Prisoner Unemployment Benefits Would End With Bill

Prisoner Unemployment Benefits Would End With Bill — The Pennsylvania House voted unanimously last week in support of legislation to increase penalties on individuals who commit willful fraud to obtain unemployment compensation benefits, including cases of fraud by incarcerated individuals, reports State Rep. Jim Cox (R-129).

House Bill 403 would impose an additional 52-week penalty for claimants who illegally apply for benefits while in prison. This penalty would apply to these same individuals in the future should they become eligible and attempt to apply for unemployment benefits again.

In addition to fraud by prisoners, House Bill 403 also addresses other types of fraud. It would increase the monetary penalty from its current range of $100 to $1,000 to $500 to $1,500 for claimants who knowingly make false statements to obtain unemployment benefits.

It also would increase the minimum number of penalty weeks from two to 10 and remove the current four-year statute of limitations. The bill also would allow for penalties to be collected through liens, civil action or any other means available by law for up to 12 years after the end of the benefit year.

House Bill 403 now heads to the Senate for consideration.


Prisoner Unemployment Benefits Would End With Bill

Prisoner Unemployment Benefits Would End With Bill

HB 492 Gives Victims Say In Parole

HB 492 Gives Victims Say In Parole — The State House has passed legislation  to give Pennsylvania crime victims a say during the parole process of an inmate, reports State Rep. Jim Cox (R-129)

House Bill 492 would allow a victim or victim representative to appear personally before the Pennsylvania Board of Probation and Parole and provide testimony in connection with an inmate’s application for parole. The bill would make it clear that the decision for victims or their representatives to appear and be heard by the Pennsylvania Board of Probation and Parole is up to them, not the board. Additionally, if victims or their representatives so choose, they would be permitted to appear by any electronic means made available by the board, such as video conference.

House Bill 492 was inspired by a case in the Philadelphia area in which a convicted murderer was granted parole before completing his maximum sentence without input from the victim’s family. The decision was later reversed.


HB 492 Gives Victims Say In Parole

HB 492 Gives Victims Say In Parole

Tahmir Craig Case Black Eye For Whelan

Tahmir Craig Case Black Eye For Whelan — Delaware County District Attorney Jack Whelan announced in a press conference yesterday, March 20,  that he was dropping the case against Tahmir Craig whom he had charged with first degree murder for the May 28 killing of Devon Williams in Chester.

It turns out that Craig had a strong alibi and that he was six-inches too short to have been the shooter who was captured on video.

Craig had spent the last 10 months in the county lockup.

Whelan appears to be expecting some pats on the back for, well, deciding against trying to send this young man — Craig is 23 — to  the execution gurney.

“As prosecutors in the administration of justice, we have an absolute
duty to exhaust all resources in our efforts to pursue the truth,”
Whelan said.

The pats on the back are not going to come from here.

Craig was arrested after tips came  to police that the shooter was named “Tahmir”. Police checked a police data base and Craig’s name came up. They thought his picture sorta looked like the one on the video, and witnesses picked him out of a photo array.

Bingo! Case solved!

You would think, though, that due diligence by trained professionals would involve checking alibis and determining heights before filing charges, and that a private attorney would not need to be hired to insist on these rather basic things being done before one tries to send a young man to his death and requires him to spend nearly a year in prison.

You know the real killer is still out there, right, Jack?


Tahmir Craig Case Black Eye For Whelan

Tahmir Craig Case Black Eye For Whelan

Those Crazy Japanese

Those Crazy Japanese — Issei Sagawa was a student in avant garde literature at the Sorbonne Academy in 1981 when he invited classmate Renee Hartevelt to dinner at his apartment.

Little did Miss Hartevelt know that she was going to be the meal. Sagawa shot her and proceeded to eat her over the next several days.

Sagawa’s deed was discovered when he tried to dispose of what he couldn’t finish in a lake.

Well, he was arrested, found insane and placed in an asylum. His wealthy father inveigled him to be transferred to a Japanese institution and then released into society. He served a total of 15 months.

Sagawa is now a minor celebrity in Japan where he gives lectures on cannibalism, writes restaurant reviews, and says that he would like to eat another girl.


Those Crazy Japanese
Those Crazy Japanese

Cascade Road Swatting Was 911 Hack

Cascade Road Swatting Was 911 Hack
Cascade Road in Springfield

Cascade Road Swatting Was 911 Hack — The owner of a home in Springfield, Pa. was tackled and handcuffed when he approached the police swarming his backyard last night, June 2. The 60 police officers including a hostage negotiator and members of a SWAT unit had been dispatched to the address in the 100 block of Cascade Road when the dispatchers at the Delaware County  911 center in Middletown reported that three people had been killed in the house and others taken hostage.

The system indicated the call was coming from inside the house. After the owner was tackled, a woman emerged holding a child. Police entered the home and found nothing amiss. The 911 system, however, continued receiving descriptions of violence inside the home.

Police say the residents, a family with three children, appear to be nothing but victims.

