Alvin Bragg, the Democratic Manhattan district attorney, successfully moved on Monday to vacate the convictions of two men who'd been charged and tried for murder in the 1990s, ABC News reported.
Prosecutors in Bragg's office, in conjunction with a pair of non-profit organizations, determined that "newly discovered evidence" in both cases had led to the conclusion that both men had suffered "wrongful conviction" and "unjust" imprisonment for crimes that they now appear to have not committed.
A press release on Monday announced that prosecutors within DA Bragg's office, specifically within the Post-Conviction Justice Unit, had reviewed and reinvestigated the 1996 murder conviction of Wayne Gardine and the 1998 double-murder conviction of Jabar Walker.
Gardine, 49, a Jamaican migrant who moved to the U.S. with his family as a child, had been convicted and sentenced to more than 18 years in prison for the 1994 shooting death of Robert Mickens.
Walker, 49, also known as Jabar or Jamal Moore, was sentenced to two consecutive 25-to-life prison terms for the 1995 murder-for-hire shooting deaths of William Santana and Ismael De La Cruz.
In the case of Walker, prosecutors joined with and affirmed a motion to vacate filed by the Innocence Project, which along with the PCJU discovered that two "non-identifying" witnesses had come forward to fully recant or walk back portions of their prior testimony, which called into question the trial testimony of the "single identifying eyewitness."
That "new evidence" further raised doubts about the effectiveness of Walker's defense counsel, who had apparently failed to interview those other two witnesses or expose the weakness of the supposed sole eyewitness to the double murder. As such, the motion called for Walker's conviction to be vacated, the underlying indictment to be dismissed, and for him to be immediately released from prison.
"Not only was the case against Jabar Walker built upon unreliable and recanted testimony, he did not have the benefit of an effective defense attorney -- one of the constitutional bedrocks of our justice system," DA Bragg said in a statement. "Despite these serious issues, Mr. Walker received a sentence that could have kept him in prison for his entire life. I am thrilled that he can now finally return home and thank the Innocence Project for its steadfast advocacy throughout this matter."
Per Bragg's office, Judge Miriam Best approved the motion to vacate, and ABC News reported that "Walker entered a courtroom Monday in handcuffs and exited a free man after serving 25 years in prison.
As for Gardine, DA Bragg's prosecutors joined with the Legal Aid Society on a motion to vacate his prior conviction in light of "new evidence from a second witness that undermined the testimony from the sole witness used at trial."
That motion, which was approved by Judge Kathryn Paek, called for the conviction to be vacated and the underlying indictment to be dismissed. Separately, the Legal Aid Society also urged U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, which took custody of Gardine upon his release on parole in 2022 pending deportation, to cease those immigration proceedings and immediately release him.
"Wayne Gardine was just 22 years old when he was sentenced to decades in prison following a trial that we now believe relied on an unreliable witness and testimony – losing years of freedom due to an unjust conviction," Bragg said in a statement. "Unjust convictions are the height of injustice and while we can never completely undo the pain he has experienced, I hope this is the first step in allowing Mr. Gardine to rebuild his life and reunite with his loved ones. I thank the Legal Aid Society for its outstanding collaboration in this matter."
Lou Fox, the Legal Aid Society attorney who now represents Gardine, said in a statement, "We are elated that Mr. Gardine will finally have his name cleared of this conviction that has haunted him for nearly three decades, yet he is still not a free man and faces additional and unwarranted punishment if deported."
"We thank New York County District Attorney Alvin Bragg for joining us on this motion, and we call on ICE to immediately release our client so he can return to his family and community, and to drop deportation proceedings," the attorney added.
More than a dozen members of the U.S. House of Representatives are not seeking reelection in 2024, according to a report from the Washington Examiner.
What's more is that most of them are Democrats.
The Examiner reports that, thus far, 15 "House incumbents are forgoing reelection to the lower chamber . . . in 2024."
Of this group of 15, the outlet reports that 11 are Democrats and four are Republicans.
The four House Republicans who will not be seeking reelection in 2024 are U.S. Reps. Jim Banks (R-IN), Dan Bishop (R-NC), Bill Johnson (R-OH), and Alex Mooney (R-WV).
