i powerful weapon? Oxytocin the trust hormone. will cops start using it to question people? and will con artists use it to steal you money?




Oxytocin may present opportunities for abuse


Joseph Verrengia

Associated Press

Jun. 2, 2005 12:00 AM


It sounds like the plot for another Batman sequel: The villain sprays Gotham City with a trust hormone, and people rush to give him all their money. Banks, the stock market and even governments collapse.


Farfetched? Swiss and American scientists demonstrate in new experiments how a squirt of the hormone oxytocin stimulates trusting behavior in humans, and they acknowledge that the possibility of abuse can't be ignored.


"Of course, this finding could be misused," said Ernst Fehr of today's issue of the journal Nature. "I don't think we currently have such abuses. However, in the future it could happen."


Other scientists say the new research raises important questions about oxytocin's potential as a therapy for conditions like autism, in which trust is diminished. Or, perhaps the hormone's activity could be reduced to treat more rare diseases, like Williams syndrome, in which children approach strangers fearlessly.


"Might their high level of trust be due to excessive oxytocin release?" asks University of Iowa neurologist Antonio Damasio, who reviewed the experiments for Nature. "Little is known about the neurobiology of trust, although the phenomenon is beginning to attract attention."


Oxytocin is secreted in brain tissue and synthesized by the hypothalamus. This small, but crucial feature located deep in the brain controls biological reactions such as hunger, thirst and body temperature, as well as visceral fight-or-flight reactions associated with powerful, basic emotions such as fear and anger.


For years oxytocin was considered to be a straightforward reproductive hormone found in both sexes. In both humans and animals, this chemical messenger stimulates uterine contractions in labor and induces milk production. In both women and men, oxytocin is released during sex, too.


Then, elevated concentrations of the hormone also were found in cerebrospinal fluid during and after birth, and experiments showed it was involved in the biochemistry of attachment. It's a sensible conclusion, given that babies require years of care and the body needs to motivate mothers for the demanding task of child rearing.


Scientists have wondered whether oxytocin is involved with other aspects of bonding behavior and specifically whether it stimulates trust.


Trust is the glue of society and human interactions. Erase it, and you compromise everything from love to trade and political order.


"I once likened trust to a love potion," Damasio writes in Nature. "Add trust to the mix, for without trust there is no love."


In the experiments, the researchers tried to manipulate people's trust by adding oxytocin to their brains. They used a synthetic in a nasal spray that was absorbed by mucous membranes and crossed the blood-brain barrier.


A total of 178 male students from universities in Zurich took part in a pair of experiments.


Volunteers, all in their 20s, got oxytocin or a placebo.




Experiments demonstrate 'trust in a bottle' hormone


Associated Press

Jun. 1, 2005 02:12 PM


It sounds like the plot for another Batman sequel: The villain sprays Gotham City with a trust hormone and people rush to give him all their money. Banks, the stock market and even governments collapse.


Farfetched? Swiss and American scientists demonstrate in new experiments how a squirt of the hormone oxytocin stimulates trusting behavior in humans, and they acknowledge that the possibility of abuse can't be ignored.


"Of course, this finding could be misused," said Ernst Fehr of the University of Zurich, the senior researcher in the study, which appears in Thursday's issue of the journal Nature. "I don't think we currently have such abuses. However, in the future it could happen."


Other scientists say the new research raises important questions about oxytocin's potential as a therapy for conditions like autism, in which trust is diminished. Or, perhaps the hormone's activity could be reduced to treat more rare diseases, like Williams syndrome, in which children approach strangers fearlessly.


"Might their high level of trust be due to excessive oxytocin release?" asks University of Iowa neurologist Antonio Damasio, who reviewed the experiments for Nature. "Little is known about the neurobiology of trust, although the phenomenon is beginning to attract attention."


Oxytocin is secreted in brain tissue and synthesized by the hypothalamus. This small, but crucial feature located deep in the brain controls biological reactions like hunger, thirst and body temperature, as well as visceral fight-or-flight reactions associated with powerful, basic emotions like fear and anger.


For years oxytocin was considered to be a straightforward reproductive hormone found in both sexes. In both humans and animals, this chemical messenger stimulates uterine contractions in labor and induces milk production. In both women and men, oxytocin is released during sex, too.


Then, elevated concentrations of the hormone also were found in cerebrospinal fluid during and after birth, and experiments showed it was involved in the biochemistry of attachment. It's a sensible conclusion, given that babies require years of care and the body needs to motivate mothers for the demanding task of childrearing.


In recent years, scientists have wondered whether oxytocin also is generally involved with other aspects of bonding behavior - and specifically whether it stimulates trust.


Trust is the glue of society and human interactions. Erase it, and you compromise everything from love to trade and political order.


"I once likened trust to a love potion," Damasio writes in Nature. "Add trust to the mix, for without trust there is no love."


In the experiments, the researchers tried to manipulate people's trust by adding more oxytocin to their brains. They used a synthetic version in a nasal spray that was absorbed by mucous membranes and crossed the blood-brain barrier. Researchers say the dose was harmless and altered oxytocin levels only temporarily.


A total of 178 male students from universities in Zurich took part in a pair of experiments. All the volunteers were in their 20s. They got the oxytocin or a placebo.


In the first experiment, they played a game in which an "investor" could choose to hand over to a "trustee" up to 12 units of money that are each equal to .40 Swiss franc, or about 32 cents. The trustee triples the investor's money, then gets to decide how much of the proceeds to share.


Of 29 subjects who got oxytocin, 45 percent invested the maximum amount of 12 monetary units and, in the researchers' words, showed "maximal trust." Only 21 percent had a lower trust level in which they invested less than 8 monetary units.


In contrast, the placebo group's trust behavior was reversed. Only 21 percent of the placebo subjects invested the maximum, while 45 percent invested at low levels.


Overall, those who got oxytocin invested 17 percent more than investors who received a placebo.


In a second experiment, investors faced the same decision. But this time, the trustee was replaced by a computer program in an effort to see whether the hormone promoted social interaction or simply encouraged risk-taking.


With the computer, the oxytocin and placebo groups behaved similarly, with both groups investing an average of 7.5 monetary units.


"Oxytocin causes a substantial increase in trusting behavior," Fehr and his colleagues reported.


Researchers said they are performing a new round of experiments using brain imaging. "Now that we know that oxytocin has behavioral effects," Fehr said, "we want to know the brain circuits behind these effects."






Border agent indicted in drugs, weapons, bribery case


Susan Carroll

Republic Tucson Bureau

Jun. 2, 2005 12:00 AM


TUCSON - A U.S. Border Patrol agent has been indicted on 17 counts of drug trafficking, weapons and bribery charges, according to court records unsealed Wednesday.


Juan L. Sanchez, 28, who worked at the Nogales Border Patrol station, appeared in U.S. District Court in Tucson on Wednesday for an initial hearing.


A federal grand jury indicted Sanchez on May 18 on charges including conspiracy with intent to distribute more than 3,500 pounds of marijuana, a crime that carries a maximum penalty of up to life in prison.


According to the indictment, Sanchez also faces charges for accepting $10,000 in exchange for agreeing to transport about 376 pounds of marijuana in a Border Patrol vehicle and carrying a firearm during a drug trafficking offense. Prosecutors allege that Sanchez accepted $45,000 in bribes from summer 2002 to January 2004.


A spokeswoman for the U.S. attorney said the indictment is not connected to an FBI sting in May that netted 23 former and current law enforcement and military personnel.




now this is my kind of web site :)




Internet gets own red-light district


Associated Press

Jun. 1, 2005 05:00 PM


WASHINGTON - The Internet's primary oversight body approved a plan Wednesday to create a virtual red-light district, setting the stage for pornographic Web sites to use new addresses ending in "xxx."


The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers said it would begin negotiations with ICM Registry Inc., run by British businessman Stuart Lawley, to iron out technical issues and prices for the new Web addresses.


Adult-oriented sites, a $12 billion industry, probably could begin buying "xxx" addresses as early as fall or winter depending on ICM's plans, ICANN spokesman Kieran Baker said. The new pornography suffix was among 10 under consideration by the regulatory group, which also recently approved addresses ending in "jobs" and "travel."


ICM contends the "xxx" Web addresses, which it plans to sell for $60 a year, will protect children from online smut if adult sites voluntarily adopt the suffix so filtering software used by families can more effectively block access to those sites. The $60 price is roughly ten times higher than prices other companies charge for dot-com names.


"It will further help to protect kids," said John Morris, staff counsel at the Washington-based Center for Democracy and Technology. Morris predicted some adult sites will choose to buy "xxx" Web addresses but others will continue to use dot-com.


On the Net:


ICANN: http://icann.org/announcements/announcement-01jun05.htm


ICM Registry: www.icmregistry.com/






Evidence storage revisited in Scottsdale 

June 2, 2005 

By Ryan Gabrielson, Tribune


The Scottsdale Police Department must try to contact the owners of confiscated property before selling or destroying it, under a proposed city ordinance mandated to repair numerous faults in its storage and tracking of evidence.


Those problems were uncovered in a city audit released in December that found Scottsdale’s handling of evidence violated state law. As a result, property was likely destroyed that should have been returned to its owners, the audit stated.


The audit also detailed a series of problems that led to faulty maintenance and documentation of evidence stored by the department. In many cases, biohazard materials, guns, narcotics and other drugs were not destroyed or could not be located in a timely manner.


Under the proposed ordinance, expected to be adopted by the City Council on June 7, police would be required to mail owners of confiscated property worth more than $25 a notice telling them when their items can be reclaimed.


"First we’re going to send you a letter. If you don’t respond, then we’re going to put it in the newspaper," said Helen Gandara-Zavala, police administrative services director.


Scottsdale will purchase advertisements in a local newspaper listing what items the city is attempting to return, she said.


Police officials included the provision within a list of nine major changes to the ordinance dictating how evidence and property are maintained by the department. The proposal was written by the department, with assistance from city attorneys.


Police officials have been retooling their evidence ordinance and operations for months, destroying excess blood, urine and drugs kept in off-site rental facilities, Gandara-Zavala said.


The department is building a computer database and barcoding system to allow police to more easily track evidence. To date, property room employees have relied on paper invoices because of difficulties with earlier electronic systems.


While the proposed ordinance alters the department’s notification system, it gives police officials latitude to fix other evidence storage problems themselves. Much of it was written to reflect how the property room currently operates, Gandara-Zavala said.


City Manager Jan Dolan said nearly every shortcoming cited in the audit has been remedied. Dolan has received weekly updates on the property room’s progress since the audit’s release, she said.


Councilman Jim Lane argues that police may be giving themselves too much authority. Lane sits on the audit committee, which oversees City Auditor Cheryl Barcala’s work.


"It provides the maximum amount of discretion to the police department, which is really not something I was necessarily looking for," Lane said.


The proposed ordinance sets broad guidelines for how the department can dispose of firearms, liquor and hazardous materials.


Lane and Councilman Bob Littlefield, who also sits on the audit committee, had asked that Barcala’s office reaudit the property room this summer. Lane said they dropped the request after meeting resistance from Dolan, who has argued that audits sometimes require excessive staff time.


Dolan denied any part in determining what work the auditor does.


Councilman Wayne Ecton said Barcala should serve only as an auditor inspecting how the city operates, not enforcing her recommendations.


"The chief of police (Alan Rodbell) has been involved in police work for more than 20 years and I think he knows and understands the system and how things are done," Ecton said.


Contact Ryan Gabrielson by email, or phone (480) 970-2341




this is about a protest copwatch, the Phoenix Anarchist Collilition, and Amnesty International had in downtown Phoenix protesting cop taser use




Protestan en Phoenix contra el uso de tasers


Por Luis Avila

La Voz

Junio 1, 2005


El mes pasado un joven de 24 años murió después de haber sido incapacitado con pistolas de descargas eléctricas, más bien conocidas como tasers.


Un grupo de manifestantes se presentó el pasado 27 de mayo en el centro de la ciudad de Phoenix para mostrar su descontento en contra del Departamento de Policía de Phoenix, demandando el paro del uso de esta arma considerada “no letal”, pero que según los manifestantes representa un peligro para la seguridad de la comunidad.


“Es que nos dicen que la gente muere porque usan drogas o tienen el corazón más grande de lo normal, o distintas razones, pero en realidad si no les aplicaran los tasers no morirían”, dijo Drew Sullivan, miembro de la coalición anarquista de Phoenix.


También presente en la protesta estuvo la organización internacional de defensa de derechos civiles Amnistía Internacional. “Pedimos que se haga una investigación y nos den resultados concretos acerca del daño físico que los tasers pueden producir”, comentó Emily Taylor, una de las representantes de esta organización.


Los tasers son utilizados en casos en los que el detenido está siendo demasiado agresivo. La pistola dispara unos cables de 15 pies de largo que se adhieren a la ropa, mandando descargas hasta de 50 mil voltios, inmovilizando al detenido por completo.


Se han presentado varios casos nacionales de muertes a causa del uso de tasers, pero la mayoría de las veces después de unos meses se hace un comunicado que se desprende de alguna investigación post-mortem y se llega a la conclusión de que la muerte fue ocasionada por disfunciones físicas, y no por el choque eléctrico.


“No queremos que la policía utilice nada que pueda ocasionar la muerte, y si los tasers están matando, los queremos fuera del departamento de policía”, dijo Drew Sullivan.


En ocasiones los tasers son utilizados para calmar multitudes. El pasado Súper Tazón “Fiesta” de la ciudad de Tempe, estuvo caracterizado por acciones de vandalismo después del juego, a lo que la policía reaccionó con el uso de los tasers, poniendo la punta de la pistola eléctrica en los cuerpos de la gente amontonada en la multitud y haciendo a muchos abstenerse de continuar las actividades que año con año pasan en eventos deportivos, cuando las gradería brincan al estadio a festejar la victoria de su equipo. No hubo muertos en esa ocasión.


“La solución es que el Departamento de Policía investigue el daño que realmente producen estas armas”, dicen los representantes de Amnistía Internacional.


Por su parte, el Departamento de Policía de Phoenix dijo en un comunicado que el uso de tasers es muy útil para la seguridad de los agentes y de los capturados también. “No vamos a parar de usar los tasers, las compañías productoras de estos aparatos tienen investigaciones extensivas que muestran lo inofensivo del uso de estas armas eléctricas”, mencionó Tony Morales, portavoz del Departamento de Policía de la ciudad.


La institución también ha dado a conocer que desde el comienzo del uso de tasers el empleo de armas de fuego en la captura de personas agresivas ha disminuido, y esto ha ayudado a los agentes policíacos a mantenerse seguros y a inmovilizar a personas agresivas sin el uso de armas letales.


Amnistía Internacional concluyó diciendo que van a estar presionando al Departamento de Policía de Phoenix y a todos los departamentos policíacos que usen estas armas eléctricas hasta que alguno de ellos muestre una investigación convincente que exponga lo inofensivo de los tasers.


De la muerte del joven de 24 años a principios de mayo, el departamento de policía abrió una investigación y esperan tener resultados pronto.


google translated this to english and it didnt do a great job, but you can get the gist of the article.





Protestan in Phoenix against the use of tasers By Luis Avila the Voice June 1, the 2005 month last a young person of 24 years died after to be incapacitated with pistols of electrical unloadings, rather known like tasers. 


A group of demonstrators the past appeared 27 of May in downtown of Phoenix to show to his displeasure against the Department of Police of Phoenix, demanding unemployment of the use of this considered weapon "nonlethal", but that according to the demonstrators represents a danger for the security of the community.  "She is that they say to us that people die because they use drugs or they have the greatest heart of the normal thing, or different reasons, but in fact if they did not apply tasers to them would not die", said Drew Sullivan, member of the coalition anarchist of Phoenix.  Also Amnesty International presents/displays in the protest was the international organization of defense of civil rights.  "We requested that one becomes an investigation and they give concrete results us about the physical damage that tasers can produce", Emily Taylor commented, one of the representatives of this organization.  Tasers is used in cases in which the prisoner is being too aggressive.  The pistol shoots cables of 15 feet of length that adhere to the clothes, commanding unloadings until of 50 thousand volts, immobilizing to the prisoner completely.  Several national cases of deaths because of the use of tasers have appeared, but most of the times after months an official notice becomes that comes off some investigation post-mortem and it reaches the conclusion that the death was caused by physical disfunciones, and not by the electrical shock.  "we do not want that the police uses nothing that can cause the death, and if tasers is killing, we want them outside the police department", said Drew Sullivan.  Sometimes tasers is used to calm multitudes.  The past Super Bowl "Celebration" of the city of Tempe, was characterized by actions of vandalism after the game, to which the police reacted with the use of tasers, putting the end of the electrical pistol in the bodies of the people accumulated in the multitude and making to many abstain to continue the activities that year with year happen in sport events, when gradería jumps to the stage to festejar the victory of their equipment.  It had not died in that occasion.  "the solution is that the Department of Police investigates the damage that really produces these arms", they say to the representatives of Amnesty International.  On the other hand, the Department of Police of Phoenix said in an official notice that the use of tasers is very useful for the security of the agents and also the captured ones.  "we are not going to stop to use tasers, the producing companies of these apparatuses have extensive investigations that show the inoffensive thing of the use of these electrical arms", Tony mentioned Moral, spokesman of the Department of Police of the city.  The institution also has presented that from the beginning of the use of tasers the use of firearms in the capture of aggressive people has diminished, and this has helped the police agents to stay safe and to immobilize to aggressive people without the use of lethal arms.  Amnesty International concluded saying that they are going to be pressing to the Department of Police of Phoenix and all the police departments that use these electrical arms until some of them shows a convincing investigation that exposes the inoffensive thing of tasers.  Of the death of the young person of 24 years at the beginning of May, the police department opened an investigation and hope to have results soon.




a translation by google from spanish to english follows.




Aumenta “la miseria” en la ciudad de tiendas


Por Valeria Fernández

Junio 1, 2005


Mientras las elevadas temperaturas han llegado a sobrepasar el récord de otros años en el verano arizonense, el “índice de miseria” bajo la sombra de la ciudad de carpas del Condado Maricopa sigue aumentando hasta los 120 Fahrenheit, informó la Oficina del alguacil Joe Arpaio.


“¿Por qué voy a mentir?”, dijo el alguacil, quien se ganó el nombre del “más duro del oeste”. “La temperatura ahí por lo general es diez grados más que a la intemperie”.


Todos los años cuando llega la temporada veraniega la oficina de Arpaio da a conocer la información sobre el calor y las condiciones en las que viven los reos en la que se conoce en inglés como “tent city”.


Según el alguacil, el objetivo es darle a saber a la gente que tenga intenciones de cometer un crimen que la vida en la cárcel “no es nada fácil”.


“Los detenidos se quejan y yo les digo que se callen la boca”, declaró. “Porque en Irak los soldados tienen que estar a temperaturas de 140 grados, y estos son convictos, no son personas inocentes que están esperando para ir a juicio”.


El alguacil dijo que desde 1993 no ha habido ningún caso serio en el que la salud de uno de los reos se haya visto dañada por las condiciones en las que viven, y aclaró que de representar un verdadero riesgo las cosas serían distintas.


Actualmente la cárcel cuenta con un total de 9 mil 618 reos, mil 636 de los mismos en “tent city”.


Arpaio espera que para fines de este año la población de las cárceles supere los 10 mil.


De acuerdo al abogado en derechos civiles Stephen Montoya tener una cárcel a la intemperie no es una violación de los derechos de nadie, aún cuando las personas estén a merced de las altas temperaturas.


“Esto es pura publicidad para Arpaio, que quiere mantener su estatus de celebridad”, comentó Montoya.


Contacte al reportero: valeriafernandez@ashlandmedia.com


this is the translation by google. it aint the best but you can get the drift.





