Thursday, November 19, 2009

Postconviction Practices

Thanks to Doug, as alway, here is the ABA symposium on postconviction practices:

Prof. Berman also posts here on Second Amendment cases, Heller and McDonald, suggesting that the cause of criminal justice reform is related, discussing the politics as well.

Remarkably there is in the air a question whether SCOTUS might overrule a one hundred year old decision in the Slaughterhouse cases regarding the Privileges or Immunities clause of the Second Amendment! Doug suggests liberals should tend towards favoring the overruling. You have to go read the McDonald brief.

That would place liberals in bed with the NRA. Gives new meaning to the phrase intercourse between nations, or in this case national political parties. You gotta love how those clever libertarians love to stir the pot. Karl Rove, where are you now?

Yes, the states should and can be incubators for reform (in all vectors). But which one has the balls to move sensibly toward what we might call, fiscal responsibility, anti- tough (stupid tough) on crime? Restore judicial discretion, remove mandatory minimums, for starters.

Symposium link

Topics include

collateral consequences
claims of innocence
procedural obstacles

and a primer by Prof Taslitz at Howard University in DC.

Friday, November 13, 2009

New blog

Found a new blog, Stand Up, by Sam Caldwell.

It looks promising.

Shitake Awards, one more on topic, for a good belly laugh! The line: "giving anti-former offender politicos and celebrities what they really deserve"

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Convicting Innocents

Here is a link to Sean Penn's documentary Witch Hunt (2008). The description from Emanuel Levy:

"Witch Hunt" chronicles the unraveling of a small town's justice system. The main characters in this new non-fiction film are working class parents, moms and dads, who were all wrongly convicted of child molestation in the early 1980s in the town of Bakersfield, California. Each of these falsely convicted people was recklessly pursued by the same Kern County District Attorney who remains in office today. "Witch Hunt" is a true crime drama, where the real criminals were the authorities, themselves.

PLEASE watch the film and tell me the system is not corrupt.

There is dire need for judicial reform. Although this episode happened over 20 years ago the abusive practices continue in ever more sophisticated fashion.

Check Sosen's site on the sidebar of this blog and the many comments on topic during the previous 9 months at Emanuel Levy.

There's a book I read a few years ago I thought was called cynically titled Presumed Innocent, not to be confused with Turow's of the same title. The one I read is about the Bakersfield travesty. I am having a hard time tracking it down. If anybody sees this and can help please do so.

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Reforming Criminal Justice

NYRB has an interesting review of three books, by David Cole, called Can Our Shameful Prisons Be Reformed. November issue. Not much new here, but the problem is gaining in notoriety, perhaps.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Da System, Baby, Is Working, But Not so Great

Who has not heard of the case of Garrido, and Sowell?

The girls Sowell had over are not so well.

One fell out the balcony and had too much. She is not so well.

Sowell is not so well.

That's a good thing.

Sorry, so well...

See you in hell.

The proof is so often in the pudding.

Here, the proof seems to be putting in the house.

Sorry Sowell.

See you in hell.

Remember Garrido

You and matron kept her 20 years

Nobody knew any different

Not GPS, not judge, not parole officer;

OMG, the system, baby, is not so great.

Who should we hate?

All the criminal loving lawyers

is who.

Without them Garrido would be hung by the bun