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The End of the Death Penalty in USA?

A lengthy but interesting read from Slate:

http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/jurisprudence/2015/07/death_penalty_at_the_supreme_court_kennedy_may_vote_to_abolish_capital_punishment.single.html

Recent Supreme Court opinions suggest there are five votes to abolish capital punishment.

Justice for Murdered Dr. Divyendu Sinha- Please Sign the petition Last Date: October 16

Dear Friends:

Namaste. Almost three and a half years back, Dr. Divyendu Sinha, a brilliant computer scientist was beaten to death close to his home in Old Bridge, NJ while out on an evening stroll on June 25, 2010. Four teenagers attacked him while one teenager waited with a get-away car.

               Divyendu Sinha

All five were charge as adult. However, Sinha family had nothing but set backs. One defendant, Steven Contreras, acquitted of most serious charge of murder, pleaded guilty in a plea bargain and would be sentenced to no more than four years. Other two, Julian Daley and Christopher Conway also took a plea deal without ever going to trial and would receive up to 8 and 15 years respectively.

The tragedy was compounded when on September 30th, a jury returned a verdict  of Not Guilty on nine of 10 counts, including charge of murder for remaining two defendants, Christian Tinli and Cash Johnson. This in face of overwhelming evidence and eyewitness testimony is nothing short of gross injustice to the Sinha family and a slap on the law abiding citizens of this country. Imagine instead of spending rest of their lives in a prison as the punishment, together these five criminals will spend no more than 23 years, that is less than five years on average.

We have created a petition asking the Judge Bradley Ferencz to ignore the plea deal and sentence the convicts to the maximum prison time allowed by the law. We have hardly eight days to collect thousands of signatures as we need to submit the signatures to the judge on October 16. Sentencing date is October 18.

Please sign the petition at the following link and post it on your social media (Facebook, Google+, twitter, blog, Reddit, etc.) and broadcast it to your email groups as soon as possible. 

<http://tinyurl.com/sinhapetition>  If there is any problem with it, then paste the following link in your address bar.

http://www.change.org/petitions/petition-to-the-hon-bradley-ferencz-jsc-to-demand-maximum-sentence-allowed-by-law-for-all-five-defendants-responsible-for-the-death-of-dr-divyendu-sinha-and-to-stop-the-miscarriage-of-justice-now#share

You can hear a radio interview that I had immediately after the verdict at <http://youtu.be/ZnbnzrCDpSg>.

​We thank you on behalf of Mrs. Alka Sinha and her sons, Ashish and Ravi.

Brotherly yours,

Gaurang G. Vaishnav​

VHP of America

Edison, NJ, USA

732-744-0851

 

Take up one idea. Make that one idea your life – think of it, dream of it, live on that idea. Let the brain, muscles, nerves, every part of your body, be full of that idea, and just leave every other idea alone. This is the way to success. – Swami Vivekananda

Dr. Divyendu Sinha Murder Trial (NJ, USA): 2nd Defendant, Julian Daley Pleads Guilty to 1st Degree charge of “Aggravated Manslaughter”

Julian Daley Pleads Guilty to First Degree charge of “Aggravated Manslaughter” in a Plea Bargain Deal
1. As part of the plea bargain, Julian Daley pleaded guilty to the charge of “Aggravated manslaughter”, which is a First degree charge.  The Plea deal recommends a 15 year jail term in a state prison. Without a plea, he could have faced up to 30 years, if convicted. Please see full report below.

If you have not singed the petition for speedy and proper justice for Divyendu Sinha’s family yet, please do so: Click on this link:

<http://www.change.org/petitions/mr-bruce-kaplan-prosecutor-middlesex-county-nj-we-want-justice-for-the-murder-of-dr-divyendu-sinha

===============================================================================================================

Update-31 February 16, 2013  

 February 16, 2013  

 Dear Supporters of Sinha Family and Community Members:

Namaste. We communicated to you last on November 28, 2012 where we informed you that Steven Contreras, the driver of the car that carried other four defendants in the case of The State of New Jersey Vs. Steven K. Contreras for the murder of Dr. Divyendu Sinha on June 26, 2010 had accepted a plea bargain on November 27 under which he would be sentenced to no more than four years prison term.

Divyendu Sinha

(Dr. Divyendu Sinha 1961-2010: He was beaten to death by four teenagers on the night of June 25, 2010)

Since then, we were waiting for a trial date for the remaining four defendants.  On February 5, there was a conference of attorneys and the assistant prosecutor with the Judge Bradley Ferencz to set the trial date for three of the defendants, i.e., Cash Johnson, Christian Tinli and Christopher Conway.  That date is now set for August 5 of this year. However, based on our experience so far, we would not be surprised if it is pushed to sometime next year!