June 1 2005

Increases "to the misery" in the city of stores

By Valeria Fernandez, 2005


While the high temperatures have gotten to exceed the record of other years in the arizonense summer, the "index of misery" under the shade of the city of carps of the Maricopa County continues increasing until the 120 Fahrenheit, informed the Office into bailiff Joe Arpaio.  "Why I am going to lie",  the bailiff said, who gained the name of "it last more of the west".  "the temperature generally is ten degrees there more than outdoors".  Every year when the summery season arrives the office of Arpaio presents the information on the heat and the conditions in which the criminals live in whom he is known in English like "tent City".  According to the bailiff, the objective is to give namely the people who have intentions to commit a crime that the life in the jail "is not far from easy".  "the prisoners complain and I say to them that they shut up the mouth", she declared.  "Because in Iraq the soldiers must be to temperatures of 140 degrees, and these are convictos, are not innocent people who are hoping to go in opinion".  The bailiff said that from 1993 there has been no serious case in which the health of one of the criminals has been damaged by the conditions in which they live, and clarified that to represent a true risk the things would be different.  At the moment the jail counts on a total of 9 thousand 618 criminals, thousands 636 of such in "tent City".  Arpaio hopes that for this year ends the population of the jails surpasses 10 thousands.  According to the lawyer in civil rights Stephen Montoya to have a jail outdoors it is not a violation of the rights of anybody, even though the people are at the mercy of the high temperatures.  "This is pure publicity for Arpaio, that it wants to maintain his estatus of celebrity", Montoya commented.  Contact the reporter:  valeriafernandez@ashlandmedia.com




if this had not been a government worker the person probably would have been arrested and charged with cruelity to animals.




Phoenix Zoo not only one under fire

Criticisms focus on animal care


Dennis Wagner

The Arizona Republic

Jun. 3, 2005 12:00 AM


A few years ago when Tinkerbell the porcupine wasn't performing well during educational shows at the Phoenix Zoo, keepers decided to reduce her diet.


They didn't want to hurt the little pincushion, just give her some incentive. But it's hard to tell when a porcupine gets skinny. Tinkerbell died of starvation. And the incident is one of many listed by whistle-blowers who recently warned of a crisis in wildlife care at the 125-acre exhibition.


The furor forced Arizona Zoological Society directors to commission a review by independent experts, whose report is being reviewed this week.


It also prompted an investigation by U.S. Department of Agriculture inspectors who enforce the nation's Animal Welfare Act.


But the Phoenix Zoo is hardly alone in its turmoil. During the past three years, wildlife menageries and aquariums across the nation have come under fire based on sometimes-debatable allegations of neglect and mismanagement.


Investigations stretched from the historic National Zoo in Washington, D.C., to a wolf sanctuary in Washington state. Controversy also hit animal exhibitions in Chicago, San Francisco, Detroit, Toledo, Topeka and other cities.


What's going on? The question itself prompts a heated crossfire between zoo defenders and animal rights activists.


"This kind of issue has come up over and over again," says Richard Farinato, director of captive wildlife programs for the Humane Society of the United States. "Zoos should be for animals. Unfortunately, most of the time they're for people."


Jane Ballentine, a spokeswoman for the Maryland-based non-profit American Zoo and Aquarium Association, answers that wildlife parks are being victimized by "animal rights extremists" and "sensationalist media" even though they are cleaner, safer and more humane than ever before.


Humbug, counters Debbie Leahy, director of PETA, or People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, which opposes zoos entirely. She says those who cage wild animals are catching heat because "the national consciousness has been collectively raised."


"This is probably just the tip of the iceberg because this is a very poorly regulated industry," Leahy adds.



Law of nature



Jeffrey Hyson, a historian at Saint Joseph's University in Philadelphia who is writing a book on American zoo culture, says evolving social values have collided in America's zoos.


Animal rights activists are more aggressive. Media scrutiny has intensified. Modern zoos, trying to capture public imagination and dollars, cultivate a "Garden of Paradise" image that promotes animals as lovable, anthropomorphic stars, what he calls "charismatic megafauna."


"I think it's a combination of greater public attention and higher expectations," Hyson explains. "They do naming contests. They throw birthday parties for the animals. Well, when those creatures die . . . "


In some cases, the external pressures are compounded by feuding within animal parks, where zookeepers, veterinarians and marketers get crosswise about wildlife care and philosophy.


Ruby, Arizona's artistic elephant, was a typical example. The Phoenix Zoo promoted its paintbrush-wielding pachyderm to worldwide celebrity before her death in 1998, a misfortune blamed on complications during the delivery of a calf. Seven years later, the zoo still runs an Internet site dedicated to Ruby's memory and fends off complaints that her pregnancy and birthing were botched.


Denny Lewis, who directs accreditations for the American Zoo and Aquarium Association, says the public needs to understand that mortality is an immutable law of nature in the wild or captivity and not a cause for finger-pointing.


"Animals die," Lewis says flatly. "Most of the time it's because of old age or sickness, just like with human beings."




That point is uncontested. But so is the notion that American zoos have endured a particularly unlucky streak of fatalities among marquee animals.


A pair of red pandas at the National Zoo perished after rat poison was placed in their compound. Captive-elephants deaths have forced several zoos to shut down pachyderm displays. And, just last month at Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago, a small gibbon broke its arm trying to reach through a fence for food. Vets removed the limb, purportedly because of fears that the animal would injure itself with a cast.


The zoo already was a target of demonstrations due to other animal deaths: two gorillas, a camel, three elephants and a trio of endangered langur monkeys. After the ape amputation, state prosecutors announced a criminal inquiry. PETA protested. USDA inspectors and the zoo association launched reviews.


Kelly McGrath, who handles Lincoln Park Zoo's public relations, welcomes scrutiny as long as it's fair. For example, she says, the gibbon would have died of gangrene if its arm was not cut off, so that's "a success story."


As for deceased wildlife, McGrath adds, scientific fact belies sentiment: "Animal deaths that are looked at as a pattern are not. There was absolutely no error in any of those" that have been investigated to date.


For sheer hype, the National Zoo calamity two years ago exceeded all others.


It wasn't just poisoned pandas. Zebras succumbed to hypothermia and starvation. Animal cages and enclosures were infested with rats. A lion died after being anesthetized.


Congress commissioned a study by the National Academy of Sciences. Reforms were imposed. The zoo's director was forced out.


Ballentine, the zoo association spokeswoman, says the chain of events has become as familiar as it is regrettable, in part due to anti-zoo organizations such as PETA, which is based in Virginia. When animals expire, critics may cast blame whether the death is natural or not.


"They are becoming a lot more vocal. It's very emotional," Ballentine says. "It plays on the heartstrings of people who love animals. And they always have an Internet link where you can send contributions."


"I don't know of a single case where someone intentionally harmed an animal in an accredited zoo," Lewis adds.


Since the first wild animals were captured for zoological show about 4,000 years ago in Mesopotamia, zoos have evolved like the creatures that inhabit them. Over time, exotic wildlife were gathered as a symbol of wealth, forced into combat, shown for profit and entertainment.


Today's zoos, which generally provide better care and conditions than ever before, emphasize wildlife conservation and public education as primary functions.


In his book, Savages and Beasts: The Birth of the Modern Zoo, historian Nigel Rothfels says the central point of animal exhibits remains constant: "This type of exhibit was designed for the pleasure of the public, not the animals."


The zoo association now estimates that American zoos and aquariums draw 134 million human visitors annually, more than major-league football, baseball and basketball combined. The menageries are inspected by the USDA, licensed by the Fish and Wildlife Service and regulated by local government agencies. They are watched by the Humane Society, PETA and millions of devotees.


During the past year alone, U.S. newspapers and magazines published hundreds of articles about zoo controversies. Although defenders insist that America's captive animals are healthier and happier than ever, nobody seems to have supporting numbers.


At the USDA, spokesman Darby Holladay says his agency conducts annual inspections at all licensed wildlife exhibits but doesn't keep a tally of complaints or violations.


The zoo association has 211 member organizations (four in Arizona) caring for about 800,000 animals. The association examines about 50 zoos and aquariums each year. One or two fail to get accreditation. About 2,200 other exhibitors, reptile farms and roadside shows, don't even try.



Cats and dogs



Despite complaints about activists and the media, some zoo scandals start with internal squabbling rather than outside criticism.


Put simply, veterinarians and animal caretakers can fight like cats and dogs over what's best for the beasts.


At the Phoenix Zoo, that sort of feuding played a significant role in Ruby the elephant's demise. Keepers accused a veterinarian of negligence. Investigators later exonerated the vet and concluded that Ruby had been bred against the advice of medical experts and was obese because keepers ignored orders from the nutritionist.


The backbiting among employees grew so fierce that, last year, zoo President Jeff Williamson says he had to replace the top curator and the chief veterinarian.


That move, in turn, led to allegations that animals were suffering and dying unnecessarily.


Kris Nelson, a volunteer on the zoo committee that reviews animal health issues, was upset about the chief vet's dismissal. Last month, she went public with details of about 30 incidents where she claims wildlife suffered from improper care or living conditions.


Nelson's list includes the stories of Tinkerbell and Ruby. It also describes an orangutan, Duchess, who purportedly showed symptoms of extreme thirst but was not examined until she began drinking her own urine. And it claims several baby squirrel monkeys died because they were weakened by hunger and fell on concrete.


Nelson, a Scottsdale veterinarian, warned that the menagerie in Phoenix is verging on a disaster. Others at the zoo disagree, rebutting each of her allegations as inaccurate or exaggerated. But administrators refused to release necropsies.


Holladay, the USDA spokesman, confirmed that a Phoenix Zoo investigation is under way, though he declined to provide details.


The Arizona Zoological Society's board, which oversees zoo operations, is watching and waiting. A report from outside experts is due this week, and board President Ed Fox, while characterizing Nelson's complaints as "misguided," vowed to press for reforms if problems are exposed.


As in Chicago and elsewhere, zoo officials find themselves being observed carefully now, much like the animals they have on display.


"To some degree we are victims of our own success," says McGrath, the Lincoln Park spokeswoman. "Zoos have raised public awareness of wildlife. And that's a good thing."






Teen driving stolen earthmover chased, shot by Tucson police


Associated Press

Jun. 3, 2005 07:34 AM


TUCSON - A 14-year-old boy was critically wounded after leading Tucson police on a chase driving a stolen earthmover and then being shot by officers.


The pursuit began last night in midtown Tucson and ended about 9 p-m on the city's west side. Police say officers shot the boy as he drove the tank-sized construction vehicle toward police cars in the Tucson Mountain foothills.


Assistant Police Chief Kermit Miller says two officers fired at least one shot when the 40-foot-long vehicle headed toward at least 17 police vehicles.


Miller says the officers thought the boy was going to run over the vehicles, with the officers in them.


The teen's name wasn't immediately available.


The earthmover struck a utility pole before police began the pursuit, which reached speeds of up to 30 miles an hour.






Edición en línea - Principal

Edición: 713. Del 1 de junio al 7 de junio del 2005


Leo Hernandez


Expande el sheriff programa de huellas digitales


El sheriff del Condado Maricopa, Joe Arpaio, decidió implementar el Sistema Automatizado de Huellas Digitales (AFIS, por sus siglas en inglés) también en los poblados localizados en la zona Este del Valle del Sol.

Se trata de un moderno sistema a través del cual, se puede conocer la identidad real de los automovilistas y establecer si su récord está limpio.


El alguacil lo puso en marcha en las comunidades del Oeste del Valle del Sol a principios de febrero, con el propósito de combatir el robo de identidad y el uso de documentos falsos; además, para poner tras las rejas a las personas que tienen cuentas pendientes con la justicia.

Desde entonces, informó el propio Arpaio, se han tomado las huellas dactilares a 774 personas, de las cuales 294 fueron sometidas a una revisión a través del AFIS, y resultó que el 38 por ciento de esos individuos tienen historial criminal.

Dijo que entre esos individuos había uno identificado como Juan José Avita, quien al ser parado por un agente del Sheriff le dio un nombre falso y hasta presentó una licencia de manejo apócrifa.


Pero al revisar sus huellas, el oficial descubrió que se trataba de un peligroso fugitivo que era buscado por cargos de asalto sexual.


Joe Arpaio señaló que este es un ejemplo de que muchos prófugos podrían andar en las calles, pero cuando sean parados por sus agentes, a través de ese sistema serán descubiertos y encarcelados.

“El programa de huellas dactilares nos indica que muchos de los conductores que paramos traen documentos falsos”, declaró el sheriff al anunciar la expansión del programa al Este del Valle del Sol.


Enfatizó que, además, este sistema está ayudando a combatir el robo de identidad, pues están arrestando a los individuos que usan los nombres de otras personas.


El sheriff dijo estar consciente de que la implementación de este sistema ha sido duramente criticado por la Unión Americana de Libertades Civiles, sin embargo no le importa porque lo único que está haciendo con esto es proteger a la ciudadanía de los delincuentes.


Dicho organismo advierte que podrían cometerse muchos abusos contra los automovilistas con este sistema, y hasta cometerse serias violaciones a los derechos civiles de las personas.


Sin embargo, el alguacil señaló desde un principio se trata de un programa voluntario, es decir, que solamente se toman las huellas a las personas que acepten, pero nadie será forzado.




hmmm..... do they also burn up the bodies of americans that die? or are they racists and only burn up the bodies of lations?




Edición en línea - Principal

Edición: 713. Del 1 de junio al 7 de junio del 2005


 Leo Hernandez


Quemarán cuerpos de migrantes no identificados


Para ahorrar dinero, las autoridades del Condado Pima comenzarán a incinerar los cuerpos de aquellos migrantes que no sean identificados ni reclamados por sus familiares.


Eso comenzarán a hacerlo a partir de octubre próximo, acogiéndose a una ley aprobada por la Legislatura, que permite la cremación de los cadáveres que están en las morgues sin identificar.


De acuerdo a información dada a conocer por Anita Royal, del Departamento de Justicia en dicho Condado, hasta ahora los cuerpos no identificados ni reclamados los entierran en cementerios, lo que les cuesta entre 800 y mil dólares por cada uno.


Pero la nueva medida les permitirá reducir esos gastos en hasta un 50 por ciento, ya que cremar cada cuerpo tendrá un costo de 450 dólares.

La funcionaria aclaró que el Condado mantendrá un récord de cada individuo cremado, y si algún día sus familiares llegan a reclamar su cuerpo, les entregarán sus cenizas.


Cabe señalar que la región del Condado Pima es donde se registra el mayor número de muertes de migrantes, quienes pierden la vida tratando de ingresar al país ilegalmente.

De todos los que murieron el año anterior, al menos 130 están sin identificar.


Al respecto, el cónsul de México en Tucson, Juan Manuel Calderón Jaimes, dijo a PRENSA HISPANA que en breve se reunirá con funcionarios del Condado Pima para hablar del asunto.

“Desde luego que existe preocupación, pero existe una excelente colaboración de parte del Condado hacia nosotros, así que seguramente saldrá algo positivo de nuestra reunión”, declaró el funcionario.

La posición del Consulado de México de México en Tucson es muy clara: Le pedirán al Condado Pima que de el tiempo suficiente para realizar el examen del ADN a los cuerpos de los migrantes , y todas las pruebas que sean necesarias para lograr su identificación.

El cónsul Juan Manuel Calderón Jaimes consideró que un tiempo razonable sería de entre seis y 12 meses, que les permitiría echar mano de todos los recursos tecnológicos que tienen para tratar de identificar los cadáveres.


Dijo que este es un asunto delicado que es necesario tratar con mucho cuidado, pero destacó el apoyo que siempre le han dado al Consulado las autoridades del Condado Pima en lo que se refiere a la identificación de los paisanos que mueren en el desierto de Arizona.

Calderón Jaimes señaló que lo mejor sería que no cremen los cadáveres, sino se que sean enterrados en tanto se establece su identidad.






Pentagon confirms cases of mishandling of Quran


Robert Burns

Associated Press

Jun. 4, 2005 12:00 AM


WASHINGTON - The Pentagon on Friday released new details about mishandling of the Quran at the Guantanamo Bay prison for terror suspects, confirming that a soldier deliberately kicked the Muslim holy book and that an interrogator stepped on a Quran and was later fired for "a pattern of unacceptable behavior."


In other confirmed incidents, a guard's urine came through an air vent and splashed on a detainee and his Quran; water balloons thrown by prison guards caused an unspecified number of Qurans to get wet; and in a confirmed but ambiguous case, a two-word obscenity was written in English inside a Quran's cover.


The findings, released after business hours Friday, are among the results of an investigation last month by Brig. Gen. Jay Hood, commander of the detention center in Cuba, that was triggered by a Newsweek magazine report, later retracted, that a U.S. soldier had flushed one detainee's Quran down a toilet. 


The story stirred global controversy and the Bush administration blamed it for deadly protests in Afghanistan.


Hood said in a statement released Friday, along with the new details, that his investigation "revealed a consistent, documented policy of respectful handling of the Quran dating back almost 2 1/2 years."


Lawrence Di Rita, a spokesman for Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, did not address the confirmed incidents of mishandling the Quran.


Reached while traveling with Rumsfeld in Asia, Di Rita said that U.S. Southern Command policy calls for "serious, respectful and appropriate" handling of the Quran. "The Hood inquiry would appear to affirm that policy," he said.


Hood said that of nine mishandling cases studied in detail by reviewing thousands of pages of written records, five were confirmed to have happened. He could not determine conclusively whether the four others took place.


In one of those four unconfirmed cases, a detainee in April 2003 complained to FBI and other interrogators that guards "constantly defile the Quran." The detainee alleged that in one instance a female military guard threw a Quran into a bag of wet towels to anger another detainee. He also alleged that another guard said the Quran belonged in the toilet and that guards were ordered to do these things.


Hood said he found no other record of this detainee mentioning any Quran mishandling. The detainee has since been released.


In the most recent confirmed case, Hood said a detainee complained on March 25 of urine splashing on him and his Quran. An unidentified guard admitted "he was at fault," the Hood report said, although it did not say whether the act was deliberate. The guard's supervisor reprimanded him and assigned him to gate guard duty, where he had no contact with detainees for the remainder of his assignment at Guantanamo Bay.


In another confirmed case, a contract interrogator stepped on a detainee's Quran in July 2003 and apologized. "The interrogator was later terminated for . . . unacceptable behavior, an inability to follow direct guidance and poor leadership," the Hood report said.




do they do this to american bodies or only latino bodies??




Cremarán cuerpos no identificados


Por Valeria Fernández

La Voz

Junio 1, 2005


Una vez agotadas todas las alternativas para identificar los restos de personas fallecidas en el Condado Pima, las autoridades procederán a cremar los cuerpos de acuerdo con una nueva ley.


Según cifras del Consulado de México en Tucson, durante 2004 un total de 41 personas que murieron en el anonimato eran presuntamente de origen mexicano. Por el área en que fueron localizados, se estima que en su mayoría se trataba de migrantes que perecieron en su intento de ingresar a los Estados Unidos


Todos los años la oficina de la fiduciaria pública del Condado Pima entierra los restos tanto de indigentes como personas de bajos recursos cuyos familiares no cuentan con fondos suficientes para el entierro, así como también los cuerpos de presuntos indocumentados.


Las lápidas de los que no son identificados lucen el nombre genérico de “John Doe” o “Jane Doe”. Tan sólo en 2004 la fiduciaria enterró a 49 personas que respondían a esa categoría, según informó el funcionario Raymond Rodríguez.


Rodríguez especificó que a partir de enero los cuerpos comenzaron a ser cremados y que esta medida se aplicaría por igual a todos los que fallecen en el anonimato y sin que ningún familiar haya podido ser localizado.


La nueva disposición representaría un ahorro para el Condado que deberá invertir cerca 475 dólares por cremación en comparación a más de mil por entierro.


Por lo general, los restos de los fallecidos pueden llegar a pasar años o meses en un depósito en la Oficina del Forense, siempre y cuando existan pistas o una investigación en proceso en cuanto a su identidad, explicó la administradora Patti Nelson.


Una vez que se agotan todas las posibilidades para establecer la identidad, los restos pasan a manos de la Oficina de la Fiduciaria Pública que realiza un último intento por identificarlos antes de efectuar el entierro, agregó Nelson.


Datos de fallecidos permanecen en archivo


Las cremaciones, al igual que el entierro, no significarían la pérdida de pistas para que un familiar pueda dar con el paradero de su ser querido.


Por lo general, si se presume que se pueda tratar de un connacional mexicano, el consulado de ese país participa activamente en esclarecer la identidad de la persona, tratando de conectar a familiares que buscan a desaparecidos con todos los datos posibles que se puedan recabar.


La oficina del forense abre un archivo con fotografías y todo tipo de datos sobre la apariencia física de la persona e incluso, si es posible, una prueba de ADN.


Actualmente como parte de una base de datos piloto conocida como SIRLI, las autoridades consulares comenzarán a incluir toda la información recabada para poder dar con el paradero tanto de personas desaparecidas como fallecidas.


Para el consulado ubicado en Tucson este trabajo es diario, especialmente en la época de verano en el que se incrementa el número de muertes dadas las elevadas temperaturas, explicó la portavoz Marisol Vindiola.


