Wednesday, December 20, 2006

What Ails Republicans?

Sorry, I only made one entry yesterday; I usually strive for two, but it is getting a little busier right now (or am I just trying to do a little more other stuff?). Enjoy, and comments, guest blogging are always welcome. Heard on C-Span Radio this morning on my daily commute, "mean tough guys" in prisons should be given a chance to serve in the military and not waste their youth. There are, admittedly, a lot of ready, willing and able men (and women) who are probably not too far gone, dangerous, or feeble-minded to serve. There is a good solution to the Army's/Marine's recruiting problems. As we know, many of these guys just made one mistake, got caught doing what a lot of other people are doing or have done, and/or simply don't need to be locked up.

Also had an interesting discussion that went (sort of) like this.

Friend: if you want to make a difference in the area of habeas corpus you have to work for the prosecution--they are the only ones who have the power to do anything (about a wrongful conviction or faulty/illegal confession for instance).

I was not able to articulate the fact that in our adversarial system too many prosecutors will NOT go out of their way to fight for right, but find that to advance in their careers they must litigate every "nook and cranny" of the law, and look the other way when Brady evidence is obvious, or just when a case might smell bad from the beginning. That mean "not caving" even when you think the other guy is right, although justice might require that. That is why justice is so hard to come by in places. It is true, my friend's point, that in habeas prosecutors hold all the cards because so few defense lawyers do that kind of work and so few prisoners can pay a lawyer after they've spent their last dime fighting on trial, appeal, etc.. Only in death penalty cases is a lawyer required in habeas. In all other cases prisoners are not constitutionally entitled to a lawyer.

My experience in Virginia, a few years back, did however give me some faith that prosecutors tried to do the right thing most of the time but this does not hold true for all too many of the other jurisdictions, especially in the South, Old South, Deep South. Evidence of that is still, sadly, seen every day.

What ails the Republicans? Find out from Newsweek.

Look what I found:

One of the ill-concealed subtexts of my book Our Undemocratic Constitution is that my colleagues in the legal academy pay much too much attention to the rights-conferring parts of the Constitution (which are often exactly what Madison predicted they would be, "parchment barriers" that are all too permeable given the right degree of public panic and malleable judges) and too little attention to the "hard-wired" structural features that, I now believe, explain much more about the actualities of American politics than do the clauses that law professors fixate on...

Get the rest of piece here: (from The New Republic)

This is why I love the guys over at TNR:
Last week the Washington Times op-ed page, in the form of the
oleaginous (oily? not holy oil? greasy?) (more here)
Tony Blankley, voiced its concern that Hillary was going to rough up Barack Obama. Now it's the Wall Street Journal's turn. Here's John Fund ...

Also, found this

over there.

(what I really meant to say, here, was "one of the next future presidents...")

Veto of Banishment Law Upheld:

“As parents we need to be constantly vigilant of our children. Preventing sex offenders from living here does not prevent them from being here,” Mr. Ossing said. “This law is going to be another unenforceable feel-good law.” Finally, common sense seems to be taking hold. Read this here and more here.

In the Richmond Times Dispatch (in police beat somewhere, a new federal pd office opens in Western Virginia). Andrea Lantz Harris and Frederick T. Heblich are the first lawyers hired in a new defender's office serving the Charlottesville and Harrisonburg divisions of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Virginia.

I am adding Richmond Times Dispatch and probably Baltimore Sun and Annapolis papers to the MSM links (at right).

"No New Prisons" Campaign starts up in Washington State.

More on the Drug War, Borden's blog.

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