The prosecution had excluded Julian Daley (JD) from this discussion because it was discussing a plea deal with him. While he could be sentenced to 30 years to life if convicted on First Degree murder charge, prosecutor’s office was not confident of winning the case after the setback in Steven Contreras trial. Assistant Prosecutor, Christopher Kuberiet was ready to offer 15 years jail term to which Mrs. Sinha strenuously objected; ultimately a 20 year jail term was offered.

February 7 was put on calendar to enter Julian Daley’s guilty plea. Since we came to know that the prosecutor had agreed to  a 15 years of jail term instead of 20 years,  Mrs. Sinha wrote a letter to the judge not to accept the plea deal that was worked out between the Assistant Prosecutor and Julian Daley’s attorney, Mr. Mitchell Ansell. (This letter will follow as a separate blog.)

 So, on 7th afternoon we were at the Middlesex Superior Court in the court room of Judge Bradley Ferencz. The judge asked counsels from both sides to state their position.

Mr. Mitchell Ansell said that his client was ready to plead guilty. 

 Julian Daley pleaded guilty to aggravated manslaughter. He also pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit aggravated assault, aggravated manslaughter and — in an unrelated case — aiding the burglary of his neighbor’s house in December, 2012.

                                                            

                                                                                                                                                                                               
Julain Daley

                                                                                                               Convicted Criminal Julian Daley

 

Mr. Mitchell Ansell went through a series of questions that he asked Julian Daley as per the standard procedure. 

Atty. Mitchell Ansell

Attorney Mitchell Ansell

Julian Daley answered “Yes” to the following questions:

Were you in the Town of Old Bridge on the night of June 25, 2010?

Did Steven Contreras stop the car?

Did four of you got out of the car?

Did for of you see Sinha family walking on the Fella Drive, Old Bridge?

Did four of you (Julian Daley, Christopher Conway, Christian Tinli and Cash Johnson) ran to the Sinha family and started swinging?

Did you strike Dr. Sinha?

Did you understand that there was a clear possibility of death because of your action?

That your reckless actions caused death of Dr. Sinha?

On June 30, 2010 you gave a statement to the police?

That statement was truthful?

 At this point, Assistant Prosecutor, Christopher Kuberiet asked:

You observed Christopher Conway and Christian Tinli hitting Dr. Sinha?

Julian Daley answered, ‘Yes.’

His attorney, Mitchell Ansell continued asking questions to Julian Daley:

On December 16, 2012 were you under house arrest?

That you could not leave your property without court approval?

That you instructed your friend, Ray to steal from your next door neighbor’s home?

That later this stolen property was found in your possession?

That you understand that by pleading guilty, you are waving your right to a trial?

Julian Daley answered, ‘Yes’ to the above questions.

JD answered in negative when he was asked if he was coerced, threatened, influenced or promised anything other than what was written in the plea deal.

Julian Daley answered “Yes” to following questions by his attorney, Mitchell Ansell:

You understand that:

you will not be paying any restitution but will pay $155 court fee?

you would be sentenced to up to 15 years?

you will spend time in a State prison?

you will serve at least 85% of the sentence because this is a violent crime, before being eligible for parole?

Your bail Is not forfeited?

You are pleading guilty because in fact, you are guilty and not because of any other consideration?

Mr. Ansell further told JD that at the time of sentencing the prosecutor and members of Sinha family will speak.

Before sentencing, the judge will do extensive review of your life; your

education history, health history and family history will be evaluated

before imposing the sentence. He may or may not accept the plea deal. If the judge does not accept the plea deal, then at that time you could withdraw your guilty plea of your free will.

You have to testify truthfully at the trial of remaining three defendants; if you don’t, this plea becomes null and void.

If your plea becomes null and void, you will face up to 45 years in a state prison for all the charges.

Judge Bradley Frencez

Judge Bradley Ferencz of Middlesex County Superior Court, NJ

Now, the Judge, Bradley Ferencz  addressed Julian Daley.

Do you understand that:

the plea is between you, your lawyer and the Prosecutor. The Court is not a party to it?

once the plea is accepted, it is permanent?

you have stated that you have spoken to your lawyer?

that he has answered all your questions?

That he has served you well?

Julian Daley answered, ‘Yes’ to the above questions.

The judge further asked:

Do you understand the form (guilty plea)? Answer : Yes.

