Criminal Justice

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]

Freedom by Jury

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We should be celebrating September 5 with at least as much exuberance and respect as we celebrate July 4 or Thanksgiving. It’s Jury Rights Day. Little is made of the date. Most people are completely unaware of its historic significance and have never heard that jurors have rights. Yet it was on that date in 1670 when a group of ... [click for more]

Police-Thugs With Guns

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When police brutality cannot be covered up or dismissed by blaming the victim, the next official line is often the “bad apple” defense. The popular phrase “one bad apple can spoil the bunch” generally means that one person’s behavior can negatively reflect upon or influence others. When used defensively, however, the phrase “bad apple” is meant to suggest that ... [click for more]

Lethal Injustice

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No political philosophy respects human rights, individual liberty, human dignity, and life itself more than libertarianism. Yet, one of the major civil-liberty controversies present in our society is largely ignored by libertarians: capital punishment. In 14 years of involvement in the anti-death-penalty movement, I have rarely met libertarians involved in the issue. Most concerned with it have been from the ... [click for more]

How Does He Get His Reputation Back?

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On January 12, 2010, a 12-year-old sixth-grader did an unremarkable thing that almost destroyed a good man and his family. She lied about being touched “inappropriately.” Under a reasonable legal system, the transparent lie of an angry child would have caused little damage, but the current legal system does not resemble anything reasonable. Among the preposterous maxims it now embraces ... [click for more]
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