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]
The day Chris Kyle died
- an account of the fateful gun range encounter between the subject of the film "American Sniper" and fellow veteran Eddie Ray Routh.
Routh has received a life sentence for killing Kyle and freind Chad Littlefield, with a jury finding his claims of PTSD to be "an excuse"
During their Freedom Hosting
investigation and malware attack last year, the FBI unintentionally obtained the entire e-mail database of popular anonymous webmail service Tor Mail. And now, they've used it in an unrelated investigation to bust a Florida man accused of stealing credit card numbers
. [more inside]
FBI General Counsel reveals that around 3,000 warrantless GPS trackers
were removed after the ruling in U.S v. Jones
clarified their illegality (judgement PDF
) (previous FPP
). The ruling that a mosaic of surveillance technologies may form an issue when considered individually and the FBI's view of likely future judgements on the matter is particularly interesting in the light of the forthcoming cert/standing findings regarding warrantless eavesdropping.
Zaire Paige had a breakout role in Antoine Fuqua's movie, Brooklyn's Finest. He was seen as a rising star. But, it all went away when he murdered a gang rival and was sentenced to 107 years in prison. [more inside]
Arguing Three Strikes.
A defense lawyer (and co-founder of Stanford's unique Criminal Defense Clinic
), and a tough
-on-crime Republican D.A.
make for unusual allies in the move to reform California's Three Strikes law. [more inside]
Familial genetic profiling of law enforcement DNA databases
has already been used to succesfully establish both guilt and innocence. Legal and moral questions on these expanded techniques abound and are comprehensively explored by a speaker at a recent FBI symposium on the topic. In the author's words, scenarios previously limited to movies like Minority Report are unfolding quietly, before most of us have thought about the consequences. (Via)
Last Saturday afternoon, Rep. Bill Janklow
(SD) ran a stop sign and hit and killed a motorcyclist.
Janklow has a history
of driving poorly. In fact, his speedy habits have been the subject of jokes
in the past. Will Janklow receive special treatment because of his fame? What kind of penalty does a crime such as this deserve?
Robert Meeropol, the younger son of Ethel and Julius Rosenberg, writes about his parents.
I'm suprised nobody else posted about this yesterday--June 19th was the 50th anniversary of their execution for espionage
The executions at Sing Sing on June 19, 1953, ended a sensational Cold War case that still symbolizes the years when McCarthyism held sway and the government's word was accepted more readily than today. It was the first execution of civilians for espionage in U.S. history and it reverberated into the issues of dissent, anti-Semitism and capital punishment.
Pete Seeger and others comment here
; the Guardian here
. The Committee to Reopen the Rosenberg Trial
(which features representations of the couple by Picasso, among others) notes that:
In August of 1993, members of the American Bar Association Section of Litigation re-enacted the 1951 trial of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg. A moot trial was conducted with expertise and meticulous concern for accuracy. The unanimous verdict of the twelve jurors was "Not Guilty." This "trial" and its dramatic outcome was widely reported by the media - for one day only.
What About Three-Strikes-and-You're-Out for Corporate Criminals?
California State Senator Gloria Romero recently introduced a bill that would hold California's law-breaking corporations to the same standard to which the state holds its law-breaking citizens. Three strikes and you're out. (original link from Robotwisdom)
Killer Paid Online Data Broker for Material Obtained Through Trickery
A stalker who eventually murdered his victim acquired her home address via a company named Docusearch
. However, Docusearch didn't get it via database mining, but through a process they call "pretexting" (aka "human engineering" or "pretending to be someone else"). Docusearch, on the stalkers behalf, called the victim's business associates posing as an insurance rep or some such, and tricked the colleagues into giving over the victim's address. Legal? Perfectly legal. Ethical? Maybe. It's a tried and true investigative technique employed by private investigators for decades. It reminds us once again that the human dufus at the next desk over is the biggest security risk. However, this is an issue of an investigative firm exercising a typical, long-standing investigative practice for a purpose that, unfortunately, turned nefarious. Given that, why did the Post put the online
data broker spin on the article?
Strathclyde Police, Scotland,
given the right to take DNA samples from anyone arrested. Previously DNA samples were taken only from those suspected of murders, sex attacks or serious assaults.
Sir John Orr, Chief Constable of Strathclyde Police, denied that compulsory testing would infringe people's human rights. He said: "The tests are not invasive, not intrusive and not against civil liberties. The vast majority of people will be asked only to give a simple mouth swab, which can be done in seconds. This is a magnificent tool which will help detect crime and the public should be very pleased."
Read: you have nothing to fear if you're innocent...