- Anthony Lewis, author of much more than Gideon’s Trumpet passed away one week after the 50th anniversary of Gideon v. Wainwright. Read this piece by Andrew Cohen at The Atlantic first; also here‘s a nice piece by the ACS; NPR; Boston Globe; The Daily Beast; Washington Post; The Atlantic. His song has ended; will his music live on?
- Yet another prisoner education program, this one by Cornell University, reaps dividends.
- Unsurprisingly, Congress’ plan to “fix” the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act actually makes it much, much worse. Also see Kerr at Volokh.
- Miami Beach ordered to pay man $100,000 because he was arrested by a copy for dressing poorly in a very rich neighborhood.
- Prosecutor makes paralegal pretend to be student taking survey at office of defense lawyer to..I don’t know what, but it was a stupid idea anyway.
50 years ago yesterday, an American U-2 plane captured photographs of the Soviets building missile bases in Cuba, leading to a 14-day dance that brought the world to the brink of disaster. Maybe we’ve learned our lessons from playing the world’s most dangerous game of chicken, or maybe not. Maybe we’re doomed to repeat our mistakes and will be wiped off the face of this planet in an impetuous act of aggressiveness or maybe we’ll evolve to a higher existence and float around like amorphous blobs of energy. All I know is that it’s Monday morning and I need something read.
- Superhero Blogger© Ken at Popehat has this extensive post titled ‘A Year in Blasphemy‘ in which he rounds up stories from around the world on those who trade First Amendment protections for bans on blasphemy and argues – effectively – that we should resist all calls to do so here, in these United States.
- The Houston Police Department has admitted that some of their traffic tickets come “pre-loaded” with violations already printed on them.
- On the flip side, Texas becomes the latest state to reject implementation of the Adam Walsh Act (Connecticut is one state not in compliance; my posts on the AWA here). Here‘s a Pew Center article on just why states are rejecting the implementation of this useless, expensive and draconian Federal legislation.
- On the third hand, Pennsylvania adopts the Adam Walsh Act, leading to nonsense like this and potentially hundreds and thousands of appeals.
- A 2012 report [PDF] shows that sex offender recidivism in Connecticut is extremely low, with only 1.7% of sex offenders returning to jail for a new sex crime (and only 3.6% were arrested for and charged with a new sex crime).
- Here’s the latest [PDF] CT prison population report.
- In the wake of Sandusky’s sentencing, here’s an interesting interview with a psychiatrist at Johns Hopkins who counsels pedophiles about how society and the law should respond to and deal with it.
- Judge appoints lawyer to represent a dog about to be euthanized; doesn’t realize impact on those who trade in puns. Too…many..jokes…brain…overload…send…help.
- Steven Hayes wants to volunteer to be executed.
- Don’t know how many times I can beat this drum: it could happen to you. Get your head out of the man’s ass and think for yourself, for a second.
Rorschach test time. Watch the video and post your reactions below.
Bonus link: the attorney in the above video also runs “Legal Niche Pros” a lawyer-marketing SEO service of sorts, I suppose.
Leif Erikson, not to be confused with the unholy spawn of Leif Garrett and Marshall Erikson (yes I know how it’s spelled), is what those of us in know call an “OH”. He’s the guy that scientists and other people with advanced degrees now believe was the first European to set foot in North America, way back in the 1000s. That’s approximately 495 years before Christopher Columbus made his way over, bringing with him all of Europe and its cute little foibles like slavery, disease and genocide.
So, in order to celebrate my Nordic ancestry, this edition of Monday Morning Jumpstart will be in honor of those magnificent Nordic peoples, like Famke Janssen and Audi motor cars.
- The unbearable cost of the death penalty is making some long-time supporters in CA push for abolition.
- A fantastically heartwarming article in the NYTimes about the NYPD’s “jumper squad”: officers assigned to talking people off of tall buildings, bridges and ledges.
- In 1982, Idaho (wouldn’t you know?) abolished the insanity defense. This is not a joke. Now, a murder suspect is mounting a challenge to that abolition and their Supreme Court will decide if the ban is Constitutional.
- There’s a ballot initiative in New Mexico to make an independent Public Defender Commission and remove it from under the thumb of the Governor and the DOC.
- The government is arguing – reportedly with a straight face – that the arrest of a white male carrying Arabic flashcards with a Middle East stamp on his passport was supported by probable cause.
- Matt Brown writes eloquently about the complete disregard for truth in the modern incarnation of the criminal justice system.
- Prosecutors are trying to shut down a defendant’s website because he’s using it to proclaim his innocence or something. I don’t know. Apparently they don’t have enough work there.
- Chris Dodd (DODD!) says that PIPA/SOPA are dead. There was no report on whether they were bitten by the virus and might reanimate as zombies.
- The Juvenile Justice Information Exchange has this intelligent post on Cassidy Goodson, a 14-year charged with murdering her unwanted baby.
- Scott writes about the most facepalm inducing story of the week: the New Orleans prosecutor who got fired because a joint fell out of his pocket while he was talking to cops which led to his arrest. Prosecutors: they’re just like us; they just hide it better.
- The embattled East Haven police department will now have dashboard cams outfitted on all their cruisers.
- Six federal judges win a lawsuit seeking pay raises.
- Dr. Karen Franklin has this interesting post on false confessions and the taint it causes with corroborative evidence.
- Meanwhile, this exists (a blog about a Yalie with “Supreme Ambitions”, i.e. to get a SCOTUS clerkship. Excuse me while I go kill myself.)