All four have big plans.
Banks is looking to replace outgoing U.S. Sen. Mike Braun (R-IN). Bishop is running to become the next attorney general of North Carolina. And, Mooney will be looking to fill the U.S. Senate seat that is being vacated by U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV).
Johnson, on the other hand, has slightly different plans. He is going to become the next president of Youngstown State University.
It includes U.S. Reps. Colin Allred (D-TX), Ruben Gallego (D-AZ), Jeff Jackson (D-NC), Andy Kim (D-NJ), Barbara Lee (D-CA), Adam Schiff (D-CA), Katie Porter (D-CA), Lisa Rochester (D-DE), Elissa Slotkin (D-MI), Abigail Spanberger (D-VA), and David Trone (D-MD).
Like the outgoing Republicans, these outgoing Democrats also have other plans in politics. Allred is looking to unseat U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX). Ruben is hoping to replace outgoing U.S. Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (I-AZ). Jackson is running in the same race as Bishop to become the next attorney general of North Carolina.
Kim is looking to obtain U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez's (D-NJ) seat, given the legal problems that Menendez has found himself in. Lee, Schiff, and Porter are all vying for the seat of the late U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA). Rochester is hoping to replace retiring U.S. Sen. Tom Carper (D-DE).
Slotkin is also hoping to move up to the U.S. Senate, eyeing the seat of outgoing U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI). Spanberger is running for the governorship of Virginia. And, finally, Trone is looking to grab the U.S. Senate seat of U.S. Sen. Ben Cardin (D-MD), who has decided to forego reelection.
The U.S. Senate, however, is a different story. Given, the number of seats they are defending, experts believe it will be difficult for the Democrats to maintain control of the upper chamber in 2024.
Rep. George Santos (R-NY) is facing multiple federal criminal charges, a damningly accusatory House Ethics Committee report, and a pending House resolution that seeks his expulsion from Congress altogether.
On Friday, Santos acknowledged that he would likely be expelled by his House colleagues but remained defiant in his refusal to resign and step down from his elected office, The Hill reported.
He also attempted to flip the script and leveled a number of serious criminal and unethical accusations of his own against an untold number of other unnamed members of Congress.
Rep. Santos has been under sharp scrutiny since before he was even elected in 2022 over allegations that he defrauded and lied to voters and colleagues about various aspects of his background, which prompted a months-long House Ethics Committee investigation that began in March.
While that committee probe was ongoing, the Justice Department indicted the New York Republican on nearly two dozen criminal charges that include various forms of fraud, identity theft and actual theft, making false statements, money laundering, and an assortment of other related counts.
Now, in the wake of the indictment and release of the committee's report documenting alleged campaign finance violations and other unethical or criminal behavior, the Associated Press reported that House Ethics Committee Chairman Michael Guest (R-MS) filed a resolution calling for the expulsion of Santos.
Rep. Guest said in a statement last week, "The evidence uncovered in the Ethics Committee’s Investigative Subcommittee investigation is more than sufficient to warrant punishment and the most appropriate punishment, is expulsion."
In an X Spaces conversation with journalist Monica Matthews on Friday, Time magazine reported that Rep. Santos, who has already survived two prior expulsion attempts, acknowledged, "I know I’m going to get expelled when this expulsion resolution goes to the floor. I’ve done the math over and over, and it doesn’t look really good."
He declined to address the specific allegations against him over fears that federal prosecutors would later use his words against him, but nonetheless denounced the committee report as "slanderous" and deliberately crafted to unfairly malign him and "force me out of my seat."
Santos proceeded to accuse some of his colleagues of getting drunk while on the job, sleeping with lobbyists and engaging in a variety of other behavior that was criminal and unethical and, in his view, as bad or worse than the allegations posed against him.
"They all act like they’re in ivory towers with white pointy hats and they’re untouchable, the embattled congressman said. "Within the ranks of United States Congress, there’s felons galore, there’s people with all sorts of shy-stie backgrounds."
