Posted On: October 29, 2009

Maryland Light Rail Collides With Car, 3 Injured

A recent auto collision with a light rail train serves as a reminder of how important it is to use extreme caution when in close proximity to tracks where light rails operate. According to an abc2news.com story, three people were injured when their vehicle crashed into a light rail at the intersection of Howard and Lombard. Apparently, the impact of the train caused the car carrying the three individuals to move approximately 100 yards. One of the victim’s injuries was deemed serious; however, none of the three individuals’ injuries were reported to be life-threatening. They were taken to University of Maryland Medical Center.

Metropolitan Transportation Authority Police are still investigating the collision to determine its exact cause. If it is determined that negligence on the part of the train operator was responsible for causing the accident, the injured parties may be able to hold the operator liable for financial costs associated with their injuries and property damage.

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Posted On: October 27, 2009

National Pagans Motorcycle Club President is One of 55 Arrested

A man from Myersville, Maryland, considered to be the President of the National Pagans Motorcycle Club, has been accused of leading the supposedly wide-spread outlaw biker gang in extortion, robbery, kidnapping, plotting to commit murder, weapons violations, and drug dealing, according to the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of West Virginia. Based on a baltimoresun.com report, more than 50 members and associates of the alleged gang are accused of conspiracy to kill and extort rival bikers in order to establish themselves as the top gang of bikers in the area. Those accused are reported to be in West Virginia, Kentucky, Virginia, Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, Delaware and Florida.

According to the article, within the 44-count, 83-page indictment document against those arrested, it is stated: “The PMC and its existing support clubs unlawfully threatened and intimidated people who wanted to start a motorcycle club in the PMC territory.” The article also mentioned that federal prosecutors are in search of holding the alleged leaders, including the Maryland man, and 20 others, without bail.

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Posted On: October 22, 2009

Study Shows that Risk of Being Shot and Killed Increases for those Carrying Guns

According to an article from newscientist.com, a group of researchers at the University of Pennsylvania conducted a study that has citizens across the U.S. contemplating the risk of carrying a loaded weapon. Apparently, in examining 677 shootings over a period of two and a half years to see if victims were carrying a gun at the time, the study found that individuals who carry guns are 4.5 times as likely to be shot and 4.2 times as likely to be killed compared to an unarmed individual. The research also showed that the chances of a victim being shot were even higher in incidents where he or she had an opportunity to defend themselves with a gun.

Based on the article, this study is considered by its operators to be just the beginning in answering whether possessing a gun is an act that creates protection or welcomes threat. Even though one of the study’s researches said that the results may represent how carrying a gun gives a person a false sense of immortality or empowerment, this study’s intention does not appear to be intended to infringe upon the right to bear arms under the Second Amendment.

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Posted On: October 20, 2009

Child Sex Abuse Charges Against Priest

A story from baltimoresun.com reported that a former Catholic priest faces child sexual abuse charges for alleged acts that took place over 30 years ago in Ocean City. The accused 64-year-old man is from North Carolina, which is the location where he has been arrested and where he is being held. According to the report, law enforcement received a complaint of the sexual assault this past spring regarding incidents that allegedly occurred between the years of 1977 and 1982. A spokesman for the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests stated that a lawsuit filed against the arrested man in June relates to the same alleged victim who is from Baltimore County and is now in his 40s.

Sex crimes in Maryland, such as indecent exposure, rape, sexual assault, and prostitution, are all very serious offenses that can result in consequences that will forever affect the lives of a convicted individual and his or her family. These cases can be even more complex when allegations are made by children or if the alleged sex offenses are said to have involved child molestation. An accused individual does not need to be a priest to experience the negative affects of societal scorn, which often happens even before a sex crime case goes to trial. Any person charged with a sex crime risks having their reputation tarnished. Although some Maryland residents learning about the recent sexual abuse allegations may wonder if there are other victims whom have kept silent regarding this particular priest, it is important to remember that every person accused of such crimes is innocent until proven guilty.

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Posted On: October 15, 2009

Supreme Court Addresses Possible Time Limit to Miranda Rights

The Baltimore Sun reports in an article that the Supreme Court has begun discussion in the Maryland v. Shatzer case. The case relates to a child sexual abuse investigation from 2003, in which a man was questioned about molesting a young relative. He asked for an attorney, but he was not provided one, so the case was dropped. Later in 2006, the investigation began again and the man was again questioned. Even though he confessed to lewd acts with the boy in 2006 and was convicted, an appeals court decided that his confession was inadmissible due to the prior request for an attorney made in 2003.

At the heart of the case is the lack of distinction as to how long the request for an attorney should last when a suspect is being interrogated. Statements made by an accused person may be deemed inadmissible if they are made after requesting an attorney to be present and such statements are made when an attorney is not present. Therefore, as it stands currently, a break in custody, even if that break lasts for years, does not erase a request for an attorney.

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Posted On: October 14, 2009

Baltimore Rabbi Accused of Additional Sex Offenses

A wjz.com article reports that five more women are claiming that a well-known rabbi in Baltimore sexually assaulted them or said inappropriate things to them, or committed both acts in some incidents. The 85-year-old rabbi was convicted in April of this year for molesting a woman in a Reisterstown funeral home. He was sentenced to a suspended one-year prison term.

Apparently, it was reported by The Sun that three of the women alleging inappropriate behavior contacted the newspaper and two of the other claims were submitted by other sources. It is interesting that these other five women waited until the rabbi was convicted of a separate sex crime before coming forward with their own allegations.

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Posted On: October 7, 2009

A List of New Laws in Maryland: DWI Consequences Influenced

As the month of October begins at full-speed, Maryland residents must become aware of new laws that have been introduced in the State. These new regulations are being enforced to help prevent crime and injury, especially when it comes to being behind the wheel. According to a times-news.com report, one of the new laws will affect those arrested for DWI. The new law states that within a span of five years, if a person hits their second DWI arrest, he or she will face an obligatory license suspension for one year.

According to the article, another new law that has taken affect in Maryland is an official ban against texting while driving. If you are convicted of texting while driving, you may face a steep fine of $400 in addition to having one point added to your driving record. Considering that the law will make exceptions for emergencies, cases involving texting and driving may present some complications given that one person’s definition of an emergency may differ from another’s.

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Posted On: October 1, 2009

Maryland ATV Accident Kills 17 Year Old

An article from wtop.com reported on June 20, 2009 that a 17-year-old Flintstone boy was killed in an all-terrain vehicle (ATV) accident in Allegany County. Apparently, in an effort to avoid hitting a wire fence while traveling on a private farmland dirt trail, the teen lost control of the ATV and crashed. An 18-year-old passenger on the ATV suffered injuries. It is not known at this time whether the teens were wearing helmets at the time of the incident or if any obstructions played a factor in causing the accident.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration advocates teen driver safety, as do all parents, teachers, neighbors and friends alike. According to the NHTSA website, vehicle crashes are the leading cause of teen deaths in America. Teens are involved in three times as many fatal crashes as all other drivers. This staggering amount of young adults killed due to auto accidents of all kinds, including ATV accidents, motorcycle accidents, car accidents, and pedestrian accidents, are mostly attributed to lack of experience on highways and roads.

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