Archive for the ‘Police/law enforcement’ Category

If every criminal trial followed the same standards that you wanted for the George Zimmerman trial, how would that affect the number of incarcerated Americans?

Wednesday, July 17th, 2013

If the truthful answer is "the number would greatly increase", as it is for probably tens of millions of Americans, including a lot of my friends, then you are part of the problem with the legal system in the United States. These people have abandoned the principle (if they ever had ...

The strange case of Barrett Brown

Sunday, June 23rd, 2013

This is a fascinating but chilling account of journalist Barrett Brown's cooperation with hacktivists, his investigations into the questionable activities of intelligence/security companies, his discovery of the collusion between them and the Department of Justice, and his harassment and arrest by the FBI. Writing in The Nation, Peter Ludlow chronicles ...

Oh, but in a libertarian society private courts would convict and imprison innocent people for profit, unchecked by any higher authority

Monday, December 24th, 2012

A Justice Department review of FBI forensics cases has revealed widespread and prolonged malfeasance that resulted in the conviction and imprisonment of many innocent defendants. Thousands of criminal cases at the state and local level may have relied on exaggerated testimony or false forensic evidence to convict defendants of murder, rape ...

The coming ban on semi-automatic rifles

Monday, December 17th, 2012

I expect Congress and President Obama to pass some form of ban or stricter federal law against semi-automatic weapons and/or "assault rifles" in the next few months. I'm sure many Americans strongly support such a ban now, after the Sandy Hook Elementary School murders, if they didn't before. It's easy ...

Paul Butler: Jurors need to know that they can say ‘No’

Thursday, February 23rd, 2012

I loved this column in the New York Times by Paul Butler: Jurors Need to Know That They Can Say No: If you are ever on a jury in a marijuana case, I recommend that you vote “not guilty” — even if you think the defendant actually smoked pot, or sold ...

Quote of the day

Saturday, February 4th, 2012

The very same faction that pretended for years to be so distraught by Bush’s mere eavesdropping on and detention of accused Terrorists without due process is now perfectly content to have their own President kill accused Terrorists without due process, even when those targeted are their fellow citizens. —Glenn Greenwald, on ...

Maybe free speech is less popular than I thought

Friday, February 3rd, 2012

I had a bizarre experience yesterday: I encountered two people who were wrong on the internet who asserted that words can harm people and so their (mis)use should be punishable by law. I don't mean using libel or slander to harm someone's reputation, which should not be considered crimes anyway. ...

PCIPA: another internet-censoring, privacy-violating bill that goes overboard

Wednesday, February 1st, 2012

I was impressed by this article in The Atlantic by Conor Friedersdorf about the Protecting Children from Internet Pornographers Act of 2011 (PCIPA), The Legislation That Could Kill Internet Privacy for Good. This article was written on August 1, 2011, and apparently the bill, H.R. 1981, is almost a year ...

How long will the SOPA protests be successful?

Sunday, January 29th, 2012

In my more cynical moods, I think that Westerners' complacency in political and economic matters and their comfort levels with life in general will make their recent victories against internet censorship mere footnotes to the history of State encroachment into our online lives. In other words, lawmakers, lobbyists, and other ...

Hypocrites silent as Obama authorizes military detention of American citizens

Monday, January 2nd, 2012

One of the most unfortunate aspects of America's democratic process and its current state here at the beginning of 2012 is the nearly compete absence of discussion of some central issues by most people, along with their failure to acknowledge that those issues even exist and their complete hypocrisy regarding ...

Stop the Stop Online Piracy Act!

Saturday, November 12th, 2011

The latest attempt from the parasites in Washington to limit the freedom of the internet and all of the benefits that stem from it is called the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA). Its more official, full name is Enforcing and Protecting American Rights Against Sites Intent on Theft and Exploitation ...

Amanda Knox’s acquittal

Thursday, October 6th, 2011

I was extremely happy to learn that Amanda Knox had finally been acquitted of murdering her roommate Meredith Kercher in Italy in 2007 when they were exchange students. You could tell that justice prevailed because Nancy Grace thought the opposite. I thought the case against Amanda Knox was so circumstantial and ...