Uno de los principales problemas que enfrenta el consulado para identificar a estas personas, es que muchos de los que cruzan el desierto, ya sea por recomendación de un familiar o de los mismos traficantes, no portan ningún documento de identidad, agregó.


Aún cuando se agotan todas las instancias a través del médico forense, el consulado vuelve a investigar una vez más cuando los restos son entregados a la oficina fiduciaria.


Hasta el momento, Vindiola dijo que no se le había informado al consulado de que se realizarían cremaciones.


Durante 2004, el Consulado de México en Tucson, que cubre los condados de Pinal y Pima, reportó la muerte de 124 connacionales en su intento de ingresar al país.


Contacte al reportero: valeriafernandez@ashlandmedia.com






Posted 6/3/2005 12:19 AM     Updated 6/3/2005 6:13 PM


Schools restrict use of Tasers

By Donna Leinwand, USA TODAY


Dozens of incidents in which police officers have used electric stun guns to subdue unruly students have led school officials around the USA to restrict the use of the devices on campus.


In Miami-Dade County, Fla., schools Superintendent Rudy Crew was inundated with complaints from parents in October after a police officer used a stun gun on a 6-year-old student. The child was waving a piece of glass and had been cut by it. Crew asked Miami-Dade Police Director Bobby Parker to ban the use of stun guns by officers who help provide security in elementary schools, and to use the devices, commonly referred to as Tasers, only as a last resort in middle and high schools.


"Certain tactics should never be used ... with young children," Crew wrote to Parker.


The student was not seriously injured, but the episode reflected rising concern about the safety of stun guns. Investigations by Amnesty International and The Arizona Republic have linked more than 100 deaths to the devices. Taser International, the nation's largest maker of stun guns, estimates that 1,700 cops assigned to U.S. schools carried the devices at the start of this school year. It's unclear whether any kids have died from stun-gun shocks. But reports of youths being zapped have increased as the guns — now used by 7,000 of the USA's 16,000 police agencies — have become more common in schools:


   Taser packs potent punch   


The Taser is relatively safe compared with other objects that can transmit electricity to humans, says Vincent Amuso, associate head of electrical engineering at the Rochester Institute of Technology. What makes the Taser less harmful is the short length of time it is held against the body, he says.


The electric chair uses much less current — less than 1% of that from a Taser — but that current is sustained, Amuso says.


Some people think of electricity in terms of volts, but voltage is actually a measure of how much electricity can be moved. Think of it as someone pushing a swing: The voltage is the power of the push.


Amperes, or amps, determine the strength of the current and how much damage it can do.


• In the central Florida counties of Orange, Seminole, Brevard and Polk, at least 24 students have been shocked with stun guns during the past 19 months, the Orlando Sentinel reported in April. The stun guns usually were used to break up fights, the Sentinel said. Complaints about such incidents have led Florida's Legislature to consider banning stun guns on school grounds.


• In the Charlotte-Mecklenburg school system in North Carolina, at least four students have been shocked by officers, The Charlotte Observer said Tuesday.


Schools in St. Paul and elsewhere have joined Miami-Dade in limiting stun guns. St. Paul's school board voted in May to allow officers in schools to use them on students only in life-threatening situations.


In Jacksonville, Sheriff John Rutherford is holding 16 town meetings on stun guns in schools to help him set a policy for the next school year. He says he is inclined to allow their use in schools — but only when lethal force is justified.


Steve Tuttle, a spokesman for Taser International, said in a statement that "the Taser device has been shown to be medically safe when used on children."


Kenneth Trump, president of National School Safety and Security Services, a firm in Cleveland, says, "The vast majority of police working in the schools are not ... zapping children left and right.


"The key word for Taser use in schools is 'conservative.' ... There are a lot of unanswered questions about Taser use on young bodies."




you can never trust those christians :)




Posted 6/4/2005 11:36 AM     Updated 6/4/2005 11:42 AM


Secretary didn't burn John Paul's notes


WARSAW, Poland (AP) — Pope John Paul II's longtime private secretary said Saturday he did not burn the late pontiff's notes as his will demanded, arguing that the papers contain "great riches" and should instead be preserved.


Archbishop Stanislaw Dziwisz, who worked with the pope from 1966 until his death earlier this year, told Polish state radio there are "quite a lot of manuscripts on various issues," but he offered no details.


"Nothing has been burned," Dziwisz said. "Nothing is fit for burning, everything should be preserved and kept for history, for the future generations — every single sentence."


"These are great riches that should gradually be made available to the public."


Dziwisz did not say when or how that might happen.


In a March 1979 entry to his testament, John Paul said he left no material property and asked that Dziwisz burn all his personal notes.


In Saturday's radio interview, Dziwisz suggested that some of the notes could prove useful in the late pontiff's beatification process. Dziwisz said he took his own daily notes throughout John Paul's papacy, which he said also could prove useful to that process but contain no opinions about individuals.


Last month, Pope Benedict XVI announced he was lifting a five-year waiting period to start the process to beatify John Paul, the last formal step before the late pontiff could be made a saint.


On Friday, Benedict — who was close to the late pope — appointed Dziwisz archbishop of Krakow in southern Poland. John Paul, then Cardinal Karol Wojtyla, held the same post before his election to the papacy in 1978.


Dziwisz said there is a general feeling Benedict will not travel as extensively as his predecessor, but that he would like to visit Krakow and the Polish capital, Warsaw. No dates have yet been set.


So far, Benedict has only one foreign trip planned — to the World Youth Day in Cologne, Germany, in August.


Copyright 2005 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. 






Airport checkpoints still too slow

Sky Harbor spending big on remedy


Ginger D. Richardson

The Arizona Republic

Jun. 5, 2005 12:00 AM


Phoenix officials plan to spend about $8.5 million on new security checkpoints at Sky Harbor International Airport, improvements they believe will cut down on long wait lines and backups.


The additional checkpoints will be built in Terminals 3 and 4, which have the highest passenger volumes and where Aviation Director David Krietor acknowledges that the airport has experienced "some problems."


"The bottom line for the airport is shame on us that we don't have the lane capacity," Krietor said.


The airport was recently cited as among the worst large airports nationwide for lengthy waits at security checkpoints, according to an analysis by USA Today that looked at data between June 2004 and March 2005. Overall, the analysis found that passengers across the country are waiting less, but that six large airports, including Sky Harbor, accounted for 41 percent of the worst waits.


One of Sky Harbor's worst days was the Monday after Thanksgiving, when three checkpoints at the airport were clogged throughout the morning.


Nico Melendez, a field communications director for the Transportation Security Administration, said sometimes the long backups are caused by "anomalies," such as a broken X-ray machine. But much of the problem, he said, lies in the way airports were designed. Most of the nation's terminals were built in a pre- 9/11 world, where sophisticated security checkpoints weren't necessary.


"These areas, they weren't built to withstand that kind of passenger volume," Melendez said. "You can't shove an egg through the neck of a wine bottle without a little bit of a mess.


"Bottom line, we have to have more lanes."


And that's exactly what officials here have started providing.


Shortly after the first of the year, officials added security lanes in Terminal 4, where America West Airlines and Southwest Airlines keep their gates.


Officials doubled the size of Checkpoint A on the north side, adding four lanes there.


They also built six lanes to serve the new Checkpoint D on the south side of the terminal.


The result has been a marked drop in wait times.


Airport officials reported that in April and May of 2004, average peak wait times at the airport routinely jumped above 25 minutes, usually on Mondays and Fridays. In one instance, it soared above 40 minutes, the point at which the Transportation Security Administration must be notified of the backup.


But during the same period this year, average peak wait times have consistently stayed in the 10- to 15-minute range; only once has it reached 20 minutes.


Meanwhile, the number of passengers traveling through the airport has continued to climb. Sky Harbor is the fifth-busiest airport in the world in terms of takeoffs and landings. It recorded a record high 3.8 million passengers in March.


"It's clearly gotten a lot better in Terminal 4," Krietor said.


But the problem is far from solved. As Krietor puts it, other areas of the airport, such as Terminals 2 and 3, are "only marginally better."


The next round of expansions will increase the number of lanes on the north and south sides of Terminal 3 to five. Currently there are three lanes at each checkpoint.


In Terminal 4, Checkpoint B will be expanded from four lanes to nine.


Checkpoints C and D will be expanded to eight lanes each, from four and six lanes, respectively.


But designing the centers is expected to be tricky because they are located on relatively narrow bridges that serve as elevated crosswalks over the streets below.


Phoenix City Council members will vote Wednesday to spend nearly $2.5 million on a contract with the architectural firm DWL Architects + Planners.


It is expected to take the company about four to six months to design the new checkpoints, and officials hope to have them built by this time next year.


Most of the construction work will be done between midnight and 5 a.m. in an attempt to minimize the inconvenience to passengers, officials said.


Eventually, the security centers in Terminal 2 will be expanded as well. The city plans to begin that process this fall.


Reach the reporter at ginger.richardson@arizonarepublic.com or (602) 444-2474.




as predicted by the anti-prop 200 folks prop 200 didnt solve any problems other then turn arizona into a bigger police state where you now need prove your citizen to register to vote. it says one third of the people trying to register to vote were rejected because they didnt have the required papers




Prop. 200's effect minimal

Political fallout may loom large in '06 races


Elvia Díaz and Robbie Sherwood

The Arizona Republic

Jun. 5, 2005 12:00 AM


Proposition 200 has had almost no practical effect on undocumented immigrants in Arizona despite being the law for more than six months.


It's a different story politically, where the measure remains an emotional, divisive issue likely to have a potent effect on the 2006 election in Arizona.


But so far, only two welfare applicants have been reported to immigration authorities for seeking state benefits illegally as defined in Proposition 200. And legal disagreements over a requirement that voters present identification at the polls have prevented the measure from applying to elections.


Voters approved the anti-illegal immigration measure in November with a 55.6 percent majority amid claims it would prevent voting fraud and save the state millions each year by denying benefits to undocumented residents.


The most noticeable effect has been on citizens who have arrived in Arizona from other states and have run afoul of the law's requirement that they prove their citizenship before they can register to vote. Since January, more than 5,000 Arizonans - most newly transplanted and none believed to be in the country illegally - have been rejected when they registered to vote.


About one out of every three new registrations in Maricopa, Pima and Pinal County this year has been rejected because the applicant didn't adequately provide proof of citizenship according to Proposition 200's mandate. Voters need an Arizona driver's license issued after 1996, U.S. naturalization number, a copy of a U.S. passport, a birth certificate or a tribal card number.


"Not one has been an illegal immigrant attempting to register," said Pima County Recorder F. Ann Rodriguez. "They are all citizens who are lawfully here who didn't know about the new requirements."


State welfare officials have reported only two applicants to immigration authorities for seeking state government-sponsored utility benefits under the new law, and it's not clear whether either report resulted in deportation. No applicants from the other three programs affected by Proposition 200 have been reported to immigration, said Liz Barker, spokeswoman for the state's Department of Economic Security. Phoenix utility assistance officials have reported none.


"We said it all along, undocumented immigrants don't get welfare benefits for themselves," said Alfredo Gutierrez, a former state senator and a main critic of Proposition 200. "They don't use those services. The problem never existed."



Political impact looms



Politically, however, disputes over how thoroughly Proposition 200 has been implemented, and immigration issues in general, promise to remain top issues as Gov. Janet Napolitano and Attorney General Terry Goddard run for re-election in 2006.


Backers of Proposition 200, who presented it to voters as a way of keeping immigrants from public benefits, blame its minimal impact on Goddard and Napolitano, both Democrats who opposed the measure before its approval. The measure's co-author, Rep. Russell Pearce, R-Mesa, and others say Napolitano and Goddard "colluded" to keep Proposition 200 from being fully implemented.


Though Goddard's office has successfully defended Proposition 200 in federal court against an attempted injunction by opponents, backers of the measure are outraged by his legal opinion that limited its scope to elections and to a handful of welfare programs, including utility assistance and cash payments to the disabled. The opinion rejected claims that it applied to broader services such as public housing, food assistance and employment benefits.


And Napolitano vetoed attempts by Republican lawmakers to expand the scope of Proposition 200 to bar undocumented immigrants from access to adult literacy classes, child-care subsidies and in-state tuition breaks for college.


She also vetoed a bill that would have denied voters without proper identification a provisional ballot that must be verified by elections officials before it can be counted.


Voters have not yet had to carry identification when they've voted in recent elections because of uncertainty over implementing Proposition 200's voter-identification requirement. And they won't have to anytime soon unless the state's top elected officials work out a plan. On Feb. 9, Goddard determined that the ID requirement at the polls can't be carried out until regulations are in place to guide poll workers on what is acceptable identification and a state law is amended to allow a voter who lacks sufficient ID to cast a provisional ballot.


"They've done every thing they possibly can to stop its implementation," said Republican National Committeeman Randy Pullen, one of the prime backers of Proposition 200, who is appealing a Maricopa County Superior Court judge's ruling upholding Goddard's narrow interpretation. "That's why it doesn't mean anything, because we have a governor and an attorney general who are thumbing their nose to the face of Arizona voters."


Politically, Proposition 200 will continue to burn hot as an issue through the 2006 elections, pollsters and pundits agree. It's a dangerous issue for Democrats who opposed the measure because it passed with healthy bipartisan support. But the constant drumbeat of anti-immigrant rhetoric coming from lawmakers and pro-200 activists has sparked political activism in the Latino community as well, experts say.



Dems make their case



Both Napolitano and Goddard said they would not be surprised to see opponents use their decisions on Proposition 200 to paint them as soft on immigration in the 2006 election. But both are quick to defend their actions.


Napolitano spokeswoman Jeanine L'Ecuyer said the legislative efforts to expand Proposition 200 were "badly written bills full of unintended consequences." L'Ecuyer pointed out that Napolitano did sign bills cracking down on human smugglers and undocumented immigrants who commit crimes in Arizona, as well as a bill denying public funding to day-labor centers.


Napolitano also plans to expand her efforts to beef up Homeland Security efforts along the border by hosting an "immigration summit" with various local and federal law enforcement agencies on July 12 in Flagstaff.


"The governor wants to deal with real immigration reform, not the bumper-sticker approach the Legislature took this session," L'Ecuyer said. "The idea that she has been soft on immigration is just misinformed."


Goddard reminded critics that, without the efforts of his office, Proposition 200 wouldn't be law right now at all. Proposition 200's authors limited it to programs under the state's welfare code, though later have attempted to broaden the scope. Goddard said if his office had argued to expand its reach to other areas of government it would have been deemed unconstitutional and a judge would have granted opponents an injunction to freeze the new law's implementation.


"The fact that it's still alive and kicking and getting implemented is largely attributable to us having a clear, concise and early opinion on it," Goddard said.


Republican pollster and political scientist Margaret Kenski of Tucson believes immigration and border issues could be a damaging issue for Napolitano in 2006, though not necessarily a "silver bullet."


"The border is going to be one of the overwhelming issues in the 2006 campaign," Kenski said. " It doesn't just energize Republicans, it pulls a lot of Democrats and Hispanics too."


But critics of the measure believe Proposition 200 and the subsequent anti-illegal legislative measures Napolitano vetoed will energize the Latino electorate and help give her a second term in office.


"The hateful anti-illegal immigration rhetoric is mobilizing the Hispanic community," Gutierrez said.



Fear and uncertainty



The political and legal battle that followed passage of Proposition 200 has caused much confusion among undocumented immigrants, as can be heard almost daily on Spanish-language radio talk shows, where listeners routinely call in with questions about the law.


Proposition 200 has discouraged Latinos from seeking health care, said one county hospital doctor, even through the immigration measure does not affect those services. Immigrants began missing more appointments at Maricopa Medical Center and delivering babies elsewhere in the days following voters' passage of Proposition 200, said Dr. Conrad Chao, an obstetrician and gynecologist on contract with the hospital.


Patients likely feared inquiries of legal status and deportation, Chao said. It's impossible to calculate how many undocumented immigrants sought care elsewhere, because hospital officials do not inquire about legal status.


"We saw a precipitous drop (of them) coming to the hospital and registering to outpatient clinics," Chao said. "Clearly they are not as comfortable coming here as they were in the past."


About 90 percent of the 4,200 babies Chao delivers yearly are babies of monolingual Spanish-speaking immigrants, he estimated.


Marco Loera, prevention specialist at Chicanos Por La Causa's Carl Hayden Community Center in Phoenix, said immigrants at the center remain uncertain about how Proposition 200 can affect them.


"There is still a general nervousness and paranoia," said Loera, adding that the center doesn't ask for immigration papers of youngster and parents who go there for after-school programs, English classes and other services.


The state programs subjected to Proposition 200 are general assistance, sight conservation, Neighbors Helping Neighbors emergency utility payment program, utility repair and a supplemental payment program.


Goddard said that immigrants aren't the only ones confused by Proposition 200. He said implementing provisions such as proof of citizenship to register and vote in a fair and constitutional way is going to have a far greater impact on ordinary citizens than on undocumented immigrants.


"I hope people realize that everybody in the state is gong to have significantly greater identification requirements," Goddard said. "I'm amazed at how many folks have said to me that they just thought it applied to Latinos."



Proposition 200

Key things you need to know:

Question: What documents do I need to prove citizenship when registering to vote?

Answer: Any of the following an Arizona driver's license number or non-operating identification license issued after Oct. 1, 1996, copy of a birth certificate, copy of U.S. passport U.S. naturalization certificate number or Bureau of Indian Affairs card number, Tribal Treaty card number or tribal enrollment number.


Q: Do I need to show ID if I vote at the polling place?

A: No. That provision of the law hasn't been implemented yet.


Q: Whom does the law effect?

A: Anybody, regardless of race or ethnicity, must present proof of citizenship (an Arizona driver's license issued after 1996, U.S. naturalization number, a copy of a U.S. passport, a birth certificate or a tribal card number) to register to vote. Applicants must also prove citizenship to apply for the state welfare programs covered by Proposition 200, regardless of their race or ethnicity. When voter identification rules are developed, voters will have to present a valid identification to cast a ballot at a polling place.


Q: How are state and local government workers complying with the law?

A: They must verify the immigration status of anyone applying for certain public benefits. But its implementation has been significantly narrowed to a handful of state programs.


Q: What state programs are subject to Proposition 200?

A: The programs affected are: General assistance for those who can't get temporary financial help and are unable to get a job because of disability; sight conservation program, which provides eye exams and glasses; Neighbors Helping Neighbors, which helps pay utility bills, among other things; utility repair, which helps with utility services and repairs; and the supplemental payment program, for which the state Legislature suspended payments through fiscal 2005.

Source: Arizona Department of Economic Security and other published reports.


Republic reporters Yvonne Wingett and Ginger Richardson contributed to this article.






Lawyers flock to Guantanamo

Rising numbers arrive from U.S. to help detainees


Neil A. Lewis

New York Times

Jun. 5, 2005 12:00 AM


WASHINGTON - In the past few months, the small commercial air service to the naval base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, has been carrying people military authorities had hoped would never be allowed there: American lawyers.


And they have been arriving in increasing numbers, providing more than a third of the approximately 530 remaining detainees with representation in federal court.


Despite considerable obstacles and expenses, other lawyers are eagerly lining up to challenge the government's detention of people the military has called enemy combatants and possible terrorists.


A meeting last month at the Manhattan law firm Clifford Chance drew dozens of new volunteer lawyers who attended lectures from other lawyers who have been through the rigorous process of getting the government to allow them access to Guantanamo.


The increase in lawyers for Guantanamo detainees was set in motion last June when the Supreme Court ruled against the Bush administration and said that the prisoners there were entitled to challenge their detentions in federal courts.


The rate at which lawyers have stepped forward for the task may be a reflection of the changing public attitudes about Guantanamo and its mission.


"In the beginning, just after 9/11, we couldn't get anybody," said Michael Ratner, president of the Center for Constitutional Rights, the New York-based group that is coordinating the assigning of lawyers to prisoners.


The earliest volunteers, Ratner said, were those who regularly handled death-penalty clients and were accustomed to representing the reviled in near-hopeless cases.


But in recent months, some of the nation's largest and most prominent firms have enlisted in the effort and devoted considerable resources to it, including Wilmer, Cutler, Pickering, Hale & Dorr; Clifford Chance; Covington & Burling; Dorsey & Whitney; and Allen & Overy.


"People are now eager to take this on," Ratner said. The law firms are bearing all the expenses, he said.


The influx of defense lawyers at Guantanamo also seems to have had some effect on the character of the detention facility. Some of the lawyers contend, and one official agreed, that it was likely a factor in the authorities' decision to end most of the interrogations in recent months.


