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Former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick Hopes for a Presidential Pardon from Donald Trump

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Former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick is still holding out hope that President Donald Trump will grant him clemency like he did 11other white collar criminals Tuesday.

What We Know:

  • Last month, Kilpatrick’s friend, Peter Karmanos forwarded Trump a letter, which was authored by Kilpatrick, requesting that the president commute Kilpatrick’s sentence as time served. Kilpatrick, who was sentenced to 28 years in prison, has been locked up since his 2013 on a conviction of 24 criminal charges including extortion, mail fraud, and tax violations.
  • He currently resides in a federal prison in New Jersey. If his sentence is not commuted, Kilpatrick is not eligible for release until 2037.
  • Appearing on the No BS Newshour podcast last month, Karmanos said he was lobbying for Kilpatrick because the punishment was too harsh for the crime. He says Trump is seriously considering the matter.
  • Kilpatrick’s appeals lawyer, Harold Gurewitz, said that he had not been contacted by any White House officials on Tuesday, though he noted that might not happen anyway. He said the White House would likely contact the courts first.
  • Trump announced pardons for former New York police commissioner Bernie Kerik, convicted of tax fraud and lying to officials; Mike Milken, an investment banker known as “Junk Bond King” who was convicted of securities fraud and conspiracy and Eddie DeBartolo Jr., ex-owner of the San Francisco 49ers who plead guilty in 1998 to failing to report a felony in a bribery case.

The White House declined to comment on the matter, according to the Detroit Free-Press.

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Dominique Browder is a Digital Content Creator for UnmutedCo. Dominique is creating news content for Black News Alerts website, social media and newsletter. She enjoys the freedom and loose structure at UnmutedCo and loves how she is able to gain a more hands-on experience. When she is not writing and researching content, Dominique lends her skills to empowering women.

Headlines

Senate Confirms Zahid Quraishi as First Muslim Federal Judge in the U.S.

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On Thursday, the U.S. Senate confirmed Zahid Quraishi as a U.S. District Judge of New Jersey, making him the first Muslim American to hold the position in U.S. history.

What We Know:

  • Quraishi, the son of Pakistani immigrants, was approved by the Senate with an 81-16 vote, receiving all present Democratic votes and 34 Republican ones. He is currently a U.S. magistrate judge for the District of New Jersey, has worked as a federal prosecutor, and served two tours in Iraq.

Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ), stated, “[Quraishi] is a man of integrity, a consummate public servant, and a trailblazer for Asian Americans and Muslim Americans across this country who dream of one day presiding over a court of their own.”

  • President Joe Biden nominated Quraishi in his first group of judicial nominations back in March. Biden focused on diversity with his group of nominees, including three African American women for the openings in the Circuit Court and the first women of color to serve as a federal judge in the District of Maryland.
  • Democrats and progressives expressed their excitement and gave their congratulations to Quraishi via social media. Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) stated that Quraishi was an “excellent addition to the court,” and his confirmation is a “reflection of America’s ideal of religious freedom.” Before the vote, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer stated that they need to expand on demographic and professional diversity, and confirming Quraishi was an example of that.

  • According to The New York Times, The Council on American-Islamic Relations criticized Quraishi’s time while in Iraq and his involvement with former President George W. Bush’s second term. They called Quraishi a “detention legal adviser” during a time when prisoner abuse in Iraq was out of hand.
  • The civil rights group also called out the judge’s involvement with ICE throughout Bush’s last two years of office. They wrote the Senate a letter begging them to take a look into Quraishi’s actions during this time and consider them before they voted. Quraishi received the Bronze Star for his time in service.

Along with confirming Quraishi, the Senate also advanced the nomination of Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. Jackson is at the top of the list for the Supreme Court if a vacancy appears.

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Headlines

Florida Passes Controversial ‘Anti-Riot’ Bill Pushed In Wake of Black Lives Matter Protests

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The legislation is receiving strong support from GOP Governor Ron DeSantis, who is expected to sign it later this week.

What We Know:

  • The bill was passed by the Florida Senate on Thursday in the wake of Black Lives Matter protests last summer. The bill intends to increase criminal penalties for assaulting law enforcement officials while engaging in a “riot” and defacing public property during riots. The legislation would also penalize local governments that interfere with law enforcement efforts to contain riots. It would also set up a citizen’s appeal process when cities and counties try to reduce police budgets in response to riots.
  • The final vote in the Senate was 23 – 17, with one Republican voting with Democrats. Democratic legislators argue that the bill violates First Amendment rights and restricts public opinion. Republicans counter-argue that the bill would protect law enforcement officers and prevent public disorder. GOP State Senator Ed Hooper argued the legislature was not about racism but about “law and order.”
  • Since January 6th, the day of the Capitol Riot, at least 13 states have adopted legislation to crack down on protests. Additionally, Arizona, Indiana, Maryland, Minnesota, Mississippi, Nebraska, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, Virginia, and Washington all filed bills that target social justice protests more broadly.

“This legislation ensures that no community in the state engages in defunding of their police. ” claimed DeSantis.

  • Critics also argue the bill is using violence at the Capitol to target peaceful protests. Legislators also proposed fines and mandatory jail sentences from 30 days to four years. The bill joins similar bills that already exist and carry similar penalties. The majority of bills establish 3rd-degree felonies for property damage, injuring a person, or obstructing a roadway.

In conclusion, the bill allows local police to challenge budgets and opens communities to liability for poor riot control.

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Entertainment

Midwin Charles, CNN and MSNBC Legal Analyst, Dies at 47

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Midwin Charles at SiriusXM Studios in New York, NY.

Midwin Charles, a prominent defense attorney best known as a legal analyst for CNN and MSNBC, died Tuesday, her family announced. She was 47.

What We Know:

  • Midwin Charles  was born in July 1973 and raised in Brooklyn.  After graduating from Syracuse University, Charles received her law degree from American University,where she was an articles editor for the American University Law Review.  She was the founder of the successful law firm Midwin Charles & Associates LLC.  She was a member of the Dean’s Diversity Council for American University’s Washington College of Law, served on the board at Women in Entertainment Empowerment Network (WEEN). She has served as a member of the Civil Rights Committee for the Association of the Bar of the City of New York, lectured at Syracuse University and written for The Huffington Post.  Her prestigious legal career includes time as a research fellow at Harvard Law School and checking for the U.S Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit.
  • Charles’ family announced her passing on her Twitter account on Tuesday. No cause of death has yet been revealed. Those who knew and admired Charles have shared their thoughts.

  • Charles was also a contributor to Essence Magazine and appeared as a commentator on law, pop culture and politics for CNN, HLN, MSNBC, Bloomberg TV, The Wendy Williams Show and TV One among others. According to the Haitian Roundtable, Charles was also a guest host for the radio program Express Yourself on New York’s 107.5 WBLS and SIRIUS XM Radio.
  • Tributes from colleagues, media friends and others bombarded the internet amidst the sad news.

“This one hit really hard today. Rest in Power Sis @MidwinCharles,” tweeted White House Principal Deputy Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre.

  • As forestated, Charles’ family announced the news via her Twitter account.  No cause of death has been determined.

 

This is a breaking news story and will be updated with additional information.

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