A LIVING DEATH
: Sentenced to die behind bars for what?
For 3,278 people, it was nonviolent offenses like stealing a $159 jacket or serving as a middleman in the sale of $10 of marijuana. An estimated 65% of them are Black. Many of them were struggling with mental illness, drug dependency or financial desperation when they committed their crimes. None of them will ever come home to their parents and children. And taxpayers are spending billions to keep them behind bars.
A LIVING DEATH: Life without Parole for Nonviolent Offenses
posted by andoatnp
on Nov 13, 2013 -
Bugs and Beasts Before the Law
- "Murderous pigs sent to the gallows, sparrows prosecuted for chattering in Church, a gang of thieving rats let off on a wholly technical acquittal – theoretical psychologist and author Nicholas Humphrey explores the strange world of medieval animal trials." More on the theme of barnyard scapegoats from the BBC podcast documentary: Animals on Trial
posted by madamjujujive
on Jan 5, 2012 -
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]
posted by Eideteker
on Jul 15, 2011 -
Blunt Assessment: The Need for Legal Weed in Philadelphia.
To many inside the criminal justice and pro-legalization arenas, the racial disparity in Philadelphia's pot arrests is nothing short of an ongoing conspiracy. Offenders caught possessing 30 grams or less get to make a deal: Agree to pay a $200 fine and attend a three-hour treatment class and avoid going to trial and risking jail time.
posted by fixedgear
on Mar 4, 2011 -
Blackburn makes manifest a propensity for turgid language. Not content with foisting “cockalorum” (meaning, boastful talk), “froward” (willfully disobedient) and “mordaciously” (bitingly) on the reader, he may be the first judge to use both “contumelious” (scornful) and “contumacious” (pigheaded) in the same opinion.
Judge Robert E. Blackburn's ruling [pdf]
granting a motion for a new trial based on attorney misconduct is an interesting read for those who enjoy the use of uncommon, flowery and "big" words. [more inside]
posted by amyms
on Oct 14, 2007 -
Under the ole shade tree...
Welcome to Jena, LA -- mix high school segregation, racism, nooses, fights, ineffective school administration, attempted-murder charges, shotguns, and a town in upheaval--a "racial powder keg"
. Much more here,
including links to help.
posted by amberglow
on May 23, 2007 -
--as reported by BBC News, on this day in 1962 (video clip too)--her travails and travels, the law, publicity, and what happened afterwards. (more here from American Prospect
in 05: ...A Gallup Poll taken that year showed that the majority of Americans supported Finkbine, and her case was a turning point ...
posted by amberglow
on Aug 26, 2006 -
...a growing campaign to force public schools, state colleges and private workplaces to eliminate policies protecting gays and lesbians from harassment.
...Christian activist Gregory S. Baylor responds to such criticism angrily. He says he supports policies that protect people from discrimination based on race and gender. But he draws a distinction that infuriates gay rights activists when he argues that sexual orientation is different — a lifestyle choice, not an inborn trait.
By equating homosexuality with race, Baylor said, tolerance policies put conservative evangelicals in the same category as racists. ...
"Think how marginalized racists are," said Baylor, who directs the Christian Legal Society's Center for Law and Religious Freedom. "If we don't address this now, it will only get worse." Should Christians be able to sue for the right to not tolerate or abide by anti-discrimination and anti-harassment policies meant to apply to all? Should they still be able to get school activity funding?
posted by amberglow
on Apr 10, 2006 -
Yesterday the U.S. Supreme Court held
in a 5-3 decision
(.pdf) that police may not search a home if any inhabitant of the home is present and objects to the search, even if another inhabitant consents. The Court drew what it acknowledged is a “fine line” – if a co-inhabitant is at the door and objects, the police can’t enter; but if the co-inhabitant is somewhere else – even in a nearby police car – and has no opportunity to object, then police don’t need his or her consent. Chief Justice Roberts issued his first written dissent, blasting the majority’s “random” and “arbitrary” rule and suggesting that the ability of police to respond to domestic violence threats could be compromised. The zingers in the footnotes
may reveal “strains behind the surface placidity and collegiality of the young Roberts court.”
posted by brain_drain
on Mar 23, 2006 -
So help me Allah
is not Holy Scripture, according to a North Carolina judge, who says a Muslim can't swear to tell the truth on it, citing a 1777 law.
posted by teaperson
on Jul 19, 2005 -
An Objective Legal Look (and more) on Schiavo-- As a Florida law blogger, I have created this page to help people understand the legal circumstances surrounding the Terri Schiavo saga. In my view, there continues to be a need for an objective look at the matter. There is an unbelievable amount of misinformation being circulated.
Links to all court decisions, timelines, questions and answers
(some shocking)...you name it. All the info available on this tragic situation.
posted by amberglow
on Mar 19, 2005 -
Love and Marriage, Love and Marriage...
