Paul D. Cramm

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Drug Company Blocks Orders of Drug for Lethal Injection

Another manufacturer blocks drug for execution use, clouding Missouri’s plans By ALAN SCHER ZAGIER The Associated Press COLUMBIA — A manufacturer of the anesthetic blamed for Michael Jackson’s overdose death says it won’t allow the drug to be sold for use in executions. Drugmaker Fresenius Kabi USA is one of two domestic suppliers of propofol, which has been singled out as a lethal injection alternative amid a drug shortage that has forced several states to revise their execution protocols. Missouri this year said it would become the first state to use propofol as an execution drug. Fresenius Kabi confirmed to… Read More →

Chillicothe Murder Conviction on Appeal for the 3rd time

Inmate pleads his case again in 1990 Chillicothe killing Missouri high court hears what could be final appeal in 1990 Chillicothe killing. By TONY RIZZO The Kansas City Star In a case defying final resolution for more than two decades, the Missouri Supreme Court on Thursday heard what could be a convicted killer’s last chance at freedom. It’s a case that has seen an adolescent mature into middle age behind bars while his family — and the loved ones of the woman he’s twice been convicted of killing — witness a grueling legal state of limbo. Long jailed for the… Read More →

Kansas Considers Legalization of Medical Marijuana

By JAMES A. FUSSELL The Kansas City Star Every two weeks Greg T. of Independence drives downtown to the city’s underbelly to buy an eighth of an ounce of pot. He’s smoked marijuana for 37 years. He says it’s the only thing that eases the agony of his Crohn’s disease, an autoimmune disorder that attacks his intestinal tract. A devout Christian and former Boy Scout, the 54-year-old father of two loves his country. But for decades, he said, that country has forced him to become a criminal to survive. Greg, who asked that his last name not be used because… Read More →

LSU police make arrest in bomb threat

LSU officials say they’d made an arrest after a phone-in bomb threat led to the evacuation of thousands of people from the campus on Monday. LSU Police Capt. Corey Lalonde said university police arrested a male early Wednesday. He said the suspect is not an LSU student and is not affiliated with the university. Police have not released the suspect’s name, age or other details. Authorities said he will be charged with communicating false information of a planned bombing. The university received a bomb-threat call on Monday morning, setting into motion the evacuation of thousands of workers and students. A… Read More →

Jury focuses on alleged plot in Ohio Amish trial

Jurors deciding whether a breakaway Amish group in Ohio committed hate crimes in beard- and hair-cutting attacks are zeroing in on the conspiracy charge. The federal jury in Cleveland federal began a fourth day of deliberations Wednesday in the trial of 16 Amish. Jurors promptly asked the judge if a conspiracy could involve just some of the defendants. Judge Dan Aaron Polster told the jury that a conspiracy wouldn’t necessarily need to involve all nine victims or all 16 defendants. The government calls the attacks hate crimes based on religious difference. The defense says it was an internal church dispute… Read More →

$1M bail for LA-area man over death threat posts

A former Yale University student remained jailed on $1 million bail, an amount normally reserved for murder or other crimes that could result in life sentences, after authorities say he made online death threats to children. Eric Yee, a 21-year-old who recently withdrew from the Ivy League university, posted on ESPN’s website that he was watching children and wouldn’t mind killing them, Los Angeles County sheriff’s officials said Tuesday. Yee was taken into custody Monday at his parents’ home, which is on a street that overlooks two schools in Santa Clarita, Calif. Several guns were found there. Sheriff’s Lt. Steve… Read More →

Supreme Court to decide whether police can take your blood without your permission

The U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments Wednesday in a landmark Fourth Amendment case that could clear up almost 50 years of uncertainty over the constitutionality of blood tests that are taken without a suspect’s consent. The case involves a traffic stop in Missouri, but its ramifications could range far wider, potentially rewriting drunk-driving laws in all 50 states. “It comes down, basically, to are you going to see blood draws every single time someone gets pulled over for a DUI,” said Michael A. Correll, a litigator with the international law firm Alston & Bird, who examined the legality of… Read More →

Better that 10 guilty men go free than to convict a single innocent man

No, the foregoing statement is not a verbatim quote. However, it is a relatively accurate paraphrase of the now famous sentiment expressed by the revered English legal scholar William Blackstone – not to be confused with the well known magician Harry Blackstone or his nearly equally famous son Harry Blackstone, Jr. All joking aside, the essence of this quote forms the very cornerstone of the system of justice that separates the United States from virtually every other civilized nation. Think about it: the presumption of innocence; the requirement of proof beyond reasonable doubt; the requirement of a unanimous jury verdict.… Read More →

Overland Park man charged with fraud pleads guilty

In these tough economic times it seems that everyone is feeling the pressures of financial hardship. Most people deal with their money woes by trying to live more frugally. But some go to more extreme lengths and commit white collar crimes against businesses and individuals for financial gain. An Overland Park man facing several charges of fraud recently pleaded guilty to bank fraud, identity theft, money laundering and wire fraud. Apparently the man had coordinated a scheme in which he provided false information in order to gain lines of credit from banks in the Kansas City area. With a stolen… Read More →

Kansas to penalize drunk driving suspects who refuse breath tests

Johnson County’s district attorney has reported that DUI repeat offenders are a significant problem statewide. Other state leaders agreed and convinced the Kansas legislature that the state’s drunk driving laws needed to be toughened. The result is what is known as a “refusal” statute. Under Kansas law, anyone arrested for a DUI who has at least two prior DUI convictions receives a felony charge. A conviction for felony DUI is serious and is punishable with fines, jail time, and license suspension. But apparently these consequences are not enough to discourage some repeat offenses. Under the new refusal law, an individual… Read More →

Extradited sexual assault suspect entitled to criminal defense

For criminal suspects and their lawyers, developing a sound criminal defense strategy is not often an easy task. It becomes especially difficult when the person accused of the crime decides to leave the U.S. before standing trial. A man accused of sexual assault in 2001 recently has been extradited from Mexico to the U.S. to face his charges. Police say the man had sexual contact with a 12-year-old female in Overland Park, Kansas, resulting in charges of aggravated criminal sodomy and rape of an individual less than 14 years of age. A warrant for the man’s arrest was issued in… Read More →

Kansas Supreme Court denies man’s appeal for a new trial

Under the U.S. Constitution, all criminal defendants are entitled to competent legal representation. Even for those who face a serious felony charge, such as a murder charge, their attorneys are responsible for mounting a solid criminal defense. But just because a criminal defendant is found guilty by a court of justice does not necessarily mean that his or her lawyer’s representation was ineffective. A former church pastor and resident of Overland Park recently claimed his criminal attorney presented an inadequate defense in the man’s 2002 trial for murder. The defendant had been accused of asphyxiating his 9-year-old son by wrapping… Read More →