It’s sad and scary, the state we are in as a city right now. i have three daughters myself and the last thing anybody wants to do as a parent is bury there own child. My prayers go out to the families of those lost in this past weeks horrific discovery. may we pray for Angela Deskins for we all new her from the neighborhood she was a genuinely beautiful hear ted young lady who always had a bright smile and something funny to say. That was just her, i think in her own heart she just always wanted to see the people she knew smile.
My prayers go out to the “Terry family”. this is truly such a tragedy that at some point we as people have to stand up in our own community and demand better of our selves and our Government. Why do you people find it convenient to place known sex offenders in places like our city where there were 6 elementary schools, 1 middle school, and 1 high school? 2: Why is it so easy for a sex offender to use an address but not live there or not be monitored and free to commit more crimes ? I fear for my own daughters every day as well as many other parents out here every day. we shouldnt have to live like this or in fear of knowing these people live so close. please comment this is an issue that voices really need to be heard on…….
I do believe in today’s society computer technology is very important and as right should be taught to or youth giving them a better chance for success. There are many opportunity’s in todays world that weren’t given to our age group growing up, we were given an option as to being introduced to computer technology as to it being a mandatory part of our curriculum. I still have people in my family who don’t know anything about a computer let alone how to code a web page so yes I do believe that teaching coding to our youth and other various departments of information technology is a great way to develop our younger generations to become equipped with the knowledge to succeed in todays society
Today’s music is much different then the business of old, as we grow and evolve we learn new ways to do things, technology being much more user accessible gives us various new platforms to reach an audience and create music, also market music. Let us look at an innovative occurrence that happened a few years ago
Napster took a fresh approach to how music was distributed and shared that caused a really big problem in the music industry, the question became how to combat pirating of licensed media. Artist saw a problem as to there work being shared instead of bought and music company’s saw loss in sales that damaged there routine business methods. We saw YouTube and the Internet in general change how you bought or viewed music leaving both artist and company’s scrambling back to the drawing board to figure out how to still make money in a dying market. Today as a result, the so coveted “artist contract” and “record deals” that where so sought after are now 360° deal’s, touring contracts and various other promotional and media outlets that artist would not dare touch 15 to 20 years ago.In the 90′s artist like
Scarface or Tupac wouldn’t dare pose for a clothing company or work with R&B artist, as they saw that as sailing out to main stream media but now that is one of the strongest methods of creating revenue. We’ve always known that the record companies were the bad guys and you fought for every penny you got and were lucky if you still had some type of creative control over your own music content as an artist but now record company’s are almost opposite with the exception of being able to offer you broader distribution and a larger budget, but today an artist can stay independent and make as much money if not more money staying independent then signing a contract which may appeal at first until you realize the check you have been given is only “up-front” money and will be taken out of your royalties along with every other expense you incur until the company is satisfied that they have recouped what they put into you.As a result you “the artist” have been given all the tools to create your own success without giving your soul to a record company to become a big artist there are many more areas we could cover but will keep this one brief. KNOW YOUR BUSINESS, HOW TO MARKET, WHAT AVENUES TO TAKE TO GET YOUR MUSIC HEARD, KNOW YOUR COPYRIGHT LAWS, AND PLEASE DO YOUR DAMN TAXES, IF MUSIC IS WHAT YOU WANT TO PERSUE THEN DO SOME DILIGENT REASERCH, AS EVERYTHING IS LITERALLY AT YOUR FINGER TIPS, MAKE YOUR OWN PATH BECAUSE NOW YOU CAN…….BE SMART
Neighborhood watchman George Zimmerman killed Trayvon Martin simply because “he wanted to,” because he was an armed vigilante, and because he viewed the 17-year-old whom he’d never met as just another “punk,” a prosecutor said in opening statements to the jury in a trial that promises to raise thorny issues of race and gun rights.
In a case that centers on a shooting that occurred without a clear eyewitness on a rainy, dark night more than a year ago, prosecutor John Guy sought to cut through doubts surrounding the incident in a fiery 30-minute opening statement that branded Zimmerman as the aggressor for the six jurors who will decide the case.
As the second-degree murder trial opened in earnest after two weeks of jury selection and evidentiary rulings, the prosecutor began by bluntly quoting from Zimmerman’s call to a police dispatcher after first spotting the unarmed, black teen.
“‘Fucking punks. These assholes, they always get away’,” Guy repeated, going on to say those were the “hate-filled words he used to describe a total stranger.”
Zimmerman’s defense attorney Don West opened with his own unusual gambit, opting to tell a “knock-knock” joke, which fell flat in the courtroom. “Knock knock. Who’s there? George Zimmerman. George Zimmerman who? Good, you’re on the jury,” he said.
West went on to offer a wholly different view of his client – who is out on bail and appeared in court wearing a charcoal gray suit – and the events of February 26, 2012 in a gated community in Sanford, Florida.
Zimmerman was “viciously attacked” by Martin and acted in self-defense, attorney Don West said.