- Wait. Someone made an Angry Birds-Star Wars crossover? Faith in humanity restored.
- Finally, in case you missed it, compare my post on State v. Fourtin with HuffPost and ThinkProgress. One of us has read the actual decision. You guess which one.
Update: You know what? Forget everything I just said and watch this instead:
(via io9 and Part Two here.)
Now go build some
ships hexaflexagon and sail forth, but don’t forget the horned helmets.
Have your leaves turned yet? Don’t feel left out if they haven’t. Turn the metaphorical leaves of these virtual articles and your October blues will be kept at bay. At least until the coffee turns cold.
- The Washington Post has this lengthy interview with Lee Boyd Malvo, the kid accomplice to the DC Sniper on the 10th anniversary of the shootings.
- A chemist in the MA state forensic lab is arraigned on charges of well, doing everything possible to fuck defendants. This has led to a review of thousands of convictions based on her work and testimony. Scott has more.
- Big Brother is watching you more and more. Wired says warrantless spying increased six hundred percent in the last decade. Reason says the warrantless digital spying has increased enormously in the last two years.
- Grits has this post on the risk that overcriminalization and plea bargaining has led to more innocent people pleading guilty.
- A new Northwestern University study says that human memory is a lot like the game of ‘telephone’.
- Sex offenders in California challenge – on First and Fourteenth Amendment grounds – local ordinances that require them to refuse trick-or-treaters (via SL&P).
- Australia struggles with whether lawyers should be allowed to question jurors about potential misconduct, while a Scottish lawyer argues that jurors who research defendants and bloggers who write about pending trials should be charged with crimes.
- The NYPD will start videotaping interrogations soon.
- California enacts into law legislation that permits juvenile LWOPers to seek review after 15 years of incarceration.
- Social media helps Connecticut cops solve crimes.
Where did summer go? Bring it back, please. While you do so, read some of these weekend stories, sure to light a fire unde-oh, whatever, just read the damn things:
- Constitution Daily has a post about the drama and controversy that marked the first Supreme Court justices.
- Connecticut’s top federal judge is seeking outside help to clear through a huge backlog of civil cases.
- Former Waterbury prosecutor John Connolly has died. Search the blog for his name if you want to know more about him, but he’s dead, so no comments here today.
- U.S. District Court in Minnesota rules that forcing a student to provide his Facebook/Twitter passwords violates the First and Fourth Amendments.
- One of the East Haven police officers charged with civil rights violations has pled guilty, possibly to testify against others?
- Missouri’s public defenders will be able to cap their caseload, per their Supreme Court [PDF].
- Michigan’s indigent defense system is on its way to an overhaul.
- Is the Obama flag logo violating Federal Law? No.
- CT News Junkie has a nice report on StandDown, the annual event that provides free legal and health services to veterans.
- The Juvenile Justice Blog writes about that 13-year old in Florida charged with murder.
Okay, that’s enough.
It’s September 17, which means it is also Constitution Day: the day on which the delegates to the Constitutional Convention met in Philadelphia in 1787 to sign the document that would enumerate, in general, those rights and freedoms that we purport to hold so dear. With each passing year, the Constitution means less and has less power and effect and thus, the importance of understanding it and its intent and its protections grows stronger. Here are some stories from the weekend that you should read with the Constitution in mind:
- The Ninth Circuit hears re-argument en banc in a challenge to California’s DNA upon arrest law. [My post on the original 9th Circuit decision.]
- Popehat has this deliciously titled post about the First Amendment, damages awards and their chilling effect on speech: Schadenfreude Is Not A Free Speech Value.
- A 13-year old Florida boy is facing murder and sexual assault charges as an adult, exposing him to life in prison. He’s thirteen. Think of the children.
- EvidenceProf continues his analysis of Giles, forfeiture by wrongdoing and transferred intent, analyzing a case currently pending in the Oregon Supreme Court.
- The Atlantic has this interesting article questioning the continued importance of Justice Scalia.
- There’s also this lengthy, powerful piece on Terrance Williams’ clemency request in Pennsylvania. Make sure you read it in its entirety. For the TL;DR version, here‘s a NYT piece.
- Prosecutors across the country get their hands dirty by joining with scam debt collectors to threaten people. Scott Greenfield has more.
- This post at The Agitator uses the example of a West Virginia teacher, acquitted of sexual assault charges after a retrial, to question prosecutorial immunity and wonder how the woman can piece her life back together.
- Ken Lammers gives us all tips on how to put together the perfect opening statement.
- Finally, in the WTF news story of the day, Facebook takes down the City of New Haven’s Facebook page because Facebook.
Now go say a silent prayer to your favorite Amendment.
Stuff for you to read while you “work” on a Monday morning:
- A comparison of the Democrats’ platform on civil liberties between 2008 and 2012. Spoiler: they’ve joined the GOP in not giving a shit about it.
- The FBI is launching a $1 billion facial recognition program. See 1. above.
- A new paper on the mandatory meaning of Miller.
- Gamso has an expert takedown.
- Ken at Popehat is back in action with an excellent post challenging this Gawker piece on pedophilia as a brain abnormality and the reactions to it.
- A terrifying story on the disciplining of school children.
- The Juvenile Justice Information Exchange has this post on the slowly widening social gap in our society and the impact it has on our ability to understand and care for those who have less.
- Should states help death row inmates donate their organs? Gamso (again) has more.
Should get you through the morning coffee break. Then you’re on your own.