Crime and punishment roundup

  • Some reps push to cut off federal funds for states with Stand Your Ground laws [Maguire, Just One Minute] Podcast and video of Cato’s panel discussion on SYG laws [and related from Tim Lynch] Muddle-prone media mischaracterizes other cases besides Martin/Zimmerman as SYG [Sullum] “Shame of mandatory minimums shows in Marissa Alexander case” [Roland Martin, CNN, via Alkon] More: Florida voter poll shows strong support for SYG [Sun-Sentinel] New medical reports could prove helpful to defense in Martin/Zimmerman case [WFTV, more]
  • Feds prosecute building firm for paying NYC labor graft, but as for those who receive it… [Holman Jenkins, WSJ, with Wal-Mart Mexico FCPA angle]
  • Why is the Center for American Progress helping the Obama administration pretend that it’s ended the Drug War? [Mike Riggs] “Jailed for trying to fill a prescription” [Amy Alkon] “She stole his heroin, so she was the victim” [Jacob Sullum]
  • Conduct on which defendant was acquitted can still count as prior bad act evidence [Scott Greenfield]
  • New UK justice law abolishes indefinite sentences for public protection (IPPs) [Barder]
  • “Debtor’s Prison for Failure to Pay for Your Own Trial” [Tabarrok]
  • ACLU on unsettling possibilities of surveillance drones, law enforcement and otherwise [Lucy Steigerwald]


    >Addendum: Disappointed by the outcome of this case, State’s Attorney Tom Gibbons wants to change the definition of “drug-induced homicide” so that it applies to drugs obtained in other states.

    What we need is a felony called “prohibition-induced homicide.” Our prisons would be stuffed to overflowing with demagogue politicians and hustler-on-the-make prosecutors who most richly deserve it…

  • As for the Marissa Alexander case, that Jacob Sullum raised as a racially correct defense of the SYG approach, I noticed this comment on the CNN page:
    >elmuto wrote:
    >This woman was enraged because her husband was looking through the text messages on her phone she was sending to her ex-husband. There is no evidence of him having attempted to strangle her , or that he threatened to kill her. She could have walked out any door of the house if she was afraid for her life , but instead went to the garage and got her gun out of the car . She went back in the house where her husband was trying to leave with the children and fired a “warning” shot that narrowly missed her husband and went through the wall and ceiling. Why did it only take a jury 12 minutes to convict her? Because she’s guilty . She’s crying victim now because instead of going for a 3 year plea deal she decided to fight the charges with her lies and lost.

    If this is true, it makes Alexander substantially less appealing. There is an argument against the 20 year minimum (grossly excessive), but not for complete acquittal as self-defense.

  • @Hugo: The difference between 3 and 20 years is still crazy. Basically, she did get 17 years for going to court The punishment for refusing plea deal should not be that huge.

  • Let’s quit calling it plea bargaining and call it what it really is, plea extortion.