A new Texas bill
seeks to give pharmacists the right to object to dispensing emergency contraceptives. The bill was spurred by over a year's worth of debate about an incident in Denton
where a rape victim was denied a morning-after pill by a pharmacist at Eckerd's. Supporters say that pharmacists should be able to opt out of dispensing drugs that are used for abortions, but the opposition points out that the bill's definition of emergency contraceptives can be construed to include all birth control. Should pharmacists be allowed to morally object, or is this an anti-birth-control boondoggle?
posted by rush
on Apr 12, 2005 -
Another reason to practice safe sex?
Man meets woman. Man has oral sex with woman. Woman keeps the sperm, uses it to impregnate herself, then sues for child support. Man counter-sues for emotional distress and "sperm theft". Although the emotional distress claim is still active, the "sperm theft" claim was dismissed. On that point, the court decided:
When plaintiff "delivered" his sperm, it was a gift -- an absolute and irrevocable transfer of title to property from a donor to a donee... There was no agreement that the original deposit would be returned upon request.
posted by halekon
on Feb 26, 2005 -
LAWs instructions for starting criminal procedures against Bush
Today in Vancouver, Lawyers Against the War filed torture charges against George W. Bush under the Canadian Criminal Code. The charges were laid by Gail Davidson, co-chair of Lawyers against the War--LAW, under provisions enacted pursuant to the U.N. Torture Convention, ratified by both Canada and the United States. The charges concern the well known abuses of prisoners held by US Armed Forces in the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq and the Guantanamo Bay prison in Cuba. The charges were accepted by the Justice of the Peace and referred for a hearing to decide whether Bush should be required to appear for trial. The Attorney General of Canada's consent is required within eight days for proceedings to continue, and the question of Bush's diplomatic immunity will have to be resolved by the court.
posted by sunexplodes
on Dec 1, 2004 -
this mefi story here
where a set of extremely abusive parents who abused their children into their teens were sentenced to only 9 months prison. A judge now deems that sentence "demonstrably unfit" and resentences the mother and father to 5 and 4 years in jail, respectively. Thanks to t r a c y for the update.
posted by shepd
on Nov 5, 2004 -
Conscience Clauses and Health Care
--"Yes, we need to respect individual freedom of religion. But at what point does it cross the line of not providing essential medical care? At what point is it malpractice?" she asked. "If someone's beliefs interfere with practicing their profession, perhaps they should do something else." The Protection of Conscience Project
feels differently: Protection of Conscience Laws are needed because powerful interests are inclined to force health care workers and others to participate, directly or indirectly, in morally controversial procedures
, while NARAL says: ... Many of these clauses go far beyond respecting individuals' beliefs to the point of harming women by not providing them with full information or access to medical treatment. Medicine, not ideology, should determine medical decisions.
posted by amberglow
on Sep 17, 2004 -
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?
posted by homunculus
on Feb 20, 2004 -
Marcus Dixon, an 18-year-old Black high school honor student was recently convicted of child molestation, has been permanently expelled from high school, and is now serving 15 years in the George state prison for having consensual
sex with a 15-year-old White girl. Even though he was acquitted of all forcible rape charges, the child molestation charge still earned him the long sentence. Racism? Mandatory minimums strike again?
posted by Bluecoat93
on Jan 14, 2004 -
The Bottom Line: Manhattan court rules to evict club.
A New York City Greenwich Village landmark, The Bottom Line Cabaret
, which has let the music play from such stars as Bruce Springsteen for close to 30 years, has been evicted
after falling behind by nearly 3 years with is rent and not being able to work out a long-term with it's landlord: New York University (NYU)
This comes despite the cash contributions from celebrities like Springsteen and Viacom's CEO, last-minute corporate sponsorships from AT&T and others, and the efforts of fans around the world. Even the best efforts of fans at SaveTheBottomLine.com
weren't able to save the club, which says it may consider shopping around for some new digs. But, as of now, The Bottom Line is homeless.
posted by nyukid
on Dec 4, 2003 -
The War on Drugs
hasn't been working at all well. So let's make it even less sensible: harsher penalties, invasion of privacy, all that jazz. The proposal is surreal, but fits in with the rest of US Drug Policy: rapists aren't denied federal funds for post-secondary schooling, but pot-heads are; you can spend more time in jail for dealing weed than for murder; gonna deal pot, ya might as well deal speed, it's the same jailtime. And now... let's encourage dealers to sell pot with more carcinogenic tars! [link goes to NORML, possibly NSFW, danger: encourages political activism]
posted by five fresh fish
on Nov 26, 2003 -
Man Pleads Guilty to Raping his own 2 month old Daughter
But wait, that's just the beginning. This guy's daddy heads the state Corrections Department and part of his plea is to reduce the amount of time he's going to spend in jail for this most heinous act.
This guy is facing, if the judge agrees to the plea, only 6 months in jail! The standard sentence for first-degree child rape is seven to 10 years in prison.
He's admitted to molesting a 9 year old in Maine before and has also been convicted of orchestrating an armed robbery.
