Tag: Criminal Justice
Right Problem; Wrong Solution. Obama’s Push for Reduced Prison Sentences

President Obama is pushing for reductions in prison sentences for non-violent drug offenders.  As this article notes, the federal prison population is more than eight times higher today than in 1980, before the Reagan administration’s War on Drugs.  The United States has a larger share of its population behind bars than any other nation…
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“But They’re Illegal!” The Worst Argument Against Immigration

A few weeks ago I wrote a piece titled, “An Apology to an Immigrant.” In the piece, I discussed my experience with thinking through the immigration debate, and offered sources that not only debunk many commonly-held myths regarding immigration, but also offer information on the benefits immigrants bring to the United States. The response was…
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Government Charges Hastert with “Crime” of Withdrawing His Own Money

Dennis Hastert, former Speaker of the US House of Representatives, has been charged with lying to the FBI about the reason he was withdrawing money from bank accounts.  Should what Hastert did be illegal, or any of the government’s business?  Let’s look at the facts. From the charges, it appears that Hastert (1) withdrew…
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The Avengers of Civil Society?

While watching the summer blockbuster Avengers: Age of Ultron, I had trouble shaking thoughts from two books not usually connected to action heroes, let alone movies: Adam Smith’s The Theory of Moral Sentiments and C.S. Lewis’s The Four Loves.  I doubt writer/director Joss Whedon had these social philosophers in mind when he was writing…
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Impacts of Sexual Assault on Civil Society Go Beyond Statistics

Today’s article is a qualified mae culpa. One of the first comments on an earlier post on campus rape and sexual assault challenged the veracity of a datapoint used frequently by anti-sexual assault advocates: one in four women will be sexually assaulted by the time they leave college. It’s a number I’ve referenced in…
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The U.S.’s Nazi Imports

A Florida appeals panel recently upheld an order to deport General Carlos Eugenio Vides Casanova. A former defense minister of El Salvador, Casanova is accused of gross human rights violations, including the 1980 murder of three nuns and a missionary. He was granted entry into the United States in 1989. Now, a unit of the U.S. Immigration…
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‘The Hunting Ground,’ Sexual Assault, and the Failure of Civil Society

The Hunting Ground, a documentary about sexual assault on college campuses, opened recently across the country. I saw the film in a commercial theater on opening weekend in Tallahassee. Alone. At least at the beginning. I was joined by one other woman and a couple by the time the opening credits flashed on the…
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Comply or Die – Trends in Modern Policing

Every time a police officer is killed in the line of duty, it makes local, if not national headlines. Though always shocking, the number of law enforcement fatalities has remained fairly steady over the years. According to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund, 165 police officers were killed in the line of duty…
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University Responsibility for Sexual Assault

“The Hunting Ground,” a movie about sexual assault at major universities, supports the argument that universities are not doing enough to respond to accusations about sexual assault by their students.  The article hits close to home for me because, as a faculty member at Florida State University, my university is one of the ones…
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Modern Tech Suggests Government Data on Police-Related Homicides Flawed

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) publishes statistics on police-involved homicides, while on duty, of civilians. Its system relies on voluntary self-reporting by the nation’s more than 18,000 local and state police agencies. Self-reporting works well when there is an incentive to report and an incentive to report accurately. But police departments have no…
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