In his 2-1/2 hour statement to the jury, the defense attorney said a witness, who he identified as a homeowner near the site of the altercation, would testify about a man clad in the color of the clothing Martin was wearing “mounting” a man on the ground in mixed martial arts fashion and “basically beating him senseless.”
West said contrary to what has often been said about the case, Martin was not unarmed. “Trayvon Martin armed himself with the concrete sidewalk and used it to smash George Zimmerman’s head … That is a deadly weapon,” he said.
Zimmerman showed no emotion as he stared straight ahead and away from the prosecutor.
The parents of both Zimmerman and Martin were seated on different sides of the courtroom at the start of the day, but Zimmerman’s parents were quickly instructed to leave after the prosecution said they might be called as witnesses.
Martin’s mother, Sybrina Fulton, later left the courtroom when West played the jury a tape of a 911 call in which screams can be heard before the fatal shot. “To sit there and hear her child’s final moments was very tough,” said Daryl Parks, a lawyer for the Martin family.
Both families say the screams on the tape came from their son, but the FBI has been unable to say conclusively whose voice it is.
Zimmerman, 29 and part Hispanic, was the neighborhood watch captain in the Retreat at Twin Lakes community in Sanford at the time of the killing. He has pleaded not guilty to the charge of second-degree murder and could face life imprisonment if convicted.
Martin was a student at a Miami-area high school and a guest of one of the homeowners. He was walking back to the residence after buying snacks at a nearby convenience store when he was shot in the chest during a confrontation with Zimmerman.
Much of what happened during the fatal encounter is still a mystery. Neighbors who provided differing versions of what they glimpsed of the altercation are expected to testify during the trial. Also to testify is a girl who was on the phone with Martin moments before his death and says she heard the events unfold until the line went dead.
HIGH BAR FOR THE PROSECUTION
Guy portrayed Zimmerman as a man with a concealed weapon who committed a vigilante-style killing, not a dutiful watch guard on alert for signs of suspicious activity after a string of robberies in his neighborhood.
“George Zimmerman did not shoot Trayvon Martin because he had too. He shot him for the worst of all reasons, because he wanted to,” said Guy, the prosecutor.
Guy also told the jury there was “irrefutable physical evidence” that showed Zimmerman was lying when he told police that Martin attacked him. No blood or DNA from Zimmerman was found on Martin’s hands or elsewhere on his body or clothing, he said. That is despite Zimmerman’s claims that Martin punched him to the ground and covered his bleeding, broken nose with his bare hands as he pounded his head into the ground.
Six jurors, all women, were selected last week to hear the racially charged murder case against Zimmerman. They will be sequestered for the duration of the trial, which is expected to last two to four weeks.
The case triggered civil rights protests and debates about alleged treatment of blacks as second-class citizens under the U.S. justice system, since police did not arrest Zimmerman for 44 days.
However, there is a high bar for the prosecution to prove second degree murder which requires them to show that Zimmerman acted with “ill will, hatred, spite or an evil intent,” and showed “an indifference to human life,” according to Florida jury instructions.
Under Florida’s Stand Your Ground law, which was approved in 2005 and has since been copied by about 30 other states, people fearing for their lives can use deadly force without having to retreat from a confrontation, even when it is possible.
The Supreme Court’s terrible—and dangerous—ruling this week on the Fifth Amendment.
On Monday, in a case called Salinas v. Texas that hasn’t gotten the attention it deserves,the Supreme Court held that you remain silent at your peril.
The court said that this is true even before you’re arrested, when the police are just informally asking questions. The court’s move to cut off the right to remain silent is wrong and also dangerous—because it encourages the kind of high-pressure questioning that can elicit false confessions. Here are the facts from Salinas: Two brothers were shot at home in Houston. There were no witnesses—only shotgun shell casings left at the scene. Genovevo Salinas had been at a party at that house the night before the shooting, and police invited him down to the station, where they talked for an hour. They did not arrest him or read him his Mirandawarnings. Salinas agreed to give the police his shotgun for testing. Then the cops asked whether the gun would match the shells from the scene of the murder. According to the police, Salinas stopped talking, shuffled his feet, bit his lip, and started to tighten up.
