Winnipeg Free Press Newspaper Archives Apr 4 2015, Page 26

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Winnipeg Free Press (Newspaper) - April 4, 2015, Winnipeg, Manitoba C M Y K PAGE A26 A 26 WINNIPEG FREE PRESS, SATURDAY, APRIL 4, 2015 WORLD winnipegfreepress. com Knox decides to give back SEATTLE — Finally cleared of involvement in her roommate’s 2007 murder in Italy, Amanda Knox says she will work on behalf of the wrongly convicted. Knox, 27, wrote in a letter published Friday in the Seattle Times the kindness of friends, family and strangers has sustained her in the sevenplus years since she was arrested in Meredith Kercher’s death in Perugia. “ Whatever the future holds for me, I know that I must give back,” Knox wrote. She credited the backing she received from lawyers, DNA experts and former FBI investigators who saw injustice in her case. “ I am all too aware of how lucky I am to have received such strong support,” she wrote. “ I am also aware that countless other wrongfully convicted persons do not have such support. I will work to give a voice to those individuals.” She didn’t specify the capacity in which she would work for them, and her literary agent declined to comment on her plans or any organizations she wants to work with. Italy’s highest court exonerated Knox and her former Italian boyfriend March 27. Gun- control activist dies SARAH KEMP BRADY, who became an activist for gun control after her husband was shot in the head in the assassination attempt on president Ronald Reagan, died Friday. Brady, 73, died in a retirement community in Alexandria, Va., after battling pneumonia, family members said in an email. Brady’s husband, former White House press secretary James Brady, died Aug. 4, also at the age of 73. The 1981 assassination attempt on Reagan by John Hinckley Jr. left James Brady partially paralyzed. Four years later, Sarah Brady became involved in gun control. She chaired Handgun Control Inc., which was renamed the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence as a tribute to the Bradys. The Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act was signed into law in 1993 by president Bill Clinton. “ Sarah courageously stepped up after Jim was shot to prevent others from enduring what our family has gone through, and her work has saved countless lives,” the family’s statement said. “ Sarah was a voice of strength, love and encouragement, and she inspired others, showing that one person could make a difference and change the world — which she did.” Dan Gross, president of the Brady Campaign, called Sarah Brady “ its guiding light.” “ There are countless people walking around today who would not be were it not for Sarah Brady’s remarkable resilience, compassion,” Gross said. Pirates’ convictions upheld NORFOLK, Va. — A federal appeals court in Virginia has upheld the convictions of two Somali pirates for their roles in the shooting deaths of four Americans. A three- judge panel of the 4th U. S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond said Friday Abukar Osman Beyle and Shani Nurani Shiekh Abrar got a fair trial. Each man received 21 life sentences for participating in the 2011 attack off the coast of Africa. They were among 19 men who boarded a yacht in hopes of holding the Americans for ransom. The plan fell apart when the U. S. navy began shadowing the 17.6- metre sailboat. Yacht owners Jean and Scott Adam of Marina del Rey, Calif., and their friends, Bob Riggle and Phyllis Macay of Seattle, Wash., were killed. Four pirates also died. — from the news services BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — A man who spent nearly 30 years on Alabama’s death row was freed Friday after a decades- long fight to prove his innocence. Ray Hinton, 58, was released in the morning from the Jefferson County Jail in Birmingham. He hugged family members as he walked out, saying, “ Thank you Jesus.” Hinton was convicted of the 1985 murders of two Birmingham fast- food restaurant managers. Crime- scene bullets were the only evidence that linked Hinton to the crime. However, prosecutors said this week modern forensic methods did not show the fatal bullets came from a revolver in Hinton’s home, or even from the same gun. “ Every day, every month, every year that the state took from him, they took something that they don’t have the power to give back. While this moment is quite joyous and is quite wonderful, this case is quite tragic,” Bryan Stevenson, Hinton’s attorney and director of the Alabama- based Equal Justice Initiative, said Thursday. The U. S. Supreme Court ruled last year Hinton had inadequate counsel and sent the case back for a second trial. Prosecutors had been preparing for a retrial but moved to dismiss the case following the testing on the bullets. The Supreme Court ruled last year Hinton had “ constitutionally deficient” representation at his initial trial. Hinton’s defence lawyer wrongly thought he had only $ 1,000 to hire a ballistics expert to try to rebut the prosecution testimony about the bullets. The lawyer hired the only person willing to take the job at that price, even though he had concerns about the expert’s credentials. At the time, jurors chuckled as the defence expert struggled to answer questions on cross- examination. Stevenson said he became convinced of Hinton’s innocence when he took on the case 16 years ago. “ He was a poor person who was convicted because he didn’t have the money to prove his innocence at trial. He was unable to get the legal help he needed for years. He was convicted based on bad science,” Stevenson said. — The Associated Press PHILADELPHIA — A woman was arrested Friday on charges she tried to join and martyr herself for the Islamic State group, a day after two women in New York were charged with plotting to wage jihad by building a bomb and using it for a Boston Marathon- type attack. Keonna Thomas, 30, was preparing to fly to Spain with hopes of reaching Syria to fight with the terror group, authorities said. Instead, she was arrested at her family’s townhouse in a public housing development, which has three small U. S. flags adorning the porch. Authorities said she communicated with an Islamic State group fighter in Syria who asked if she wanted to be part of a martyrdom operation. She told the fighter the opportunity “ would be amazing... a girl can only wish,” according to the documents. A federal magistrate ordered Thomas held pending a detention hearing Wednesday. Prosecutors will oppose bail. Last month, Thomas bought a ticket to fly to Barcelona on March 29. She likely planned to take a bus to Istanbul and then reach Syria, an FBI affidavit filed in the case said. Authorities put a stop to the trip when they raided her house March 