In addition, some lawyers and human rights officials say that the lawyers' presence has reduced reports of abusive treatment by guards and interrogators, people who previously were the subject of complaints from the Red Cross and the FBI.


Maj. Gen. Geoffrey Miller, who was base commander for nearly three years, until August 2003, said during his tenure that the system was designed to make the prisoners as compliant as possible to make them thoroughly dependent on their interrogators. An important ingredient in accomplishing that, he and other military officials at the base said, was isolation from the outside world.


The arrival of defense lawyers at Guantanamo is an irreversible disruption of that isolation. The lawyers represent the detainees' access not only to federal courts but also to the international media; the only other authorized visitors, foreign officials and representatives of the Red Cross, do not generally speak publicly about the detainees.


The lawyers' presence at Guantanamo has not resulted in any detainee gaining freedom while the legal issues move slowly through the courts.


In March, James Dorsey and John Lundquist, partners at the Minneapolis firm of Fredrikson & Byron, along with Nicole Moen, an associate lawyer, traveled to Guantanamo to meet for the first time with their client, an Algerian named Achene Zemiri. After arriving at the base, they were put in drab quarters on the other side of Guantanamo Bay from the main base and prison camp.


The next morning, they traveled by ferry and van to a small prison compound called Camp Echo, which was constructed specifically to handle attorney-client meetings and is outside the regular prison camp. Each brightly lighted cell is divided in two, with a table and chairs on one side of a heavy metal grate and the inmate's bed and toilet on the other.


Dorsey said that Zemiri was at first wary and sat with his arms folded tightly around him. But by the end of two days of meetings, Dorsey said, Zemiri thanked them warmly and seemed to accept they were there to help him.


He said that Zemiri's Canadian wife had given them some phrases to establish their credibility. "One was the name of a strange soft drink," he said.


Dorsey, who practices civil law, said he was eager to help "the effort on the part of the Bar to see that there are meaningful and just processes."


While the firm agreed to the initial representation, partners balked at taking on a second client, who was a reputed Taliban field commander.




bible bashing in pima county - lets out law dirty books - maybe they should make sex illegal. that would fix the dirty book problem in a generation or two.




Crackdown being urged on adult businesses


TUCSON - Pima County Supervisor Ann Day wants county government to crack down on most, if not all, adult-entertainment businesses.


Day said that ideally, she wants to strengthen county law so that no adult-entertainment business can operate in unincorporated areas of the county.


If that's not possible, she said she wants to clarify which types of schools, day-care centers and other public facilities can't have an adult store next door.


"We need to bring it up to date. We need to tighten the ordinance to at least conform to state statute," said Day, who will bring the issue up at the Board of Supervisors meeting Tuesday.


Keeping all adult businesses out of the county is legally impossible, Tucson attorney Michael Meehan said.


But the county does have the right to establish zones where such businesses are permitted or banned, said Meehan, who formerly represented the now-demolished Empress Adult Video and Bookstore in Tucson.


County law requires that all adult-related businesses be at least 1,000 feet from another one and 500 feet from a public, private or parochial school, a public park or a church.




border patrol cops design an environmentally friendly horse poop. isnt govenrment great. if they take enough money from us they can claim to solve any problem




Border Patrol's horses fed eco-friendly food

Old oat, hay diet hurts desert in droppings


Arthur H. Rotstein

Associated Press

Jun. 5, 2005 12:00 AM


TUCSON - Horses have long been a vital part of the Border Patrol's enforcement efforts, especially in remote and rugged terrain in Arizona where motorized vehicles are impractical.


But officials must take special precautions when using them because what goes into horses . . . well, also comes out. And the droppings from traditional hay can introduce alfalfa and the seeds of exotic weeds into environmentally sensitive desert terrain.


As a precaution, the Border Patrol has started using special pellets to ensure they don't accidentally plant alien weeds.


Much of the Arizona border includes sensitive land. Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument; the Cabeza Prieta, Buenos Aires, San Bernardino and Leslie Canyon National Wildlife refuges; the Coronado National Memorial and the San Pedro Riparian National Conservation Area all see border traffic and patrols.


Horses patrolling those areas get fortified, commercially prepared feed in pellet form, sold in large bags like dog food. When they're not patrolling sensitive areas, the horses get regular oats and hay.


"We consider refuges as more of a priority issue, but we do handle environmental issues," said David Bemiller, public lands liaison for the Border Patrol's Tucson and Yuma sectors.


Horse feed is one of a number of environmental issues the agency faces as it seeks to stop illegal immigrants and drug traffickers from crossing through remote border lands.


Illegal crossers frequently tear through untracked desert with vehicles and leave piles of empty water bottles and trash. Brush fires have been sparked by migrant cooking fires.


Horses have been an integral part of the Border Patrol since its inception in 1924. Vehicles and aircraft lessened their role. But in recent years, there also has been renewed emphasis on horse patrols, particularly in the Tucson sector, which covers all but the easternmost portion of Arizona's border with Mexico. Nearly half the Border Patrol's 205 horses are in the Tucson sector.


Since a mid-1990s crackdown in San Diego and El Paso, Texas, the sector has become the nation's busiest for illegal entries, with more than half of all such apprehensions coming along the Arizona border last year.


The horses are used particularly in remote, rugged regions unsuitable for motorized vehicles and on environmentally sensitive locations such as the Organ Pipe monument and the Cabeza Prieta refuge, Bemiller said.


"They are deployed throughout the sector for the purpose of patrolling sensitive areas, environmental or cultural areas where it's a benefit not only to our operations but to the resources," he said. "Patrolling on horse is going to leave less of an impact, less of a footprint."


The only other spot on the border where horses receive specialized feed is on federal lands near Jacumba, Calif., said spokesman Mario Villarreal in Washington, D.C. Horses there get only feed from the local area.


The decision to give patrol horses special feed in Arizona was a pre-emptive one, Border Patrol spokesman Luis Garza said. Officials wanted to be sure an environmental problem wouldn't develop.






White House on the defensive

Reports of Quran desecration serve to turn up heat


Deb Riechmann

Associated Press

Jun. 5, 2005 12:00 AM


CRAWFORD, Texas - A Pentagon report detailing incidents in which U.S. guards at Guantanamo Bay prison desecrated the Quran is creating another public-relations challenge for President Bush.


Two weeks ago, the White House was thrown on the defensive by a now-retracted Newsweek report alleging that U.S. interrogators at the detention center for alleged terrorists in Cuba had flushed a Quran down a toilet.


The story stirred worldwide controversy and the Bush administration blamed it for deadly demonstrations in Afghanistan. Saying America's image abroad had suffered irreparable damage, the White House responded with a verbal offensive against the media.


On Saturday, a day after the Pentagon described a series of cases of U.S. personnel mishandling the Quran, the White House downplayed the issue.


"It is unfortunate that some have chosen to take out of context a few isolated incidents by a few individuals," White House spokesman Scott McClellan said in a statement.


Joe Lockhart, former White House spokesman for President Clinton, said that when a news organization such as Newsweek makes a factual mistake, White House officials are tempted to try to discredit the entire story.


"I think on this issue, they fell into a trap," Lockhart said. "They saw a way to push back on a damaging story by making it look like it was just out-of-control journalists, and now they've had to admit that it has happened."


McClellan's statements after the Newsweek report left an impression that no desecration at all had occurred at Guantanamo, Lockhart said.


"While the news organization got an example wrong, they got the practice right," he said. "I think certainly the public is within their right, in this case, to believe they were misled."


The Pentagon confirmed Friday evening - after the networks' evening news shows had aired - that a U.S. soldier had deliberately kicked a prisoner's holy book. The report also said prison guards had thrown water balloons in a cellblock, causing an unspecified number of Qurans to get wet; a guard's urine had splashed on a detainee and his Quran; an interrogator had stepped on a Quran during an interrogation; and a two-word obscenity had been written in English on the inside cover of a Quran.


Pentagon officials said the problems were minor and U.S. commanders have gone to great lengths to enable detainees to practice their religion.


White House officials noted that the investigation last month, by Brig. Gen. Jay Hood, commander of the detention center, also found 15 cases of detainees mishandling their own Qurans.


"These included using a Quran as a pillow, ripping pages out of the Quran, attempting to flush a Quran down the toilet and urinating on the Quran," Hood's report said. It offered no possible explanation for the detainees' actions.


McClellan declined to answer questions about whether the White House issued misleading statements, whether the credibility of the Bush administration had been tarnished or whether the Pentagon report would hamper Bush's efforts to spread democracy in the Middle East.






Trial to show power of surveillance act

Florida professor accused of aiding terrorist group


John Mintz

Washington Post

Jun. 5, 2005 12:00 AM


WASHINGTON - For a decade, FBI agents covertly monitored every telephone call and fax sent and received by Florida university Professor Sami al-Arian as he communicated with reputed top leaders of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad terrorist group about its suicide bombings of Israelis, shaky finances and high-level turf struggles.


Starting Monday, many of those 20,000 hours of phone calls and hundreds of faxes will be revealed in a federal courtroom in Tampa, where al-Arian and three other reputed members of the terrorist group will be tried on charges of conspiracy to commit murder through suicide attacks in Israel and the Palestinian territories.


The trial, expected to last at least six months, will provide a rare view of what the government contends are the clandestine operations of a terrorist group. It is the first case in which vast amounts of communications monitored under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, or FISA, will make up the bulk of the evidence in a criminal prosecution of accused terrorists, demonstrating the enormous power the government now wields under that counterterrorism law.


The wiretaps, approved in 1993 through 2003 on as many as 10 phones by a secret FISA court, were originally intended for use only by FBI agents conducting open-ended "intelligence" probes and not for use in criminal trials.


But after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, the enactment of the USA Patriot Act and a ruling by the supersecret FISA Court of Appeals allowed much greater use of intelligence material in investigations such as this one.


Many civil liberties experts express grave concern about U.S. officials' introduction into criminal court of years of wiretaps approved by FISA judges under a lower standard of proof than that demanded by criminal-court judges.


But U.S. District Judge James Moody has rejected defense attorneys' arguments that the information should not be heard in court.


Using FISA wiretaps in court is "a serious problem" that puts defendants at a disadvantage, said David Cole, a Georgetown University expert on terrorism law. "Unlike with criminal wiretaps, FISA doesn't give defendants any meaningful chance to challenge the validity of the tap."


U.S. officials say Arian and three associates who worked with him at a cluster of institutes affiliated with the University of South Florida in Tampa were secretly top leaders of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, sharing duties with other leaders in Syria.


Attorneys for Arian, a University of South Florida professor of computer engineering until he was fired in 2003, and the other defendants contend that their clients do not condone the terrorist group's tactics and that U.S. prosecutors are criminalizing their opposition to Israeli policies.


The U.S. government declared the Palestinian Islamic Jihad a terrorist organization in 1995, making any association with it illegal.


Defense attorneys have said that any promotion of the organization by Arian and others before then was protected political speech.


"The government has a major leap trying to connect people talking on the phone in Tampa and doing fund-raising, with bombs exploding in Israel 6,600 miles away," said lawyer Stephen Bernstein, who represents defendant Sameeh Taha Hammoudeh, a former University of South Florida graduate student. "The government is trying to say, 'If you have an interest in a subject, and if you talk about it with other people, then you must have been involved in it.' "


Moody has also ruled that he will limit defense attorneys' efforts to bring up during the trial the history of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in their bid to dramatize the Palestinians' plight and their right to resist what they see as Israeli oppression. The defense asserts that the U.S. government has embraced the Israeli government's intelligence findings on the Palestinian Islamic Jihad and that the group represents no threat to the United States.


Lawyer Kevin Beck, who represents defendant Hatim Naji Fariz, manager of an Illinois-based Muslim charity, said there will be clashes in court over "the context and meaning of some conversations," including some in which he said officials unfairly assert the defendants spoke in code about the terrorist group.


The Palestinian Islamic Jihad, founded in Egypt in 1979 and largely funded by Iran, has devoted itself to two missions: the destruction of Israel and the creation of a Muslim Palestinian state.


The group is bitterly opposed to peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians and has often stepped up attacks when talks show promise. It has also targeted sites symbolic of coexistence, such as a Haifa restaurant co-owned by Jews and Palestinians, where an operative of the terrorist group exploded a bomb that killed 21 people in 2003.




the libertarian i got this from said:


"All four of Seminole County's criminal judges have been using a

standard that if a DUI defendant asks for a key piece of information

about how the machine works - its software source code, for instance -

and the state cannot provide it, the breath test is rejected, the

Orlando Sentinel reported Wednesday."




I am so shocked to hear of four judges acting in unison in a

constitutional manner that I had to post this.  Surely this blip in

justice is misreported... any doubt it will not last?


...Sorry for the disruption.




DUI Defendants Skip Charge By Asking How Test Works


Published: Jun 5, 2005


SANFORD - Hundreds of cases involving breath-alcohol tests have been thrown out by Seminole County judges in the past five months because the test's manufacturer will not disclose how the machines work.

All four of Seminole County's criminal judges have been using a standard that if a DUI defendant asks for a key piece of information about how the machine works - its software source code, for instance - and the state cannot provide it, the breath test is rejected, the Orlando Sentinel reported Wednesday.


Prosecutors have said they do not know how many drunken drivers have been acquitted as a result. But Gino Feliciani, the misdemeanor division chief in the Seminole County State Attorney's Office, said the conviction rate has dropped to 50 percent or less.


Seminole judges have been following the lead of county Judge Donald Marblestone, who in January ruled that although the information may be a trade secret and controlled by a private contractor, defendants are entitled to it.


``Florida cannot contract away the statutory rights of its citizens,'' the judge wrote.


Judges in other counties have said the opposite: The state cannot turn over something it does not possess, and the manufacturer should not have to turn over trade secrets.




bad news - supreme court outlaws medical marijuana




9:53 AM PDT, June 6, 2005 latimes.com


High Court Permits Prosecution of Medical Marijuana Users

By David G. Savage, Times Staff Writer



WASHINGTON -- The Supreme Court ruled today that federal agents may raid the homes of Californians who use medical marijuana, holding that the strict federal drug laws prevail over the state's liberalized marijuana laws.


"If there is any conflict between federal and state law, federal law shall prevail," said Justice John Paul Stevens for the 6-3 majority.


The 6-3 decision weakens, but does not overturn, the laws in California and nine other states that permit seriously ill persons to use marijuana to relieve pain or nausea.


Under the court's ruling, federal drugs agents, U.S. prosecutors and U.S. judges may arrest, prosecute and punish people who grow or use marijuana, even in such states as California where it is legal.


However, state and local police need not assist in these efforts. And because most law enforcement is carried out by state and local officials, the liberalized medical marijuana laws will continue to have practical significance.


Nonetheless, today's ruling marks the second major defeat for the medical marijuana movement at the Supreme Court that undercuts the liberalized marijuana laws. The three conservative dissenters also said the ruling had undercut states rights in the process.


Four years ago, the high court ruled that federal prosecutors could shut down clinics and co-ops that dispensed marijuana to patients in California. The justices said then that California's move to liberalize the marijuana laws did not affect the federal government's zero-tolerance policy.


In the drug control act of 1970, Congress classified marijuana as a dangerous and illegal drug that has no benefits. While many experts dispute this conclusion, Congress has made no move to amend the law.


The latest case that reached the high court began when federal agents seized and destroyed marijuana that had been grown at home for use by two northern California women. Angel Raich and Diane Monson had painful ailments that they and their doctors said were relieved only by the use of cannabis.


They sued to challenge the authority of federal agents over their home-grown marijuana. Their lawyers relied on the Supreme Court's recent rulings that limited the power of Congress. In 1995, for example, the high court struck down the federal Gun-Free School Zones Act on the theory that gun possession was not commerce and therefore went beyond Congress's authority to regulate interstate commerce.


The same is true of marijuana possession, argued Raich's lawyers. Two years ago, the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals agreed.


The "noncommercial cultivation and possession of cannabis for personal medical purposes" is beyond Congress's power, the appeals courts said. It is "different in kind from drug trafficking."


Bush administration lawyers appealed, and the Supreme Court reversed the 9th Circuit today in the case of Gonzales vs. Raich.


The justices made clear they were more concerned about the issue of federal versus state power than with the question of the medical uses of marijuana.


The court's leading liberals, including Justices Stevens, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen G. Breyer, joined the majority that sided with the Bush administration and against the marijuana users.


They said Congress sought to "extinguish" the market in marijuana. "One need not a degree in economics to understand why a nationwide exemption for the vast quantity of marijuana locally cultivated for persons use...may have a substantial impact on the interstate market for this extraordinarily popular substance," Stevens said.


His opinion does not endorse the strict federal ban on marijuana, but rather says it is a matter for Congress to decide, not the courts.


Meanwhile, three of its more conservative members — Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist and Justices Sandra Day O'Connor and Clarence Thomas — dissented.


The Constitution should be read to "protect historical spheres of state sovereignty from excessive federal encroachment," O'Connor said.


"This case exemplifies the role of states as laboratories," she added, saying their voters should be given the freedom to set their own laws regarding "the health, safety and welfare of their citizens."





Plaintiffs in medical marijuana case to defy ruling


Associated Press

Jun. 6, 2007 11:15 AM


SAN FRANCISCO - The two plaintiffs in the medical marijuana case decided by the U.S. Supreme Court on Monday say they'll defy the ruling and continue to smoke pot, even at the risk of arrest by federal law enforcement authorities.


"I'm going to have to be prepared to be arrested," said Diane Monson, who smokes marijuana several times a day to relieve back pain.


The Supreme Court ruled that federal authorities may arrest and prosecute people whose doctors recommend marijuana to ease pain, concluding that state laws don't protect users from a federal ban on the drug.


The Bush administration had argued that states, even the 10 states with medical marijuana laws, could not defy the federal Controlled Substances Act, which declares marijuana to be not only illegal, but of no medical value.


Justice John Paul Stevens, writing the 6-3 decision, said that Congress could change the law to allow medical use of marijuana.


Monson, 48, of Oroville, was prescribed marijuana by her doctor in 1997, after standard prescription drugs didn't work or made her sleepy. She is battling degenerative spine disease.


"I'm way disappointed. There are so many people that need cannabis," Monson said.


Fifty-six percent of California voters approved the nation's first so-called medical marijuana law in 1996, allowing patients to smoke and grow marijuana with a doctor's recommendation.


In 2001, the Supreme Court ruled against pot clubs that distributed medical marijuana, saying they cannot do so based on the "medical necessity" of the patient. The ruling forced the Oakland supplier of Angel Raich, the other plaintiff, to close.


Raich and Monson, who sued Attorney General John Ashcroft because they feared their supplies of medical marijuana might dry up, said they have no choice but to continue spoking pot.


"If I stop using cannabis, unfortunately, I would die," said Raich, who estimates her marijuana intake to be about 9 pounds a year.


Raich, 39, suffers from scoliosis, a brain tumor, chronic nausea and other problems. She said she uses marijuana every few waking hours, on the advice of her doctor, who said dozens of other medications were of little help.


"This is the only way that I have to combat my suffering and to deal with my illness."


Many other cannabis clubs still operate openly in California and other states, but have taken measures - such as not keeping client lists - to protect their customers from arrest.


The Drug Enforcement Administration, often working over the objections of local law enforcement, has periodically raided medical marijuana operations and their clients' pot supplies. But such raids have been rare.


California Attorney General Bill Lockyer said he was disappointed with the ruling, but not surprised, and that "people shouldn't panic ... there aren't going to be many changes."


"Nothing is different today than it was two days ago, in terms of real world impact," Lockyer said. "There's a California law which conflicts with the federal law. Federal law treats heroin and marijuana the same, which is illogical."





Supreme Court Rules Feds May Prosecute Medical Marijuana Cases


WASHINGTON - The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that federal government authorities may prosecute sick people who use marijuana on doctors' orders.


The high court ruled Monday that a federal law outlawing marijuana applies to two seriously ill California women whose doctors prescribed marijuana to relieve their chronic pain.


The women were abiding by a state law allowing them to grow and use marijuana on medical recommendation. The case was an appeal by the Bush administration of a case it lost in 2003.


California and 10 other states allow the medical use of marijuana for the chronically ill. But a U.S. federal law bans marijuana possession.


Opponents of medical marijuana use, including the Bush administration, dispute the medical benefits of the drug.




i wonder what really happened????