Whose signature is on that form? JD: Mine.

You have read and understood the guilty plea and the deal without any pressure?

Your answers are honest and truthful?

You were not threatened or forced to accept the deal and plead guilty?

You are/were not under influence of any drug. Alcohol, medicine that would impair your ability to make a decision?

that the State has asked that you be sentenced to 15 years in a prison?

If I accept the plea, I will sentence you to 15 years?

Julian Daley answered, ‘Yes’ to the above questions.

 The judge further said:

If I do not accept the plea, I will impose a longer sentence; If I do not accept the plea, I will let you know. You can withdraw your guilty plea and ask for a trial and whatever you said today cannot be used against you in the trial.

If you do not cooperate with the prosecution (as a part of the plea bargain), the plea stands, that is, you remain guilty and you cannot ask for a trial but your sentence will be increased to up to 20 years.

You will be on probation for five years after serving your sentence. If you violate probation any time after serving your sentence you will have to serve the full term under the law (20 years.)

JD answered yes to each statement indicating that he understood the implications of his decision to plead guilty and consequences of failing to cooperate.

 Judge mentioned that he had received Mrs. Alka Sinha’s letter. He said that he could not act on it as yet; he will wait for the pre-sentencing report and then he will take her letter in consideration.

The above process lasted about 25 minutes. Then at 2:20 P.M. the judge announced that he had accepted the negotiated Guilty plea of Julian Daley.

With the consent of defense attorney and the Assistant Prosecutor, the judge deferred the sentencing to September 9 at 1:30 PM. 

This paves way for  the next trial of remaining three defendants, i.e.,  Christian Tinli, Christopher Conway and Cash Johnson.

                                                                           

Christian Tinli
Christopher Conway                                   Cash Johnson

   Christian Tinli                        Christopher Conway                            Cash Johnson

That trial will start on August 5, 2013. We will keep you posted of developments. Let us not lose the focus. We want to work together as a community of law abiding citizens as this affects all- US Citizens, Indian immigrants, Blacks, Whites and Asians as well as people of any religious persuasion. When the trial starts, we will need your support in being present in the court as you did for the first trial.

On behalf of Ms. Alka Sinha and the family, we thank you for your tremendous support.

Brotherly yours,

Gaurang G. Vaishnav

Vishwa Hindu Parishad of America (VHPA)

Blog: <https://vicharak1.wordpress.com/>, Twitter:<http://twitter.com/#!/vicharak1>

Facebook: www.facebook.com/vicharak1


Disclaimer: This is a synopsis of court hearing based on notes taken by me. Not all communications are captured and while I attempt to be as accurate as possible, there may be legal points that could have been missed or misinterpreted. – Gaurang 

Sign petiition for Justice to Dr. Divyendu Sinha (murdered)’s Family

Appeal to sign Petition for Justice to Dr. Divyendu Sinha’s Family

Almost two and a half years back Dr. Divyendu Sinha, a computer scientist  was attacked by five teenagers when he was out for an evening stroll with his family in Old Bridge, New Jersey. While his two sons were injured, Divyendu Sinha died due to head injuries after four days.

Volunteers of Vishwa Hindu Parishad (World Hindu Council) of America (VHPA) have been with the family from day one and are monitoring the cases as they move through the legal system.

There have been inordinate delays in prosecuting the case and the trial of the first defendant, Steven Contreras, driver of the car resulted in acquittal on most serious charge of first degree murder. On one charge that was not resolved by the jury, he was able to obtain a slap on the wrist by pleading guilty to reckless aggravated assault where he would not receive more than four years of prison time.

No trial date has been set for the remaining four defendants and we are concerned that they would be offered a lenient plea deal as well to avoid a trial.  Even if the case goes to trial it will take months as for one or the other reason, this case is relegated to a back seat. (Please see the background of this case below.) Therefore, we need your help now to put enough pressure on the Prosecutor so that he may not bargain away Sinha family’s rights to fair justice through a speedy trial and punishment of the guilty to fit the crime.

Please click on the petition to the prosecutor:

<http://www.change.org/petitions/mr-bruce-kaplan-prosecutor-middlesex-county-nj-we-want-justice-for-the-murder-of-dr-divyendu-sinhathen on the right side where it says Sign this petition, fill out necessary information and click Sign.

 Please circulate this email widely to your contacts and mail groups in USA and all over the world. We cannot bring back Divyendu Sinha but together, through thousands of signature we can compel the prosecutor to strive to get maximum sentence to the perpetrators of this crime.

Thank you.

