest of a man suspected of killing him comes as happy news.
But the man’s arrest doesn’t end the grief or bring closure for his family.
On Wednesday, Mexican federal agents arrested Jesus Navarro Montes, 22, near Zihuatenejo, a Mexican resort town, in an operation coordinated with the FBI and the U.S. Marshals Service, the FBI said. The U.S. government is seeking his extradition on drug charges.
FBI agents in San Diego want to question Navarro, a Mexican citizen, about Aguilar’s death in January 2008 near southeastern California’s Imperial Sand Dunes, where marijuana smugglers have long mixed in with recreational dune riders.

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Happy Presidents Day

Sen. Roland Burris Defends Himself About Gov. Blago’s Campaign Solicitation

Vermont U.S. Atty. Thomas Anderson Will Step Down To Work for Justice in D.C.

U.S. Atty. Thomas Anderson/official photo

U.S. Atty. Thomas Anderson/official photo

It comes as no surprise that Anderson is stepping down. The new U.S. Attorney is expected to be Tristram Coffin.

Burlingt Free Press Staff
BURLINGTON, Vt. — Vermont’s U.S. Attorney Thomas Anderson announced late Friday that he will leave his post Feb. 28. Assistant U.S. Attorney Paul J. Van de Graaf will serve as acting U.S. attorney on that date, according to a news release.
Anderson was nominated as U.S. attorney by President George Bush in 2006. Acting on the recommendation of Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., President Barack Obama is expected to name Burlington attorney Tristram Coffin as the new U.S. attorney soon.
Anderson has accepted a job with the Justice Department in Washington, the news release said.
The U.S. Attorney Office in Vermont has 18 assistant attorneys and is responsible for conducting all federal criminal prosecutions and civil litigation in Vermont involving the United States.
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Chicago Sun-Times Columnist Calls Sen. Roland Burris a “Lying Little Sneak”

Indicted Mississippi Judge Was Civil Rights Era Hero

A reputation as a legend, years of public service, all tainted by criminal charges.

New York Times

As a young prosecutor in the early 1990s, Bobby DeLaughter was a hero to the civil rights community, a white Mississippian who gambled with his future by pursuing an old race crime that many in the state simply wanted to forget. Mr. DeLaughter’s doggedness in prosecuting the white supremacist Byron De La Beckwith was celebrated in a Hollywood film and in books, and he was regarded as a model of probity.
This week though, Mr. DeLaughter, now a Mississippi judge, suffered an abrupt reversal of fortune: he appeared in leg irons and handcuffs in federal court in Oxford, Miss., pleading not guilty to a federal indictment accusing him of unduly favoring the celebrated former plaintiffs’ lawyer Richard Scruggs, now serving seven years for efforts to influence judges, including Mr. DeLaughter.
Judge DeLaughter has been caught in a bribery scandal that has rocked the legal establishment in his home state, and brought low some of its leading figures. The millions that Mr. Scruggs gained in asbestos and tobacco litigation have sloshed over an impoverished state, continuing to taint public officials and lawyers, figures likely and unlikely. On Friday, a former Mississippi state auditor, Steve Patterson, was sentenced for his part in a Scruggs-inspired scheme, a day after Judge DeLaughter’s own court appearance.
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Philadelphia Inquirer Editorial: Don’t Hire Political Hacks for U.S. Atty.

The jockeying for U.S. Attorney spots around the country is in full swing. The Editorial page of the Philadelphia Inquirer is asking the President to do the right thing.

With the change in presidents, one of the key moves by the Obama administration regarding the Justice Department will be to fill the 93 U.S. attorney posts nationwide, including one in Philadelphia.
The selection process hasn’t received much attention given the focus in Washington on the stimulus and bailout measures, but there is much jockeying behind the scenes.
Unfortunately, politics often play a big role in who gets nominated for these coveted U.S. attorney posts. But that doesn’t mean the job should go to a political hack.
To understand how important it is for Philadelphia to have a strong and independent U.S. attorney who is not afraid to investigate sacred cows, one needs only to peek inside the federal courthouse at Sixth and Market Streets, where the lengthy criminal trial of former State Sen. Vincent J. Fumo is nearing an end.
Federal prosecutors spent years building a detailed case against Fumo, perhaps the most powerful politician in Pennsylvania over the last three decades.
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Feds Honing in On U.S. Military in Graft Probe Involving Rebuilding of Iraq

It will take a long long time to sort through all the American corruption in Iraq, which has unfortunately involved high-ranking U.S.  officials in Iraq.

New York Times

Federal authorities examining the early, chaotic days of the $125 billion American-led effort to rebuild Iraq have significantly broadened their inquiry to include senior American military officers who oversaw the program, according to interviews with senior government officials and court documents.
Court records show that last month investigators subpoenaed the personal bank records of Col. Anthony B. Bell, who is now retired from the Army but who was in charge of reconstruction contracting in Iraq in 2003 and 2004 when the small operation grew into a frenzied attempt to remake the country’s broken infrastructure. In addition, investigators are examining the activities of Lt. Col. Ronald W. Hirtle of the Air Force, who was a senior contracting officer in Baghdad in 2004, according to two federal officials involved in the inquiry.
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