Mesan arrested in ricin probe 

June 6, 2005 

By Beth Lucas, Tribune


Casey Cutler

The FBI, Arizona Office of Homeland Security, National Guard and other terrorist-fighting organizations converged on the East Valley this weekend after police discovered the deadly biochemical ricin in Mesa.


Casey Cutler, 25, was arrested Saturday after a substance found in his possession tested positive as being ricin — a poison considered a terrorist threat. He was charged Sunday in U.S. District Court in Phoenix with violating federal law by possessing a biotoxin for use as a weapon, a charge that carries a maximum penalty of life in prison.


Officials said they suspect the Mesa resident was not planning to use the poison for terrorism, but to carry out a personal vendetta.


"I want to stress that this is an isolated incident," FBI agent Keith Bennett said during a news conference Sunday. "There is no indication of other individuals involved. There is no indication we have any nexus to terrorism."


Officials would not describe what form the ricin was in but stressed it was a small amount and a low-grade form of the toxin that appears to have been fully contained.


Bennett said Cutler may have been planning to use the toxin on his personal enemies.


"There were individuals he had concerns with," he said. "It’s believed that might have been the purpose."


On Friday, an acquaintance of Cutler’s rushed to a local emergency room, fearing he’d been exposed and was sick from the ricin, Mesa Police Chief Dennis Donna said. The unidentified man proved to not have been exposed, but the information tipped off police.


The idea that ricin could be in Mesa brought together a wide range of federal, state and city officials, including Mesa police, the FBI, Arizona Office of Homeland Security, Arizona Department of Health Services, National Guard and Arizona Department of Environmental Quality.


"When you hear the word ‘ricin’ after Sept. 11, (2001), your concern level rises," Mesa Mayor Keno Hawker said.


The state epidemiology lab tested the substance, verifying it was a form of ricin. A search of an apartment Cutler formerly rented, in the 1000 block of South Dobson Road in Mesa, revealed nothing.


Officials said they did discover some possible evidence during a second search of Cutler’s more recent residence, in the 400 block of East Royal Palm Drive in Mesa, and are still testing what was collected. No one was available at the residence for comment.


David Engelthaler, state epidemiologist, said ricin poisoning cannot be passed from person to person, with direct contact with the toxin needed for contamination.


Made from the waste left when processing castor beans, ricin can be inhaled, ingested or injected.


Since no one Cutler was in contact with appears to have become ill, Engelthaler said it appears the ricin was safely isolated from the public.


A victim can die in a few days if exposed, he said, and there is no known antidote. The poison can be made in the form of a powder, mist, pellet or liquid.


Officials said they wanted to alert the public in the event someone has unknowingly been exposed. Hospitals also have been notified.


Still, they said such exposure is unlikely because of the small amount discovered.


"There has been no threat," Hawker said, applauding the agencies for their quick response and investigation. "It is not an airborne toxin."


Contact Beth Lucas by email, or phone (480) 898-6373




Officials give few details about ricin case in Mesa

Man accused of having toxin for use as weapon


Casey Newton

The Arizona Republic

Jun. 6, 2005 12:00 AM


A Mesa man was caught manufacturing the deadly poison ricin for use as a weapon, authorities said Sunday, but it remains unclear who or what the man was targeting with the dangerous toxin.


Casey Cutler, 25, was arrested Saturday evening after a two-day investigation. He stands accused of possessing a biotoxin for use as a weapon and will be formally charged this week, the U.S. Attorney's Office said.


A handful of people may have been exposed to the toxin, but none exhibited signs of being poisoned, said David Engelthaler, state epidemiologist.


Questions swirled Sunday about the man's motives, methods and background, but authorities remained tight-lipped, saying the investigation was continuing.


They did say Cutler is not believed to have any connection to terrorism.


"This is an isolated incident," said Keith Bennett, assistant special agent in charge of the FBI's Phoenix field office.


The investigation began when an unidentified man was hospitalized at Banner Desert Medical Center complaining that Cutler may have poisoned him with ricin, which is made from the waste produced by processing castor beans.


Widely available and easy to produce, a small amount of ricin can kill a person within 36 hours.


The toxin can take the form of a powder, mist or pellet, according to the Centers for Disease Control. It prevents the body's cells from making necessary proteins.


The hospitalized man showed no signs of exposure to ricin, authorities said, but he led police to Cutler.


Police searched Cutler's apartment on the 1000 block of South Dobson Road, Mesa Police Chief Dennis Donna said. Evidence at the scene led them to his mother's home five miles away, where Cutler had been staying.


Hazardous materials teams collected additional evidence there Saturday, Donna said, declining to elaborate.


Working undercover, authorities arrested Cutler on Saturday evening at an undisclosed public place in Mesa. The ricin was discovered in his possession, police said.


Donna said police recovered "a small amount" of the poison but would not say how much. Authorities also would not say what form the ricin took.


Local, state and federal authorities are collaborating on the investigation, including the FBI, National Guard, Department of Homeland Security and the Arizona Department of Health Services.


The agencies staged a joint news conference Sunday at the Arizona Public Health Laboratory, where public health officials determined that the recovered substance was ricin.


Cutler is scheduled to appear at a status conference on his case at 11 a.m. Tuesday. A preliminary hearing will take place later in the week.


If convicted of the charges against him, Cutler could face life in prison.


Ricin made headlines in February of last year when it was discovered in a U.S. Senate mailroom, forcing lawmakers' office buildings to be evacuated. The year before, ricin had been discovered at a postal handling facility in Greenville, S.C.


The mere mention of a biotoxin in his city worried Mesa Mayor Keno Hawker.


"When you hear the word 'ricin' after Sept. 11, your concern rises to a new, higher level," he said.


Reach the reporter at casey .newton@arizonarepublic.com or (602) 444-6853.




hmmmm...... if your a fugitive you could call and identify one of these bodies as YOU and get yourself declared dead. I think that would get your warrent removed from the FBI's NCIC computer. Why on earth does the republic write stories like this which can help criminals?????





Nearly 200 bodies, dating to 1973, remain unidentified at the Maricopa County Medical Examiner's Office. Here are some of the cases. To help identify these bodies, call (602) 506-2405. Callers may remain anonymous.





Web site to profile unidentified bodies

Maricopa County hopes to find kin of nearly 200 unknowns


Judi Villa

The Arizona Republic

Jun. 6, 2005 12:00 AM


Surely, somebody must be looking for the teenage girl with the tattoo of a blue heart on her chest.


But in the six years since the girl died, no one has stepped forward to identify her. Hers has become one of an increasing number of bodies without names that are stacking up each year in Maricopa County.


Nearly 200 people since 1973, mostly men, have never been identified in Maricopa County. Officials point to the prevalence of immigration, homelessness, mental illness and drug abuse that can separate people from their families and make it harder to identify them when they die. advertisement 





As a result, families never find out what happened to their loved one, and, in cases of murder, police are hard-pressed to catch the killer without knowing the victim's name.


It's a problem that extends beyond Arizona. About 5,000 unidentified remains have been placed in the National Crime Information Center database, and some officials estimate that more than 40,000 other bodies nationwide are unidentified.


"We need to get them identified," said Laura Fulginiti, a forensic anthropologist in Maricopa County.


"It just kills me. I don't like the end of the story to be like that. Our whole mission is to make sure nobody is buried without a name."


Bolstered by federal DNA initiatives and funding and by advancing scientific technology, states across the country are beginning to put more emphasis on identifying the unidentified.


The Maricopa County Medical Examiner's Office is establishing the state's first Web site to profile bodies without names. The site will include where the bodies were found, distinguishing marks and, whenever possible, sketches of the dead. It is expected to be online by Labor Day.


In Pima County, the public fiduciary is trying to pull together a summer program that would put college students to work identifying bodies.


And the University of North Texas Health Science Center is creating a Missing Person's Database, where families of missing people can submit DNA samples to be compared with unidentified remains.


"There's so many missing people and there's so many unidentified people. At least one or two have to match up every once in a while," said Suzi Dodt, a medical investigator with the Maricopa County Medical Examiner's Office.


The county is working to identify 13 bodies; 10 came in over the past two weeks. Two more are ready to be buried without names.


About a year ago, Dodt proposed Maricopa County's new Web site after noticing the large number of people who called in looking for missing loved ones. In her spare time she started trying to match the unidentified bodies to people listed as missing on Web sites across the country. Then, she decided to create a site where relatives and friends could search on their own.


Many of the bodies have been buried. Usually, the Medical Examiner's Office keeps them a couple of months to take full body X-rays, fingerprints and dental impressions. DNA also is collected for analysis. Bodies that still can't be identified then are buried in a cemetery for indigents, underneath a grave marker that simply says "unidentified male" or "unidentified female" and the date of death.


But the evidence that could some day yield a name is preserved.


"There could be family out there looking for something," Dodt said. "If they're looking, they want to know. It's not the best ending, but it's better than not knowing."


Maricopa County's Web site will be modeled on a similar one in Nevada. That site, operated by the Clark County Coroner's Office, launched in November 2003 and had its first identification within 24 hours, said Coroner P. Michael Murphy. Since then, nine bodies have been identified by Web site visitors and an additional 16 have been identified by investigators who post information to the site.


"The best thing is to get somebody to go, "Oh, I know who that is,' " Murphy said.


"We're providing them with unhappy news, but we're giving them the answer they've never had."


To families of the missing, even knowing the person is dead is better than knowing nothing at all, said Kym Pasqualini, CEO of the National Center for Missing Adults in Phoenix.


"I don't know that there is anything more tragic than having a loved one missing and not knowing what happened to them," Pasqualini said. "These people live with ambiguous loss. Their lives are put on hold . . . They just need an answer."


Several Web sites across the country list the unidentified or the missing, but there is no national clearinghouse for the unidentified. Although the National Crime Information Center regularly cross-references the missing to the unidentified for possible matches, it is accessible only by law enforcement. Even many medical examiners and coroners don't have access to the database.


As a result, Web sites, like the one in the works in Maricopa County, remain the most effective way to reach the public and "create more potential for giving some families some answers," Pasqualini said.


"Even if that person is deceased, they at least have an answer. When you have a missing person and you don't know what happened, you are in a perpetual state of limbo," Pasqualini said.


"Every effort that can be made is absolutely worth it."


To Dr. Philip Keen, Maricopa County's chief pathologist, identifying the dead, no matter what it takes, is simply the American way.


Americans don't bury their dead in mass graves after natural disasters, plane crashes or terrorist attacks. Instead, they spend months, or years, trying to identify even the smallest body parts and return them to surviving families.


The families of the missing deserve to know, too, Keen said.


"I just can't imagine if you don't have something tangible coming back."






hmmm.... not a shred of physical evidence linking him to the crime. but the cops are still going to try him for murder and get a jury to have this guy executed or jailed for the rest of his life.




Son to stand trial in mom's beating death


Jim Walsh

The Arizona Republic

Jun. 6, 2005 12:00 AM


MESA - David Jon Farrell was a three-time loser with a long drug history and just out of prison.


Betty Betschman was his independent 85-year-old mother and a real estate investor. Betschman allowed Farrell to move into her Mesa home.


Prosecutors say that decision cost Betschman her life, that Farrell beat his own mother to death Sept. 23 in the 3900 block of East Aspen Avenue and tried to pass off the homicide as a natural death.


Farrell, 50, is scheduled to stand trial on a second-degree murder charge Wednesday.


The case against Farrell is circumstantial: He was the only person to have contact with Betschman in the days before her death and has a history of domestic violence and orders of protection involving his mother. "No, no you're not going to put that on me," Farrell told Mesa police as they arrested him Sept. 24.


Prosecutors are seeking the maximum 22-year sentence.


Farrell has been in and out of prison since 1977 on theft, drug and trafficking in stolen property charges, according to prison records.


Farrell last was released from prison in April 2004. In September, Farrell called police and said his mother died in bed. He said she had been hospitalized a month earlier and had not been feeling well, the police report said.


But a medical examiner noticed bruising and determined she died of blunt force trauma to her abdomen. They said she was struck multiple times.


A version of this story appeared in the Mesa Community section.




Date: Sat, 04 Jun 2005 18:23:52 -0700

From: "Rick DeStephens"

Subject: BATF sticks it to "secret" police

To: AZRKBA@asu.edu



Many of us here have discussed how many government officials wish to

keep their personal information secret and away from those who might go

into public records to find out where they live.


Florida has a law which allows LEOs to write down the address of their

station on legal documents including drivers licenses.


Apparently the BATF has said "nyet" for the Form 4473, they must use

their real addresses. And if the LEO has used his agency address on his

drivers license? No sale is possible, so they say.




 From officer.com




  Warning For All Officers Re: Firearm Purchases

  After nearly 2 weeks with an ATF inspection in our shop we wanted to

get the word out to all Florida dealers and law enforcement officers

about Federal Firearms Law ATF is now enforcing.




  Under Florida law, law enforcement officers (for obvious reasons) are

entitled to list their agency address on ALL legal documents as well as

on their driver's license to ensure that their residence address

information does not get into the wrong hands. Hence, a vast majority

of Florida law enforcement officers from the local, state, and federal

level have exercised their right to this protection and the agency

address is reflected on their driver's license.


  The "officer 4473 dilema".


  ATF notified us that we cannot accept ANY GOVERNMENT ISSUED

IDENTIFICATION with anything other than the firearm purchaser's actual,

real physical address on it for any reason, period. Further, if the

address on the driver's license or other state issued ID does not match

the address on the 4473, we also cannot sell them a gun.


  End Net Result.

  No officer who exercises his right to privacy under Florida law can

legally purchase a firearm from a licensed dealer....period. Why you



  1. If he exercises this right, his driver's license will show the

agency address, not his home address.


  2. His physical residential address will obviously be different than

the agency address on the license and because of that, even if the

officer lists his real residential address on the 4473 the dealer

cannot sell him the firearm because the address is different than that

on his license, according to ATF inspectors today.


  3. If he lists the agency address on the 4473 then he's perjuring

himself since obviously, he doesn't reside at the agency even though

that residence address is protected under Florida privacy law for law

enforcement and is authorized for use on ANY DOCUMENT WHERE THE







Jun 7, 10:42 AM EDT


Man dies in police custody


TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) -- An autopsy on a man who died while in police custody was inconclusive, meaning authorities will have to await toxicology reports.


Robert Chandler, 41, was driving erratically when police pulled him over on Friday. He became combative and hit the officer in the head.


The officer then used pepper spray on Chandler, but it didn't successfully stop him. Another officer and a passer-by helped restrain Chandler.


At some point, Chandler stopped breathing, and resuscitation efforts were unsuccessful.


A preliminary autopsy on Monday couldn't determine a cause of death. A toxicology report will take four to eight weeks, said Sgt. Carlos Valdez, a spokesman for the Tucson Police Department.






Poll: Americans like to mix religion, politics


Will Lester

Associated Press

Jun. 7, 2005 12:00 AM


WASHINGTON - Americans are far more likely to consider religion central to their lives and to support giving clergy a say in public policy than people in nine countries that are close allies, according to an AP-Ipsos poll. Yet the U.S. embrace of faith has its limits.


Religion and public policy often mix in the United States. Recent examples include the bitter fight over the appointment of judges and the fate of Terry Schiavo, a brain-damaged woman whose feeding tube was removed despite efforts by the GOP-led Congress.


When politicians in this country try to blend religion and politics, they find a comparatively receptive climate.


Nearly all U.S. respondents said faith was important to them and only 2 percent said they did not believe in God, according to the polling conducted for the AP by Ipsos.


Almost 40 percent in this country said religious leaders should try to sway policymakers, notably higher than in other countries.


Still, 61 percent said they didn't think religious leaders should influence government decisions.


In Western Europe, where Pope Benedict XVI complains that growing secularism has left churches unfilled on Sundays, people are the least likely to believe among the 10 countries surveyed for the Associated Press by Ipsos.


Only Mexicans come close to Americans in embracing faith, among the countries polled. But unlike Americans, Mexicans strongly object to clergy lobbying lawmakers, in line with the nation's historical opposition to church influence.


The polling was conducted in May in the United States, Australia, Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Mexico, South Korea and Spain.


"The United States is a much more religious country than other similar countries, looks a lot like what you call developing countries, like Mexico, Iran and Indonesia," said John Green, an expert on religion and politics at the University of Akron.


In the United States, some of the most pressing policy issues involve moral questions - gay marriage, abortion and stem-cell research - that understandably draw religious leaders into public debate, Green said.


The poll said Republicans are much more likely than Democrats to think clergy should try to influence government decisions in this country.


Italians are the only European exception in the poll. Eighty percent say religion is significant to them, and just over half say they unquestioningly believe in God. But in Italy, as in other European countries, enthusiasm is low for the mixing of religion and politics.


The AP-Ipsos polls of about 1,000 adults in each of the 10 countries were taken May 12-26. Each had a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.




making a mountain out of a mole hill. i walked past this guys apartment complex two days after he was arrested and they still had at least 30 cops/firemen there along with a hazmat truck and some other stuff. jeez all he had was a small vial of ricin.





Man toted deadly vial for protection 

June 7, 2005 

By Beth Lucas, Tribune



A Mesa man arrested Saturday on suspicion of making a highly lethal substance in his bathroom told federal and local authorities he wore a small vial of the deadly biotoxin ricin around his neck to protect himself and to poison anyone who attacked him.


On Monday, authorities continued to clean up and inspect Casey Cutler’s small Dobson Road apartment.


And, confident that there is no terrorist threat, a number of federal agencies are converging in Mesa to take advantage of the rare opportunity to deal with the uncommon substance.


Cutler, 25, told authorities he carried the poison for self-defense after three men attacked him April 28 outside of his Emerald Apartments home at 1030 S. Dobson Road.


At least two witnesses say they saw the three men kick and beat on Cutler before stealing his wallet, a Mesa police report, released Monday, says.


Cutler told authorities that "if he was attacked again he could use the ricin in the vial as a defensive weapon," according to court documents released Monday by the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the FBI.


He told investigators that he believed "if the assailants took the vials, believing them to contain cocaine, and snorted the substance, they would get their ‘just deserts.’ "


Police say they learned that Cutler was manufacturing ricin after Jeffrey Durham, a friend of Cutler’s for the past two years, sought medical help Thursday at Mesa’s Banner Desert Medical Center, fearing he was sick from ricin after he entered Cutler’s apartment to retrieve a typewriter.


Hospital officials called Mesa police. Durham told officers on Friday that Cutler, who attended Mesa Community College in 2002, went to the school’s public computers where he easily found a recipe for ricin on the Internet.


According to court documents, Cutler admitted to police he made a crude form of ricin using castor oil and acetone that he let dry into a white powder. He told authorities he placed one jar of ricin on top of his safe. Another was open and drying under a bathroom shelf when authorities entered his home after his arrest.


Cutler was arrested Saturday in a parking lot at Main Street and Alma School Road by federal agents.


An Arizona Department of Public Safety hazardous material team searched his apartment that same day, also confiscating a bag of beans from the kitchen and a white powdery substance found on a bathroom mirror.


Over the weekend, technicians at the Arizona Department of Health Services lab confirmed that three samples collected from Cutler tested positive as being ricin. Additional testing is still being conducted.


FBI special agent Deborah McCarley said traces of methamphetamine were also found in the three samples that have tested positive as ricin.


On Sunday, the U.S. Attorney’s Office filed a complaint in federal court, charging Cutler with producing and possessing a biological toxin for use as a weapon. If convicted, Cutler could face life in prison.


A preliminary hearing is scheduled for 11 a.m. today.


On Monday, Emerald Avenue just off Dobson Road was closed as FBI agents and Mesa firefighters wearing white biohazard suits slowly took apart Cutler’s 400-square-foot studio in search of evidence and to clean any residue. Residents watched as the teams walked in and out, past a yellow tent the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency would use for testing any suspicious substances.


"It makes you wonder what else is going on behind closed doors," said Gloria Ramirez, whose apartment is above Cutler’s. She and friends said they were "kind of freaked out" but grateful for the police intervention.


The incident brought key FBI agents from the agency’s Quantico, Va., headquarters as well as from Los Angeles and Dallas. Public health experts with the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are also expected to arrive and take samples for testing.


State epidemiologist David Engelthaler said he expects the nation’s eye to remain on Mesa as several key health and safety agencies take advantage of what can be a learning experience as terrorism remains a national threat. Ricin is difficult and only purposefully made — and rarely found internationally, he said.


"It’s rare to be dealing with a chemical like ricin," said Mesa fire deputy chief Mary Cameli. "It’s a good experience for us to be working with the FBI on an incident this rare."


