December 31, 2005
ONDCP: How To Run A Drug Testing Program
The Office of National Drug Control Policy will sponsor four regional summits on student drug testing. Each summit will present information on the legal challenges of a drug testing program; policy development; the importance of a student assistance program; and various drug testing methods. If you would like to know more about Student Drug Testing, we invite you to attend one of four free Student Drug Testing Regional Summits. Summits will be held in Orlando, Florida (Southeast) on January 19, 2006; San Diego, California, (Southwest) on February 22, 2006; Falls Church, VA (Northeast) on March 14, 2006; and Milwaukee, Wisconsin (Mid North) on April 25, 2006. Schools that have implemented random, non-punitive, student drug testing programs are finding them to be effective in deterring drug use.
Random testing gives young people a convenient reason to say "no" to drugs, and underscores the message that drug use is a barrier to achieving one's full potential. Random testing can also identify those who are using drugs, thereby allowing parents to steer them into counseling, if necessary, before they become addicted.
To register and obtain additional information, please visithttp://www.cmpinc.net/dts or contact Barbara Spencer at (202) 395-6698. For additional information on student drug testing, please visit http://www.whitehousedrugpolicy.gov/studentdrugtesting/index.html
Ohio State Seeks Commentaries
From Joshua Dressler: The Ohio State Journal of Criminal Law still has room for a few Commentaries for our Fall 2006 issue. As you hopefully know by now, the Commentary section is for relatively short, relatively lightly footnoted, essays on ANY criminal procedure topic, in almost any genre (provocative; humorous; etc.). Maybe a Commentary on the current debate over President Bush's Executive Order permitting electronic surveillance----maybe we can get a "it is legal" and "no it is not" faceoff. Or, maybe a Commentary on some pedagogical matter (we don't teach the right issues in criminal law or criminal procedure?; casebooks have got it all wrong?). Or maybe a Commentary on Chief Justice Rehnquist's impact on criminal procedural law. Or maybe a humorous essay on . . . well, you name it. Essentially this is a chance to write on some subject that wouldn't fit the usual law journal because of the topic, or the informality of your approach, or its brevity. We also remain interested in Reviews---of books, of criminal justice in the arts, etc. Inquiries and submissions should go to <firstname.lastname@example.org>.
Our website: http://moritzlaw.osu.edu/osjcl/
December 30, 2005
MSNBC: 2005 is the Year of the Male Student/Female Teacher Sex Scandal
Story here. [Jack Chin]
DOJ Investigates NSA Leaks
Who leaked the NSA's secret domestic spy program? Criminal investigators want to know.
The God Squad Hits London
Street Pastors have begun patrolling the streets of South London in hopes of preventing crime and public disorder. Each street pastor completes eight weeks of counseling and drug awareness. Instead of cronfronting criminals and crime as it happens, they take a more preventative role, like asking late night bar-goers if they have sober drivers. [Mark Godsey]
NOLA Police Chief Open To Change After Shooting of Mentally Ill Suspect
The new police chief met with a group of ministers concerned about a recent shooting; the ministers want an independent police monitor and changes in training; the chief did not say no. Story here. [Jack Chin]
Flour Sends College Student to Jail
A Bryn Mawr freshman caught with home-made stress-relieving balls made of flour-filled condoms was jailed for weeks in Philly before the drug tests came back negative; the suspect, of Asian ancestry, was not bothered by her fellow inmates, who assumed she knew martial arts. Newsflash to airport screeners and cops: Drug-filled condoms are generally used by internal smugglers crossing borders, not placed in luggage by domestic travellers. Story here. [Jack Chin]
December 29, 2005
NY's Son of Sam Law Passes Constitutional Challenge
From New York Law Journal: "New York's Son of Sam Law, which gives crime victims the opportunity to recover damages from convicted perpetrators, passes constitutional muster, a state appeals court has ruled. The panel said the statute is civil in nature and that it was enacted to give victims an opportunity to obtain restitution, not to punish convicted criminals. In 1991, the U.S. Supreme Court overturned a previous version of the law as unconstitutional." Read More from Law.com. . . [Mark Godsey]
Jamaica: "Hip Cop" Fights Crime with Hip Hop
Controversial Jamaican Senior Superintendant Police Chief Reneto Adams is adding hip-hop to his flashy get up of aviator sunglasses and black combat boots. He's hitting the airwaves with anti-crime raps warning gangsters to stop ruining lives, stop taking over the island of Jamaica, or "feel the full extent of the law." Criminal rights groups have lashed out against Adams, calling his raps "irresponsible, frightening, and distasteful." Adams is said to have led raids that resulted in dozens of deaths. Just days ago, he was acquitted of murder charges related to these raids. More from News.Scotsman.com. . . [Mark Godsey]
Quoted CrimProfs: Don Cochran on Sarbanes-Oxley
Samford Law's Don Cochran contends that former HealthSouth Corp. CEO Richard Scrushy's acquittal on all 36 criminal counts, regarding the $2.7 billion dollar accounting fraud, has little bearing on Sarbanes-Oxley's (SOX) power as a law. Instead, he says, the law will pack more force in the civil suits, where SOX can drastically change the sentencing process. Read more from the Birmingham Business Journal. . . [Mark Godsey]
December 28, 2005
CrimProf to Run for Congress
Plain Dealer Bureau Washington- A longtime Case Western Reserve University law professor says he will challenge U.S. Rep. Steve LaTourette for election next November. Lewis Katz, 66, a law school professor for 40 years and a Democrat, said he decided to take his first run at elected office as the American death toll in Iraq approached 2,000. He said he is concerned about this nation's direction and is disappointed that LaTourette "has been awfully silent on Iraq" and on proposals to partially privatize Social Security. LaTourette, 51, a six-term Republican from Concord Township and a former Lake County prosecutor, said in a statement: "As someone who practiced criminal law for 15 years, I have a great deal of respect for Lewis Katz's work as a professor. I look forward to debating the future of America with him."
