Criminal Justice

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]

With Freedom and Justice for Some, Part 2

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Part 1 | Part 2 Revealingly, the central function of the Constitution as law — the supreme law — was to impose limitations not on the behavior of ordinary citizens but on the federal government itself. The government, and those who ran it, were not placed outside the law, but expressly targeted by it. Indeed, the ... [click for more]

With Freedom and Justice for Some, Part 1

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Part 1 | Part 2 As a litigator who practiced for more than a decade in federal and state courts across the country, I’ve long been aware of the inequities that pervade the American justice system. The rich enjoy superior legal representation and therefore much better prospects for success in court than the poor. The powerful ... [click for more]

The Long History of Entrapment Insanity

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America has seen a profusion of entrapment schemes in recent years. Many of the most high-profile domestic-terrorism cases have been ginned up by FBI agents who preyed on persons who had little competence for creating perils on their own. The explosion in entrapment operations is partly the result of a profound shift in the type of abuses that courts ... [click for more]

Police Nondisclosure Rises to a New Low

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KOMO News reports (Jan. 4) that the City of Seattle is taking an attorney to court because he requested public records. The legal tug-of-war that will almost certainly ensue has national importance, not only because the lawsuit sets a precedent, but also because it is part of the city’s resistance to a Department of Justice (DOJ) attempt to rein ... [click for more]

Die in the Name of the Law

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The story has become routine: another drug shooting. But it was not drug dealers shooting each other or hitting innocent bystanders during a drive-by, no. It was cops killing an innocent person during a raid that had no business taking place at all. The culprits were members of the Pima County Arizona sheriffs SWAT team. The victim was Jose Guerena ... [click for more]

Criminalizing Your Internet Profile?

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The New American (15/11) states, The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) is backing a controversial component of an existing computer fraud law that makes it a crime to use a fake name on Facebook or embellish your weight on an online dating profile such as eHarmony. The Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA), a 25-year-old law that mainly addresses ... [click for more]

Prosecutors Gone Wild

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One Nation Under Arrest: How Crazy Laws, Rogue Prosecutors, and Activist Judges Threaten Your Liberty edited by Paul Rosenzweig and Brian W. Walsh (Washington, D.C.: Heritage Foundation, 2010); 268 pages. A good case can be made that the overcriminalization of the law is among America’s most serious national problems. True, America’s economic troubles are ... [click for more]

The American Nightmare That Is Civil Asset Forfeiture

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Being innocent does not matter. Not being arrested or convicted of a crime is no protection. With amazing ease, the government can take everything you own. And to recover it, you must prove your innocence through an expensive and difficult court proceeding in which a severely lowered standard of evidence favors the government. This is civil asset forfeiture. [click for more]
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