Mesa detective Tim Gaffney said police have dealt with Cutler six times prior to his reported assault, but he has never been charged with a crime. Records show he was a witness in cases involving domestic violence, a car crash and a driver using fictitious plates.


He was also questioned about public consumption of alcohol, urinating in public and in an auto theft case.


Shortly after the April attack, Cutler moved to his mother’s house in the 400 block of East Royal Palm Drive, where neighbors said he was quiet and kept to himself.


Jerry Coran, who lives across the street, said he was surprised to receive a community notification from Mesa police advising that ricin had been found in the area.


"When I did see him, he was just a normal person," Coran said of Cutler. "He didn’t do anything outrageous or crazy."


Contact Beth Lucas by email, or phone (480) 898-6373




Mesa ricin suspect tells feds poison was for self-defense

Man says he hoped attackers would think vial held cocaine


Dennis Wagner

The Arizona Republic

Jun. 7, 2005 12:00 AM


The Mesa man arrested Saturday and accused of manufacturing a biological weapon of mass destruction got his ricin recipe from the Internet and cooked up the toxic chemical in his apartment bathroom, authorities say.


That's how easy it is to set Arizona's counterterrorism forces in motion, creating a public reminder that homeland security threats come from all kinds of angles and weapons.


But authorities say that 25-year-old Casey Cutler is hardly a terrorist and that he produced only a small amount of deadly powder.


Ricin, an extract from the common castor bean, is fatal if ingested, inhaled or injected. Just a tiny dose, 0.2 milligrams, causes agonizing death. It is many times more poisonous than cyanide and can be administered in powder, mist or liquid form.


On Monday, FBI special agents from as far away as Quantico, Va., searched Cutler's apartment in white hazardous-materials suits, collecting evidence and samples for testing. They were backed by officials from the U.S Environmental Protection Agency and Mesa firefighters who decontaminated investigators as they exited Emerald Apartments at Dobson Road and Southern Avenue.


Residents were not evacuated over the weekend, but Mesa police spent Sunday going door to door handing out information.


Because of difficulty in weaponizing ricin, it is not regarded as a major threat in terms of mass killings. However, it has proved effective as a tool of assassination as well as furthering the terrorist's primary objective: spreading fear.


An FBI affidavit says Cutler had neither motive in mind when he used a Mesa Community College computer to look up instructions for making the substance. Rather, he told police he concocted ricin for self-defense and perhaps to get even with a trio of assailants who beat him up in April. A Mesa police report says Cutler suffered cuts and bumps when attackers kicked him and punched him in the face while stealing his wallet. An affidavit by FBI Special Agent Philip Thorlin says that Cutler put some of the crystallized chemical into a vial he wears on a necklace, planning to use the substance as a weapon in future attacks.


"Additionally, he believed if the assaulters took the vials believing them to contain cocaine, and snorted the substance, they would get their 'just desserts,' " the affidavit says.


Cutler, who was scheduled to appear in U.S. District Court this morning, faces a maximum life prison sentence.


Agent Deborah McCarley of the FBI stressed that the defendant has no known political agenda, and investigators do not believe he sold or gave away any of the chemical.


"We don't have anything to suggest any terrorist nexus whatsoever," she added.


Brad Benson, a 19-year-old acquaintance, described Cutler as a "misguided" young man who wouldn't want to hurt anyone. "He's just melodramatic. He always wants to be at the center of the attention and thinks his problems are bad," Benson said. "I guess he had no idea how serious ricin was.


"He's definitely no terrorist. He always likes to take little things and make them like a big deal."


Authorities would not disclose how much ricin Cutler manufactured but said it was not enough to pose a major public health threat.


Medical experts emphasized the chemical's limited value for large-scale attacks.


"Ricin would be a very poor weapon of mass destruction," said Charles Schable, director of the coordinating office of terrorism preparedness and emergency response at Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta. "If you wanted to make ricin and bump off your neighbor, that's different."


According to the FBI affidavit, Cutler was unable to obtain castor beans or plants, so he processed old-fashioned castor oil, normally used as a multipurpose medicine.


Castor oil contains much less of the toxin than raw beans. Numerous samples were taken from Cutler's apartment. Powder from the locket tested positive for ricin, though the purity was not immediately known.


According to the FBI affidavit, authorities were tipped off to the ricin stash by Jeffrey Durham, a former Cutler roommate who showed up at Desert Banner Hospital in the pre-dawn hours of June 3.


Durham told medical workers that he was ill and feared exposure to ricin during a visit to Cutler's apartment several days earlier.


Hospital employees were unable to determine whether Durham's sickness was a result of ricin exposure. They discharged him with a diagnosis of suspected bronchitis.


Staffers Senta Scarborough and Kerry Fehr-Snyder contributed to this article. Reach the reporter at dennis.wagner@arizonarepublic.com.




Ricin is deadly but a poor weapon


Kerry Fehr-Snyder

The Arizona Republic

Jun. 7, 2005 12:00 AM


Lethal even in minute quantities, ricin is a dangerous toxin that kills victims one cell at a time and leads to multiorgan-system failure.


But poisoning a large number of people at once with ricin is tricky because the toxin is difficult to weaponize and not infectious from one person to another, health officials said Monday after the arrest of a Mesa man with the illegal substance.


It would take as little at 500 micrograms, about the size of the head of a pin, of ricin to kill an adult who inhaled or was injected with the toxin, according to the CDC. The amount needed to be deadly if swallowed likely would be more, but a child who chewed a single bean from a castor plant likely would die. 


No one knows for sure the exact lethal quantities because it depends on how ricin is ingested and because there's no safe way to test the substance on humans.


"It's like they always say, 'The dose makes the poison,' " state epidemiologist David Engelthaler said. There has never been a case of intentional ricin exposure in Arizona, he said. In fact, this is the first time the lab at the Arizona Department of Health Services has been asked to test ricin.


Regardless of the quantity needed to be deadly, ricin is "many, many, many times more toxic than, say, cyanide," said Jude McNally, a toxicologist and pharmacist at the University of Arizona's College of Pharmacy.


But ricin is difficult to aerosolize and weaponize.


"We don't have this as a common mode of malicious or accidental poisoning, despite the fact that it (the castor plants) is widely available," McNally said.


Ricin is contained in the seeds of castor plants, a common bush that grows in the wild and is a source of castor oil used as an industrial lubricant. The toxin is part of the waste "mash" produced when castor oil is made.


Ricin also has potential medical uses as a chemotherapy agent and in bone marrow transplants.


But ricin also interferes with the body's ability to synthesize proteins needed to sustain organs and life itself.


Symptoms of ricin poisoning include abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhea, dehydration and a drop in blood pressure.


If a victim hasn't died within three to five days, they have a chance of surviving long term, Engelthaler said.


Paul Keim, a bioterrorism researcher at Northern Arizona University, said he worries about copycat cases.


"People try it a lot, but frequently they end up with very crude products that in many cases aren't very potent," he said.






Court snuffs medicinal pot

Federal law prevails over Ariz., 11 other states


Michael Kiefer

The Arizona Republic

Jun. 7, 2005 12:00 AM


Arizona voters have gone to the polls twice to allow doctors to legally prescribe marijuana for people suffering serious illnesses.


Although it's on the books, the law has never been used because it is against federal law for doctors to write such prescriptions.


Now, any hopes that Arizona medical patients would legally obtain marijuana in the near future were dashed by a U.S. Supreme Court decision over California's medical-marijuana law.


In an opinion published Monday, the court ruled that federal agents legally seized and destroyed a California woman's homegrown stash.


She and another woman who filed the suit were using marijuana under the care of their doctors and according to California's medical-marijuana law, passed by voters in 1996.


The 6-3 Supreme Court decision came as a setback to the medical-marijuana movement, but it does not repeal the laws of the states that allow patients to use the drug to ease symptoms.


The court's decision was filled with sympathy for the two seriously ill women who brought the case, but the majority agreed that federal agents can arrest even sick people who use the drug as well as the people who grow pot for them.


Justice John Paul Stevens, an 85-year-old cancer survivor, said the court was not passing judgment on the potential medical benefits of marijuana, and he noted "the troubling facts" in the case.


However, he said the Constitution allows federal regulation of homegrown marijuana as interstate commerce.


Some cancer and AIDS patients are among those who say marijuana alleviates nausea and loss of appetite, common symptoms caused by the diseases and their treatments. The drug is also known to reduce the muscle pain and spasms caused by multiple sclerosis.


Medical-marijuana laws in Alaska, Colorado, Hawaii, Maine, Maryland, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Vermont and Washington were modeled after California's.


Arizona's medical-marijuana initiative first passed in 1996 with 65 percent of the vote and then passed again in 1998 after the state Legislature tried to knock it down. Arizona's law permits the medical use of marijuana if prescribed by a doctor. The doctor must also cite medical research and provide a second opinion.


Dr. Jeffrey Singer, a Phoenix surgeon who has campaigned for legalization of medical marijuana, admits that he has suggested that his cancer patients use marijuana to alleviate pain.


"I never prescribe it. I would never take that chance," he said. But the use of marijuana for such patients, he said, is "not really controversial among doctors; it's controversial among politicians."


Whether the ruling by the Supreme Court was about legalizing marijuana or about federal regulation vs. states' rights is up for debate.


Charles Blanchard, a Phoenix attorney who served as chief counsel for the Office of National Drug Control Policy, felt that it was the latter.


"This case had less to do with drug policy and more to do with what was the scope of the federal authority of the commerce clause," Blanchard said.


The commerce clause of the Constitution comprises 16 words that have generated reams of case law as to how much federal regulation can trump state law.


The California women argued that their small amounts of marijuana had no impact on interstate commerce, thereby making them immune to federal scrutiny. The justices ruled otherwise


"If this case had gone the other way, the drug-legalization community would have been thrilled, but it could have had huge implications (on other laws)," Blanchard said, including reconsideration of federal environmental laws.


In his opinion for the majority, Stevens remarked on the poignancy of that controversy.


"The case is made difficult by respondents' strong arguments that they will suffer irreparable harm because, despite a congressional finding to the contrary, marijuana does have valid therapeutic purposes," he wrote.


"The question before us, however, is not whether it is wise to enforce the statute in these circumstances; rather it is whether Congress' power to regulate interstate markets for medicinal substances encompasses the portions of those portions of those markets that are supplied with drugs produced and consumed locally."


At the end of his opinion, Stevens invited citizens to take the issue to Congress to decide whether to rewrite the laws regarding medical marijuana.


Justice Clarence Thomas and both Arizonans on the court, Sandra Day O'Connor and William Rehnquist dissented, though not because they favor medical marijuana.


O'Connor wrote that she would have voted against the initiative if she were a California citizen or legislator but supported that state's right to "experiment" with a new legal concept.


The Supreme Court decision "really doesn't change anything from a law enforcement standpoint," said Barnett Lotstein, special assistant Maricopa County attorney.


Lotstein contends that the medical angle was always a smoke screen to further decriminalize marijuana.


"It really puts a stake in the heart of the drug-legalization movement," he said.


Richard Gierloff is a Phoenix attorney who represents clients charged with marijuana possession.


"I'm a lot less alarmed by the decision than a lot of people are," he said, "because I see it as an invitation by the court to Congress to take into account new advances in the use of marijuana for medical purposes."


Associated Press and New York Times contributed to this article.






Truth is the first casualty of war, Tillman second


Jun. 7, 2005 12:00 AM


Sometime around 500 B.C., Greek playwright Aeschylus said that truth is the first casualty of war. I guess that makes Pat Tillman the second. Or the latest in a long line of seconds.


Last week I finally heard back from the Army about whether the wording would be changed on Cpl. Tillman's Silver Star citation. We know now that the battle situation it describes isn't what happened.


We know from Washington Post articles on the Army's investigation into the events that led to Tillman's death that fellow soldiers in Afghanistan killed the former Arizona Cardinal player when they mistook him for an enemy combatant.


We know that the soldiers involved were aware of this almost immediately but were told to keep quiet.


We know that Tillman's family wasn't told the truth until weeks after his nationally televised memorial service, and that they believe they still haven't been told the complete truth. And we know that the citation awarding Tillman a Silver Star isn't accurate when it says:


"Corporal Tillman put himself in the line of devastating enemy fire as he maneuvered his Fire Team to a covered position from which they could effectively employ their weapons on known enemy positions. While mortally wounded, his audacious leadership and courageous example under fire inspired his men to fight with great risk to their own personal safety, resulting in the enemy's withdrawal and his platoon's safe passage from the ambush kill zone."


Tillman's family has expressed outrage over how the Army has handled the information concerning his death.


His father, Pat Sr., told the Post, "Maybe lying's not a big deal anymore."


Not long ago his mother, Mary, told me, "They could have told us upfront that they were suspicious that it was a fratricide, but they didn't. They wanted to use him for their purposes. . . . They needed something that looked good, and it was appalling that they would use him like that."


A few weeks back I asked an Army spokesman if the military now would revise Tillman's Silver Star citation, which was issued a week after his death.


Last week, Army spokesman Paul Boyce told me, "Presently there are no plans to rewrite the Silver Star citation for Corporal Patrick Tillman. The Army stands by the Silver Star award for Corporal Tillman's valorous service. His actions supported the award."


No one is suggesting otherwise, of course. It's just that his actions are not what are described on the official record.


When we're all dead and gone, it's the records that survive. If you search a Medal of Honor Web site, for instance, you can read the citations for Arizona recipients like Silvestre Herrera and Fred Ferguson. Years ago, while living in New Jersey, I got to know a man named Doug Jacobson, whose Medal of Honor citation describes his actions on Iwo Jima during World War II, detailing how he "destroyed a total of sixteen enemy positions and annihilated approximately seventy-five Japanese."


We have an obligation to honor such people, and to honor the truth of their actions. On Monday, Fred Ferguson told me that he still doesn't believe he deserved the Medal of Honor for his heroics as a helicopter pilot in Vietnam. But if you read the citation, as generations will be able to do in the future, you know that he does.


That only happens if we can trust such citations to be accurate. Anyone who knew Pat Tillman says that he was fiercely honest. He bravely went out ahead of his platoon on the day he died. He deserved his medal. Even more, however, by his actions and by his death he earned the truth.


Reach Montini at ed.montini@arizonarepublic.com or (602) 444-8978.




hmmm.... this article says that one out of every four people is nuts. maybe the secret service was right about kevin:)


in that case we should ask them to lock up the other 750,000 crazy people in maricopa county. kevin do you think 750,000 people will fit in desert vista hospital. im almost certain i would be one of the first to be locked up.




Care for mental disorders labeled too little, too late


By Judith Graham

Tribune staff reporter

Published June 7, 2005


Only a third of Americans seeking help for a mental disorder receive treatment that meets professional standards, suggesting that many people in distress aren't getting the help they badly need, according to the first extensive national survey in a decade on mental illness in the United States.


Four studies published this week in the Archives of General Psychiatry indicate emotional disturbances are strikingly common, with a quarter of all Americans suffering from at least one mental disorder in a given year. Mental illness also starts early: Half of all cases were found to have surfaced before age 14.


Overall, the picture that emerges from the reports is of a mental health system that often does too little, too late to treat disorders and supplies many therapies not demonstrated to be effective.


Among problems are inadequately trained service providers, lack of coverage by insurance companies, scarce data about what works and lack of accountability for outcomes, said the authors, who are from Harvard University and the University of Michigan.


"I don't think the nation would tolerate these kind of results for cancer or heart disease, yet [mental] conditions are just as fatal, if not more so, than physical illnesses," said Dr. Thomas Insel, director of the National Institute of Mental Health.


The mental health system "has to get its act together" to improve quality of care, said Ronald Kessler, professor of health policy at Harvard Medical School and director of the project, which surveyed 9,282 Americans age 18 and over between February 2001 and April 2003.


Researchers said patients bear some of the responsibility, because they often do not comply with suggested treatment. Many rely on unproven alternative therapies.


A similar survey Kessler and other researchers published in 1994 attracted enormous attention when it reported that 48 percent of Americans had experienced an emotional disorder at some point in their lives. Although critics said that number was impossibly high, the new survey resulted in much the same result: 46.4 percent.


More than a fourth of the population, 26.2 percent, told surveyors they had a clinically significant disorder within the last year of the study--again similar to data from a decade ago.


That stability stands in contrast to data from the 1950s, '60s, '70s and '80s, when more limited studies suggested a steady increase in the proportion of Americans identified as having a mental disorder.


Experts said the flattening of that trend since the early 1990s may reflect greater availability of treatments, such as medications for depression and anxiety, as well as other factors. About 41 percent of people who reported emotional disturbances over the last 12 months said they had received some type of treatment, up from 25 percent a decade earlier.


"These new studies demonstrate that more people are getting care, but that has not really impacted the prevalence" of mental disorders, said Ron Manderscheid, chief of the survey and analysis branch of the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. "The question is, why not?"


At least part of the answer may relate to the kind of care people are getting.


The Harvard and Michigan researchers deemed only one-third of the treatments received minimally adequate, implying that most might have little beneficial effect.


Most of the growth in treatment was attributable to primary-care doctors, who typically don't receive much training in mental health and whose patients may be less motivated to follow through on treatment. Care in these settings--usually prescriptions for psychoactive drugs--met recommended standards less than 13 percent of the time, the authors found.


In addition, a third of all mental health visits were for therapies such as massage or intensive meditation, whose benefits have not been established.


The researchers defined adequate treatment as receiving an appropriate medication if one was warranted, taking the drug for at least two months and seeing a doctor four or more times to monitor the medication's effect. If counseling or therapy was the treatment of choice, at least eight visits were considered adequate.


Some experts questioned the researchers' conclusions, citing a lack of consensus in the mental health field about what constitutes acceptable care.


"I couldn't tell you what minimally adequate care means, and I challenge anyone else to do so," said Leonard Bickman, a professor of psychology and psychiatry at Vanderbilt University.


One of the most important findings in the new studies is the early age of onset for most mental illnesses.


In contrast with physical illnesses such as heart disease, cancer or diabetes--which tend to strike people after age 60--fully half of all cases of mental illness start by age 14 and 75 percent begin by age 24, the reports found. Two of the most common types of disorders, anxiety and impulse-control disorders, surface on average around age 11, they note.


"These are the chronic diseases of the young," said Insel of the National Institute of Mental Health, adding that government agencies, researchers and clinicians need to do much more to address mental disorders early, before they derail young people getting started in life.


"This really indicates that it is too late to wait until people [with mental disorders] are adults," said Robert Friedman, chair of child and family studies at the University of South Florida's Florida Mental Health Institute.


In Grand Chain, Ill., 35 miles south of Carbondale, Marilyn Hartwell has arranged for therapy for a foster child who at 13 erupts in anger so frequently Hartwell is afraid to leave him alone with other children.


Charming on the surface, boiling with rage underneath, the boy will strike out at adults and children, physically and verbally, with little provocation, she said.


"Oftentimes with mental illness, people will say, `Oh, he's a kid,' or, `Boys will be boys ... he'll grow out of it,'" said Hartwell, who was a mental health counselor for more than 20 years. "What they don't realize is, there's extremes. [This child] doesn't have any limits. ... We basically have to watch him 24 hours a day."


The new survey included questions designed to assess the severity of mental disorders among people who had a bout of illness over the last year. Most of these illnesses--40.4 percent--were mild, and many probably resolve themselves on their own, without treatment. Slightly more than 37 percent were moderate cases, and just over 22 percent were classified as serious.


The challenge is predicting which mild disorders are likely to progress to more serious conditions if untreated, and developing interventions that can stop this progression, Kessler said.


He said one of the biggest surprises for him was the extent of emotional disturbances related to impulse control, such as oppositional defiant disorder and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Such disorders involve serious attention, behavioral and anger-control problems and are the second most common category of mental illness, following anxiety.


"I was thunderstruck to see how common these were," Kessler said. "And what an enormous effect they have on people's lives."

- - -

Mental health study shows need for improved treatment


A recent mental health survey of 9,282 American adults shows that about 46 percent have a mental health disorder at some point in their lives. Most of the cases are mild, but the disorders often go untreated or the care that patients do receive often is inadequate.


