Thursday, April 12, 2007

News and Blogs Together, Thursday, April 12, 2007

  • If a conservative is a liberal who’s been mugged, what will these very likely conservative young athletes become? Also, it has not a good few days for overzealous and politicized DAs. The Georgia Thompson case in WI with a fed attorney who coincidentally followed the design for attacking Dem candidates that has been outlined in the fed attorney scandal and the Duke lacrosse case where a state’s attorney lowers this boom on the prototypical abusive prosecutor there: "In this case, with the weight of the state behind him, the Durham district attorney pushed forward unchecked," Cooper said. "There were many points in this case where caution would have served justice better than bravado, and in the rush to condemn a community and a state, [Nifong] lost the ability to see clearly." The good DAs didn't deserve this nonsense. And the victims? Any real crooked politician can now walk by claiming politicized prosecution, and you want to be the next young woman who actually does get ganged by some drunken young college guys?
  • Interesting business practice here. Some guy wanders into your bank looking like a robber? Go up and welcome him, ask what he needs, be his best friend. Bank robberies in Seattle cut almost in half this year over last year. And now you know the crime fighting potential of WalMart greeters (h/t Governing's 13th Floor).
  • Another interesting idea, via Think Outside the Cage: A Bill of Rights for children of incarcerated parents to raise their visibility.
  • A really great catch at Grits for Breakfast on how legislator requests to legislative staff to write up bills to do something (yes, that specific) about an offense, the "default" approach of the staff is to just add penalty enhancements. Explains a lot about how this stuff happens. Just proves you can have been at this for years, like I have, and still learn something new and helpful.
  • Prevention Works does a nice job laying into Grand Theft Auto in the wake of those recent reports linking violent video games and adolescent violence. As usual, the folks there give you tips to help you contribute to the self-governance that leads to less crime and less government at the same time.
  • "Seems we like to give to the poor, but only slightly more than we like to rob the rich, according to a new study published in Nature." Yes, I know the poor get robbed a lot more, but here's why this is important for corr sent anyway: "The egalitarian impulse is one of the reasons why we exhibit more cooperation than other species," [the author] adds. "[We are] more likely to punish people that don't cooperate, even when it's not in our best interest." IOW, this isn't about robbery. It's about why we spend what we do on corrections even when the payoff isn't there.
  • Sen. Biden has a bill (h/t Brain Waves) to change "abuse" to "addiction" in the titles of NIDA and NIADH (look 'em up) so that we can shift from stigma to care--it's called the "Recognizing Addiction as a Disease Act of 2007." This is called "reframing" and could reshape perceptions. Window dressing, sure, but it's the sort of thing that could have an impact in time if it takes. We'll see if it passes and doesn't get vetoed.
  • MT has a lot of needs and is funneling its dollars into a 31% increase of its corrections budget. Not as big a deal as it sounds because their DOC apparently got shafted for a couple of prior years. We had that happen in OK, too. Cuts after FY 2001 were only caught back up to in our budget in FY 2006, this despite the substantial increase in prison pop at the same time. IOW, a common practice. Don't fund this year, don't fund this year, uh . . . better fund now, I guess. And maybe the courts won't get you.
  • Finally, for your consideration, as Rod Serling would say, this headline: Guard Allegedly Hits Inmate With Bible. Lead sentences: "A jail guard has been suspended after allegedly thumping an inmate with a Bible. James Lee Sheppard, 56, has been charged with two gross misdemeanors for allegedly swatting a Blue Earth County Jail inmate with the book, grabbing him by the throat and slamming him against steel bars on Feb. 8, according to the criminal complaint." Sooooo many possible lines here. "So the guard was a Bible banger?" "They should have just thrown the book at him." Feel free to add your own in comments. We'll send the best ones to Colbert.

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