Thursday, August 10, 2006

News of the Day 8-10-06

Not as much as yesterday, but some eerie echoes from Wednesday, if you were paying attention (for which we are appreciative). . . . Turns out I misheard half the story on the challenge in OK to the injection execution technique (my wife would not be surprised). I thought I'd heard that the federal judge hearing the case had rejected it, but he had only momentarily agreed to a point that would have mooted it. Momentarily because the plaintiffs apparently came up with an effective rebuttal. For the whole story, and not having to depend hazardously on me, check here. . . . And after yesterday's story on hiking murder rates in NJ comes this story,via CrimProf Blog, about outbreaks in the San Fran area. For those of us who went through the prison craze of the '90s after similar violence increases in the late '80s, this is scary news as it can drive the progress we've made in alternative sentencing and treatment/diversion/assessment back underground if the political demand becomes more prison beds (and fewer funds for cops, prosecutors, courts, juvenile justice, etc. as I've described earlier) as it did then. Definitely worth watching. . . . Reuters Health has a disturbing story on sexual offenses in South Africa and a new proposed law to broaden the legal definition of rape to attack the problem more directly. Of course, that's a foreign country, so we'll just move on. . . . Finally, at Science Daily, we hear that psychologists at the University of Leicester have done a cool forensic study indicating that suspects can now be identified by their text messaging styles :-). Appears a murderer was unmasked after analysts compared text messages and proved the style on the victim's phone was actually the murderer's. Goodbye, alibi, hello, CSI. (Or is "L&O" the one "ripped from the headlines"?) In any case, the research is just starting and will bound to be showing up in our courtrooms sometime in the near future. Or, maybe not. It is a foreign country.

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