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.
White House flip flops: NATO, Syria and China In less than 100 days, President Trump has contradicted himself on a host of foreign policy issues — Syria, NATO, China and Vladimir Putin’s Russia. Is it a strength — or a weakness — for the United States when the world of power politics never knows what to expect?
The flight bumping heard around 'round the world Recent video of a passenger forcibly removed from a United Airlines plane is a worst-case example of what's happened since consolidation into just four US-based carriers. Management seems to be tone-deaf to a decline in service — and even abuse — of passengers.
"Tough on crime" rhetoric sees a revival at Sessions' DOJ The pendulum swings between treatment-focused approaches to drug abuse and tough law enforcement. Now, after years of Obama-era "reforms," President Trump’s Attorney General, Jeff Sessions wants local police freed from federal restrictions to fight another "war on drugs."