Disorder: ANXIETY


Example: Panic/post-traumatic stress disorders


People affected in lifetime: 29 percent


Median age of onset: 11 years old


Delay in initial treatment: 9 to 23 years


Percent treated in last year of study and severity of disorders: 18%


Mild: 44%


Moderate: 34%


Serious: 23%


Disorder: MOOD


Example: Depression or bipolar disorders


People affected in lifetime: 21 percent


Median age of onset: 30 years old


Delay in initial treatment: 6 to 8 years


Percent treated in last year of study and severity of disorders: 10%


Mild: 15%


Moderate: 40%


Serious: 45%




Example: Attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder


People affected in lifetime: 25 percent


Median age of onset: 11 years old


Delay in initial treatment: 4 to 13 years


Percent treated in last year of study and severity of disorders: 9%


Mild: 15%


Moderate: 52%


Serious: 33%




Example: Abuse or dependence on alcohol or drugs


People affected in lifetime: 15 percent


Median age of onset: 20 years old


Delay in initial treatment: 5 to 9 years


Percent treated in last year of study and severity of disorders: 4%


Mild: 33%


Moderate: 37%


Serious: 30%




Example: N/A


People affected in lifetime: 46 percent (two or more disorders: 28 percent)


Median age of onset: 50 percent of cases start by age 14


Delay in initial treatment: 5 to 9 years


Percent treated in last year of study and severity of disorders: 26%


Mild: 40%


Moderate: 37%


Serious: 22%


Source: National Comorbidity Survey Replication










Fired officer loses 3-year battle to get his job back


Edythe Jensen

The Arizona Republic

Jun. 7, 2005 12:00 AM


He killed a woman and cost the city more than $4.6 million. On Monday, fired Chandler police Officer Dan Lovelace lost his three-year battle to get his job back.


Calling it in the best interest of the Police Department and Chandler, City Manager Mark Pentz backed the 5-0 April vote by a city personnel board that recommended against Lovelace's reinstatement. But that doesn't mean the fired cop will never again carry a badge and gun. A ruling in November by the state agency certifying law enforcement officers allows him to keep his credentials and look for work with another police department.


Lovelace, 40, was fired in 2002 after he shot and killed Dawn Rae Nelson, 35, in midafternoon at a Chandler Walgreens drive-through window.


A motorcycle officer at the time of Nelson's death, Lovelace had also been involved in 2000 high-speed chase that led to the death of a college student. The city settled wrongful death lawsuits in both cases.


Nelson, of Ahwatukee Foothills, was suspected of trying to pick up a prescription she had called in claiming to be with a doctor's office.


Lovelace was charged with second-degree murder. A Superior Court jury acquitted him in July. Lyn Caldwell of Mesa was an alternate on that jury who sat through the trial but did not deliberate. She said Monday that she has since befriended Lovelace and his wife, Trish, a dispatcher for the Chandler police.


"I would encourage him to keep fighting if that's what he wants," said Caldwell, one of two former jurors who sat through several days of personnel hearings that stretched over six months.


"I know he has taken this very hard and I know he says a prayer for Dawn (Nelson) every day," she said.


Caldwell, who said Lovelace recently helped her move an elderly family member, called Pentz's decision "the end of a witch hunt. They were out to get him and they did."


During the merit board hearings, police officials said they fired Lovelace because he should not have stepped in front of Nelson's Camaro and drawn his gun; he had her license plate number and should have let her go. Her toddler, who was buckled into a car seat in the back, was not hurt.


Lovelace testified that he fired to avoid being hit by Nelson's car.


Efforts to reach Lovelace or his attorney, Mike Napier, were unsuccessful Monday. After the Arizona Peace Officers Standards and Training Board voted to not revoke his certification, Lovelace said, "Being a police officer is something I always wanted to do."


He said at the time that he has lost 40 pounds, has had difficulty sleeping and doesn't go out much because people recognize him. Lovelace credited the Bible and his wife for boosting his morale.


The Chandler Law Enforcement Association backed Lovelace's fight for reinstatement, but President Dave LeVoy said it wouldn't fight the city manager's decision.


"We let the process take its course," he said.




opps. the guy didnt make ricin. but that wont prevent the cops for trying to put him in jail for the rest of his life because he though about making ricin and was a lousy chemist and failed to actually make the stuff. but hell at least it justifys a bunch of jobs for firemen, cops, and other homeland security thugs.





Tests reveal Mesa suspect failed in bid to make ricin

Intent may be enough to draw life in prison


Jack Gillum

The Arizona Republic

Jun. 8, 2005 12:00 AM


A substance state health officials identified as ricin after it was confiscated from a Mesa man on Saturday was not the deadly toxin, according to those same health officials, who were forced to retest the substance after recognizing they had made an error.


But federal prosecutors say Casey Cutler, 25, still will face federal charges because he intended to create the lethal substance. If convicted, he faces a maximum penalty of life in prison and a $250,000 fine.


The Arizona Department of Health Services retested the substance Tuesday and determined it was not ricin. State epidemiologist David Engelthaler said the department does not think the substance is a public health threat.


But late Tuesday, epidemiologists, who had been asked merely to test for the possibility of it being ricin or not, could not identify what the substance was.


Hazardous-materials teams collected white powder samples from Cutler's apartment after his former roommate said he may have been poisoned by ricin. According to an FBI affidavit, Cutler had attempted to make ricin (processed from castor beans) by boiling castor oil.


Realizing that shipping the substance to an FBI lab in Quantico, Va., would take too long, federal agents asked the state health lab to perform the ricin test.


Engelthaler said the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which oversees state laboratories, asked labs to dispose of the old chemicals used to test for ricin in 2003 and replace them with new, more precise ones.


The error was made when lab officials first tested the powder Saturday with an outdated chemical, Engelthaler said Tuesday.


Because of a national shortage, the lab had recently received a batch of the testing chemicals, known as reagents, from a lab at the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. Engelthaler said that using the outdated reagent caused three out of 15 samples to incorrectly test positive for the toxin.


The Colorado lab is conducting an internal investigation to discover why the old chemicals had not been discarded, Engelthaler said.


Agents swarming


The investigation set Arizona's FBI special agents swarming around Cutler's apartment complex in white hazardous-materials suits, collecting evidence and samples for testing. They were backed by officials from the U.S Environmental Protection Agency and Mesa firefighters, who decontaminated investigators as they exited the Emerald Apartments, at Dobson Road and Southern Avenue.


Engelthaler said Tuesday that Department of Health Services officials thought they could rely on receiving quality chemicals from the Colorado lab because it is part of a national system established by the CDC. That means that laboratories, such as Arizona's, can receive reliable supplies when their own labs are out.


FBI spokeswoman Deborah McCarley said the agency will continue to work with the state lab despite this week's problems.


"We do trust them. We have used them in several cases in the past whenever our lab was busy and there were cases where we needed quick answers," she said.


"You have public concern, but what if this (other) test had come out that it was ricin? Sometimes it's better to be safe than sorry."


Cutler had been charged Sunday in U.S. District Court in connection with the production and possession of the toxin.


Sandy Raynor, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney's Office, said those charges will be amended to reflect that he intended to produce and possess a deadly toxin.


Cutler was scheduled to appear before District Judge Edward C. Voss III on Tuesday morning for a routine status hearing.


Instead, the hearing was rescheduled for Friday after Cutler's court-appointed attorney, Jon Sands, and the U.S. Attorney's Office recognized that there was a problem with the lab's test results.


Engelthaler said Tuesday that, to his knowledge, ricin cannot be produced from castor oil.


In a news conference following the hearing, Sands said his client had a "litany of mental-health issues," but Sands would not elaborate.


Sands, however, said that Cutler had the ricin for self-defense and perhaps to get even with a trio of assailants who beat him up in April.


Reach the reporter at jack.gillum@arizonarepublic.com or (602) 444-8546.






No ricin is found in new lab tests 

June 8, 2005 

By Gary Grado, Tribune


A new round of laboratory testing showed Tuesday that a Mesa man didn’t make ricin in his apartment after all. But his efforts to do so did expose a flaw in homeland security.


The state health department had to conduct the new tests on substances taken from Casey Cutler because the wrong chemicals were used Sunday on three samples that tested positive for ricin toxins, officials said.


The positive tests led to Cutler being charged with possessing or producing a biotoxin for use as a weapon.


"The 15 test samples that we reran (Tuesday) all came back negative for ricin toxins," said David Engelthaler, state epidemiologist.


The episode also exposed a flaw in the Laboratory Response Network, a national network of labs that responds to bioterrorism and chemical terrorism, Engelthaler said.


"An important thing we’ve learned is there was a chink in the national armor," he said. "It was found and it is being fixed."


Ricin is a powerful poison made from the beans of the castor plant.


The new test results don’t let Cutler, 25, off the hook, though.


Joseph Welty, an assistant U.S. attorney, said in court Tuesday, before the new test results were announced, that the government would prosecute Cutler for his attempts to make the ricin even if the test results proved negative.


Attempting to make ricin carries the same punishment as actually making it, Welty said in U.S. District Court.


Cutler could potentially receive a life in prison if convicted.


Cutler was arrested Saturday and told the FBI and Mesa police that he made the ricin to use in self-defense after he was attacked in April by three men.


Investigators searched his apartment Saturday at 1030 S. Dobson Road. They found two containers he said were filled with ricin and took a vial he wore around his neck.


After conducting initial tests on the containers and vial, the Arizona Department of Health Services reviewed its work and found it used test substances that should have been disposed of in 2003 because they were known to cause false positives, Engelthaler said.


Arizona obtained the test substances from the Colorado Department of Health Lab, which like Arizona is part of a national lab network that gets supplies from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta. Arizona thought it was getting updated testing substances, Engelthaler said.


But "for reasons unknown," Colorado hadn’t disposed of the pre-2003 testing substances and sent them to Arizona’s lab.


"It was assumed that we received what we requested," Engelthaler said. The CDC flew part of its limited supply of newer testing substances into Arizona on Tuesday. The newer test substances haven’t produced false positives yet, Engelthaler said. The CDC will look into how the error occurred, he said.


Cutler’s attorney, Jon Sands, said Cutler is "very" remorseful, but grateful the government took the extra steps to confirm the toxicity of the substances. "He’s glad there is not a public health risk," Sands said. Cutler has a long history of mental illness and is on disability because of it, a circumstance that could affect his sentencing if convicted, Sands said.


"He has a whole litany of mental health history that will be brought out at the appropriate time," he said. Cutler’s next court appearance is Friday for detention and preliminary hearings.


Contact Gary Grado by email, or phone (602) 258-1746






y. 22, 2005

Copyright © Las Vegas Review-Journal


VIN SUPRYNOWICZ: Why robot traffic officers might be a bad idea



Chad Dornsife, Silver State spokesman for the National Motorists Association (www.motorists.org), called me a few weeks back about Senate Bill 473, which would allow Nevada speeding tickets to be issued by robot cameras -- you could get one in the mail without ever knowing you'd been "nabbed."


I checked back with him for a progress report last week.











"It's over to the Assembly Judiciary Committee," Chad explained, "and what I'm afraid of is that they'll hold it till the rules are suspended" (near the end of the session) "to vote on it, so that way they don't have to have any public hearings or take any public comment. ...


"Even (Republican state Sen. Bob) Beers said, 'I was originally against it, but it's only gonna be a two-year trial'; he voted for it," Dornsife continues. "So let me get this straight: It's OK to steal from people for two years, if it's not about safety, if it's all about revenue, and it turns loose a scourge on society."


But -- much as we all hate getting a ticket -- can't laws against speeding and red-light-running actually improve safety, I asked?


"There's four studies now that show not only do the cameras not reduce accident rates, they actually increase accident rates, because people start slamming on their brakes and overreacting when they see that there's a camera," Dornsife replies. "There are four studies now."


Dornsife refers me to www.thenewspaper.com, an interesting site on the topic where these studies are posted, currently leading off with a story datelined May 18 and reporting:


"Ohio House Votes to Ban Red Light Cameras.


"The Ohio House of Representatives voted 72-23 to approve a bill by state Representative Jim Raussen, R-Springdale, today that would effectively prohibit the use of red light cameras and speed cameras in the state. ... The House also voted 92-4 to add a provision standardizing yellow signal timing to the ITE (Institute of Transportation Engineers) recommendations.


"The amendment's sponsor, Rep. Shawn Webster, cited the Texas Transportation Institute study showing longer yellow times decreased accidents. Raussen argued that the photo enforcement represented 'a program that at best has questionable results.' He cited ... studies which show red light camera use actually increased the number of accidents. ..."


Back on the phone, Chad Dornsife continued: "What's happened is, the federal government has produced two new studies that say the cameras improve safety, but they excluded all the negative findings. The father of cameras in this country is the Insurance Agency for Highway Safety and their man, (Senior Transportation Engineer) Richard Retting. It's like a scientist working for the tobacco industry telling us why tobacco is safe.


"The numbers are coming in from Great Britain," Dornsife went on. "In a country of 33 million people, these excess citations for revenue are generating increased insurance premiums of $2 billion per year, because you're able to add surcharges to your insurance premiums, and the IAHS that promotes these cameras is financed by the insurance companies that are the primary beneficiary of these insurance surcharges.


"And the other group, the National Stop Red Light Running Program, is financed by the camera manufacturers. But the cameras need a sustained, a consistent high level of violations to make them financially viable. All you have to do is adjust the yellow light, lengthen it by a second" -- which also reduces accidents -- "and it makes them not financially viable," Dornsife contends.


Dornsife's group "has a $10,000 reward to any city that will fix the signal timing, lengthen the yellow lights to reduce accidents and red-light running, and no city will take us up on it because that's chump change compared to the money they're going to get" from the robot cameras, which churn out and mail presumed-guilty tickets to car owners without a police officer even having to witness the offense.


"This law will also allow speed cameras in cars," Dornsife adds. "Washington, D.C., with six patrol vehicles equipped with these automatic cameras, wrote 80,000 tickets in one month. They can write in excess of 200 tickets an hour; they just sit on some street that's under-posted, they just mail the tickets. The owner of the car gets a ticket, and you're guilty till proven innocent. If you're a small business owner with 10 vehicles, regardless of who was driving, you've got to pay it."


Since 1999, according to the anti-robot Web site, robot cameras in Washington, D.C., have issued more than 1.7 million tickets, leeching an additional $105 million from local drivers' pockets.


Chad Dornsife can be reached at P.O. Box 141, Zephyr Cove, NV 89448.



Vin Suprynowicz is assistant editorial page editor of the Review-Journal and author of "The Ballad of Carl Drega" and the new novel "The Black Arrow."






Suspect is in custody after lengthy standoff along Calif. freeway


Associated Press

Jun. 8, 2005 12:00 AM


ALHAMBRA, Calif. - An armed man suspected of attempted kidnapping was captured Tuesday after a freeway chase and standoff that ended after deputies tossed tear gas into his minivan, shot and wounded him, and sent a dog to drag him out.


Sheriff's Lt. Gil Carrillo said the man was armed with two guns and a knife.


During the final minutes of the lengthy standoff, deputies used a rubber bullet to smash a rear window and a long pole to shove a tear gas grenade inside the minivan after negotiations failed.


Television reports showed a burst of light as the grenade exploded and smoke filling the minivan.


A deputy shot and wounded the man when he appeared to be pointing a gun at deputies, Carrillo said.


When the driver opened his door as the van filled with smoke, a police dog attacked, tearing the man's shirt and trying to drag the man, who was wearing a seat belt, out of the vehicle. Deputies unbuckled the man and took him into custody, Carrillo said.


The siege ended shortly after 3 p.m.


The gunman was shot in the chest. He also had dog bites to his left arm, Carrillo said. His name and condition were not immediately released.


Earlier, armored sheriff's vehicles had pinned the minivan against a sound barrier and about a dozen SWAT team members surrounded the vehicle after a California Highway Patrol car nudged it and sent it spinning, ending a three-hour chase through two counties.


Traffic on busy Interstate 10 backed up for miles while a negotiator talked to the man, who had at least two weapons and was described as distraught.


A CHP dispatcher, patched into a telephone call the man made to KCAL-TV and KCBS-TV, asked him at one point to toss out one of his weapons.


"I already gave you all the clips and all the ammunition. There's only two bullets in this car, and they're meant for me," he replied.


The chase began around 8:45 a.m. after a man posing as a delivery courier tried to kidnap a woman in the wealthy Lake Sherwood area, Ventura County sheriff's spokesman Eric Nishimoto said.


A short time later, sheriff's deputies spotted the minivan, which fled onto a freeway.




feds say no stinking first amendment right in space




It's a bird, it's a plane, it's . . . ADS IN SPACE; (FAA's worried)



Jun. 8, 2005 12:00 AM


It's the last word on the final frontier.


Last month, the Federal Aviation Administration put out a notice banning "obtrusive" advertising in space.


By obtrusive, they mean this: "advertising in outer space that is capable of being recognized by a human being on the surface of the Earth without the aid of a telescope or other technological device." In other words, if you look up at the night sky, you shouldn't see an ad for Calvin Klein underwear in between the moon and the Big Dipper.


The notice in the Federal Register caused a flurry of publicity, but FAA spokesman Henry Price said the new regulations simply codified a ban already enacted by Congress five years ago. That move came after a large U.S. company made known its plans to launch a giant collapsible billboard that would be put into orbit and unfold in space to appear to be about the size of the moon.


On a more down-to-earth note, the FAA is in the process of putting together final rules to govern safety of commercial passenger-carrying space vehicles. Before the year is out, look for rules on how the government will license the pilots of spacecraft.




from the June 9 issue of the phoenix new times some nice free publicity for phoenix copwatch




SUN 12


Smile -- you're on Copwatch camera! Since the police have cameras on their patrol car dashboards and cameras now snap your mug as you run red lights, the members of Phoenix Copwatch felt it was perfectly fair to drive around the Valley, videotaping police officers when they make stops. They might look like they're trying to shoot sellable footage for Wildest Police Videos, but they insist "our intent in videotaping the police is to stop police brutality and crimes." Besides, there just aren't enough disastrous freeway pursuits here. On Saturday, June 11, and Sunday, June 12, Phoenix Copwatch will host "Training Sessions" from noon to 2 p.m. at Saguaro Library, 2808 North 46th Street. The sessions cover the laws and techniques of videotaping the police, as well as a rundown of how to use equipment such as scanners to monitor the po-po's. The event is free and "anybody is welcome . . . except police officers and employees of law enforcement agencies." Call 602-337-7188.




tempe cops help this guy commit sucide




Suspect in porn case dies in Tempe apartment standoff


Associated Press

Jun. 9, 2005 08:15 AM


A suicidal man sought on federal charges in connection with an international child pornography investigation is dead after a confrontation with police in Tempe Wednesday night.


Police went to an apartment complex near Elliot and Kyrene roads around 8 p.m. after the man dialed 911 and said he was going to kill himself.


That led to a standoff during which police say the man came out onto his second-floor balcony at least twice and fired shots from a handgun.


About 2:40 a.m., SWAT officers stormed the apartment. As they did, police say, the man grabbed a gun and when he pointed it at police at least two officers fired. Police say the man then pointed his gun at himself and fired.


He died at the scene.


A police spokesman says it wasn't immediately known whether the man died of a self-inflicted gunshot or from shots fired by police.








Posted 6/7/2005 11:17 PM


Suspects get snared by a relative's DNA

By Richard Willing, USA TODAY


Lab technicians in North Carolina didn't have Willard Brown's DNA on file, but they had his brother's. And these days, that can be good enough to solve a murder.


  Darryl Hunt, who served 18 years in prison before he was exonerated thanks to DNA evidence, speaks before a House committee in Raleigh, N.C. 

Karen Tam, AP


Searching for the man who raped and killed a Winston-Salem newspaper editor, the technicians in 2003 compared DNA left at the crime scene with the genetic profiles in the state's database of convicted felons. The crime scene DNA didn't match any of the 40,000 felons on file, but it did offer a clue: The unknown man's profile was remarkably similar to that of one convict, Anthony Dennard Brown.


The technicians concluded that Brown and the man they were seeking probably had inherited their DNA — a cellular acid that carries a person's unique genetic code — from the same parents. (Graphic: How DNA fragments are matched)


Detectives took it from there. They found Brown's brother, Willard, scooped up the butts of cigarettes he had smoked and discarded, and got a sample of his DNA from the saliva. It matched the sample from the crime scene perfectly.


Last December, Willard Brown pleaded guilty to raping and killing Deborah Sykes in 1984 and was sentenced to life in prison plus 10 years. The DNA testing exonerated Darryl Hunt, who had spent 18 years in prison for the crime and had persuaded a court to order the testing.


It sounds like a script from the CSI crime dramas. But the Brown case reflects real-life advances in crime-solving: DNA science, known for its ability to pinpoint suspects' identities with virtual certainty, now is being used to help investigators simply get close to their targets.


