- Well, looks like the UCR numbers for 2006, coming out next week, will definitely show yet another increase in violent crime nationally, although, as always, varying by jurisdiction and community. The assailants must have heard what a good time all those prisons we've built (and keep building) are. How else do we explain all the harsher sentencing of the last decade or so having this effect?
- Really good post on the intricacies and silliness of how we inconsistently try to deal with teen sex in our legal system by Niki Delson at Sex Crimes Blog. Very thought provoking, especially the conclusion dealing with Kirk Douglas’ loss of virginity at 15 to a school teacher who, he says, took him off a bad course in life and set him on his successful one, neither of them knowing she was breaking the law.
- Pam Clifton at Think Outside the Cage finds a great editorial on what we talk here a lot about, the “bad” DAs with “with latent character flaws [who] suffer a lapse when they are driven by a zeal to win, political ambition or pride in wrongly holding to an announced position.” A decade or so ago, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette ran a long series on bad fed prosecutors that was truly one of the scariest things I’ve ever read and was enough to turn any reader into a libertarian. Then I got to work with guys like that on policy issues and saw how authoritarian and undemocratic they are, as well as the “character” probs the editorial outlines. Again, there are enough responsible and democratic DAs to give hope that the entire profession isn’t tainted by these zealots for their own version of truth, but I’ve never been able to take “Law & Order” seriously since.
- Speaking of good DAs, Steven Erickson over at a DA blog, Crime and Consequences, reminds us all to think through what we're doing on these death penalty for child rape laws.
- Maybe some of that sense is seeping through in MO. Certain sex offenders who were legally living near a school before Missouri tightened its sex offender law last year cannot be forced to move, a judge has ruled.
Making them move violates the Missouri and U.S. constitutions, which say laws cannot penalize people retroactively, Cole County Circuit Judge Patricia Joyce decided last week.
- As if there weren’t already enough reason to hate telemarketers, Prevention Works surveys the companies selling databases to them, even to known thieves, and ignoring the regulations to screen sales, saying they’re just selling, they’re not the ones breaking the law with the lists of names and info. As PW says, It is just this sort of attitude that really highlights the importance of prevention. It would be nice if we could count on companies to take care of us and protect our information, but we can’t. When it comes down to it, the only person that can protect you and your assets is you. NCPC has a great publication called Seniors and Telemarketing Fraud 101 that provides seniors with all sorts of tips on how they can avoid being taken advantage of. The Federal Trade Commission’s website also provides many helpful hints on keeping your identity safe from telemarketers.
- The Dutch cracking down on pot. Seriously. But, before you read too much into it, Due to the growing use of soft drugs among school pupils and problems caused by their sale and consumption, Rotterdam has decided to ban 27 shops within a 200 metre radius of secondary schools from selling cannabis, starting in 2009. Two years from now. And, let's see, a kilometer is .62 miles (as we all know from our car odometers) . . . 200 meters (sorry, not going to misspell it like they do), which is one-fifth of a kilometer, so that's .12 miles times 5260 feet . . . well, I think it's closer than we do with our drug laws. And here's the capper: The new laws will not cover primary schools, as primary school children hardly ever consume cannabis. What are they thinking? They'll never get their prisons overcrowded and budgets busted that way.
- Finally, while in Europa, "Scientists have discovered particles of cocaine and marijuana, as well as caffeine and tobacco, in the air of Italy's capital, they said on Thursday." Heaviest concentrations around a Roman university. Imagine that. So . . . if I go to Rome and walk around with my baggage and then go through a drug screening at an airport on my way home . . . .