Turkish court fines bystander/tourist who sued police for shooting out his eye

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Shavkatbek Saipov was vacationing in Turkey in 2013 when he was hit in the eye by a teargas cannister fired by police during the brutal crackdown on the Occupy Gezi protests; he lost the eye and sued the Turkish police. Read the rest

Affluenza teen and mom captured in Mexico

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In 2013, 16-year-old Ethan Couch was found guilty of drunkenly plowing into a group of people helping a stranded motorist, killing four of them and maiming two others. A psychologist hired by Couch's defense lawyers said the teen's extravagantly wealthy lifestyle prevented him from knowing right from wrong. Texas State District Judge Jean Boyd agreed. Instead of sending Couch to prison, she gave him 10 years probation and a stint at a luxury rehab center in Newport Beach, California, which offers cooking classes, yoga, and "equine-assisted psychotherapy."

The horse-enhanced rehab apparently didn't work, because a video recently surfaced that shows Couch, now 18, playing beer pong at a party. The conditions of Couch's probation forbid him from drinking alcohol. Shortly after that, Couch failed to show up for a scheduled meeting with his parole officer. When authorities investigated, they discovered Couch and his mother Tonya (48) were missing, along with their passports. After a brief manhunt, Couch and his mother were captured in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. Couch has dyed his hair black.

The Daily Beast has more about Couch's parents, who seem like real pieces of work:

On a February night at 1 a.m., a cop found Ethan urinating in a parking lot, with a 14-year-old girl naked inside his truck, which contained a Miller Lite can and bottle of Grey Goose vodka, according to D Magazine.

Tonya paid Ethan’s fines and court fees, and blamed herself when he didn’t complete an alcohol class and community-service hours. She said she’d “misread the online thing.”

During a deposition in a civil suit against the family a year later, Tonya was asked about the girl.

Read the rest

The trial of a 14th century female doctor

In November 1322, Jakoba (or Jacoba) Felicie stood trial in her native Paris for the crime of practicing medicine without official sanction. Over the course of the trial, it became clear that her work as a doctor had been excellent. But Dr. Felicie was stuck in an unfortunate catch-22. She could not legally work as a doctor without first getting professional training. And she could not get professional training because she was a woman. The ScienceZest blog tells her story. Read the rest

BART cop Mehserle gets 2 years (minimum possible sentence) for shooting unarmed man in the back

A judge in Los Angeles today sentenced 28-year-old Johannes Mehserle (shown at left), former BART transit officer, to two years in prison for shooting an unarmed man on an Oakland train platform. Oscar Grant, 22 years old, (shown at right) died.

A number of witness cellphone videos circulated online shortly after the incident, and were used in the court hearings.

Two years was the minimum sentence Mehserle could have received for the involuntary manslaughter conviction. The trial had been moved to LA over concerns about the extensive media coverage of the killing in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Let's hope Oakland stays non-violent tonight. Oakland-based Youth Radio has some excellent coverage of the Oscar Grant story.

More on today's sentencing: NPR, LA Times, SF Chronicle, Oakland Tribune. The SF Appeal is liveblogging whatever unfolds with protests tonight.

Oscar Grant: Youth Radio's magazine about the aftermath Jury reaches verdict in BART police shooting caught on cellphones ... "Citizen videos" spread online showing BART police officer ... Read the rest

Mississippi school purges top student from yearbook for being lesbian

Ceara Sturgis, a top student at Wesson Attendance Center in Mississipi, has been purged from the yearbook. She attended the school for 12 years, but she's also a lesbian, and so they made her an un-person.
"They didn't even put her name in it," Sturgis' mother Veronica Rodriguez said. "I was so furious when she told me about it. Ceara started crying and I told her to suck it up. Is that not pathetic for them to do that? Yet again, they have crapped on her and made her feel alienated."

Sturgis and her mother commissioned the Mississippi ACLU to protest officials' October 2009 decision not to allow Sturgis' photo to appear in the senior yearbook because she chose to wear a tuxedo instead of a dress.

The ACLU wrote an October letter demanding officials use Sturgis' submitted photo in the yearbook, but Copiah County School District officials refused. Rodriguez said she expected the yearbook to at least contain a reference to her daughter on the senior page. What she discovered on Friday, when the yearbook came in, was that the school had refused to acknowledge her entirely.

School Cuts Gay Student Photo from Yearbook (Thanks, Matt!) Previously:Lesbian panic shuts down Mississippi high-school prom Lesbian panic victim invited to Potemkin Prom? Read the rest