The trial of former VA Governor Robert McDonnell and his wife, Maureen, on 14 counts of conspiracy and corruption related to over $150,000 of gifts and loans, received from business man Jonnie R. Williams, Sr., took an absurd turn during the defense opening statements on Tuesday. The defense of Bob McDonnell contends that Maureen McDonnell was the reason for the many gifts received as she had a crush of some sort on Jonnie Williams. His defense asserts that his wife caused the problem. Former DC Mayor Marion Barry made similar comments as a result of his cocaine arrest with former girlfriend, Hazel Diane "Rasheeda" Moore, saying the “b--- set me up.” That sentiment did not work well for Barry and is not likely to work for McDonnell. Throwing his wife under the bus to save himself may backfire. While the case still rests on the testimony of Jonnie Williams, Sr., who has his own issues with telling the truth, the prosecution will corroborate William’s testimony with the … [Read more...] about Why is Bob McDonnell Taking the Marion Barry Approach?
Archives for July 2014
While Trayvon Martin’s murder was viewed through the lens of race, the murder of McBride is seen more through the eyes of gender---the killing of a black woman. And in our patriarchal and sexist society where women still rank lower than men in most instances, black women rank at the very bottom. The undisputed facts of her case are even more disturbing that those involving the murder of Trayvon Martin. She was shot to death while seeking help from Theodore Wafer, her accused murderer, who was locked inside his house. Yet the media and public appear indifferent to her case. Some argue on social media that we are becoming numb due to the number of murder cases of young black life from Trayvon Martin, Jonathan Ferrell, Hadiya Pendleton, Jordan Davis and now Renisha McBride. There is another reason and that one is rooted in gender and how black women are treated in the media. Black women are mostly marginalized in the media and seen in limited roles. In the media, black … [Read more...] about Renisha McBride was Black, a Woman and a Human
Instead of preparing to run a Presidential campaign for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination, former Republican Governor and rising star Bob McDonnell will be preparing for his corruption trial for the next 5 weeks, along with his wife. A jury was selected on Monday, July 28 to hear the trial of former VA Governor Bob McDonnell and his wife Maureen. Both are charged in a conspiracy with 14 counts of receiving gifts and loans in exchange for official government assistance to Star Scientific, the dietary supplement company, of businessman Jonnie Williams, Sr. While Virginia has a history stemming back to Thomas Jefferson, former Governor McDonnell is the first VA governor to face a corruption trial. The trial, due to the personal gifts given to the couple, will be an embarrassing one for the McDonnells and a salacious one for those following it. With allegations that Maureen McDonnell told people that they were broke, the defense intends to introduce the testimony … [Read more...] about Former VA Governor McDonnell Faces Corruption Trial
There is a growing trend of human sex trafficking of children in the U.S. with the highest percentages among African American girls as young as 12 and in foster care. In a highly unusual legislative moment, the House of Representatives on July 25, 2014 unanimously passed legislation, spearheaded for years by Rep. Karen Bass (D. CA) to tighten ways to protect the most vulnerable girls from sex trafficking in the U.S. Too often, sex trafficking or the selling of children for sex is viewed as something that does not occur in the U.S. But according to those working on the bill, the “more than 293,000 American youth who are at risk of sexual commercial exploitation and trafficking per year amounts to a national crisis,” said Rep. McDermott (D.WA.) And these numbers are probably underestimated and do not include those who have already been placed into sex trafficking rings. And the issue is one that unfortunately affects African American girls in a disproportionate manner. 35% of … [Read more...] about Protecting Our Girls from Human Sex Trafficking
As a former prosecutor, I’d like to think that justice will be done in the killing of Renisha McBride who was only asking for help at the time of her untimely death. But as a woman of color, I have my lingering doubts. The trial for the man accused of murdering Renisha McBride, who knocked on his door in the early morning hours of November 2, 2013 seeking help, started on Monday, July 21st . Last year, 19 year old Renisha McBride knocked on the door of Theodore Wafer at 4:30AM in a Detroit suburb seeking help after a car accident. Instead of helping her, Wafer came to his door and shot her in the face. Wafer is charged with second degree murder, manslaughter and firearms violations. He is relying on the Castle doctrine defense which states he has no duty to retreat if he is inside his house. The real question remains for the jury is why he didn’t first call the police. According to the Medical Examiner’s office report, there was no evidence of her being shot at close range. The … [Read more...] about Renisha McBride, Trayvon Martin and Justice in America
Former Virginia Governor Robert (“Bob”) McDonnell and his wife Maureen’s criminal trial on federal corruption charges are expected to start on Monday, July 28 with the former governor likely learning from a defense used successfully by Maryland Senator Ulysses Currie, also accused but acquitted of federal corruption charges. McDonnell and his wife are accused of a conspiracy of taking gifts consisting of loans, Rolex watches, expensive shopping trips to New York, payment for their daughter’s wedding catering, golf outings and others from business man Jonnie Williams, Sr. and CEO of Star Scientific in exchange for the former governor providing official acts to promote the business man’s dietary supplement company. Former Governor McDonnell was well liked by Virginia voters before the time of the investigation and his indictment, was expected to be a rising star in the Republican party. McDonnell’s defense team of lawyers is likely to make the point of the former governor’s likeability … [Read more...] about Former VA Gov. Bob McDonnell Trial Will Test his Likeability