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She sat beside her son on the Texas Giant -- a 14-story-high roller coaster that boasts what the amusement park calls "the world's steepest drop." And before the ride's cars started moving, CNN affiliate KTVT reported, Esparza was worried.
To her, the lap bar that holds passengers in their seats didn't seem secure, witnesses told the CNN affiliate.
Minutes later, one of the roller coaster's seats came back empty.
Now Esparza is dead, family members told CNN affiliates KTVT and WFAA. A spokeswoman for Six Flags Over Texas says the theme park is committed to finding out what led to the woman's death on Friday. And authorities are investigating.
CNN has not been able to reach the family for comment.
In Facebook posts on Saturday, her sons described the experience as a nightmare.
A flood of condolences and prayers poured in.
"Only God knows Mama," Amado Esparza posted in Spanish along with a photo showing a group of people praying at the amusement park, "something that I will always have as a memory of you is that you loved adventures."
Later, he described his mother as his best friend.
"It is sad to lose my mom," he wrote, "but I am happy that when she was alive she enjoyed it to the fullest. I always took her to explore new places."
On Saturday, authorities said an initial investigation showed no sign of foul play in the woman's death.
"At this point of the investigation, it does not appear there was any foul play or criminality associated with this tragic incident," the Arlington Police Department said in a statement.
Park visitors told CNN affiliate WFAA they saw the woman fall.
"She goes up like this," Carmen Brown told the affiliate, raising her hand up in the air. "Then when it drops to come down, that's when it released and she just tumbled."
Brown told the Dallas Morning News that the woman had expressed concern to a park employee that she was not properly secured in her seat.
"He was basically nonchalant," Brown said. "He was, like, 'As long as you heard it click, you're fine.' Hers was the only one that went down once, and she didn't feel safe. But they let her still get on the ride."
Six Flags confirmed that a woman died Friday while riding the Texas Giant roller coaster, but did not provide further details.
"Since the safety of our guests and employees in our number one priority, the ride has been closed pending further investigation," the theme park said in a statement.
Six Flags Over Texas spokeswoman Sharon Parker said the park is committed to determining exactly what happened.
"It would be a disservice to the family to speculate regarding what transpired," she said. "When we have new information to provide, we will do so."
The Texas Giant was originally designed in 1990 as an all-wooden roller coaster. It was redesigned with a steel track and reopened in April 2011 to mark the theme park's 50th anniversary.
At its highest point, the roller coaster is 153 feet and has a drop of 147 feet, according to the theme park.
If you drive like an asshole, you probably are one.
UK to block all online porn by default later this year
Prime Minister David Cameron to unveil bold and controversial plan in a speech Monday
British Prime Minister David Cameron today will announce an aggressive plan to crack down on online pornography, as part of an ongoing campaign to protect children from its "corroding" influence. Under Cameron's plan, online porn will be blocked by default for all new UK household internet connections, meaning consumers will have to tell their internet service providers (ISPs) whether they want to disable the filters. The plan will also make it a crime to possess "extreme pornography," such as images or video of simulated rape, the Daily Mail reports.
And FBI flawed hair sample analysis drawing reexamination of thousands of cases
national academy of sciences also say bite mark, burn mark, etc analysis are also flawed
Flawed Evidence Under a Microscope
Disputed Forensic Techniques Draw Fresh Scrutiny; FBI Says It Is Reviewing Thousands of Convictions
The National Academy of Sciences said bite-mark evidence is unreliable. Above, dental molds used in an experiment to show bite marks on skin.
A series of recent court decisions and policy changes is starting to reshape how the U.S. justice system handles disputed or debunked forensic techniques used in thousands of criminal convictions.
The changes affect crime-show staples like identifications made using hair samples, burn patterns, bite marks, ballistics evidence and handwriting analysis, among others. Over the past two decades, many scientists have said these disciplines are unreliable and subject to bias, but courts and law-enforcement authorities had until recently done little to address them.
