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The [Friday] Papers

"An extreme heat warning for the Chicago area had been set to expire at 6 p.m. Friday but now has been extended to 4 p.m. Saturday," the Tribune reports. "The weather service said the heat index - how it feels - could climb to 116 on Friday and will hover at 105 on Saturday."

Putting The Ill In The Illinois
"Illinois ranks in the bottom third of the country for health care quality, a reminder that access to care remains a hurdle in a cash-strapped state that has squeezed services for the poor and underinsured," Crain's reports.

"Illinois ranks 35th, according to the 2011 National Healthcare Quality Report by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services."

Own To Rent
"Renting an apartment in the U.S. became even more expensive during the second quarter, as vacancies set a new 10-year low and rents rose at a pace not seen since before the financial crisis, according to real estate research firm Reis Inc.," Reuters reports.

Maybe it's all those foreclosed-upon homeowners flooding the market; after all, it's a trickle-down economy.

Triple J Triple Tired
More "exhausted" than he realized.

The Week In Chicago Rock
We have the video.

Red Eyes
"As of Sunday Pasadena drivers can avoid the gut-wrenching feeling motorists get when they've been caught in the flash of a red-light camera, wondering if they made it through the intersection in time," the Los Angeles Times reports.

"City officials decided not to renew a contract with American Traffic Systems Inc. for the city's seven red-light cameras, citing a lack of enforcement from Los Angeles County courts, time wasted by Pasadena police officers and questions about the cameras' effectiveness in improving traffic safety."

Look away, Chicago. City Hall certainly is.

"In the first year after the red-light cameras were installed, transportation officials noted a decline in collisions. But that may have been due to lengthening the time that lights remained yellow, said Bahman Janka, a Pasadena transportation administrator. Further studies found that the frequency of collisions at intersections with and without cameras were similar."

Perhaps this is the kind of information the Emanuel administration is hiding.

"The city of Los Angeles discontinued its red-light camera program after identifying enforcement and equipment problems."

But at least the city will take in some (of our) money, right?

"Additionally, the program - while never expected to bring in a lot of money - is running at a $4,487 deficit."

Cooked County
"When Cook County prosecutors brought Cleveland Barrett to trial earlier this year for the predatory criminal sexual assault of a 9-year-old girl, they presented the jury hearing the case testimony from the alleged victim plus the kind of evidence that long has won convictions with its scientific certainty: DNA," the Tribune reports.

Indeed, Assistant State's Attorneys Krista Peterson and Jane Sack told jurors in closing arguments that the DNA obtained from the victim after the alleged incident in July 2010 was a match to Barrett's genetic profile and evidence that corroborated the victim's trial testimony.

"Who is the major profile in the DNA that's found?" Sack asked the jury, according to a transcript from the trial. "The defendant."

But this DNA was different. It was not from semen, as is often the case in rapes; instead it came from male cells found on the girl's lips. What's more, the uniqueness of the genetic link between the DNA and Barrett was not of the 1-in-several-billion sort that crime lab analysts often testify to in trials with DNA evidence. Instead, when Illinois State Police crime lab analyst Lisa Fallara explained the statistical probabilities, she testified the genetic profile from the cells matched 1 in 4 African-American males, 1 in 8 Hispanic males and 1 in 9 Caucasian males.

Fact is, the DNA profile from the cells on the victim's lips could have matched hundreds of thousands of men in the Chicago region.

The advent of forensic DNA analysis offered a precision that older and cruder - and, now, mostly discarded - forensic disciplines did not. But experts say cases such as Barrett's, which are emerging in Cook County and in some other jurisdictions across the nation, mark a troubling return to a kind of forensic science that allows imprecision to cloud the evidence as well as a judge's or a jury's ability to weigh it properly.

As much as defense attorneys are often demonized for sometimes zealously advocating on behalf of gruesome clients, it is prosecutors who seem to pervert the cause of justice far too often.

In this case, Cleveland Barrett was convicted and spent more than a year in jail before he was set free. Several times a year we see stories of those who spend far more time in prison before their wrongful prosecutions are reversed. Can you imagine?

But the Cook County State's Attorney's Office is not apologizing.

"The office stood by Sack's statements in closing, with office spokeswoman Sally Daly saying they were 'proper and consistent with the evidence presented during trial. That is not only our position, but obviously the position of the trial judge as well, as he overruled objections made at the time.'"

That only makes the judge (not named in this article, quite unfortunately) equally to blame - if not more so. After all, the judge's job is to umpire between two sides often unrestrained by any sense of ethics.

*

"Barrett, 47, said he was just weeks from getting a degree as a chef when he was arrested and his life turned upside down. He said he still cannot believe that prosecutors used the DNA against him.

"The way they done me was really unfair," he told the Tribune. "That DNA didn't match me, and they knew it."

Soap Dope
"A former salesman for a postal service vendor was sentenced to nine months in federal prison for intentionally dumping truck wash soap, which is used to wash postal vehicles, down sewer drains, causing the United States Postal Service to purchase more truck wash soap than it needed, federal law enforcement officials announced [on June 27].

"The defendant, Nicholas Peregonow, who was a salesman for a company in Elgin, benefited by receiving increased commissions on his sales of truck wash soap to the Postal Service."

Maybe the postal service ought to hire him to figure out how they can increase their commissions.

-

The Beachwood Tip Line: Soapy.



Permalink

Posted on July 6, 2012


MUSIC - The Week In Chicago Rock.
TV - Vizio Settles Spying Complaints.
POLITICS - WikiLeaks Reveals Staggering Breadth Of CIA Hacking.
SPORTS - Beachwood Sports Radio: Butt Fumbles.

BOOKS - Bannon, The Best And The Brightest.

PEOPLE PLACES & THINGS - Beachwood Photo Booth: Descending Darkly.


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