How in the heck he's going to get ANY leniency is beyond me.
posted by fenriq
on Oct 29, 2003 -
A follow up
on the debate concerning the Constitutionality of the pledge of allegiance. Apparently the Supreme Court is going to hear it.
posted by sourbrew
on Oct 14, 2003 -
Bush signs a bill into law
that very few people will have anything bad to say about. Most of those who would oppose the new law can't vote, anyway, being members of predatory prison gangs, so I think we're pretty much good on this one
posted by majcher
on Sep 5, 2003 -
Want to see some great theater and learn a bit about our great system of justice and capital punishment? Then The Exonerated
may be the show for you.The other night I went to see The Exonerated, which has been playing Off Broadway since last fall and is also appearing in theaters around the country this year. Composed wholly from court records and interviews by playwrights Jessica Blank and Erik Jensen, this documentary drama recounts true tales of horror from the American criminal-justice system. The actors sit downstage and read their parts as the stories of six innocent citizens condemned to death row unfold. If this sounds like a worthy endeavor, it is; if it sounds dull or didactic, it isn’t.
posted by nofundy
on Jul 3, 2003 -
How Dodgy Are You?
I'm in the clear. No years in prison and no fine. Safe and boring. Let's see the Mefi criminal element emerge shall we? [Imagary may now be work safe and the quiz is based on UK law ...]
posted by feelinglistless
on Jun 10, 2003 -
New York man gets ticket for sitting on a milk crate.
Not, of course, that i take the NY Daily News all that seriously, but still... This is beyond ridiculous (much like a lot of things taking place in New York these days). Makes me ill that I have to wait until 2006 to vote this ridiculous mayor out of office.
posted by cadence
on May 20, 2003 -
Is this your fetus? Are you the one I slept with?
Remember when we discussed this
before? Florida has now been forced by 4 plaintiffs and the ACLU
to repeal the so-called Scarlet Letter law that forces women who are pregnant and giving children up for adoption to take out an ad local papers once a week for 4 weeks, stating her name and her sexual history in the last year, to let men know if they *might* be the father. Here
is the ACLU legal brief. The details about the decision are in the first link.
Thank god for the ACLU.
posted by aacheson
on Apr 25, 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 -
It seems likely
that we'll be hearing a lot more about tort reform
, especially medical malpractice tort reform
, over the next couple years. Sadly, many don't even know exactly what a tort is
, let alone how the tort system works
, although most have heard about individual lawsuits through the media
. Conservatives tend to focus on capping damages
, reigning in juries
, and allowing businesses to contract out of tort liability
. Liberals generally oppose
these proposals, and some have a few ideas about reform
as well. Of course, we could always follow the example of New Zealand
and scrap the tort system altogether
. Maybe the Supreme Court will give the GOP some suggestions about reform in their latest tort case
posted by boltman
on Nov 7, 2002 -
This week, two boys in Florida were tried for the bludgeoning-murder of their father. With accusations raised of the actual killing to have been done by another, adult male with alleged sexual ties to the two boys, the boys were found guilty only of a lesser second-degree murder charge
, claiming the adult must have done the actual deed... yet the jury was unaware the adult accused and being tried for that very idea was acquitted of all charges the previous week
. The issue? Both trials were handled by the same prosecutor who presented completely different theories to each jury...
in other words, not settling on a confident belief of who actually performed the killing, the prosecution tried to get both the adult and the pair of boys convicted for it. Isn't that risky? Or, if you like a different flavor of debate, isn't that completely unethical?
posted by XQUZYPHYR
on Sep 7, 2002 -
An All-American Fugitive When Margo Freshwater escaped from prison 32 years ago, she began a happy and law-abiding life, becoming a devoted mother, grandmother and wife. Now she's back behind bars . . . And unless she's given a new trial or is granted clemency . . . she will remain behind bars until she is an old woman . . . Meanwhile, the man who confessed to the killing probably will die a free man.
posted by mikrophon
on Aug 22, 2002 -
Cops Abuse New Anti-Terror Law. The raid was perhaps the state's first known instance of law enforcement officers using new anti-terrorism police powers in a case unrelated to terrorism...
Ahh, yes. The War On Drugs meets The War Against Terror.
posted by fnord_prefect
on Aug 5, 2002 -
The catch-22 of prison therapy.
The biggest criticism of sex offender justice is that imprisonment does not mean rehabilitation. In Massachusetts because of stringent anti-sex offender laws, lawyers are advising their clients to turn down prison therapy because it will be used against them. Even used against them after they're done with their sentence. These are serious violations of double jeopardy and doctor patient privilege.
posted by skallas
on Jul 28, 2002 -
House likely to approve homeland security bill that erodes labor protections
"But the Senate, which likely takes up the matter next week, so far has pursued a much different course. On Thursday, the Democratic-led Senate Governmental Affairs Committee crafted legislation that would protect all current civil service protections and make it more difficult for the president to move workers out of unions. Bush and other Republicans said the measure would give the president less authority than he has now."
The House seems to be so much more conservative and extremist than the Senate. Heck they're still working on trying to ban selected types of abortion procedures
even when there's a strong chance it won't pass constitutional muster and the Senate isn't likely to support them.
Is it your perception that the House is more conservative? If so, why do you think that's true?
posted by Red58
on Jul 26, 2002 -
Government Will Ease Limits on Domestic Spying by F.B.I.
(NY Times link) As part of a sweeping effort to transform the F.B.I. into a domestic terrorism prevention agency, Attorney General John Ashcroft has decided to relax restrictions on the bureau's ability to conduct domestic spying in counterterrorism operations, senior government officials said today.
Here's the Wash. Post's
take on the story.
posted by Ty Webb
on May 30, 2002 -
Controversial new bill
to lay out reproductive technology guidelines. Canadian version of this battle doesn't seem to feature as many religious wackos. It's just not as fun without them.
posted by Leonard
on May 9, 2002 -