On Thursday, the Federal Bureau of Investigation said that a sweeping review found its experts used microscopic hair comparison to help identify suspects in at least 2,100 convictions from 1985 through 1999, including 27 death-penalty cases. Before the adoption of DNA testing around 2000, investigators routinely relied on visually matching hairs from suspects with those at crime scenes, but recent exonerations have cast doubt on the practice. The FBI said it would now review the 2,100 cases to see if its experts exceeded the bounds of science in their lab reports or testimony. The number under review could increase as the FBI studies more cases.
The Justice Department also said, in a rare move, that it wouldn't raise procedural objections if the defendants in these cases seek to have their convictions overturned, and that it would notify defendants—rather than just prosecutors, as is typical—of any errors found in the cases.
"This is, one, a huge acknowledgment that in thousands of cases, invalid scientific testimony was proffered," said Peter Neufeld, co-founder of the Innocence Project, a nonprofit that is aiding the FBI in its review. "And, two, it's a whole loosening of the rigid rules [of the postconviction process]…as people realize that the system isn't as perfect as we thought."
The FBI review accelerates a shift toward greater scrutiny of questioned forensic techniques—and raises difficult questions about how to address thousands of convictions that relied on potentially flawed evidence.
After decades of inaction in addressing criticized forensics, the past year has marked a sea change. The Justice Department established a National Commission on Forensic Science to set guidelines for forensic disciplines. The Texas state fire marshal launched a review of arson convictions, while the Mississippi Supreme Court stayed an execution hours before it was scheduled after the Justice Department sent letters admitting that FBI experts erred in their testimony.
And in April, responding to the FBI's hair-comparison review, the national organization that accredits state and local crime labs urged them to determine if they need to conduct their own audits of cases that used similar hair analysis. "We have an ethical obligation to take appropriate action if there is potential for, or there has been, a miscarriage of justice," the Laboratory Accreditation Board at the American Society of Crime Laboratory Directors wrote to the crime labs.
Meanwhile, legal experts are watching several trials that involve criticized forensic disciplines, including a Manhattan murder trial in which a judge is set to rule soon on whether identifications using bite marks can be used as evidence. The decision is expected to be one of the biggest test cases for the justice system's response to claims of flawed forensics.
The developments are "a wonderful start" toward addressing cases that relied on flawed forensics, said former federal prosecutor Kenneth Melson, the past president of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences. But, he cautions, "there's a long way to go and many bridges to cross."
Some prosecutors and forensic scientists have lamented that the criticisms of forensic techniques go too far and that many are still useful. Dr. Peter Loomis, president-elect of the American Board of Forensic Odontology, said that although bite-mark analysis shouldn't be used to identify a suspect, "it's not junk science.…It can be used to either include or exclude a suspect."
Pressure from activists and media exposés of flawed forensic practices led Congress in 2005 to commission a report by the National Academy of Sciences. Published in 2009, it concluded that besides DNA analysis, "no forensic method has been rigorously shown to have the capacity to consistently, and with a high degree of certainty, demonstrate a connection between evidence and a specific individual or source." Expert witnesses, the report said, have consistently overstated to juries the value of forensic techniques and "the courts have been utterly ineffective in addressing this problem."
Still, many courts have continued to admit evidence based on such practices, and some appeals judges have been reluctant to reconsider convictions. That's in part because, unlike with DNA evidence, the doubts raised about forensic evidence generally can't prove a person's innocence. Indeed, in cases without DNA evidence, exonerations remain rare.
Advocates for an overhaul are now focused on a New York murder case in which the judge has called one of the first-ever hearings on the admissibility of bite marks. In the case, Clarence Dean is charged with killing a woman in a Times Square hotel. For the prosecution, a forensic dentist matched a bite mark on the victim's body to Mr. Dean's teeth.
The National Academy of Sciences has said bite-mark evidence is unreliable and not based on objective science. Bite marks can be distorted by the elasticity of skin, scientists say, and controlled studies have shown different experts produce widely different results, with high rates of false positives.
Mr. Dean's attorneys argued the evidence didn't meet the court's scientific standards. In a rare move, Justice Maxwell Wiley called a hearing to decide.