New York High Court Limits Depraved Murder Statute
From New York Law Journal: "In an opinion with the potential to alter dramatically the course of homicide prosecutions, the New York Court of Appeals has greatly restricted the scope of the depraved indifference murder statute. The opinion was drafted to ensure that prosecutors no longer routinely pursue alternate and mutually exclusive theories of intentional and depraved-mind murder. It made clear that the theory should not be used as a "fallback" for a jury unwilling or a prosecutor unable to establish an intentional act of murder." Read More. . . [Mark Godsey]
CA: Chihauhas Attack Cop
Story here. [Jack Chin]
New Orleans' Crime Down, Houston's Crime Up--Is there a Katrina Link?
Back in November, I blogged about New Orleans' lack of crime post-Katrina. Peter Scharf, executive director of the Center for Society, Law and Justice at the University of New Orleans, explained that New Orleans' criminal population largely had been evacuated along with Katrina's other victims, and taken in by other Southeastern cities--Baton Rouge, Houston, Dallas, and Atlanta, to name a few. Scharf concluded that the host cities hadn't experienced a noticeable increase in crime, but officials in Houston take exception to that conclusion. The City of Houston has asked FEMA to create a Police Task Force to handle the sharp increase in homicides and other crimes in areas hosting some of Houston's 150,000 Katrina evacuees for the past four months. [Mark Godsey]
Case CrimProf Scharf on Hussein Trial
Case Western CrimProf Michael Scharf has appeared as an expert commentator about the Saddam Hussein trial on CNN, Fox News, C-SPAN, Court TV, and NPR. View a video clip of his recent interview with CNN American Morning anchor Soledad O'Brien here. [Mark Godsey]
Enron Guilty Plea Expected
From NPR All Things Considered, December 27, 2005 · Enron's former chief accounting officer, Richard Causey, is expected to enter a guilty plea Wednesday rather than stand trial. That could be bad news for the energy corporation's former chairman, Kenneth Lay, and its ex-chief executive officer, Jeffrey Skilling. The Houston Chronicle's John Roper has details of the case. Listen here. [Mark Godsey]
December 27, 2005
Pot Club Attorneys Argue "Selective Prosecution"
From The Recorder: To get federal marijuana charges against their clients thrown out, some San Francisco defense attorneys are using a "selective prosecution" argument (based on Yick Wo v. Hopkins, 118 U.S. 356), claiming that the government has unfairly targeted Asian-American run pot dispensaries. According to these defense attorneys, among San Francisco's many pot dispensaries, the feds only raided the city's three Chinese-American run pot clubs. Lawyers claim the government targeted their clients to portray the case as one against Asian gang members and guard against "political fallout" that might have arisen had they gone after Caucasian-run pot dispensaries. Read more from Law.com. . . [Mark Godsey]
December 26, 2005
Florida Sun Sentinel Op ed: Wiretaps Require Oversight
Here. [Jack Chin]
Boston: New Fingerprint lab After Errors
Ill-trained cops have been replaced by trained civilians in the Boston Police Department crime lab fingerprint unit. Last year, a person was wrongfully convicted of a cop shooting based on flawed fingerprint analysis. Story here. [Jack Chin]
Kids Turn in Pop for Robberies
When three adult kids, incluidng a cop, realized that their father was the one robbing a number of small town banks, they followed the lesson he had taught them: Always tell the truth. Dad's now locked up; faces life. Story here. [Jack Chin]