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Judge dismisses attempt to revive reparations suit filed by slave descendants
by Mike Robinson
July 7, 2005

An effort by slave descendants to revive their quest for reparations from corporations that allegedly benefited from slavery was dismissed Wednesday by a federal judge who said the issue is political and should be decided by the legislative or executive branch.

Judge Charles R. Norgle also said the plaintiffs have failed to show a link between themselves and the 17 corporations named as defendants and that in any case the statute of limitations rules out damages for wrongs committed before slavery was abolished in 1868.

It was the second time Norgle dismissed a version of the slave reparations suit and this time he did it with prejudice – meaning that any hopes of reviving it at the District Court level most likely are dead.


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"Plaintiffs' attempt to bring these claims more than a century after the end of the Civil War and the abolition of slavery fails," Norgle said in his 104-page decision.

Norgle based his decision in part on "the long-standing and well-reasoned" doctrine holding that issues which are basically political should be resolved in a political realm, such as Congress or the executive branch, rather than in the courts.

He said the slavery reparations issue historically has been fought in the executive and legislative branches.

If the suit is kept alive, the next step would be an appeal to the U.S. 7th Circuit Court of Appeals. Attorney Benjamin Obi Nwoye said he and fellow lawyers who have worked on the suit are disappointed by Norgle's decision and that such an appeal is on the way.

"We don't agree with his reasoning," he said. "We are hopeful that we will get justices who are fair-minded so the descendants of slaves can be repaid for the work of their forefathers."

Attorneys for the slave descendants say they want to use any damages to create a fund that would be administered under court supervision to help correct problems in the black community.

Norgle said that "it is beyond debate that slavery has caused tremendous suffering and ineliminable scars throughout our nation's history."

"No reasonable person can fail to recognize the malignant impact, in body and spirit, on millions of human beings held as slaves in the United States," he said. But he added that the struggle to free slaves came about only through major sacrifices made by other Americans.

"Union soldiers, sailors and Marines gave their lives on bloody battlefields and the sea to maintain one sovereign nation in which slavery would be eradicated," he said. "The impact of this struggle on the families of the wounded and the dead was immeasurable and lasting. The victorious and the vanquished together shared the cup of suffering." AP


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I hope the plaintiffs will ultimately be successful.

The judge (Norgle) said a lot of true things even though he didn't know 'involuntary servitude' was banned in the 'rule of law' in 1865 rather than 1868.

This surprised me: 'Attorneys for the slave descendants say they want to use any damages to create a fund that would be administered under court supervision to help correct problems in the black community.'

Why would they want the court, of all agencies, to preside of the administration of any award???

Why wouldn't they administer the funds themselves???

Does 'Charlie' have to do it even when we win.

PEACE

Jim Chester
Do Courts Have the Power to Order Reparations?
Compiled by the DiversityInc staff

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July 08, 2005

Analysis of today's diversity news from MediaPost.com, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, The Dallas Morning News and more:



The judicial system has been an important tool for righting wrongs"”helping end discrimination in schools, housing and the voting process, for example. But the common denominator in those decisions, according to the Chicago Tribune, was that they came in lawsuits brought by plaintiffs who described first-hand how they had been personally harmed. That's missing from the fight for slavery reparations.



U.S. District Judge Charles Norgle recognized that Wednesday when he dismissed for the second time a class-action lawsuit brought by descendants of slaves. They sought damages from companies whose predecessor firms made money off of slave laborers before the end of the Civil War. In his 104-page opinion, Norgle acknowledged the horrors of slavery and the pain it has caused. "It is beyond debate that slavery has caused tremendous suffering and ineliminable scars throughout our Nation's history," he wrote. "No reasonable person can fail to recognize the malignant impact, in body and spirit, on the millions of human beings held as slaves in the United States."



But the lawsuit lacked that common denominator. And according to Norgle, courts lack the power to compensate people who didn't directly suffer harm from wrongs committed a century and half ago.



Although the ruling wasn't a surprise, it represents a significant setback for reparations advocates. They promised to continue fighting, though, perhaps by refocusing on Congress, which in 1988 approved compensation for Japanese Americans interned during World War II.
"Attorneys for the slave descendants say they want to use any damages to create a fund that would be administered under court supervision to help correct problems in the black community." ....more malarkey

Yah, right, who are they trying to fool.....