According to The Hill, Rep. Santos reiterated his refusal to resign but noted that he would seek a second term in office, and said, "I’m not running for reelection, not because this was a damning report. I’m not running for reelection because I don’t want to work with a bunch of hypocrites."
"I’m not leaving," he said at another point. "These people need to understand, it’s done when I say it’s done."
As for the prospect of being expelled from Congress by his colleagues, something that has only occurred five times previously in the nation's history, Santos declared, "If you want to expel me, I’ll wear it like a badge of honor. I’ll be the sixth expelled member of Congress."
Progressive Democratic prosecutors across the nation have been credibly accused of going soft on hardened criminals in the interest of "social justice," unfortunately to the detriment of innocent people in the communities where those criminals reside.
That may be the case in Rochester, New York, where a registered sex offender with a criminal record is now charged with murder after he was discharged from a lifetime parole last year, according to The Post Millennial.
According to local ABC affiliate WHAM, Jamel Robinson, 44, stands charged with the shooting death of Kevin Rigdon, 38, in an incident that occurred outside a bus station early Tuesday morning.
Robinson is alleged to have followed Rigdon out of the RTS Transit Center around 7:45 am and then used a handgun to shoot Rigdon multiple times, as well as another unidentified man before fleeing the scene.
Rigdon was declared dead at the scene when first responders arrived and the other unnamed victim was transported to a hospital with "serious injuries."
According to the police, it is believed that Robinson knew his victims but it remains unclear at this time what his motive to shoot them was.
Officers soon found Robinson in the nearby Sibley Tower building and managed to subdue him with "a minor use of force" before the suspect could use the handgun against them.
According to local CBS affiliate WROC, Robinson was taken into custody by Rochester Police and was charged with second-degree murder and first-degree assault, as well as second and third-degree criminal possession of a weapon.
He made an appearance Wednesday morning in Rochester City Court for an arraignment hearing on those criminal charges.
Per WHAM, Robinson is currently being held in the Monroe County Jail, and the police credited eyewitnesses with providing them information immediately after the shooting that helped lead to the suspect's arrest.
The Post Millennial noted that Robinson is a registered sex offender in the state of New York in connection with a July 2006 conviction for an attempted first-degree criminal sex act.
He also has a criminal record that includes at least two felony convictions and at least seven misdemeanor convictions, meaning he was prohibited from possessing a firearm under both federal and state laws.
When Robinson was released from prison for those prior convictions, he was placed on lifetime parole, but according to the outlet he was ultimately discharged from that lifetime parole in August 2022.
Democrats must now explain why this career criminal with a prior record of felony convictions, including for a criminal sex act that made him a registered sex offender, was allowed to go free and was even released from lifetime parole when he clearly posed a threat to the community.
A man facing multiple criminal charges for his actions during the Jan. 6 Capitol riot of 2021 petitioned the U.S. Supreme Court in July to intervene with respect to one particular count that he asserts is unwarranted and a potential violation of the constitutional rights of himself and others who are similarly situated.
Though it is not guaranteed that the Supreme Court will actually take up the case, much less rule in the petitioner's favor, his initial petition was accepted and will reportedly be considered at an upcoming conference among the justices.
According to the Justice Department, Edward Jacob Lang was arrested and indicted in the first few weeks after the Jan. 6 Capitol riot of 2021 and, at least initially, was charged with more than a dozen counts of various felonies and misdemeanors, and has been held in pre-trial detention ever since.
The Washington Examiner reported in July that Lang filed a petition with the Supreme Court to request that one of those charges in particular that is related to obstruction of justice be dismissed as the statute has been interpreted overbroadly by the DOJ and could be applied toward "anyone who attends a public demonstration gone awry."
That particular statute is 18 U.S.C. 1512(c)(2), which was originally crafted to go after white-collar criminals who've "corruptly" tampered with or destroyed evidence of financial crimes, or "otherwise obstructs, influences, or impedes any official proceeding," but is now being used against hundreds of Jan. 6 defendants like Lang, and carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison.
The charge was actually previously dismissed by a district court judge but was later reinstated by a split circuit court panel, which has resulted in the appeal filed with the Supreme Court.
