UPDATE: There were so many wonderful submissions for the first KOC gift giveaway that choosing a winner was VERY difficult. Please know you are ALL fabulous.

The winner is GERI L.

The winner of the first KOC gift giveaway contest will be posted on this blog later today. We received many great responses to the contest which asks you to describe in a paragraph or more something you learned from Karas on Crime.

Whether members spend five minutes or two hours on the site, I want the time you spend to be value-added; where you are more informed or learn something new. Your submissions are proof that I am accomplishing my mission.

What’s happening in the news?

Later today, the attorneys are meeting with Judge Samour to review proposed jury instructions in the Colorado Theater Shooting Trial. The trial picks up again tomorrow with day 1 of the defense’s case.

Summations are expected today in the “Gay Conversion Trial” I discussed in my June 3 and June 5 blog posts. (While I intended to attend the trial last week, a few business meetings interrupted my plans.) The trial took place over the past three weeks in Jersey City, New Jersey. Three young men and two of their mothers sued a company that claimed it could convert a gay person to straight. The therapy was expensive and painful, and more important, according to the plaintiffs, it didn’t work. The conversion organization, known as JONAH, is being sued under a NJ consumer statute that forbids deceptive or false practices.

Police in upstate New York have the biggest lead on the two prison escapees since their break from Clinton Correctional Institution on June 6. Last weekend, in a heavily wooded area about 20 miles from the prison, evidence of the two men was found in a hunting cabin. It appears they left in a hurry presumably when the owner showed up. There have been heavy rains for a few days which has affected the search but authorities are optimistic the two convicted murderers will be caught.

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the Boston Marathon Bomber, is scheduled to be sentenced today. A jury returned a death sentence verdict; that sentence will be imposed. Many victim impact statements are expected to be heard at the sentencing which is set for this morning.

Moving south, the Baltimore Sun reviewed a copy of Freddie Gray’s autopsy report. It indicates he died from a high-energy impact perhaps from the sudden deceleration of the police van. Gray sustained a paralyzing spinal injury while in police custody in Baltimore in April. He died a week later. Community reaction to his death was fierce–we all watched as areas of the city burned and stores were looted.

And in the south, the movement mounts to remove the Confederate flag from the Statehouse grounds following the tragic murder of nine churchgoers at a Bible study in Charleston by self-proclaimed racist Dylann Roof. Roof claims he wanted to start a race war. In my opinion, the flag belongs in a museum.