Thursday, August 09, 2007

Around the Blogs, Thursday, August 10, 2007

  • The Frontal Cortex finds a Slate piece on addiction that makes the point we make here regularly and ask to have included in any consideration of drug policy and subsequent reactions: “The reality of addiction is that it's rarely quite as universal or one-dimensional as those frightening government ads would have you believe. One hit of heroin won't turn you into a heroin addict, and one puff of a cigarette won't make you an addicted smoker. . . . solving the disease of addiction will require us to attain a more realistic understanding of its complexities. That includes the awkward fact that not everybody is equally susceptible to addiction.”
  • Prevention Works has a cool post up that I missed earlier due to my conferencing. Brandon Byrn highlights a “Fugitive Safe Surrender” program that allows nonviolent offenders who have avoided their day in court the chance to surrender and recompense at far less cost and greater justice for society. (While at PW, check out Matthew Bowen’s critical analysis of recent data on cyber-threats to young people.)
  • Really interesting piece at Deception Blog on the problems with lying jurors (folks who don’t tell the truth during voir dire) and how you might be able to figure out who they are.
  • Doug Berman at Sentencing Law and Policy has the latest lunacy on sex offenders in FL, you know, those 14-year-olds who’ll now be on a registry the rest of their lives with adult pedophiles and such, not to mention the impact on the families at the same address. It is FL after all, though.
  • Finally, gotta love this quote about judges from Harvard Law professor J. Mark Ramseyer, via Prawfsblawg: [J]udging is not a job for unconstrained, innovative minds. Judges are government bureaucrats. Their job is to be honest, to unravel a set of facts, to decide what law applies, and not to think too hard about it all. . . . Judges may enjoy creating better rules, but judicial experimentation necessarily makes it harder to predict what judges will do. . . . [To encourage settlement,] the courts need to operate rigidly and mechanically -- judges need to abandon their intellectual ambition and work as lower-level bureaucrats. . . . [A]ppointing judges with the intelligence and creativity of Easterbrook and Posner is -- not to mince words -- exactly what we should not be doing. As judges, they simply do too much: they muddy the law in trying to fix it, and they worsen the law by encouraging (through example) their less talented peers to do so as well.

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