junkie.silhouette.getty.imagesReading from the Voice Media empire: Warnings about the herbal pain reliever kratom have been issued by the federal government, which wanted at one time to classify the substance at the same level as heroin. Plenty of kratom proponents consider such actions unjustified and portray kratom as a miracle drug. But it was anything but a miracle for this user. Here’s his chilling story. Westword has the story.

lethal.injection.getty.imagesReading from the Voice Media empire: A state supreme court recently upheld a lower court’s decision to reverse David Bueno’s first-degree murder conviction because evidence that might have helped him was withheld in his death penalty case, Author and professor Michael Radelet sees the Bueno case as a particularly compelling argument in favor of ending capital punishment in the state once and for all, and he sees multiple possibilities for how it might finally happen. Westword has the story.

homeless-joint-cannabis-can-youtubeReading from the Voice Media empire: A new study about the impact of marijuana maintains that there’s no evidence linking cannabis legalization and the increase of homelessness. This contention has been ripped by Police Chief Troy Davenport, who strongly believes such a connection exists. But one of the academics behind the document suggests that such critics would rather believe the sort of nonsense churned out by prohibitionists for decades than look at actual facts. Westword has the story.

lydia.coronadoReading from the Voice Media empire: State pages on GunMemorial.org are eloquent in their simplicity. Under a slogan that reads “Real People, Not Just Statistics,” the site offers an online place to salute, celebrate, remember and mourn every single person in all fifty states who dies from gun violence, no matter the circumstances. Included are photos, links and places for family and friends to share details about loved ones whose lives ended so suddenly. Each item stands as an individual tribute, as well as a single image in a larger mosaic that illustrates how much pain, bloodshed and heartache involving firearms takes place in our state on practically a daily basis. Here’s how this tragic roster came to be. Westword has the story.

travis.henry.file.photo.largeReading from the Voice Media empire: James Mack has been sentenced for mailing marijuana, and it’s no surprise that he earned considerably more than the one year in federal prison recently earned by Mark Koenig for the offense last month. While Koenig was found guilty of shipping between 950 grams and 1.6 kilograms of cannabis during four incidents, Mack is said to have posted multiple pounds of pot to a cohort in a neighboring state on a weekly basis for nearly three years. And this won’t be Mack’s first trip to prison for a high-profile drug case. He was convicted in 2009 for his involvement in a cocaine deal that teamed him with former NFL-star Travis Henry. Westword has the story.

maxresdefaultReading from the Voice Media empire: The ACLU filed a class action lawsuit against Sheriff Bill Elder, claiming that he was illegally using ICE detainer requests as justification for refusing to release prisoners who had already posted bond, completed their sentence or otherwise resolved their criminal case. The suit alleged that in his county, Sheriff Elder had held dozens of inmates for ICE in a county jail for days, weeks and even months. Now, Judge Eric Bentley has upheld the ACLU’s position by granting an injunction against Elder. Westword has the story.

brandon.johnson.mug.shotReading from the Voice Media empire: In February 2016, Brandon Johnson and William Lancaster were charged with felony manlslaughter for selling Mark Largay fentanyl, a powerful opioid that wound up killing him. Two years later, Johnson has been sentenced for a lesser crime, distributing a controlled substance, but still must serve five years behind bars because of an aggravating factor. Johnson was confined in a community-corrections facility when he took part in what proved to be a fatal transaction. Westword has the story.

michael.lee.marshall.surveillance.video.8Reading from the Voice Media empire: A scathing report from an independent monitor contends that an investigation into Michael Marshall’s tragic in-custody death was badly mishandled. Law enforcers counter that they did nothing wrong even though they didn’t bother with fresh interviews of the jail personnel involved into being called on the carpet by the monitor, who feels the resulting punishment wasn’t nearly serious enough. Westword has the story.

ruben.lee.two.facebookReading from the Voice Media empire: Despite having more than seventy years of combined experience working for United Airlines, flight attendants Ruben Lee and Jeanne Stroup were fired by the carrier for watching a video on an iPad for approximately fifteen minutes and failing to wear aprons during one flight in September 2013. But while folks at the company may have thought they’d save money by sacking two veteran employees, they were wrong. A jury has awarded Lee and Stroup $800,000 in damages, and attorney David Lane, who represents them, predicts the final tally will come close to double that amount. Westword has the story.

christopher.parker.two.facebookReading from the Voice Media empire: Parker’s most recent Facebook notes, posted through the day before his first court appearance for killing 65-year-old William “Bill” Connole, form a twisted stream of consciousness characterized by violent or offensive subtext: “Im not the coroner…Dr Duke godamn luke…His 12 bitches lined up pussy squirts on film…I told him 12 ID do it…I sure liked shooting for Paul he paid late night drug steals whores…Blonde offspring guy…I unloaded my four ten…No on paul…Funny farm fucking guy…Bitches lsd he said Marty and Alonso coke blowjobs…They said…Janelle diesel…Paul likes cop pussy made his glasses thicker he said….Then Paul well the coroner shot his dad it was over…You gotta know Paul cop women whore big dick and tells he turned Mexican he had his boy…Always talking about my murder skills…I sold it 30-06 Paul said I would be greater the Charles Manson.” Westword has the story.

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