27. In court, Thomas wore a burka as she acknowledged she understood the charge against her — attempting to provide material support and resources to a foreign terrorist organization. She was appointed a public defender, who did not comment on the charge. Thomas appeared to show little emotion as she was led out of the house Friday morning in handcuffs, neighbour Ronni Patterson said. Patterson said she had seen investigators searching the home, where Thomas appeared to live with her mother and grandmother, a week ago. The women in the New York case are accused of plotting to wage violent jihad by building a bomb and using it for an attack like the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings. They were ordered held without bail after a brief court appearance Thursday. The lawyer for one of them said his client will plead not guilty. Thomas is charged with attempting to provide material aid to terrorists, one of the same charges filed in 2010 against another Pennsylvania woman, Colleen LaRose, known as Jihad Jane, and two co- defendants in a terror plot prosecutors say also involved online messages and recruitment for overseas terror suspects. “ The incentive for terrorists is ( also)... to create fear, just by that ability to recruit within the U. S. They want to show everyone they have geographic reach and appeal,” said defence lawyer Jeremy Ibrahim, a former justice department lawyer who represented LaRose’s co- defendant, Jamie Paulin- Ramirez, of Colorado. “ But when you look at who actually responds to their calling, the women tend to be vulnerable.” Authorities have said foreign terrorists seek U. S. women because their western looks and American passports make it easier for them to travel overseas. Thomas’s posts in support of the Islamic State group started in August 2013, when she re- posted a Twitter photograph of a boy holding weapons, authorities said. She called herself Fatayat Al Khilafah and YoungLioness, and tweeted posts such as “ When you’re a mujahid, your death becomes a wedding,” states the FBI affidavit filed in the case. A mujahid is one who engages in jihad. She began trying to raise money for the cause online and told a Somaliabased jihadi fighter from Minnesota she soon hoped to have enough money to travel, authorities said. She applied for a passport in February and on March 26 bought a roundtrip ticket to fly to Barcelona — a tourist destination that would not raise eyebrows, the FBI affidavit said. LaRose got a 10- year term in January for agreeing to kill a Swedish artist who had offended Muslims, while Paulin- Ramirez, who married an Algerian terror suspect the day she met him in Ireland, is serving eight years. Both agreed to co- operate with authorities, shaving years off their sentences. — The Associated Press B OSTON — Some police officers involved in tracking down the Boston Marathon bombers days after the attacks showed a lack of “ weapons discipline” during a firefight with the brothers and in the eventual capture of one of them, resulting in dangerous crossfire, a report released Friday said. A transit police officer, Richard Donohue, was critically wounded in the initial confrontation with Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev on April 19, 2013. The report does not explicitly say whether Donohue was shot by fellow police officers. The report also reveals shortly after the shootout, which led to Tamerlan Tsarnaev’s death, an officer near the scene fired on an unmarked state police vehicle after it was mistakenly reported as stolen. A state trooper and a Boston police officer in the vehicle were not injured. Later in the day, when Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was discovered hiding in a boat, a police officer “ fired his weapon without appropriate authority,” causing many other officers to believe the bomber was firing at them and leading them to open fire on the boat, the 130- page report from the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency found. The incidents created “ dangerous crossfire situations,” the report said. Three people were killed and more than 260 people were injured when twin pressure- cooker bombs exploded near the finish line of the marathon on April 15, 2013. Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is on trial on federal charges, some of which could carry the death penalty, related to the bombing and its aftermath. His lawyer admitted in opening statements Tsarnaev had participated in the bombings but argued his late brother was the mastermind. Closing arguments are scheduled for Monday. The long- awaited report praises many other aspects of the emergency response to the bombings at the finish line of the marathon, particularly the response of medical personnel at the scene and Boston hospitals that treated gravely injured victims. Three people died at the scene, but every victim who was transported to the hospital survived. “ Overall, the response to the Boston Marathon bombings must be considered a great success,” the report stated. The initial shootout with the suspects followed the fatal shooting of Sean Collier, a Massachusetts Institute of Technology police officer, and a carjacking in Cambridge. “ Although initial responding officers practised appropriate weapons discipline while they were engaged in the firefight with the suspects, additional officers arriving on scene near the conclusion of the firefight fired weapons toward the vicinity of the suspects, without necessarily having identified and lined up their target,” or appropriately aiming their guns, the report said. “ Officers lining both sides of the street also fired upon the second suspect as he fled the scene in a vehicle,” the report said. A timeline of events listed in the report noted the transit officer was shot as the surviving suspect fled. — The Associated Press By Bob Salsberg Report cites ‘ lack of weapons discipline’ by Boston police Man freed after decades on death row HAL YEAGER / THE ASSOCIATED PRESS Friend Lester Bailey ( left) and others greet Ray Hinton ( centre) as Hinton leaves the Jefferson County Jail Friday in Birmingham, Ala. The World Amanda Knox Woman arrested for trying to join IS Was in contact with terrorist group, authorities say By Maryclaire Dale MATT ROURKE / THE ASSOCIATED PRESS Flags are posted on the home of a woman who is accused of trying to join and martyr herself for the I ‘ The incentive for slamic State group, Friday in Philadelphia. terrorists is ( also) ... to create fear, just by that ability to recruit within the U. S. They want to show everyone they have geographic reach and appeal’ Sarah Brady A_ 26_ Apr- 04- 15_ FP_ 01. indd A26 4/ 3/ 15 9: 59: 59 PM

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