Gaurang G. Vaishnav

========================================================

Background:

Two and a half years ago, on the night of June 25, 2010, Dr. Divyendu Sinha, 49,was out for a walk with his wife and two sons near his home in Old Bridge, NJ., when they were attacked by four teenagers for no apparent reason. They beat Dr. Sinha with their fists and feet, knocking him to the ground. His two sons were beaten as well. Dr. Sinha succumbed to 

                                                                                                           Divyendu Sinha

                                                                                                                                                                                 Dr. Divyendu Sinha (1961-2010)

his injuries four days later.After beating Dr. Sinha, the four teenagers ran back to the car and fled. They bragged to each other about what they had done and how much they enjoyed it. Julian Daley, 16, Christian Tinli, 18, Christopher Conway, 17, Cash Johnson, 17, along with the driver of the car, Steven Contreras, 17, were charged with murder and other lesser counts.

Earlier this year, on May 8th, 2012, in a verdict that devastated many, including the Sinha family, a jury found the driver of the get-away car, Steven Contreras, Not Guilty of murder, and could not reach a verdict on the count of reckless manslaughter, for which he could be re-tried. Subsequently, he pleaded Guilty to conspiracy to commit aggravated assault, and faces up to four years in prison, in a plea bargain with the Prosecutor’s Office.

It has been two and a half years since the murder of Dr. Sinha, and no trial date has been set for the remaining four defendants. We must demand that the trial begin in short order without further delay.

The murder of Dr. Sinha was a heinous crime perpetrated on a good man, a good family man, a good citizen. He graduated from the Indian Institute of Technology in 1982, authored a number of technical papers in computer science. After teaching stints at Stevens Institute of Technology and at the College of Staten Island, he worked at Siemens, an international electronics and engineering company. His students, business associates, friends and family, have nothing but kind words to describe him, and are devastated by his murder. We must demand that the remaining four defendants be tried for 1st degree murder, convicted and sentenced to life in State prison. Nothing will bring Dr. Sinha back to us, but we must ensure that justice is served on his killers.

Old Bridge, NJ is a suburban town of roughly 66,000, and rarely encounters violent crime. This murder has shaken the town, and its residents are awaiting justice in order to restore their safety and security.

 

Obsession over Casey Anthony case is unproductive — try helping the living children still in need

A very thought provoking article. Amidst all the hoopla and emotional outbursts about Casey Anthony case, the writer suggest ways to harness all the energy for a better future for neglected adn abused children who are still living.- The moderator
Courtesy:  Orlando Sentinel
Scott Maxwell

7:02 p.m. EDT, July 12, 2011

 Casey Anthony is expected to get out of jail this weekend.

If so, the news will once again energize the cult of Casey.

These are the people whose prime source of entertainment for the past three years has been the death of a 2-year-old girl.

Caylee’s  death did wonders for Nancy Grace‘s ratings. But it’s the legions of Americans who provide those ratings I find most troubling.

They voraciously consume everything about the case. They busy themselves writing missives on Facebook. Some even took their summer vacation at the Orange County Courthouse.

Just imagine if America had channeled its energy into something productive … something more than trage-tainment.

Three years ago, when this case first started, I suggested readers do just that — that they volunteer, for example, with one of the many nonprofits that helps toddlers whoaren’t dead.

I suggested if they want to yell and scream, they should do so on behalf of the millions of neglected children who lack a voice.

Prosecutor Jeff Ashton suggested the same thing last week when he saw the rage building after the verdict.

“Everybody needs to turn the energy that they have into something positive,” Ashton said on CNN. “If you want to do something to honor Caylee, then do something to help other children.”

I wonder how many will.

Making a difference, after all, takes more work. And while it can be fulfilling, it’s usually less titillating.

You may remember that interest in the Anthony case took off after the media got hold of pictures showing Casey drunk, dancing in a tight dress and partying with her cleavage exposed.

Nancy Grace couldn’t show the pictures enough, her on-screen headlines screaming: “MORE NEW PICS OF TOT MOM ALLEGED SEXY PARTYING!”

The public ate it up. By the time the case went to trial, the American media was all Casey all the time. That most certainly included my newspaper, which set records with the millions of new visitors at OrlandoSentinel.com during the trial.

One can only imagine what would happen if the same kind of media resources and manpower were ever focused on all the problems and crises affecting the children who are still alive.

We live in a state infamous for short-changing children. We have one of the highest child-abuse rates in the country. We have more uninsured children than 48 other states. Our graduation rates lag.

But stories about such things don’t make ratings spike. Because you don’t watch them.

