Twilight in the Box.
"The suicide statistics, the squalor and the recidivism haven’t ended solitary confinement
. Maybe the brain studies will." [Via]
Twelve Absent Men: Rebuilding the American Jury.
"Juries hear only 4 percent of criminal trials in America. Their decline has fostered radical punitiveness, but reforms and novel institutions are breathing new life into the jury and civic participation more broadly."
"In his 2003 memoir Where The Money Is: True Tales from the Bank Robbery Capital of the World
, co-authored with Gordon Dillow, retired Special Agent William J. Rehder briefly suggests that the design of a city itself leads to and even instigates certain crimes—in Los Angeles’s case, bank robberies. Rehder points out that this sprawling metropolis of freeways and its innumerable nondescript banks is, in a sense, a bank robber’s paradise. Crime, we could say, is just another way to use the city."
How A War Hero Became A Serial Bank Robber.
"Army medic Nicholas Walker returned home from Iraq after 250 combat missions, traumatized and broken. His friends and family couldn’t help him. Therapy couldn’t help him. Heroin couldn’t help him. Pulling bank heists helped him." [Via]
The Secret History of Guns.
"The Ku Klux Klan, Ronald Reagan, and, for most of its history, the NRA all worked to control guns. The Founding Fathers? They required gun ownership—and regulated it. And no group has more fiercely advocated the right to bear loaded weapons in public than the Black Panthers—the true pioneers of the modern pro-gun movement. In the battle over gun rights in America, both sides have distorted history and the law, and there’s no resolution in sight." [Via]
Caravaggio's crimes exposed in Rome's police files:
"Four hundred years after his death, Caravaggio
is a 21st Century superstar among old master painters. His stark, dramatically lit, super-realistic paintings strike a modern chord - but his police record is more shocking than any modern bad boy rock star's. An exhibition
of documents at Rome's State Archives throws vivid light on his tumultuous life here at the end of the 16th and the beginning of the 17th centuries." [Via] [more inside]
Presidential Crimes: Moving on is not an option.
"In deciding about legal redress, we need to be clear about the large stakes in our decision. The very multiplicity of the apparent crimes, the sheer array of arguably broken laws, is dizzying. But that multiplicity must be faced, for in it we will see that what got in President Bush’s way was not any one law but the rule of law itself. It is the rule of law that has been put in jeopardy by a project of executive domination; it is the rule of law that will continue to be in peril; and it is only, therefore, by addressing the crimes through legal instruments—through a formal, legal arena, and not simply through the electoral repudiation of bad policy—that the grave and widespread damage stands a chance of being repaired."
United States v. George W. Bush et al.
Retired federal prosecutor Elizabeth de la Vega has written a hypothetical indictment for a hypothetical grand jury charging President George W. Bush, Vice President Richard Cheney, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, and former Secretary of State Colin Powell of violating Title 18, United States Code, Section 371, thereby commiting a conspiracy to defraud the United States by tricking the nation into war. Though a work of fiction, the evidence presented is real. Part 1 is the introdutction
, part 2 is the indictment
, and part 3 is the beginning of grand jury testimony
, with more to come over the next few days.
Salon has an interesting two part series on the tensions between antiwar protesters and law enforcement. Part 1: "Outlawing dissent:
Spying on peace meetings, cracking down on protesters, keeping secret files on innocent people -- how Bush's war on terror has become a war on freedom." Part 2: "A thousand J. Edgar Hoovers:
State and local police are taking it upon themselves to investigate antiwar activists -- and in the computer age, the threat to our civil liberties is even greater than it was in Hoover's day." Does Protester = Criminal?
The war on drugs is unfairly targeting doctors who prescribe legal pain medication
to their patients who suffer from chronic pain, according to a spokeswoman of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons
. She was speaking at a press conference of patient and physician advocacy groups
, sponsored by the Pain Relief Network
, in support of Dr. William Hurwitz
. Dr. Hurwitz
has been indicted and imprisoned for prescribing high doses of opioid pain relievers
, as have other pain-management doctors
. But these crackdowns may end up doing more harm than good to patients in chronic pain
. [More inside.]