Criminal Justice

TGIF: Is Edward Snowden a Lawbreaker?

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Most people believe that Edward Snowden, who has confirmed that the U.S. government spies on us, broke the law. Even many of his defenders concede this. While in one sense the statement “Snowden broke the law” may be trivially true, in another, deeper sense it is untrue. He may  have violated the terms of legislation passed by Congress and signed ... [click for more]

Obama and His “Most Evident” Right: Equality

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In his second inaugural address, Barack Obama quoted the Declaration of Independence and hailed “the most evident of truths — that all of us are created equal.” Obama never explained why “created equal” was more evident than the right to liberty. He understands that he can capture far more power by invoking equality than he could by promising to ... [click for more]

The Continuing Forfeiture Scourge

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A federal crime wave is sweeping the nation, and prosecutors and G-men could not be happier about it. The Wall Street Journal reported that government “forfeiture programs confiscated homes, cars, boats, and cash in more than 15,000 cases . The total take topped $2.5 billion, more than doubling in five years, Justice Department statistics show.” Beginning in 1970, Congress ... [click for more]

Jail Time for Hurting Someone’s Feelings?

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It may fairly be said that there is a special place in hell for anyone who makes fun of a disabled person. Should there also be a place for him in jail? Apparently so. On November 28 a municipal judge in Canton, Ohio, sentenced William Bailey to 30 days in jail after Bailey pleaded no contest to criminal charges of disorderly ... [click for more]

Did the Government Drive Aaron Swartz to Suicide?

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In Les Misérables, an obsessed French police officer, Javert, relentlessly pursues Jean Valjean, a man who represents no danger to society but whose minor infraction brought down the wrath of the brutal government, including 19 years of hard labor and lifetime parole. America, too, has its Javerts. Zealous and ruthless federal prosecutors have the power to torment people for trivial ... [click for more]

Social Engineering through Criminal Law

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Stealth defines the statist who seeks to channel all human conduct as he thinks best. Such external human controls upon personal action represent the antithesis of liberty. This essay explicates a particularly surreptitious and dangerous means currently employed to dominate and command free men who attempt to act freely. Contrary to the essential statist doctrine, men and women who believe in ... [click for more]

Prison Inservitude

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The United States Constitution recognizes American prisons as forced-labor camps. The Thirteenth Amendment, enacted in 1865 to outlaw slavery and involuntary servitude, includes an exception. It reads, Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their ... [click for more]

Book Review: Unequal Justice

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With Liberty and Justice for Some: How the Law Is Used to Destroy Equality and Protect the Powerful by Glenn Greenwald (New York: Metropolitan Books, 2011), 304 pages. In August, something incredible happened: a three-judge panel of the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals, in a split decision, allowed a lawsuit seeking monetary damages to proceed against former Defense ... [click for more]

Forgotten Lessons from the D.C. Sniper Rampage

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A decade ago, the Washington, D.C., area was traumatized by two guys who rode around shooting people from the trunk of their ancient Chevrolet Caprice. John Allen Muhammad and Lee Boyd Malvo have long since been convicted, and Muhammad was executed for the killings. But the media’s reaction to the official follies during that time should remind Americans to ... [click for more]

The Murder of Mary Pinchot Meyer

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In early 1976 the National Enquirer published a story that shocked the elite political class in Washington, D.C. The story disclosed that a woman named Mary Pinchot Meyer, who was a divorced spouse of a high CIA official named Cord Meyer, had been engaged in a two-year sexual affair with President John F. Kennedy. By the time the article ... [click for more]

Manufacturing Racism?

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On February 26, a 17-year-old black youth named Trayvon Martin was walking at night in an area where he had every right to be. A self-appointed captain of the neighborhood watch named George Zimmerman found the unarmed Trayvon “suspicious” even though the youth was not engaged in criminal activity and none has since been alleged. Zimmerman tailed Trayvon, calling the ... [click for more]

A Vanishing Miranda

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One of the few rights prisoners do not give up upon incarceration is that of due process. At least, this used to be the case. On February 20th, in Howes v. Fields, the United States Supreme Court ruled that prisoners do not have the right to be Mirandized even when being questioned about events outside the prison. For the ... [click for more]
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