.........Other than squander, play games, be deceitful, and treasonous many of these individuals, pertaining to our own Black leaders, attorneys, etc., etc., haven't done much with the resources they have at their disposal.


*****************************

"Break in Brothers' Killings Expected
Prosecutors plan to file murder charges in 2001 slayings of a dead police officer's sons. A lawyer is serving time for embezzling their funds.

By Rong-Gong Lin II, Times Staff Writer

July 8, 2005

A gunman dressed as a postal worker knocked on the door of an Inglewood home four years ago.

He pushed his way in and fatally shot two brothers who had recently been awarded a $380,000 life insurance settlement for their mother, a Los Angeles police officer who died of cancer.

Detectives had long suspected the killings were connected to allegations the brothers had made just before their deaths that their attorney had embezzled much of the life insurance payment.

Authorities today are expected to announce a break in the case.

Prosecutors plan to charge a friend of the attorney "” Timothy Mack "” with murder, said district attorney spokeswoman Jane Robison.

Both Mack and the lawyer, Angela Fawn Wallace, are behind bars after being convicted of embezzling the settlement from the brothers "” a verdict that came after their deaths.

According to the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, Mack was being held Thursday at North County Correctional Facility awaiting a court appearance today on murder charges. Wallace has not been charged in connection with the killings.

The mystery of the brothers' killings has long haunted Inglewood officials, who on Thursday expressed hope that the case might finally come to a conclusion.

"In this case, there were two young people that had inherited money from their mother, and of course it appeared to be a professional hit that was placed on these two youngsters, so obviously I was concerned," said Inglewood Mayor Roosevelt F. Dorn.

The court appearance marks a turning point in a long investigation by Inglewood police detectives in the killing of Howard Byrdsong, 20, and his 18-year-old brother, Jontrae.

It's a story that began in June 2000 when Wallace approached the Byrdsongs at the funeral of their mother. Shiree Arrant had been a Los Angeles police officer who raised the brothers on her own. She had developed a cancerous brain tumor.

At the time of the funeral, Wallace was a once high-flying attorney who had fallen on hard times. She had once practiced out of a Beverly Hills office, representing prominent clients such as basketball legend Magic Johnson and rap star Dr. Dre.

But in 1998, Wallace pleaded no contest in State Bar Court to seven counts of professional misconduct, including mishandling a client's money. She was suspended from the bar for two years.

At the end of their mother's funeral, the Byrdsongs agreed to hire Wallace to help them settle their mother's estate, including the life insurance money and her home, both of which were left to Howard Byrdsong, according to court documents.

The insurance company agreed to pay the brothers $380,000 to settle the policy. Prosecutors later alleged that Wallace deposited the insurance check in an account in Howard Byrdsong's name using a forged power of attorney, prosecutors have said.

Wallace then began spending the money on herself without the Byrdsongs' permission, pocketing some of the cash for herself and writing checks to pay a friend's legal fees, prosecutors alleged at the embezzlement trial.

An angry Howard Byrdsong contacted prosecutors to investigate the theft. Wallace allegedly sent a representative to him in May 2001, offering to pay him $268,000 if he withdrew the complaint, which he refused to do, prosecutors said.

Then that May 7, Mack allegedly dressed as a bank employee and urged Howard Byrdsong to sign a $125,000 settlement that would release Wallace from any liability "” a proposal he also shot down, prosecutors alleged in the embezzlement trial.

Then on June 6, a man wearing a U.S. Postal Service uniform approached the family friend's home where the sons stayed. According to police, Regina Martin opened the door, and the man said he had a package for the Byrdsongs and needed one of them to sign for it.

After Martin asked why she couldn't sign for the package, the man struck her in the head with a pistol, officials said.

Then one of the sons walked into the living room and the gunman allegedly shot him in the chest. He then tracked down the other son in a back room and shot him in the head, police said.

The killings immediately seemed peculiar to authorities "” not just because of the disguise but because the brothers were executed while the family friend was allowed to survive. The case took another turn when detectives learned that the brothers had filed a complaint against Wallace.

As Inglewood detectives investigated the killings, Los Angeles County prosecutors charged Wallace and Mack with embezzling the money from Arrant's life insurance policy.

A jury convicted them in December 2002, and both are serving six-year prison terms.

