FROM Robert Weisberg
Long Delays in Death Penalty Not Unconstitutional California's system of capital punishment is dysfunctional, but long delays do not constitute "cruel and unusual punishment" under the Eighth Amendment. That's the conclusion of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals today, overruling a decision by a lower federal court last year. Professor Robert Weisberg, Director of the Criminal Justice Center at Stanford, clarifies today's decision.
Why Do We Have Grand Juries? In Ferguson, Missouri and New York, grand jurors have refused to indict police officers who killed unarmed suspects, leading to protests across the country. The situation has left many wondering about the role of the grand jury in the criminal justice system : Why does it exist, and why is it necessary on top of regular jury trials?
Prison Realignment and the Early Release of Jail Inmates Three years ago, the US Supreme court ruled that overcrowding in California’s prisons violated prisoners constitutional rights. The Brown Administration then instituted “realignment,” which means sending convicts for lesser crimes to county jails instead of state prisons. But there is no system of oversight—or even data collection—to determine the impact. So the LA Times conducted its own investigation .
Coffeehouse Showdown: Gun Owners Test the Limits of the Law When Barack Obama was elected President, the National Rifle Association predicted a massive effort at gun control, and gun sales shot up last year by 39%. But when Chicago's ban on handguns was challenged last week in the US Supreme Court, the Obama Administration was silent.
Coffeehouse Showdown: Gun Owners Test the Limits of the Law When Barack Obama was elected President, the National Rifle Association predicted a massive effort at gun control, and gun sales shot up last year by 39%. But he US Supreme Court has thrown out the handgun ban in Washington, DC, and when Chicago's ban on handguns was challenged last week in the US Supreme Court, the Obama Administration was silent. The Gallup Poll says that support for gun control in the US has dropped in the past 20 years from 78% to 44%. We hear about the history and possible future of gun control.
What is Trump's plan for Middle East peace? On his first foreign tour, President Trump has promised "peace" between Israel and the Palestinians. Are there any details for re-starting talks that have been stalled for the past three years?
Terrorism and tweets, hate speech and murder Just days before an election, Britain is coping with a rash of deadly terrorism, and Prime Minister Theresa May is on the defensive. And again today, President Trump has tweeted criticism of the Mayor of London. Later, a double murder in Portland, Oregon has revealed the ugly past of a supposedly “progressive” city. One immediate question: is “hate speech” protected by the First Amendment?
Trump plays scolder-in-chief with NATO allies At the opening of NATO’s dramatic new headquarters in Brussels today, President Trump acknowledged that Article 5 — promising that “an attack on one nation is an attack on all” -- has only been invoked one time: in the aftermath of September 11. But the President failed to provide what 27 other Alliance members have been waiting for: a re-commitment by America’s new leader to Article 5. Instead, they got a scolding.
Human Rights in the era of Donald Trump President Trump’s UN Ambassador, Nikki Haley, said today the US might pull out of the United Nations’ Human Rights Council. Serious violators of human rights are members of the Council itself–and a US resignation could make things worse. Later on today’s show, now that he’s into his second term, comedian turned US Senator Al Franken is telling jokes again.