13 June 2005

Around the Web

1) Are the vast disparities between federal and State sentences going to become the reason for downward departures?

2) If the usual punishment for something is less than a year active jail time should it be a felony? Here's how the Texas Legislature answered that question.

3) The seven guys the President pardoned.

4) I've actually heard judges say that they don't put any stock in nystagmus tests because it's too involved for anyone to get it right.

5) Explaining the naming of a judge on the blog. And more here.

6) If you prosecute cases based upon a statute you know to have been found unconstitutional are you liable?

7) What do you know? A rehab paradigm is cheaper than an incarceration paradigm. This, of course, is in the short term but I suspect that in the long term sending people to rehab rather than the typical few months in jail may still be cheaper.

8) CrimProf reporting false crimes.

9) Why would the government do something as stupid as what appears to be overt witness tampering?

10) Asking a judge to recuse himself because your office filed an unsuccessful complaint against him.

11) Is community based prevention a better way to handle things than incarceration?

12) An interesting explanation of what Beyond a Reasonable Doubt should mean.

13) Nazi war crimes in 2005?

14) Smile, you're on candid camera.

15) Hopefully if you save someone's life it won't be because you want to bank it for later. Still, some day that good act might come in handy.

1 comment:

Tom McKenna said...

#12: "the degree of confidence you would want to have in the professional skill of a physician performing life-and-death surgery on your child"

That is not the Reasonable Doubt standard. First of all, it refers to the level of competence of the person, and is more properly a question asked by a client of his attorney.

To the extent it is an expression of a legal standard of proof, it is inaccurate, since obviously one would want NO doubt whatsoever about a surgeon's skill when your child's life is at stake.

Reasonable Doubt, however, merely refers to the government overcoming any doubts about the guilt of defendant that are securely founded in reason, as opposed to sentiment ("my client is a really swell guy, ladies and gentlemen"), passion ("the victim is a real scumbag, ladies and gentlemen"), or some other improper motive.

I appreciate that this is somewhat self-referential definition, but as we all know, RD is a tough thing to define!