Though Inglewood police have long thought of Wallace as a suspect in the shootings, the district attorney's office declined to say whether Wallace was a suspect.

Robison said the district attorney's office plans to charge Mack, 49, with the brothers' killings, as well as the unrelated murder of Norman Fields. Authorities said that killing was in retaliation for the death of Mack's brother.

Prosecutors will decide later if they will pursue the death penalty against Mack, Robison said.

Though the Inglewood detectives who investigated the brothers' killings could not be reached for comment, Mayor Dorn praised the Police Department for never giving up on the case.

"I know that when you do great investigative work, sometimes it takes a long time, even though you're doing the best you can possibly do," Dorn said. "You can only act when you have developed evidence that you can take before a grand jury and a jury."

If you want other stories on this topic, search the Archives at latimes.com/archives.

Copyright 2005 Los Angeles Times"

.....so much for the benevolence of that so called Black attorney, .......considering the sleaze, and games played, on Howard Byrdsong, 20, and his 18-year-old brother, Jontrae, by Attorney Angela Fawn Wallace,

......who in their right mind needs the services of any Black attorney. Considering the typical sleaze, greed, treason, incompetence, etc., you would be better off representing yourself, or finding an attorney from another ethnicity to serve your best interests.


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"We don't agree with his reasoning," he said. "We are hopeful that we will get justices who are fair-minded so the descendants of slaves can be repaid for the work of their forefathers."

.....Reparations for slavery will not happen be it today or one hundred years from today!

**********************
Family of Slain Jail Inmate to Get $700,000
L.A. County settles a suit over the strangling of Raul Tinajero, a witness in a murder case.

By David Rosenzweig, Times Staff Writer

July 8, 2005

The family of a Los Angeles County jail inmate who was strangled in his cell while waiting to testify in a murder trial has accepted a $700,000 settlement from the county, according to a federal court document made public this week.

Raul Tinajero, 20, a convicted car thief, was found dead last year in a general-population cell. Five weeks earlier, a judge had ordered that he be separated from other inmates and kept in protective custody.

Authorities said Santiago Pineda, 23, the murder suspect Tinajero was to testify against, slipped into the cellblock and strangled him.

Tinajero's family brought a $35-million federal lawsuit accusing Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca and the department of violating Tinajero's civil rights, failing to properly supervise the jailhouse staff, negligence and other acts of official misconduct.

Tinajero was one of five county inmates slain during a six-month period.

A task force assembled by Dist. Atty. Steve Cooley after Tinajero's slaying faulted the Sheriff's Department, which operates the jail system, for serious security lapses.

The task force recommended that the department establish a witness protection unit responsible for identifying, classifying, housing and transporting inmates who needed to be protected from reprisals by other inmates.

Sheriff's spokesman Stephen Whitmore said Thursday that the department has tightened internal security procedures since the slayings.

"There's no doubt that it's working because we haven't had an inmate murdered since that time," he said.

Copyright 2005 Los Angeles Times


......and undocumented Hispanic immigrants, illegal Hispanic immigrants, legal Hispanic immigrants, Hispanic elected officials, Hispanics who are felons themselves, and/or Hispanic lawyers have more sense, and competence as to how to proceed when government violates their rights, than any of our own Black elected representatives, so-called civil rights organizations, reparations for slavery advocates, and/or Black civil attorneys.

********************************

The typical Congressional Black Caucus, the so-called NAACP, the so-called typical Black lawyers, etc., etc. don't have a clue as to what do, and rather than serve you, these individuals choose to betray you!

....and considering the numerous occasions that government has violated the property rights or otherwise of law abiding U.S. citizens of Black Americans, the streets, the sidewalks, the bank accounts, etc., of inner-city Black residents would be paved with gold if just one our own elected Black leaders, Black civil lawyers, and/or so-called civil rights organizations truly served the oppressed, the violated, etc., etc.

The atrocities of today would keep anyone truly interested in serving the oppressed very busy. The profits derived from civil lawsuit for damages would truly benefit the Black community.

This being said, the typical Congressional Black Caucus, the so-called NAACP, the so-called typical Black lawyers, etc., etc., don't have a clue as to what do, and rather than serve you, these individuals choose to betray you!


************************************
.....and there definitely will not be any reparations for slavery!!!
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