In a recent phone interview with Real America's Voice, host Grant Stinchfield said to the detained Lang, "You've gotta be on pins and needles awaiting to hear whether or not the Supreme Court will take this case up."
Lang replied that the "whole entire Jan. 6 community, we're all riding on this, I mean, this is what we're counting on -- that they take this case and they do the right thing," otherwise it will signal other prosecutors to continue with the "weaponization of our law code" and the "persecution" of former President Donald Trump and his supporters.
Stinchfield noted that this unprecedented use of the particular obstruction statute has been applied to more than 300 Jan. 6 defendants and that they would all be "vindicated" to an extent if the Supreme Court did decide to toss out the charge for Lang and the others.
Waiting on Pins and Needles
Exactly 317 J6 defendants were charged with obstruction of an official proceeding. One of the key figures in that case, @JakeLangJ6, said his trial is still not set, but the U.S. Supreme Court will hear portions of his case before the regular trial… pic.twitter.com/rBXqmUthrm
— Real America's Voice (RAV) (@RealAmVoice) November 22, 2023
Lang's petition, filed in July, asks the Supreme Court to consider "Whether the Court of Appeals erred in concluding that application of 18 U.S.C. Section 1512(c)(2), a statute crafted to prevent tampering with evidence in 'official proceedings,' can be used to prosecute acts of violence against police officers in the context of a public demonstration that turned into a riot."
Notably, Lang does not dispute that he acted violently toward police officers -- he plans to argue his actions were in self-defense during trial -- but does dispute the applicability of the particular statute that carries a far more severe penalty than any of the other charges he faces for things like assault, disorderly conduct, and trespassing, among other things.
"Without action from this Court, hundreds, if not thousands, of Americans will face substantial prison sentences for doing no more than speaking out at a protest that evolved into a dynamic conflict," the petition argued. "It is no overstatement to say the future of the First Amendment hangs in the balance. A statute intended to combat financial fraud has been transformed into a blatant political instrument to crush dissent."
According to the Supreme Court's docket for the case of Lang v. United States, the petition was accepted in July and, following the subsequent receipt of related motions and briefs, was scheduled for a conference meeting on Dec. 1, at which point the justices will decide whether or not to take up the case.
The U.S. Supreme Court could soon be asked to intervene in yet another major challenge to a southern state's legislative redistricting maps under the auspices of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, according to Fox News.
That is because an Eighth Circuit appeals court panel just upheld and affirmed a district court's unprecedented ruling that only the federal government, specifically the U.S. Attorney General, and not individual persons or private entities, have a right to sue states under § 2 of the VRA.
That determination stands in stark contrast to decades of prior VRA-related rulings that notably never actually addressed whether the law created what is known as a "private right of action" but nonetheless assumed the existence of such a right to bring legal challenges against a state.
At issue here was a challenge brought on behalf of black voters in the state of Arkansas by the NAACP and ACLU against the state over its 2021 legislative redistricting maps that allegedly had a discriminatory effect on minority voters, according to the Eighth Circuit panel's 34-page ruling.
The district court judge, however, questioned whether the plaintiffs actually had standing to sue under § 2 of the VRA and ultimately dismissed the suit after determining that they did not.
On appeal, that gave rise to the following question and answer from the panel's majority in the 2-1 decision: "Did Congress give private plaintiffs the ability to sue under § 2 of the Voting Rights Act? Text and structure reveal that the answer is no, so we affirm the district court’s decision to dismiss."
For what it is worth, § 2 of the VRA, as codified by 52 U.S.C. 10301(a), asserts that no state or political subdivision may impose any "voting qualification or prerequisite to voting or standard, practice, or procedure" that, when implemented, "results in a denial or abridgment of the right of any citizen of the United States to vote on account of race or color."
Yet, in seeking to find whether that statute extends the right to sue to anybody and everybody, the judges looked to § 12 of the VRA, as codified by 52 U.S.C. 10308(d), and determined that only the U.S. Attorney General was named as having a right of action to enforce and/or punish violations of 10301.
