Barely a month after her husband died of cancer, Rhonda Firestack-Harvey got more devastating news: Obama administration prosecutors had convinced a judge to imprison her for tending their medical marijuana garden, which fell on the edges of complying with Washington state law.
U.S. District Judge Thomas Rice sentenced Firestack-Harvey on Friday to one year and a day in prison for violating federal law by growing between 50 and 100 marijuana plants. Her son and daughter-in-law, who helped with the garden and like Rhonda and her late husband were state-legal medical pot patients at the time of a DEA raid in 2012, also got prison sentences for the 74-plant garden.
Rolland Gregg, an alternative energy developer, received the harshest penalty, 33 months. His wife – Michelle Gregg, who works at Microsoft – got a year and a day in prison.
"The fight continues," says family media coordinator Kari Boiter, who attended the daylong sentencing hearing. "It certainly should have ended before now."
The three are free pending appeal and through Boiter declined to comment. Earlier, the family had hoped for a slap on the wrist, perhaps probation, after beating almost all charges at trial.
Physician-assisted suicide will become legal in California under a bill signed into law on Monday by Democratic Governor Jerry Brown, despite intense opposition from some religious and disability rights groups.
An eagle-eyed Chinese internet activist has raised questions about the rampant corruption in China after spotting countless senior Chinese officials apparently wearing wristwatches they could not possibly afford on their official salaries.
Rob Duke's insight:
Thorstein Veblen's scalp displaying behavior. We want people to know how successful we are....
The death in prison of a Japanese man who spent more than 46 years facing execution, after a conviction based on a forced “confession”, underlines the urgent need for a review of all similar cases, Amnesty International said today.
New York state Assemblyman Stephen M. Katz (R) from Mohegan Lake was pulled over for speeding when a police officer found a “small bag” of marijuana on Thursday. Katz was charged with unlawful possession of marijuana, punishable by a fine of up to $100. Shortly after the arrest, Katz issued a statement.
“This should not overshadow the work I have done over the years for the public and my constituency. I am confident that once the facts are presented that this will quickly be put to rest.”
This week, those of us who don’t have a lot of Dutch friends learned that the Dutch are very tall, and it might be because of cheese. They love cheese, reports the BBC. We love cheese, too. Any tall Dutch people wishing to bond over cheese can say so in the comments section.
Investigators including cyber experts and hate crime specialists worked Friday to reveal the life of a 26-year-old gunman whose massacre across an Oregon campus may have been driven by religious rage and a fascination in the twisted notoriety of high-profile killers.
Students still shaken from a shooting rampage days earlier that claimed 10 lives were welcomed back on Monday by grief counselors and comfort dogs to their community college in southern Oregon, but classes remained canceled through the week.
Hong Kong’s former leader Donald Tsang was Monday charged with misconduct during his time in office the latest high-profile corruption case to hit the city.
Tsang ended his term in disgrace in June 2012 after admitting to accepting gifts from tycoons in the form of trips on luxury yachts and private jets, but insisted there was no conflict of interest.
He has since been under investigation by the city’s Independent Commission Against Corruption.
Tsang, 70, who held the leadership post of chief executive for seven years from 2005, is expected to appear in court Monday afternoon, according to reports.
He would become the highest-ranking Hong Kong official to face a corruption trial.
The charges against Tsang are in connection with his failure to file conflict of interest declarations to the Executive Council – the de facto cabinet – according to government-owned broadcaster RTHK.
They come less than a year after Hong Kong property tycoon Thomas Kwok and the government’s former deputy leader Rafael Hui were jailed for graft after Hui was found guilty of taking bribes from Kwok and Kwok’s brother Raymond.
While serving as chief secretary for administration, Hui was Tsang’s deputy from 2005 to 2007.
He was jailed in December for seven and a half years on a total of five graft charges, making him the highest-ranking official in the city’s history to be found guilty of taking bribes.
Prosecutors said Hui had enjoyed an extravagant standard of living that far outstripped his official salary, having spent millions on a mistress in Shanghai, for whom he bought gifts from bags to watches to properties.
He was accused of receiving HK$34 million ($4.39 million) to be the Kwoks’ “eyes and ears” in government.
FAIRBANKS — A month-long legal battle begins Monday about the freedom of four men convicted of a 1997 Fairbanks murder and the fairness of the trials that led to their convictions. If successful, the four men convicted of killing 15-year-old John Hartman could go free after years behind bars. But first, they have to prove for a judge the reverse of what three juries decided more than 10 years ago: They need to prove they are “actually innocent” of the crime. Their case goes beyond finding flaws in the prosecutions that put them in jail. They name a group of five other former Fairbanks teenagers who they say are Hartman’s real killers. Of the four men, George Frese, Kevin Pease and Eugene Vent remain in jail, serving sentences of between 38 and 64 years. The fourth, Marvin Roberts, was released on parole this summer. They would make history if they prevail. They would be the first Alaskans to win exoneration by proving “actual innocence” in a civil suit, according to Bill Oberly, the executive director of the Alaska Innocence Project and the attorney for two of the four petitioners.
From mid-July to the end of September, 10 percent of all Anchorage Fire Department emergency medical transports were due to suspected use of the synthetic drug Spice. As the problem persists, Anchorage officials hint that stronger enforcement measures may be on the horizon.
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