12 reasons to worry about our criminal justice system, by 9th Circuit Judge Alex Kozinski [PDF]
The New Mexico Law Review just published an issue dedicated entirely to Breaking Bad. It features eight articles that analyze the illegal acts committed on the show, their real-world parallels, and the consequences attached:
Given the array of legal issues raised, our editorial board was excited to take the opportunity to present analysis of Breaking Bad by scholars and legal practitioners. In April 2014 we issued a call for papers requesting abstracts on topics including the application of the Fourth Amendment to drug crimes under the New Mexico and/or U.S. Constitutions; the War on Drugs; ethical duties of lawyers; drug-offense sentencing; drug enforcement in rural, urban, and/or Tribal areas; and substance abuse and the law.Some of the greatest legal minds in New Mexico (and the country) came together to examine how Walter White would look to a jury, how the war on drugs affects peripheral citizens like Skyler, and whether Heisenberg could have stayed legit by fighting for his stake in Grey Matter in the courts. [via] [more inside]
Ex Ontario Attorney General Michael Bryant (previously previously previously) reveals struggle with alcoholism, and his thoughts on cyclist's death in new memoir, 28 Seconds. CBC radio "The Current" interview, and CTV tv interview. Allan Sheppard, the deceased's father, asks people to scrutinize Bryant's story.
The Brain on Trial. Advances in brain science are calling into question the volition behind many criminal acts. A leading neuroscientist describes how the foundations of our criminal-justice system are beginning to crumble, and proposes a new way forward for law and order.
"We may someday find that many types of bad behavior have a basic biological explanation—as has happened with schizophrenia, epilepsy, depression, and mania."[more inside]
If you have been charged with multiple crimes and not convicted on all charges, the judge may increase your sentence based on 'acquitted conduct', the crimes for which you were not convicted. This policy is beginning to get a lot more attention due to Jim Caron, writing to a U.S. District Court judge as 'Juror No. 6' and recently highlighted by articles in the Washington Post and the Washington Times. His offense at the idea that his work as a juror had been nullified by this policy has opened a can of worms with all sorts of people who view this "in terms of defendant's rights versus government interests." Too late for Mr. Caron, a distinguished agricultural economist with the USDA, who died suddenly last year.
Billy Jean's not my lover. Should non-fathers pay child support to someone else's children? More states are saying "no."
Is our legal system asleep at the wheel? A Michigan auto dealership that failed to complete the title transfer on a car involved in a fatal accident has been hit with a $12 million jury verdict.
God's Justice and Ours. Justice Antonin Scalia writes on capital punishment in First Things: "In my view, the major impetus behind modern aversion to the death penalty is the equation of private morality with governmental morality. This is a predictable (though I believe erroneous and regrettable) reaction to modern, democratic self–government."
DeCSS Trial Begins Today. Today is 2600's day in court. This trial deserves more media attention than it's been getting.