Emotional Judges and Unlucky Juveniles is the title of an NBER research paper recently published, which showed that unexpected losses by the LSU football team resulted in harsher penalties for juvenile defendants. Reported in the Atlantic, and a .pdf of the draft paper.
A San Francisco deputy public defender was handcuffed and arrested at the Hall of Justice after she objected to city police officers questioning her client outside a courtroom, an incident that her office called outrageous and police officials defended as appropriate. [more inside]
In Conversation: Antonin Scalia "On the eve of a new Supreme Court session, the firebrand justice discusses gay rights and media echo chambers, Seinfeld and the Devil, and how much he cares about his intellectual legacy ("I don’t")." [more inside]
In Schenck v. United States, Chief Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes famously used the phrase "shouting fire in a crowded theater" as an example of how the First Amendment does not cover speech that poses a clear and present danger. But how did Holmes come to use that particular phrase? The backstory is surprisingly complex.
CSI: Parthenon: A questioner asks historians how a murder case would be solved and prosecuted in the era of their expertise. Answers for : Colonial Boston, Norman Ireland, 19th Century Imperial China, Ancient Athens, 14th-Century England, 13th century England, Victorian England, Rome. (Via Reddit's AskHistorians; whole thread.)
A bull burned at the stake, a swarm of locusts excommunicated—animal trials were once surprisingly common.
Rosie is an adorable golden retriever, trained as a therapy dog to help calm the stressed. She recently made an appearance in a courtroom to help a 15-year-old girl testify against her father in an incest case. The father was convicted, and his lawyers are now appealing the conviction on the grounds that Rosie was just too darn cute. [more inside]
"we upheld against proportionality attack a sentence of 40 years' imprisonment for possession with intent to distribute nine ounces of marijuana" - Justice Kennedy
DrugPolicyCases.com - Yakov Spektor, a New York-based attorney, combed through two decades of US Supreme Court opinions "to discern certain trends in the Court's treatment of various issues" related to the War on Drugs. The collection of opinions are organized by case, author and topic.
American Lawbreaking. "This series explores the black spots in American law: areas in which our laws are routinely and regularly broken and where the law enforcement response is … nothing. These are the areas where, for one reason or another, we've decided to tolerate lawbreaking and let a law—duly enacted and still on the books—lay fallow or near dead." The first two entries are prescription drug abuse and internet pornography.
Only in Iran, kissing a mid-age actress on an award ceremony could be so politically effective, both actress and the young director are in court now. Hardliners gathered at a mosque and ranted against reformists and western culture. The day after, a high-rank official was arrested because he had let those guys go after the ceremony. What would happen if Oscars was held in Iran?