Alleged Nazi deported

The story:

89 year old Cleveland resident John Demjanjuk, a Ukrainian immigrant and retired auto worker, was deported from the United States to Germany to face charges of accessory to murder for 29,000 deaths at the Sobibor concentration camp in Poland.

Demjanjuk moved to the United States in 1951.  His legal troubles began in 1977, when he was indentified in a photo lineup by holocaust suriviors.

In 1986, he was deported to Israel to face charges that he was the infamous “Ivan The Terrible” of the Treblinka camp.  He was convicted in 1988 and sentenced to death, but his conviction was overturned by an Israeli court in 1993 on the basis of reasonable doubt that he was actually Ivan The Terrible.

The newest charges against Demjanjuk originated in 2003.

Demjanjuk’s attorneys claim that he was a POW at the camp – and essentially a pawn of the Nazis.  They also argued that  his poor health had the impact of making the deportation torture.  Initially, Demjanjuk will be held at a prison hospital.

Kosmo’s opinion:

Truly, it is sad to see an 89 year old man separated from his family.  The charge of accessory to murder carries of penalty of up to 15 years, meaning that a conviction will likely result in him dying in prison.  However, if the charges against him are true, Demjanjuk must pay the penalty for his crimes.  It is refreshing to see that the wheels of justice never stop turning, even 65 years after the crime.

Solider kills others

The story:

Army sergeant  John Russell is a veteran of three tours of duty in Iraq, as well as previous deployments to Bosnia and Kosovo.  Recently, Russell felt that some people were trying to force him out of the military.  His commander had referred him to counseling and ordered that his weapon be taken away.  Russell had an altercation at the stress clinic on Monday.  He later took a weapon from another soldier, returned to the clinic and opened fire, killing five.  Russell has been charged with five counts of murder and one count of aggravated assault.

Kosmo’s opinion:

Russell seems to have a solid foundation for a defense related to insanity or stress.  His commander actually clearly indicate that there were some concerns about Russell’s mental and emotional states.  This may make it difficult for the prosecutor to discredit similar claims by the defense team.

Foxy Knoxy

The story:

In Italy, 21 year old Amanda Knox and her former boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito are charged with sexual assault and murder in the death of Knox’s roommate, Meredith Kercher.  Prosecutors maintain that Kercher was killed when she refused to participate in sex games.  Knox and Kercher were college students in Italy.  Knox was from Washington state and Kercher from Britain.  Knox’s good looks (and perhaps the incredibly long trial) have made her a tabloid celebrity in Italy (hence the nickname “Foxy Knoxy”), where she has been referred to as the “devil with an angel’s face”.

The case against Knox appears to be strong.  Perhaps most damning so far was the evidence of bloody footprints introduced into evidence last week.  Expert witnesses claim that these prints were left by Knox and Sollecito.  An alleged collaborator was found guilty of conspiracy to commit murder and sentenced to 30 years in prison.

The prosecutor in the Knox case is facing charges of abuse of power, unrelated to the Knox case.

Kosmo’s opinion:

Yikes – killing the woman because she refused to participate in a sex game?  That’s incredibly twisted.  Throw the book at them.  Kercher probably felt safe with her roommate, who was also a “foreigner” in Italy – only to have that trust betrayed in the worst imaginable way.