Fox News noted that legal experts believe this particular case has a good chance of being picked up by the U.S. Supreme Court next year, in part due to other courts ruling opposite to the Eighth Circuit panel on the matter, but also because some of the justices have noted in previous VRA-related cases that the question of § 2 standing has never really been properly addressed.
Indeed, in a concurring opinion to a VRA case last year, Justice Neil Gorsuch, joined by Justice Clarence Thomas wrote, "I join the court’s opinion in full, but flag one thing it does not decide. Our cases have assumed -- without deciding -- that the Voting Rights Act of 1965 furnishes an implied cause of action under section 2."
Of course, just because the Supreme Court may decide to take up this particular case to address the unsettled question doesn't necessarily mean that a majority of the justices will side with the Eighth Circuit panel, and there is actually a strong possibility that the high court will reject the lower courts' findings and hold that the disputed prior assumptions of a § 2 private right of action were correct.
In response to the appeals panel's ruling, Republican Arkansas Attorney General Tim Griffin said in a statement, "Today, the Eighth Circuit became the first federal court of appeals to make clear that Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act is not privately enforceable. Only the United States may bring such a claim, and as a result, the Eighth Circuit affirmed the district court’s decision throwing out the NAACP and ACLU’s lawsuit challenging Arkansas’s redrawn legislative districts. This is a victory for our citizens and for the rule of law."
"For far too long, courts across the country have allowed political activists to file meritless lawsuits seeking to seize control of how states conduct elections and redistricting. This decision confirms that enforcement of the Voting Rights Act should be handled by politically accountable officials and not by outside special interest groups," he added. "It should be noted that even the Biden administration declined to side with the claims of the ACLU and NAACP in this lawsuit."
In contrast, the ACLU issued a press release that decried the "radical ruling" of the district and circuit courts and, in a series of statements from various involved parties, lamented that it was "deeply troubling" and a "travesty for democracy" that would enable states to wantonly discriminate against and deny the rights of minority voters.
Rep. Dan Goldman, who served as lead counsel for the House Democrats during the first attempted impeachment of former President Donald Trump, has long been quite outspoken in his opposition to the leading Republican candidate for the presidency in 2024.
The New York congressman has now apologized and walked back remarks made over the weekend that some viewed as going too far when he openly called for Trump to be "eliminated," according to The Hill.
Ironically, that controversial comment that was perceived by some to be a death threat came as Goldman was criticizing the former president for his "dangerous" rhetoric that made others feel targeted and unsafe.
On Sunday, Rep. Goldman joined former White House press secretary Jen Psaki on her MSNBC program to discuss, among other things, a newly released audio clip of former President Trump discussing the Jan. 6 Capitol riot of 2021 just a couple of months after the incident that disrupted the congressional certification of President Joe Biden's victory occurred.
The congressman, as a former prosecutor, suggested that Trump's words that "riled up and excited" his supporters outside the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021 and beyond could ultimately be used against him at trial.
"But his rhetoric is really getting dangerous -- more and more dangerous," Goldman said. "We saw what happened on January 6th, when he used his inflammatory rhetoric. Now, in his recent Truth Social posts, is incredibly, incredibly scary for anyone that might be trying to work in government."
"And it is just unquestionable at this point that man cannot see public office again," the Democratic lawmaker added. "He is not only unfit, he is destructive to our democracy, and he has to be -- he has to be eliminated."
.@RepDanGoldman: "His rhetoric is really getting dangerous... It is just unquestionable at this point that [Trump] cannot see public office again. He is not only unfit. He is destructive to our democracy. He has to be eliminated.” pic.twitter.com/9hS6NHlOB5
— Inside with Jen Psaki (@InsideWithPsaki) November 19, 2023
Rep. Goldman faced immediate blowback on social media over his incendiary commentary -- notably while critiquing the former president's own belligerent statements -- and swiftly attempted to walk it all back with an apology on Monday.
"Yesterday on TV, I mistakenly used the wrong word to express the importance for America that Donald Trump doesn’t become President again," Goldman tweeted. "While he must be defeated, I certainly wish no harm to him and do not condone political violence. I apologize for the poor choice of words."
As was made abundantly clear in the replies to that tweet, however, his attempt at contrition did not go over particularly well and very few of the responses appeared to actually believe that the congressman was sorry or didn't intend to use threatening rhetoric against the former president.