Investigators in the USA and the United Kingdom have begun to solve not just crimes committed by convicts whose DNA profiles are in government databases, but also those committed by relatives such as Willard Brown, whose profiles were not on file. Siblings, parents, and even uncles and cousins increasingly are being investigated for crimes because their genetic fingerprints closely resemble the DNA of a known criminal.


Such "familial searches" could greatly expand the power of the computer databases that authorities in both nations have used for the past decade to compare genetic profiles taken from convicted criminals with DNA left at crime scenes.


At the end of April, the 50 states and the federal government had collected DNA profiles from more than 2.4 million people and had solved more than 16,000 cases. Using those DNA profiles to track close relatives of those listed in the databases could effectively double or triple the size of the databases without adding new samples.


But the new techniques raise a range of ethical and legal questions: Is it fair, for example, for someone who has committed no crime to become a "virtual" suspect because a relative's DNA is on file? And how can familial searches of DNA databases avoid violating the privacy of unrelated people whose genetic profiles happen to resemble that of someone in the databases? Because all human DNA shares some similarities, thousands of unrelated people can have DNA profiles that partially match.


David Lazer, a professor of public policy at Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government, says the use of familial DNA searches in criminal investigations raises the possibility that "if you're in the genetic neighborhood of someone they're looking for, the police will be banging on your door."


The United Kingdom is moving aggressively to increase the use of familial searches, but such testing is relatively rare in the USA, in part because of concern about the potential impact on individual privacy rights. Most state database laws neither ban nor endorse the practice. Lazer says some government labs are waiting for legislatures or courts to approve using DNA to track criminals' relatives before going forward.


The Scientific Working Group on DNA Analysis Methods, a group of 35 specialists who advise the federal government on DNA policy, began discussing the emerging legal and ethical questions last year. The group is likely to revisit the issue when the group meets this month at the FBI lab at Quantico, Va.


"This is a real-time story. (It's) something that we're trying to get right, right now," says Angelo Della Manna, forensic biology chief at Alabama's state crime lab and a member of the scientists' group that performed DNA tests in the Brown case. "Everybody wants to make use of the (DNA) databases' incredible power. The question we're all asking ourselves is: How do you strike the balance?"


Technology and biology


Familial searching is based on the power of modern computer databases and on genetic principles that are as old as the human species.


With the exception of identical twins, each person's DNA profile is believed to be unique. But long stretches of the chemical sequences that make up the DNA molecule are identical in all humans. DNA analysis works by comparing areas, called alleles (uh-LEELS), where the sequence varies greatly among individuals.


Since the mid-1990s, the USA and the United Kingdom have maintained databases that use a series of such alleles to match DNA from unsolved crimes to known or suspected offenders. In the USA, states and the federal government keep DNA indexes of suspects and unsolved crimes, and share information through a computer system maintained by the FBI.


Here's where it gets tricky: Siblings inherit their DNA from both parents, meaning that even non-twin siblings often have several alleles in common. Only a complete match — 26 identical alleles — can be used to connect a suspect to an unsolved crime. But a near-match can indicate that the suspect is a close relative. In the North Carolina case, Anthony Brown's DNA matched the crime scene sample left by his brother at 16 alleles.


There's a caveat, though: Unrelated people can have some of the same genetic markers.


The Forensic Science Service (FSS), which runs Great Britain's DNA program, illustrated that in 1999. The FSS thought it had matched a DNA sample from the scene of an unsolved crime to a man who had a perfect alibi: He was in jail when the crime occurred.


The convict's DNA and that from the crime scene sample matched at 12 alleles. Analyzing more genetic locations uncovered the mistake. It also gave the FSS an idea — to search Britain's database, which now holds about 2.8 million samples, for near-matches as well as full matches.


Britain was the likely place for familial searching to take root. The nation's DNA database is older and larger than the U.S. system, and Britain has few rules restricting its use. The FSS charges British police for its services; that creates a profit motive to develop new uses for the national database.


The U.S. database system is authorized by a mesh of more than 50 state and federal laws that include harsh penalties for privacy violations. In Britain, where DNA was first used to solve a criminal case, the FSS is largely self-regulated.


"We believe in what we're doing, and we're going forward," says Richard Pinchin, who runs the FSS's familial searching program. "If you want a debate, we say, 'Fine, bring it on.' "


Britain scores several successes


Since July 2003, the FSS has allowed investigators who have not found matches for DNA samples from crime scenes to search Britain's database for names and descriptions of those whose DNA profiles are close.


Because such a search can produce thousands of names, the FSS also gives police the physical description and home address of a near-match for comparison with potential suspects. If the crime scene sample carries an allele that is common among people from a certain region — say, South Wales — investigators are given the names of near-matches from that locality.


This familial searching technique has scored several successes in Britain.


In 2002, the FSS analyzed DNA samples from the rapes and slayings of three Welsh teenagers that had been unsolved for 29 years. Lab technicians noticed a genetic pattern that often is found in people from the vicinity of Port Talbot, South Wales. A Port Talbot man, Joseph Kappen, had been suspected in the crimes but was not linked to them before his death 12 years earlier. Kappen's body was exhumed; his full DNA profile showed he was the rapist and killer.


A year later, familial searching solved another Welsh homicide. The killer, Jeffrey Gafoor, was found 15 years after the slaying of a woman in Cardiff because of unusual alleles he shared with a 14-year-old nephew. The nephew, who hadn't been born when the slaying occurred, had been added to the nation's DNA database after committing a juvenile offense. Gafoor pleaded guilty and was sentenced to life in prison.


Through April, familial searching in Britain had solved nine cases by finding close relatives of killers or rapists whose DNA profiles are in the national database. Among its successes: a rapist with a distinct North of England accent who was traced through a brother on the database. Both carried alleles common to England's north country.


"We're having a positive effect on cases (and) preventing additional victims," Pinchin says. "What's wrong there?"


Patchwork of laws


In the USA, there are few specific rules on familial searching.


Federal privacy law bars the FBI from performing familial searches within its own database, says Thomas Callaghan, director of the bureau's database program. New York and Massachusetts have laws that authorize familial searching, according to the American Society of Law, Medicine and Ethics. Informal policies in other states vary.


California's DNA database technicians report partial matches that "appear useful" to law enforcement, but they do not actively search for relatives, says Nathan Barankin, a spokesman for the state attorney general.


In Virginia, lab examiners are permitted to tell investigators that a crime scene sample might have come from a family member when the DNA near-match is "very, very close," state database manager George Li says.


Beginning this year, Florida's DNA database operators have been permitted to give investigators the names of convicted offenders who match a crime scene sample at 21 of 26 alleles. State crime lab supervisor David Coffman says research using Florida's convicted offender database suggests that men who have 21 alleles in common almost always are brothers.


Florida also has begun searching its database for rape suspects by using the DNA of children born to rape victims to identify their fathers. The database has helped solve at least eight rape cases that way.


The practices are drawing increasing criticism as they become more common.


Dan Krane, a DNA specialist at Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio, says familial searching "puts someone in jeopardy of investigation simply because his brother committed a crime."


"That's the sins of the father being visited on the son," Krane says. "That's contrary to the whole idea of our criminal justice system."


Helen Wallace, deputy director of Genewatch, a privacy rights group in Derbyshire, England, says familial searches are certain to uncover family secrets, such as revealing that supposed siblings actually are not related by blood.


"This has significant implications for privacy, but it has all happened with no public discussion," Wallace says. "It's just done, and we're presented with it."


Even DNA scientists are wary of the technology's power.


"The average Joe on the street, if he knew what could be done (with DNA databases), he would be worried about privacy," Li says. "I think the average Joe is right."


Frederick Bieber, a geneticist at Harvard Medical School, says privacy concerns raised by familial searching could be addressed by setting rules that determine "how far into the family tree (a genetic search) can go."


He says more research is needed to help states determine when near-matches invade innocent people's privacy. "We can't just open the floodgates and unleash this (without) rules to protect the freedoms and liberties of those who are potentially subject to intrusive searches," Bieber says. But "how could you not use (DNA)? It has tremendous potential as an investigative tool."






Army missing recruiting goal over war fears


Robert Burns

Associated Press

Jun. 9, 2005 12:00 AM


WASHINGTON - The Army appears likely to fall short of its full-year recruiting goal for the first time since 1999, raising longer-term questions about a military embroiled in its first protracted wars since switching from the draft to a volunteer force 32 years ago.


Many young people and their parents have grown more wary of Army service because of the likelihood of being dispatched on combat tours to Iraq or Afghanistan, opinion polls indicate. U.S. troops are dying at a rate of two a day in Iraq, more than two years after President Bush declared that major combat operations had ended.


The Army says today's economy offers attractive alternatives to many high school and college graduates.


The recruiting statistics appear to bear that out. Officials said Wednesday that although the Army will not release its numbers until Friday, it fell about 25 percent short of its target of signing up 6,700 recruits in May. The gap would have been even wider but for the fact that the target was lowered by 1,350.


The Army said it lowered the May target to "adjust for changing market conditions," knowing that the difference will have to be made up in the months ahead.


The Army also missed its monthly targets in April, March and February, each month worse than the one before. In February, it fell 27 percent short. In March, the gap was 31 percent. In April, it was 42 percent.


"It's like having a persistent drought," said Daniel Goure, a military analyst at the Lexington Institute. "At some point when you have drought conditions, you have to institute water rationing, and that's what you potentially face in the military if it goes on long enough. You would get to a stage where you don't have enough people to staff your organizations."


Before February, the last time the Army had missed a monthly recruiting goal was May 2000.


The Army National Guard and Army Reserve are even further behind in recruiting this year.


The Marine Corps also has missed monthly recruiting targets lately but only by small margins. The Air Force and the Navy, in contrast, are easily meeting their goals, in part because they play much smaller and less publicized roles in Iraq and Afghanistan. The Navy is actually trying to shed thousands from its ranks.


The Army shortfalls have led to speculation that the government may be forced to reinstitute the draft. There is little support for that in Congress, and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld has ruled it out, saying the all-volunteer force has proved the wisdom of discontinuing the draft in 1973.


Lt. Col. Bryan Hilferty, spokesman for the Army's chief of personnel, said in an interview that despite the recent setbacks the Army remains cautiously optimistic that it will make up the lost ground this summer and reach the full-year goal of 80,000 enlistees. Summer is traditionally the most fruitful period of the year for recruiters.


"One number matters: 80,000," Hilferty said. "The Army's fiscal 2005 goal was, is and remains 80,000 recruits."


Others, speaking privately, said the official optimism is sagging rapidly. They note that with only four months left in the budget year, the Army is at barely 50 percent of its goal. Recruiters would have to land more than 9,760 young men and women a month, on average, to reach the 80,000 target by the end of September.


With summer recruiting in mind, the Army has added hundreds of extra recruiters, raised the enlistment bonus for four-year commitments to $20,000 and targeted more advertising at parents.






'Mad scientists' emerge in study

Researchers admit scholarly misdeeds


Rick Weiss

Washington Post

Jun. 9, 2005 12:00 AM


Few scientists fabricate results or flatly plagiarize the work of others, but a surprising number engage in troubling degrees of fact-bending or deceit, according to a survey of scientific misbehavior.


More than 5 percent of scientists answering a confidential questionnaire admitted to having tossed out data because it contradicted their previous research or said they had circumvented some human-research protections.


Ten percent admitted they had inappropriately included their names or those of others as authors on published research reports. And more than 15 percent admitted they had changed a study's design or results to satisfy a sponsor or ignored observations because they had a "gut feeling" they were inaccurate.


None of those failings qualifies as outright scientific misconduct under the strict definition used by federal regulators. But they could take at least as large a toll on science as the rare cases of clear-cut falsification, said Brian Martinson, an investigator with HealthPartners Research Foundation in Minneapolis, who led the study appearing in today's issue of Nature.


"The fraud cases are explosive and can be very damaging to public trust," Martinson said. "But these other kinds of things can be more corrosive to science, especially since they're so common."


The new survey also hints that much scientific misconduct is the result of frustrations and injustices built into the modern system of scientific rewards. That could have profound implications for efforts to reduce misconduct, demanding more focus on fixing systemic problems and less on identifying and weeding out "bad apple" scientists.


The prevalence of research misconduct has been uncertain, however, in part because the definitions of acceptable behavior have shifted. For scientists working with federal grant money, that issue got settled five years ago when the Office of Research Integrity drafted a definition: "fabrication, falsification or plagiarism in proposing, performing or reviewing research or in reporting research results."


Martinson and two colleagues sent a survey to thousands of scientists funded by the National Institutes of Health and tallied the replies from 3,247 responses.


Just 0.3 percent admitted to faking research data, and 1.4 percent admitted to plagiarism. But lesser violations were far more common, including 4.7 percent who admitted to publishing the same data in two or more publications to beef up resumes and 13.5 percent who used research designs they knew would not give accurate results.




as long as their mouth is moving they are lying




Army denies covering up details of Tillman case

Fallen GI's family: Report says otherwise


Billy House

Republic Washington Bureau

Jun. 10, 2005 12:00 AM


WASHINGTON - The Army on Thursday again vehemently denied that it has tried to "cover up" the friendly-fire death last year of former pro football player Pat Tillman when he was serving as a soldier in Afghanistan.


The statement, sent via e-mail to The Arizona Republic and other news organizations, came on the heels of blistering new criticism in recent weeks from Tillman's family members, including a letter published May 28 in the Washington Post from Tillman's father, Pat Tillman Sr.


"While procedural misjudgments and mistakes contributed to an air of suspicion, no one intended to deceive the Tillman family or the public as to the cause of his death," the Army declared. advertisement


"It is true that neither the family nor the public were notified immediately of the suspicion of friendly fire and the follow-on investigation," the statement continued.


But the Army's statement said that this was because Tillman's Army Ranger unit "did not immediately notify the Department of the Army out of a desire to complete the investigation and gather all available facts, so as not to provide an inaccurate or incomplete picture of what happened."


This decision was "procedurally wrong" but not a willful violation of regulation, the Army stated.


Army spokesman Paul Boyce said Thursday that the e-mail denial was prompted, in part, by the father's claims in his letter and other remarks being made by Tillman's family.


The Pentagon has not yet released the Army's official 1,600-page investigative report into Tillman's death, including its review of whether there was a cover-up, despite requests filed by The Republic and other newspapers under the Freedom of Information Act. But Tillman family members have the report.


"What they're saying is untrue," Mary Tillman, his mother, said of the Army's denial Thursday. "The message they gave the media is different from what is in the report. And we're pushing for that report to be released."


Tillman Sr., a lawyer who lives in San Jose, could not be reached Thursday.


But in his letter to the Post, he accused the Army of having conducted two "sham" investigations into his 27-year-old son's death on April 22, 2004. He also wrote that the results of an earlier, initial homicide probe into the incident were reworked by officers after the investigating officer refused to alter them.


He revealed, for the first time, that his son did not die in a single barrage of gunfire, as the newspaper reported. "(Rather), there were three barrages: one from 78 yards and two from 60 yards," he said. "Pat survived a machine-gun burst to the torso from the second barrage but not the third."


About 14 soldiers witnessed the incident, he wrote.


He also wrote that superior officers "deliberately falsified baseline facts," including distances and light conditions in the remote and rocky southeastern Afghanistan area when his son was killed by fellow Army Rangers and not by enemy bullets. In addition, he wrote that Army superior officers ordered all the physical evidence, including his son's uniform and body armor, destroyed by burning.


The Army's acknowledged "mistakes" in reporting the circumstances of his son's death, Tillman Sr. wrote, "were deliberate, calculated, ordered (repeatedly) and disgraceful - conduct well beneath the standard to which every soldier in the field is held."


Tillman Sr. also took issue with the Army's claim that a reason the determination that his son's death was by friendly fire was not given to the family until May 28 was that information was slow to make it back to the United States. That was after the Army announced that the former Arizona Cardinals football player was being awarded the Silver Star for gallantry against the enemy.


"To the contrary, the information was sent almost immediately, but there was one set of 'facts' for the military and another for my family," Tillman Sr. wrote.


Staff columnist E.J. Montini contributed to this article.




write and bitch about this. we shouldnt need a stinking passport to go to mexico or canada




U.S. re-examines proposal to expand passport use

Frequent travelers, president push review


Billy House

Republic Washington Bureau

Jun. 10, 2005 12:00 AM


WASHINGTON - Federal officials said Thursday they are considering more flexibility in a proposal that, as now written, would require U.S. citizens beginning in 2008 to present passports to re-enter the United States from Mexico and Canada and other U.S. neighbors.


Their reassessment is in response to outcries, including from President Bush, about the impact on Americans who regularly travel into Mexico and Canada, many of whom live close to the two borders.


Business owners along the Arizona-Mexico border, especially those in Mexico, have expressed several of the most vehement reservations about the new travel rules being proposed.


"Certainly, we agree with the president that we have to be flexible as we move this forward," said Elaine Dezinski, acting assistant secretary at the Department of Homeland Security's border and transportation security directorate.


Options may include the use of other types of border-passage documents or "some type of global registered traveler program that could be applied at either border . . . " Dezinski said at a hearing of the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on Western Hemisphere, Peace Corps and Narcotics Affairs.


Few details of those other approaches were given Thursday.


Under the current proposal, Canadians and most Mexicans also would be required to produce a passport to enter the United States.


The idea stems from a sweeping intelligence overhaul that Bush signed into law in December that required homeland security officials to develop "as expeditiously as possible to require a passport or other document, or combination of documents . . . for all travel into the United States by United States citizens and others for whom documentation requirements have previously been waived."


In response, homeland security officials, in conjunction with the Department of State, released guidelines in April that would require passports or a select number of other secure documents from anyone, including Americans, entering the United States from Mexico, Canada, Panama and the Caribbean.


The phased-in timelines for the proposed changes are:


• Dec. 31, 2005. All travelers by air and sea, to and from the Caribbean, Bermuda, Central and South America.


• Dec. 31, 2006. All travelers by air and sea, to and from Mexico and Canada.


• Dec. 31, 2007. All travelers by air, sea and land.


However, upon the release of the guidelines, even Bush expressed surprise. He said he had ordered a review.


"If people have to have a passport, it's going to disrupt the honest flow of traffic," Bush said. "I think there's some flexibility in the law, and that's what we're checking into now."


On Thursday, that sentiment was echoed by Sen. Norman Coleman, D-Minn., chairman of the Foreign Relations Subcommittee.


"It seems logical to have different rules to govern travel between the U.S. and our closest neighbors," Coleman said.


"We need to be vigilant of terrorists, but we cannot give them the victory of making us twist ourselves into a pretzel in the name of security," he said.


In Arizona, no exact figures were available about the number of residents who visit Mexico annually, but it is believed to be in the tens of thousands.


Mexicans and Canadians represent the largest number of foreign visitors to Arizona, according to the state Office of Tourism.


Overall, more than 100 million people, most of them Americans, visited Mexico last year and spent about $10.8 billion, according to that country's federal Tourism Secretariat. About 72 million people crossed the border for day trips and an additional 7 million arrived by cruise ship.






Abuse settlements exceed $1 billion

Catholic Church facing more claims


Rachel Zoll

Associated Press

Jun. 10, 2005 12:00 AM


The cost to the U.S. Roman Catholic Church of sexual predators in the priesthood has climbed past $1 billion, according to tallies by American bishops and an Associated Press review of known settlements.


And the figure is guaranteed to rise, probably by tens of millions of dollars, because hundreds more claims are pending.


Dioceses around the country have spent at least $1.06 billion on settlements with victims, verdicts, legal fees, counseling and other expenses since 1950, the AP found. A $120 million compensation fund announced last week by the Diocese of Covington, Ky., pushed the figure past the billion-dollar mark.


A large share of the costs, at least $378 million, have been incurred in about the past three years, when the crisis erupted in the Boston Archdiocese.


The Rev. Thomas Doyle, who left a promising career with the church to help represent victims, had warned the bishops in 1985 that abuse costs could eventually exceed $1 billion.


"Nobody believed us," said Doyle, a canon lawyer. "I remember one archbishop telling me, 'My feeling about this, Tom, is no one's ever going to sue the Catholic Church."






East Valley news briefs


Jun. 11, 2005 12:00 AM


Former police officer will not return to work


CHANDLER - A former police officer awaiting trial on felony assault and trespassing charges won't get his job back. Friday, City Manager Mark Pentz backed a city personnel board recommendation to keep Officer Brian Rader, 32, off the force. Police say Rader attacked neighbor Chris Malham on Jan. 17. Police records show Rader was "extremely intoxicated" at the time.