California joins New York in a lower-court decision for marriage equality, with the judge stating, "The idea that marriage-like rights without marriage is adequate smacks of a concept long rejected by the courts — separate but equal," ...
And in DC, Ken Mehlman, (closeted) head of the RNC, in an interview with the AP, backslides on his party's trumpeting of anti-gay sentiment: - It's not his job as head of the party to tell states whether they should allow same-sex couples to wed or form civil unions. "Certainly our platform states that the party is committed to ensuring that there is traditional marriage," he said, but he didn't think the party should take a position on state initiatives.
More on today's court decision here.
posted by amberglow
on Mar 14, 2005 -
Cruel and Unusual - The End Of The Eighth AmendmentIt might seem at first that the rules for the treatment of Iraqi prisoners were founded on standards of political legitimacy suited to war or emergencies; based on what Carl Schmitt called the urgency of the ''exception,'' they were meant to remain secret as necessary ''war measures'' and to be exempt from traditional legal ideals and the courts associated with them. But the ominous discretionary powers used to justify this conduct are entirely familiar to those who follow the everyday treatment of prisoners in the United States—not only their treatment by prison guards but their treatment by the courts in sentencing, corrections, and prisoners' rights. The torture memoranda, as unprecedented as they appear in presenting ''legal doctrines . . . that could render specific conduct, otherwise criminal, not unlawful,'' refer to U.S. prison cases in the last 30 years that have turned on the legal meaning of the Eighth Amendment’s language prohibiting ''cruel and unusual punishment.'' What is the history of this phrase? How has it been interpreted? And how has its content been so eviscerated?
posted by y2karl
on Nov 8, 2004 -
Janklow Gets 100 Days for Manslaughter
A career of willful and flagrant disregard for traffic laws and other people's safety that ended in the death of a motorcyclist.
Must be nice to be pals with the president. Although I'm sure that had nothing to do with his slap-on-the-wrist sentence. I was just saying that it must be nice to be pals with the president.
posted by fenriq
on Jan 22, 2004 -
It's the equivalent of "You can play the CD on three designated CD players that support the DRM. Like, it will play ONLY on xyz brand cd player and only three of those that you pick
. Yes, you have to stick to that brand of cd player (the iTunes player, the supported OS of iTunes, no unix support in sight) and too bad if you have a fourth one in the bedroom. It's not gonna play in your second car's player either. Nor in the kitchen. Nor on your neighbor's player. Nor can you trade it on the used market when you're tired of listening to it. "
"They finally found a way to sell you some wind. Even better, they will restrict the direction and force in wich the wind will blow, how often and where it will happen..."
As "DVD-Jon" Johansen goes to retrial
, a backlash is rising in the media & community
towards Apple's DRM (digital rights management), a week after this same kid created an open-source program that lets users copy
the songs that they bought onto other sources.
posted by omidius
on Dec 2, 2003 -
is smacked with a lawsuit for doing nothing when four employees complained of same-sex harassment from their boss
. Among the allegations, one claims that the woman "[invited] one of the plaintiffs to her house to engage in some type of sexual activity with her dogs." You've gotta love the local tv news treatment of any given situation. Streaming video also available.
posted by Hammerikaner
on Sep 24, 2003 -
Despite American efforts, world criminal court is born
With China, Russia, and the United States refusing to go along with this international court, just how effective can it become? And will the refusal of these major nations to join in add the what now appears the disintegration of global attempts at moderating international affairs?
posted by Postroad
on Mar 11, 2003 -
Man Beheads (statue of) Margaret Thatcher. His "sense of 'satirical humour' left him no choice but to carry out the attack" on the £150,000 Maggie as 'artistic expression and [his] right to interact with this broken world.' Jury fails to convict
and a retrial is scheduled. Perhaps there is a creative solution
to replacing the head?
posted by Shane
on Dec 18, 2002 -
You Have The Right To Remain Silent
Police can hold people in custody and force them to talk, so long as their incriminating statements are not used to prosecute them, U.S. Solicitor Gen. Theodore B. Olson and Michael Chertoff, the chief of the Justice Department's criminal division, say in their brief to the court.
It "will chill legitimate law enforcement efforts to obtain potentially life-saving information during emergencies," including terrorism alerts, if police and FBI agents can be sued for coercive questioning, they add
ready to talk or will I have to get my rubber hose and smash your face with my club?
posted by nofundy
on Nov 25, 2002 -
Model health law empowers states.
"Patients could be forced to take medicines or receive vaccines for contagious diseases that pose a public health threat, such as smallpox, under the model law." (originally published in Boston Globe, but that link is now gone)
posted by kat
on Dec 22, 2001 -