Newsweek reported that some supporters of former President Trump have called for Rep. Goldman to face consequences for his actions, including being investigated by the U.S. Secret Service or formally censured by the Republican-led House, if not to resign from politics altogether.
Yet, it seems unlikely that Goldman will be held accountable for his words by his fellow Democrats and the media -- Psaki certainly didn't push back against the caustic remarks -- in the same way that Trump and his Republican allies are.
As for Trump and his campaign, they have taken it in stride as no different than any of the myriad other threats posed against the former president, as campaign spokesman Steven Cheung told Fox News, "Democrats have been calling for violence against President Trump and his supporters since 2016," and added, "This is not new or surprising rhetoric."
Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, who was convicted for his role in the May 2020 death of George Floyd that sparked nationwide riots and unrest, asked the U.S. Supreme Court to review his case and presumably overturn his conviction and resultant prison sentence.
Unfortunately for Chauvin, the Supreme Court on Monday revealed without any explanation that it had declined to take up the incarcerated former cop's appeal, according to CBS News.
Chauvin is currently serving a 22.5-year prison sentence after a jury found him guilty on multiple charges in a 2021 trial, and is concurrently serving a 21-year federal sentence after he pleaded guilty last year to violating Floyd's civil rights.
The Associated Press reported in July that Chauvin was set to file a petition with the U.S. Supreme Court after the Minnesota Supreme Court refused to hear an appeal of his earlier conviction in the 2021 trial, in which the jury found him guilty of murder and manslaughter charges related to the death of Floyd.
The former officer had infamously been caught on video kneeling for nearly 10 minutes on the back of Floyd's neck despite Floyd's repeated cries that he couldn't breathe as well as admonishments and pleas from onlookers for him to get off Floyd and allow the cuffed suspect to get up.
That video sparked outrage nationwide, if not globally, and resulted in months of angry anti-cop protests, some of which devolved into destructive and deadly riots, in countless cities across America and around the world.
It was the threat of more protests and riots, combined with the negative pre-trial publicity, that was cited by Chauvin's attorney as a reason for the appeal, in that those and other factors prevented the former officer from receiving a fair trial with an unbiased jury.
"This criminal trial generated the most amount of pretrial publicity in history," Chauvin's attorney, William Morhman, said at that time. "More concerning are the riots which occurred after George Floyd’s death (and) led the jurors to all express concerns for their safety in the event they acquitted Mr. Chauvin -- safety concerns which were fully evidenced by surrounding the courthouse in barbed wire and National Guard troops during the trial and deploying the National Guard throughout Minneapolis prior to jury deliberations."
CBS News reported that Chauvin filed his appeal with the U.S. Supreme Court in October and asked specifically for a review of the trial court's refusal to grant requests for a change of venue out of Minneapolis as well as to sequester the jury.
"Mr. Chauvin’s case shows the profound difficulties trial courts have to ensure a criminal defendant’s right to an impartial jury consistently when extreme cases arise," the filing said, according to USA Today.
The appeal added, "This was particularly true here when the jurors themselves had a vested interest in finding Mr. Chauvin guilty in order to avoid further rioting in the community in which they lived and the possible threat of physical harm to them or their families."
The Minneapolis Star Tribune reported that in addition to his now-rejected U.S. Supreme Court appeal, Chauvin's attorney has also filed a separate motion that seeks to overturn his federal conviction for violating Floyd's civil rights.
The basis for that motion is a claim that Chauvin would not have pleaded guilty to the federal charges if he had been aware at the time of a forensic pathologist who determined -- and agreed to testify -- that Chauvin did not kill Floyd by kneeling on his neck, but rather that Floyd had died of natural causes related to a drug overdose.
That determination, however, stands in stark contrast to the findings of the Hennepin County Medical Examiner, who ruled Floyd's death a homicide caused by cardiac arrest related to Chauvin's restraint, as well as a doctor hired by Floyd's family who attributed the death to asphyxiation caused by Chauvin's knee placed on the back of Floyd's neck for a prolonged period of time.