At trial, Salinas did not testify, but prosecutors described his reportedly uncomfortable reaction to the question about his shotgun. Salinas argued this violated his Fifth Amendment rights: He had remained silent, and the Supreme Court had previously made clear that prosecutors can’t bring up a defendant’s refusal to answer the state’s questions. This time around, however, Justice Samuel Alito blithely responded that Salinas was “free to leave” and did not assert his right to remain silent. He was silent. But somehow, without a lawyer, and without being told his rights, he should have affirmatively “invoked” his right to not answer questions. Two other justices signed on to Alito’s opinion. Justice Clarence Thomas and Justice Antonin Scalia joined the judgment, but for a different reason; they think Salinas had no rights at all to invoke before his arrest (they also object to Miranda itself). The upshot is another terrible Roberts Court ruling on confessions. In 2010 the court held that a suspect did not sufficiently invoke the right to remain silent when he stubbornly refused to talk, after receiving his Miranda warnings, during two hours of questioning. Now people have to somehow invoke the right to remain silent even when they’re not formal suspects and they haven’t been read the Mirandawarnings. As Orin Kerr points out on the Volokh Conspiracy, this just isn’t realistic. The court’s ruling in Salinas is all the more troubling because during such informal, undocumented, and unregulated questioning, there are special dangers that police may, intentionally or not, coax false confessions from innocent suspects. I have spent years studying cases of people exonerated by DNA testing. Alarge group of those innocent people falsely confessed—and many supposedly admitted their guilt even before any formal interrogation. Take the case of Nicholas Yarris, who was exonerated by DNA testing in 2003, after 20 years in prison. He had been convicted and sentenced to death in Pennsylvania for the murder of a woman found raped, beaten, and stabbed near her abandoned Chrysler Cordoba.
When informally questioned, police said, Yarris volunteered that he knew the victim had been raped, and that the victim’s Chrysler had a brown “landau” roof (a vinyl fake convertible look). That was a striking detail, especially since the police had kept it out of the press. No tape was made of the interrogation. The police didn’t even produce notes. And now that DNA has cleared Yarris, we know his confession was false, and that he must not have volunteered the fact about the car roof at all.
The Supreme Court’s decision in Salinas encourages the kind of loosey-goosey, and easily contaminated, police questioning that led to Yarris’ wrongful conviction. Salinas may very well have been guilty of the two murders. But in many cases, as in this one, there are no eyewitnesses and not much other evidence of guilt: That is why the police may desperately need a confession. And that makes it crucial for them to handle interrogations and confessions with the utmost care. The court appreciated none of the pressures police face, and how they can squeeze an innocent suspect. Alito and the other conservatives werenot troubled that there was no video to confirm that Salinas was in fact uncomfortable as well as silent. If Salinas had answered the question by exclaiming that he was innocent, could police have reported that he sounded desperate and like a liar? The court’s new ruling puts the “defendant in an impossible predicament. He must either answer the question or remain silent,” Justice Stephen Breyer said in dissent (joined by the other three liberal-moderates). “If he answers the question, he may well reveal, for example, prejudicial facts, disreputable associates, or suspicious circumstances—even if he is innocent.” But if he doesn’t answer, at trial, police and prosecutors can now take advantage of his silence, or perhaps even of just pausing or fidgeting.
Questions first, rights later is the approach the court’s majority now endorses. And by giving the police more incentive to ask questions informally, the new ruling will also undermine the key reform that police have adopted to prevent false confessions: videotaping entire interrogations. Why not try to trap a suspect before the camera starts rolling? In only a few cases like Yarris’ will there be DNA to test. The likely result of the court’s embrace of shoddy interrogation tactics: more wrongful convictions.
Jay-Z remembers the first time he heard someone rap. He was a kid walking through the Marcy Houses in Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn, where he grew up, and he stumbled on a circle of kids. When he peeked inside, he saw an older kid he hardly knew, acting like ladies in church touched “by the spirit” — rhyming couplets, as if possessed. It went on for more than half an hour and the young Jay-Z, a k a Shawn Carter, was entranced. The young boy thought it was cool. His next thought: “I could do that,” he writes in his new book “Decoder,” an autobiography out Nov. 16 that interprets lyrics to 36 of his songs. The book is being released with a bang, with one of the most unusual marketing campaigns in recent memory. As part of the campaign, Jay-Z is releasing every single page to the public before the book hits store on November 16.He addresses his past, including allegations of drug selling, stabbings, and life as a hustler during the crack ravaged 80s. The book also deals with Jay-Z’s fractious relationships with assorted rap stars, including MC Hammer. In the book he recounts being inspired by his mother, Gloria, who bought him a three-ring binder. He began to carry it everywhere, scribbling down rhymes about the things he saw and heard. Every night, he’d hide the notebook under his bed — to make sure no one ripped off his words. He read dictionaries in his spare time to increase his vocabulary, and before he was high school age he was taking part in rap battles in the Marcy projects, hoping to become known as “the best poet on the block.” Jay-Z lived with his mother, a clerk at an investment firm, his father, Adnis Reeves, two older sisters and an older brother in apartment 5C in the Marcy Houses. When Jay-Z was 11, his father left home for good. Soon after, the young boy — who was a good student at his various high schools he attended in Brooklyn, despite rarely studying — would drop out and start dealing crack. Now, at 41, he’s one half of the richest entertainment couple in the world, along with his wife, Beyoncé Knowles, according to Forbes. The pair earned $122 million last year alone and Jay-Z’s total worth was $450 million in 2010. He’s had more No. 1 albums than Elvis, with 11 albums to his name and 10 Grammy awards. In “Decoder,” he writes for the first time how his training as a crack dealer and hustler helped him understand business and turned him into an artist telling the story of the street in rhyme.