The incident cause the evacuation of  the neighboring homes along with two homes across the street.

Police Chief Joseph Daly expects to find the culprit within “a day or two.”

Hat tip to Mari A. Schaefer at the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Cascade Road Swatting Was 911 Hack

Things That Happen When People Don’t Believe In Hell

Cody Lee, 16, of Lake Township, which is near Wilkes Barre, is charged with shooting his grandfather, Wednesday, and attempting to kill his father, who only managed to save himself after he wrestled the gun away, according to Luzerne County prosecutors.

Officials say Lee made an outline in a notebook in which he said “Finding grandpa’s guns. Kill grandpa. Find money. Find clothes. Wait for dad to get home. Kill dad. Call Josh. Leave with Josh”, which he showed to a  classmate at Lake-Lehman Junior/Senior High School. He said he was going to kill them “because they’re a–holes,”

Josh did meet Lee but fled when he saw him shoot his grandfather. Lee was arrested 2 a.m. Thursday morning after he called his father who met him in a vehicle.

Lee is being charged as an adult.

When Lee was 9, his mother — who had separated from his father — was shot in the head, apparently accidentally, by her 14-year-old brother — Lee’s uncle..

How Low Can You Go? Thefts At A Craft Show!

A long-time participant at the just-ended craft show to benefit the band at Cardinal O’Hara High School in Marple Township Pa. told me that for the first time there were thefts at the event.

Now, what was stolen was not money or jewelry but hand-made crafts of the type  people buy for unique Christmas gifts and home touches. It looks like an inside job since the thefts happened overnight.

Probably not much comfort to the hard-working victims but they must be pretty good crafters.

FBI Visits Turnpike HQ

FBI Visits Turnpike HQ — FBI agents were reported at the Harrisburg head offices of the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission, Oct. 22 and possibly Oct. 23. Apparently the US Justice Department has had a several months long investigation of corruption at the Commission.

The a  six-lane widening project in the Valley Forge area was bid at $90 million and costs have reached $140 million.

The scandal includes large quantities of defective concrete and drainage pipes left unconnected.

Thank you, Gov. X.

FBI Visits Turnpike HQ

Blind Lawyer, Sex, Credit Card Company

John F. Peoples, a 60-year-old blind lawyer from Broomall, Pa., lost his federal case in Philadelphia, Sept. 22, when  U.S. District Judge Edmund V. Ludwig dismissed the claims of civil rights violations and breach of contract Peoples alleged against Discover Financial Services, and the woman he said he was paying for sex.

About 20 or so years ago, Peoples was known as the blind guy who got around Delaware County by hitchhiking. He still has not lost his self-confidence.

Peoples, in his suit, claimed he paid Ginger Dayle Productions (a Pennsylvania corporation) and New City Stage Company (a trade name) for “services” for March through November 2007 at Ginger’s apartment.

“I paid her and she had sex with me and there was an understanding that it was payment for sex,” Peoples said in deposition.

Well, Peoples said he relied on Ginger to enter agreed upon amounts on his credit card receipts and in several instances she entered larger amounts, which were charged to his Discover Card.

Ginger, btw, says the services were for physical fitness instruction and countersued Peoples saying he made sexual advances and grabbed her without permission.

There were at least 25 transactions that Peoples said was supposed to be at $275 each. He said though that in October and November he was billed for 10 of them at $1,100 and one at $1,600.

People’s told Discover that the overcharges were fraudulent but his claim was not accepted. So, hence the lawsuit against Ginger (and her corporation) and Discover which he claimed failed to live up to its fraud protection policy and to accommodate his disability as per the American With Disabilities Act and other laws. Blind Lawyer, Sex, Credit Card Company

With regard to breach of contract, Discover noted that the purchase of prostitution services is unlawful in Pennsylvania and hence was a violation of the Cardmember Agreement, a point which Ludwig accepted.

Ludwig dismissed the disability claims for a host of reasons.

And once the Discover claims were dismissed, the suit against Ginger Dayle and her countersuit against Peoples were no long a federal matter, and hence dismissed without prejudice. Theoretically they could still end up in state court.

Blind Lawyer, Sex, Credit Card Company

Oprahization Of the Delaware County D.A.

Oprahization Of the Delaware County D.A. — The prosecutors in the Delaware County (Pa) District Attorney’s office seem to be watching Oprah Winfrey when they should be reading Jefferson and Blackstone.

Delaware County Daily Times columnist Gil Spencer had articles, here and here, regarding a father who was brought to trial on various child sex charges solely on the word of a disturbed young neighbor who had a known grudge.

The prosecution had no corroborating evidence and Sherlock Holmes was not needed to see inconsistencies in the girl’s story i.e porn was not found in the house. Nor did there seem to be any consideration — or maybe even investigation — into the history of the accused and accuser, or the accuser’ background.

Fortunately, the jurors had a better understanding of truth and justice than the trained lawyers. The man was acquitted albeit at a cost of $10,000 in legal fees.

And, of course, innocent men can go to jail.

Oprahization Of the Delaware County D.A.