If there are, indeed, 8 million stories in the naked city, it is probable that most of them involve the criminal justice system in some way. Many of these stories are entertaining, even humorous. A fair number are educational. More than a few are sad, even tragic. This blog will relate stories of the criminal justice system in order to stimulate thought and, maybe, entertain as well.
Necessarily, the contents of this blog will be controversial, as controversial as the nature of the subject matter. While I appreciate readers’ comments, vulgar, vituperative or malicious remarks should be avoided. Insensitive, ok. Vulgar, vituperative or malicious, not ok. If in doubt, read your comments to your grandmother, if you are fortunate enough to have a grandmother still alive. If it’s copacetic with grandma, it’s fine by me. If grandmama has passed on to her eternal reward, use your best judgment, keeping grandma in mind.
I acknowledge that a public post is just that – public. As such, I expect this blog to attract roughly the same percentage of ideologues, screamers and flat out nuts as exist in the general population. If you are one of these people, pay special attention to the paragraph immediately preceding this one.
This is my first blog. Therefore, while I learn the ins and outs of blogging, I will be flexible about certain matters. I may or may not respond to your comments. Please do not take any failure to respond as an opinion of the comments merits. It may just be that I went to a ball game that day.
With these parameters in mind, I hope to provide an insightful experience for my readers.
Ferguson, MO Police Shooting - Saint Louis County Police today announced the arrest of 20 year old Jeffrey Williams in the shooting of two police officers in Ferguson, MO Thursday night. Williams, who is on probation for receiving stolen property, was charged with numerous felonies. He was found with a gun which the police say was used in the shooting. [...] Legalization of Marijuana: An Issue of Federalism? - Alaska has joined Colorado and the State of Washington in legalizing the recreational use of small amounts of marijuana. Legalization in these states does not, however, totally liberate recreational marijuana users from the proscriptions of the law. While it is now no longer illegal to possess small amounts of marijuana under state laws in Colorado, [...] American Sniper Trial: State of Texas v. Eddie Ray Routh - Never before in the history of the American criminal justice system has an accused gone to trial with such unfavorable media attention as Eddie Ray Routh, the accused killer of American Sniper Chris Kyle. While it is not uncommon for a defendant to receive unfavorable media attention on the eve of his or her trial, [...] Technology IA: An Update on Tasers - As noted in a previous post, while I support the use of Tasers by police departments, there are dangers inherent to the deployment of Tasers. The danger was brought home in a recent incident in Fairfax County, VA. On Tuesday, February 2, 2015, 37 year-old Natasha McKenna, an inmate in the Fairfax County Adult Detention [...] Technology III: Body Cameras - This final installment on technology in the criminal justice system concerns police body cameras. They are, unequivocally, a great idea. Really, there is no dispute about it. Police body cameras keep both the police and those with whom the police interact in line. When people know they are being recorded, the behave themselves. Also, any [...] Technology II: License Plate Readers - This next installment on technology’s effect on the criminal justice system analyzes license plate readers. A license plate reader is a camera usually mounted on police cruisers, although they can be mounted anywhere. The camera scans license plates of passing vehicles and alerts the police if there is a “hit”, a “hit” being defined as [...] Technology I:Ferguson, MO and Staten Island, Tasers Anyone? - Let me begin by apologizing for the recent dormancy of this website. I have been very busy dealing with my caseload. I would now like to reinvigorate the site by commencing a series of articles about how technology is altering the criminal justice system. Let us start with Tasers. Taser is a registered trademark of [...] Jurors’ Questions to Witnesses: A Bad Idea - Having just vented about the Ferguson, MO pundits and quasi-experts, I would like now to turn to a more esoteric topic. In the past few decades, there has been what I consider to be an invidious practice creeping into criminal trials: the practice of allowing jurors to ask questions of witnesses. The way a witness [...] Ferguson: Awaiting the Grand Jury Return - With apologies for not having blogged in a while (I was busy with other matters, including dealing with other attorneys who were absolute jackasses), I would like to give my comments on the current legal situation in Ferguson, MO. As is my usual practice, I will debunk what most of the pundits are saying about [...] Benjamin Franklin and the Selection of Judges - There are many methods of selecting judges in the United States. In federal courts, the President nominates and the Senate gives a thumbs up or thumbs down. Various states have various methods from election to appointment to some combination of appointment and election. No state has chosen as a method for selecting judges the method [...]