Sure, I know the Anthony case was compelling. I get that.

But so is the plight of so many children living in our own backyard — kids who have been beaten by their parents, left to rummage for food from trash cans and found living in sheds.

We’ve written stories about all of those things. How many of those did you share with all your Facebook friends?

Want to redirect some of your Casey energy?

•If children are your concern, think about helping one of the many great nonprofits that protect and even shelter at-risk children. There are dozens, ranging from Harbor House of Central Florida (harborhousefl.com) to the Children’s Home Society of Florida (chsfl.org). The last time I visited the Children’s Home Society’s crisis nursery, I saw a 2-year-old whose father had broken her leg, and a neglected brother and sister who arrived wearing the only clothes they possessed.

•If seeing “justice served” was supposedly your main interest in the case, you can actually make a difference on that front as well. Locally, you can follow CourtWatch (courtwatchflorida.org), which keeps tabs on cases of child abuse, domestic violence, sexual assaults and more. Dedicated advocates like director Laura Williams watch out for repeat and violent offenders seeking leniency from the courts.

•And if you’re all about expressing outrage to politicians, save your energy on the Casey case. These guys are already elbowing one another to get in front of cameras to tout “Caylee’s law.” Instead, ask your elected officials to do more for the kids who are still with us. Every child should be protected from violence, have access to health care and receive a good education. In an ideal world, all parents would ensure that. Our world is far from ideal.

I have to warn you: There’s no cleavage involved in any of the activities above. Nancy Grace won’t be screaming about them on TV.

But you will make a difference.

smaxwell@tribune.com or 407-420-6141

Attack on Baba Ramdev Undemocratic : ABVP

Date – 05.06.2011
Press Release
Appeals to Protest Nationwide
A Press Release by Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad’s General Secretary
Umesh Dutt on 5th June,2011

Attack on Baba Ramdev Undemocratic : ABVP
Declaring central government’s attempt to suppress Baba Ramdev’s strike as tyrannical and anti-democratic Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad’s General Secretary Umesh Dutt has called for a Nation-wide protest. Vidyarthi Parishad shall carry on agitation throughout the country against the Central Government’s move today as well as tomorrow.

The Use of Police force against Baba Ramdev’s follower-activists by Govt.is a clear indication of Govt.’s intention to misuse power endowed on it to suppress anti-corruption movement waged against it. Congress’ topmost leaders’ names are involved in the black-money scam and Government of India is clearly trying to safeguard their interests.

Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad firmly believes that the entire Govt, including Smt. Sonia Gandhi, Prime Minister M.M Singh being involved in corruption have opted for a way of escapism by manipulating the law as they are only interested in running their government.

Parishad clearly asserts that such a move cannot suppress people’s voice and that Govt has to pay a huge price for doing so. Parishad incites all the anti-corruption forces to come together to form a collective voice and fight against such anti-democratic practices.

It also declares that the youth of India under the leadership of ABVP will carry on an agitation which will be made stronger in a course of time.
As previously declared by ABVP 10,00,000 students will actually come on the roads to protest against corruption on 27th of July and on 9th August “Brshtachariyo Satta Chodo” (dethroning corrupt politicians) movement shall begin.

Mayawati demands Supreme Court probe in police action on Ramdev

PTI / Sunday, June 5, 2011 14:58 IST
Condemning police action against Baba Ramdev and his supporters “in strongest terms”, Uttar Pradesh chief minister and BSP supremo Mayawati today requested the Supreme Court to order a probe as “justice cannot be expected from the Centre” in the issue.

Mayawati termed the crackdown at the Ram Lila Maidan as “inhuman”, “undemocratic” and “condemnable”.

“Our party condemns this in strongest terms”, she said at the beginning of her speech at the day-long conference of BSP’s Karnataka office-bearers here.

Mayawati made what she termed as a request through the media to the Supreme Court to take “special note” of the developments and issue direction for independent and separate probe into the issue by National Human Rights Coomission, National Commission for Women and National SC/ST Commission.

“In addition, our party requests the honourable Supreme Court to order a judicial enquiry or whichever probe it deems necessary””, Mayawati said, adding, heavy punishment should be given to the guilty so that such “goondaism” is not unleashed on anybody sitting in dharna in any part of the country.

She said BSP was seeking the apex court’s intervention because “whatever happened” at the Ram Lila Maidan was at the direction of the Central Government, from which “justice cannot now be expected” in this case.

URL of the article: http://www.dnaindia.com/india/report_mayawati-demands-supreme-court-probe-in-police-action-on-ramdev_1551406-all

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