Saturday, September 27, 2008

Against the Grain on Registries

Finally, this constitutional erosion seems to be gaining attention. Excerpt from ABAJ,

at least two courts this year have sided with the critics and invalidated some or all of the registry law. In both rulings, the courts referred back to a line of U.S. Supreme Court cases from the 1990s that limited the federal government’s reach into state law.

Meanwhile, a third federal court temporarily halted the new law until it had a chance to hear arguments on the issue.

More is at stake than just the sex offender registries, observers say. Americans have become accustomed to national crime registries, and courts could throw them into doubt.

“Not surprisingly, given our increasing sense of informational entitlement and disdain for criminal offenders, we are seeing registration and notification laws spread to other subgroups, such as domestic abusers,” says Florida State University law professor Wayne A. Logan, author of the forthcoming book Knowledge as Power: A History of Criminal Registration Laws in America.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Constitutional Crisis or Just Business as Usual?

Here is the big picture, from Prof. Bruce Ackerman of Yale, via Stirling Newberry at KOS. Link. On one side is the economy, politics on another and upon the third leg the constitution, the supposed "order" our Republic stands upon. The monetary/financial system is clearly being manipulated to serve the rich; the rich get richer, the system spends like no tomorrow to preserve and increase their own wealth. Tell me something new guys. But can Democrats fix it?

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Convicting Innocents, Sex Offender Laws, Anthrax Investigation in the News

Here is an interesting post from Grits in Texas, who always does good work, about Ivins, the accused, and now dead, pushed by the investigation to commit suicide, FBI anthrax case suspect. I've felt something fishy about this matter. So do the investigating members of the Senate committee in charge. It begins like this.

Pat Leahy, one of the US senators targeted in the 2001 anthrax attacks, made this shocking declaration yesterday that he doesn't believe Bruce Ivins, the scientist blamed for the attacks who committed suicide earlier this year, acted alone:
"If he is the one who sent the letter, I do not believe in any way, shape or manner that he is the only person involved in this attack on Congress and the American people," Leahy told FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III at a hearing yesterday. "I believe there are others involved, either as accessories before or accessories after the fact. I believe that there are others who can be charged with murder."

At this report, Grits independently concludes and takes up the banner many of us have been carrying, that the Sex Offender Registration/Targeting laws only produce more wrongful convictions and collateral damage and nothing to keep anybody, much less our children safe: Conceived literally in error from their inception. And he can point to yet another DNA exoneration to make the point. The American people are so stupid. They can't imagine the harm these ineffective and wasteful laws have imposed upon all the rest of us in society.

There is more than enough fear to go around now, so can we please move on to more serious stuff, like fixing inflation and stagnation, and making more stuff so more people can have jobs making and selling it? Please.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

AWA Cruel and Unusual Judge Rules

Doc Berman notes this decision, in his words:
Thanks to this post at Sex Crimes, I have learned of this recent federal district court opinion which concludes "that a 30-year mandatory minimum sentence for [the defendant], under the specific facts of his case, is so grossly disproportionate to his crime as to constitute cruel and unusual punishment in violation of the Eighth Amendment to the United States Constitution." US v. Farley, NO. 1:07-CR-196-BBM, slip op. at 8 (N.D. GA. Sept. 2, 2008).