Challenges to the scientific admissibility of evidence—called Daubert or Frye challenges after past court decisions—are relatively common. But judges have almost always admitted evidence based on the discredited forensic disciplines, citing precedent in past cases, said Nancy Gertner, a retired federal judge who issued several landmark rulings that labeled ballistics, handwriting and arson testimony as invalidated science.
In May, the Justice Department acknowledged the limitations of ballistics evidence in a Mississippi murder case. In Willie Manning's 1994 conviction for killing two college students, an FBI agent used analysis of bullet markings, called toolmarks, to connect him to the bullets used in the murder. In three letters to the prosecutor, a Justice Department lawyer said FBI experts overstated the value of their analyses of toolmarks and hair in the case. "In some cases, FBI Laboratory examiners exceeded the limits of science," the lawyer said.
Judge Gertner said it is imperative the justice system resolves any questions around potentially flawed forensic sciences. "There are two issues: People in jail on the basis of flawed evidence and the people who are being tried tomorrow on the basis of flawed evidence."
Gators football player arrested, for barking at a police dog and resisting arrest
GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- Florida Gators linebacker Antonio Morrison has been arrested for the second time in five weeks, this time for allegedly barking at a police dog and resisting arrest, and will miss at least the first two games of the season after being suspended from the team Sunday.
Morrison's defense was the dog barked first, according to a police report.
According to an Alachua County Sheriff Office's report, police responded to a suspicious incident and disturbance call at 3:43 a.m. Sunday at a Gainesville hotel adjacent to a nightclub. While officer William A. Arnold was investigating the vehicle that was the subject of the call, a group of several men were walking along SW 13th Street.
One of the men reportedly approached the patrol car and began barking at his police dog through the open window. The report said that caused the dog, named Bear, to bark back at the man, which Arnold says in his report diverted his attention from investigating the vehicle.
The report says Arnold told the man -- later identified by his driver's license as Morrison -- to wait in front of his patrol car and the man resisted when Arnold tried to handcuff him. Two other officers arrived and helped detain Morrison, according to the report.
"I'm extremely disappointed in Antonio Morrison's decision making," Florida coach Will Muschamp said in a statement. "He has been suspended from the team and will miss at least two games to begin the season."
Alachua County Sheriff's spokesman Art Forgey said it's rare for someone to harass a canine officer.
"We don't see that very often at all," he said. "Gainesville Police Department has horses and they see it sometimes. Usually everybody steers clear of the dogs."
Morrison -- a 6-foot-1, 230-pound sophomore expected to be the Gators' starting middle linebacker this season -- told the officers he barked at the dog because the dog barked at him first.
He was booked into the Alachua County Jail at 4:15 a.m. ET.
Muschamp had previously said he hadn't decided whether to suspend Morrison as a result of a June 16 arrest for battery after he punched a nightclub bouncer because he was not given a discounted rate for admission. Muschamp said last Tuesday that Morrison was being punished inside the program for that transgression.
For that arrest, Morrison entered into a deferred prosecution, which stated he must pay $100 in prosecution costs and either an additional $150 or perform 12 hours of community service. He must also complete a University of Florida drug-and-alcohol abuse course, attend an anger-management course and participate in two eight-hour ride-alongs with the University of Florida Police Department.
If Morrison met those conditions within six months, the battery charge would be dismissed.
You can get charged for barking at a police dog? Posted via RS Mobile
From another Football site
Officer Arnold stated Morrison’s actions prevented police from do their job properly so he asked Morrison to step to the front of the vehicle. When the officer tried to detain Morrison with handcuffs, he resisted, the report states.
Morrison was officially charged with interfering with police by harassing a police animal.
So he was interfering with a police officer and resisted arrest lol
13 Range Rover SC
11 Yukon Hybrid
13 Accord V6 Coupe
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I am an accounting student and will be making personal "networking cards" for networking events. Which of these templates do you think is the most professional, unique, and "clean"? I will be replacing the names, address, etc. with my own personal information.