Top 5 Live-WURD Thursday April 16
1. Former NFL Player Aaron Hernandez Found Guilty Of Murder
Aaron Hernandez, whose rise to elite status in the NFL was ended by charges that he shot and killed a man, has been found guilty of first-degree murder. In 2013, Hernandez was accused of killing the boyfriend of his fiancee’s sister.The charges in the case ranged from murder to gun charges. The 12-member jury had to reach a unanimous decision on the charge of first-degree murder, which carries a possible sentence of life in prison without parole.
In Massachusetts, first-degree murder verdicts also trigger an automatic appeal.
Hernandez was 23 when he was arrested in June of 2013 for the murder of Odin Lloyd, 27. The next day, the New England Patriots announced they had cut him from the team.
Evidence in the case “includes surveillance footage, text messages, and rental car records.” That surveillance footage included video from Hernandez’s home the night Lloyd was shot, in which he was seen holding an object that prosecutors said was a Glock pistol. His defense team said it was an iPad.
2. Elizabeth Warren Hammers Failures Of Wall Street Regulators
Sen. Elizabeth Warren assailed the nation’s top bank regulators on Wednesday for coddling Wall Street offenders and ducking the responsibilities Congress assigned them after the 2008 financial meltdown.
At a conference hosted by the Levy Economics Institute, Warren called for structural change to the banking system and a revamping of the weak enforcement culture at the Federal Reserve, the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Department of Justice
“The Department of Justice doesn’t take big financial institutions to trial ever — even when financial institutions engage in blatantly criminal activity,” Warren said. She accused DOJ of turning deferred prosecution agreements, designed for low-level offenders, into “get-out-of-jail-free cards for the biggest corporations in the world.”
3. Man taken into custody after landing single-person aircraft on Capitol grounds
A mailman from Florida wanted to make a big, bold point about the corruption that results from money in politics.So Doug Hughes boarded a small personal aircraft called a “gyrocopter” and flew an hour from Maryland into restricted airspace over Washington and landed on the West Lawn of the Capitol building.
In tote: letters for every member of Congress urging them to reform campaign finance laws.
Hughes caused a melee Wednesday afternoon when he flew his gyrocopter to the nation’s capitol. Capitol Police converged as he landed, and the White House said President Barack Obama was briefed on the situation.
According to the U.S. Capitol Police, the aircraft was observed landing at about 1:30 p.m. and the operator — Hughes – was immediately taken into custody. A bomb squad investigated the gyrocopter but nothing hazardous was found. Law enforcement then took the gyrocopter to a secure location, according to the Capitol Police.
4. Obama Yields, Allowing Congress Say on Iran Nuclear Deal
The White House said President Obama would sign a compromise bill giving Congress a voice on the proposed nuclear accord with Iran.An unusual alliance of Republican opponents and some of Mr. Obama’s strongest Democratic supporters demanded a congressional role as negotiators work to turn this month’s nuclear framework into a final deal by June 30.“We’re involved here. We have to be involved here,” said Senator Benjamin L. Cardin of Maryland, the committee’s ranking Democrat. “Only Congress can change or permanently modify the sanctions.”
The essence of the legislation is that Congress will have a chance to vote on whatever deal emerges with Iran — if one is reached by June 30 — but in a way that would be extremely difficult for Mr. Obama to lose.Congress would essentially be able to vote on an eventual end to sanctions. But if it rejected the agreement, Mr. Obama could veto that legislation — and it would take only 34 senators to sustain the veto, meaning the president could lose upward of a dozen Democratic senators and still prevail.
5. Pennsylvania Supreme court race drawing huge money from labor
Millions are flowing into an unprecedented race to fill three seats on Pennsylvania’s Supreme Court. Topping the money list of the 12 candidates is Philadelphia Common Pleas Judge Kevin Dougherty, thanks in part to organized labor. Of the $707,931 he had collected through March, more than half came from laborers and at least $302,000 from one union: the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers – led locally by his politically influential older brother, John “Johnny Doc” Dougherty.
“I love my brother,” the judge said in an interview, but money would not affect how he did his job.”My brother has never influenced me on the bench or in any decisions I’ve made as a judge,” Dougherty said.
“After 15 years I have earned the reputation of Judge Kevin Dougherty.”Lynn Marks, executive director for the advocacy group Pennsylvanians for Modern Courts, said Dougherty is a credible candidate for the bench, but
“It’s really hard to argue that people’s perception of such a system is not corroded when judges can accept huge amounts of money from groups and individuals who could very well come before them,” she said.
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Solomon Jones is an Essence bestselling author and award-winning columnist. He is the creator and editor of Solomonjones.com and morning host on 900 am WURD radio. Click here to learn more about Solomon