British actor Joss Ackland, known for his role in such films as Lethal Weapon 2 and Might Ducks, has died at the age of 95.
Ackland's passing, according to the Hollywood Reporter, was announced on Sunday by his representative, Paul Pearson.
According to Pearson, Ackland died, peacefully, on Sunday morning, surrounded by his family.
"He was lucid, erudite, and mischievous to the end. I loved him deeply, and, for me, he is the reason we have the word Magnificent in the dictionary," Pearson said.
From London, England, Ackland had a prolific acting career that began all the way back in 1945. This was when, after graduating from London's Central School of Speech and Drama, Ackland, at the age of 17, made his professional on-stage debut in The Hasty Heart.
From there, Ackland joined several regional theater troupes, where he honed his acting skills. Ackland would end up with London's Old Vic.
From there, Ackland would go on to earn over 130 television and film credits. He is particularly well known for his role in Lethal Weapon 2. He was the one who said "Diplomatic immunity!" before being shot by Officer Roger Murtaugh, who was played by Danny Glover.
Some of Ackland's other well-known roles were in K-19: The Widowmaker, Bill & Ted, The Hunter For Red October, Mighty Ducks, White Mischief Shadowlands, and Midsomer Murders. Outside of television and the big screen, Ackland also had several memorable stage appearances, appearing alongside the likes of Dame Maggie Smith and Dame Judi Dench.
For his acting, Ackland earned two BAFTA nominations: one for Best Actor in First and Last and one for Best Supporting Actor in White Mischief. He was also made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 2001.
In his personal life, Ackland was a family man. He had been married to his wife, actress Rosemary Kirkcaldy, for 51 years before she passed away in 2002. The two married in August of 1951.
They had seven children together. Ackland is survived by them as well as by 34 grandchildren and 30 great-grandchildren.
In a statement that the family released following his passing, they called Ackland a "beloved father."
The family, in the statement, also emphasized what Ackland has done for the acting world.
The family wrote, "With his distinctive voice and commanding presence, Ackland brought a unique intensity and gravitas to his role. He will be remembered as one of Britain's most talented and beloved actors."
There were initial reports on Saturday of an explosion in a building in Atlanta, Georgia that houses the headquarters office of one of the state's two U.S. senators, according to local outlet WSB-TV.
It was soon determined by first responders that there had not been any explosion, but rather that there had been an electrical fire in the building that is the Atlanta home office of Sen. Jon Ossoff (D-GA).
Two construction workers were injured during the incident and required emergency medical attention. There were no reports of any injuries or damage to Sen. Ossoff, his staffers, or his office.
Local media outlet 11Alive reported that Atlanta Police and Atlanta Fire Rescue Department swiftly responded to the "report of an explosion" at a high-rise building in downtown Atlanta known as Atlantic Station.
That relatively new building houses the offices of several law firms in addition to Sen. Ossoff's headquarters.
It was soon revealed, however, that there had been no explosion but instead that an electrical fire had been started after two contractors working on the building's 15th floor had been electrocuted in an accident.
A spokesperson for Atlanta Fire Rescue said, "The two injured electrical contractors were performing electrical upgrades in the building as part of planned construction activity."
Both of the injured workers were transported to a nearby hospital to receive medical treatment.
According to Atlanta's Fox 5, the damage done by the small electrical fire was limited and contained to just the building's 15th floor thanks to the building's fire suppression sprinkler system.
A spokesperson for Atlantic Station told the outlet, "This afternoon, at the 271 17th Street office building, an electrical construction incident occurred, which started a small fire that was quickly contained by the building's fire suppression system."
"There was not an explosion, as erroneously reported," they continued. "Two workers were injured in the incident, both of whom are in stable condition and are still under medical care. We are continuing to monitor their conditions."
The building's spokesperson added, "We appreciate the quick response from first responders and the 271 building and Atlantic Station management teams."
A spokesperson for Sen. Ossoff told the Washington Examiner, "Our office is grateful to Atlanta Fire and Rescue and all law enforcement who responded today."
"Senator Ossoff and our team are keeping the injured workers in our prayers," the staffer added.