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News Roundup

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Yesterday was the one-year anniversary of the shooting at a Republican congressional baseball practice that wounded five people, including House Majority Whip Steve Scalise who remained in critical condition for months before returning to Congress.  This year’s game was held last night at National’s Park, with Scalise starting at second base.  As noted in this report from Washington news outlet NBC 4, there have been many high-profile mass shootings in the year that has passed since the attack and national opinion on gun legislation remains divided.  Keep reading for more news. 

Justice Department Report.  Yesterday, the Justice Department’s inspector general released a report on the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server, an investigation which received significant national attention leading up to the 2016 presidential election.  The report is lengthy and wide-ranging, a New York times story discussing some its findings is available here.  Among the findings receiving significant news coverage is that former FBI director James Comey was insubordinate in his handling of the investigation, but that political bias did not influence the decision not to prosecute Clinton.

The Staircase.  A documentary miniseries called “The Staircase” which examines the events surrounding Michael Peterson’s first murder trial was recently made available on Netflix.  The series primarily follows Peterson and his defense team as they prepare for trial, but it also features numerous interviews with prosecutors and members of law enforcement.  It’s a fascinating look behind the scenes of one of the most notable criminal prosecutions in recent North Carolina history, and many people in the documentary still work in the state’s criminal justice system.  I recommend checking it out.

Clearing Cases.  Suppose you’re the police chief of a small town in Florida whose purported 100% clearance rate of reported burglaries impresses the town’s citizens and elected leaders.  Suppose further that there are four unsolved burglaries which threaten your seemingly impressive clearance rate.  What do you do?  Find new leads?  Take a second look at the evidence?  Wait for a break in the cases?  Frame an innocent teenager?  The Miami Herald says that former Biscayne Park Chief of Police Raimundo Atesiano and two subordinate officers took the latter approach.

Backdoor Closes.  Apple recently announced that it is planning a software update for iPhones that will disable the charging and data port on the phone an hour after the phone is locked, a move that will make it harder for law enforcement agencies to gain access to locked phones.  A New York Times story says that it is common for law enforcement agencies to use special tools connected to the data port to access suspects’ phones because doing so avoids the possibility of being locked out of the phone after entering too many incorrect passwords.  With the new software update, this method of accessing iPhones will no longer be effective.

Explosive Moves.  When you attempt backflips on the dance floor, there’s a good chance that someone is going to be injured.  Usually, the injured party isn’t a bystander and the injury isn’t caused by the accidental discharge of a loaded pistol carried by the backflipper, who also happens to be an off-duty FBI agent.  An incident in Denver this week was not one of the usual cases.

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