Police and prosecution roundup

  • Teacher killed in the crosswalk, with the light. NYPD: “The victim behaved recklessly by crossing the street.” [StreetsBlog]
  • North Carolina not among the 13 states in which legal standards require prosecutors to turn over evidence of innocence that they learn of after a conviction [Radley Balko, AP]
  • Fail to stop daughter’s 20 year old boyfriend from raiding beer in fridge, go to jail [Washington Post on Maryland lawmakers’ enactment of criminal penalties following car-crash injuries for parents who tolerated alcohol consumption]
  • “First, only terrorists had to hand over their phones. Now it’s people involved in traffic accidents, too” [@reuvenim on the proposed New York law discussed here] “In a bid to get around the Fourth Amendment right to privacy, the textalyzer allegedly would… ” [ArsTechnica] But see Scott Greenfield (law “not a particularly effective one” in helping to fix blame, but “just not that big a deal.”)
  • Inmates’ contact with family is revenue source for prison, sky-high phone rates just the start [Scott Greenfield]
  • Federal oversight of local departments enables weak, reform-averse local pols: “Washington Can’t Fix Broken Policing” [Tim Lynch, Cato]


  • Re: NYCPD case–how can a lawyer possibly serve up such boilerplate nonsense? Easy–judges who don’t ask tough questions when that happens. If I were a judge, I’d be exceedingly ticked and would question the factual basis of the pleadings. Obviously, assumption of the risk when it comes to a pedestrian crossing with the light is frivolous on its face in this case, unless there is some black swan type of occurrence.

    I am reminded of the case where the IRS was seizing income tax refunds of people whose parents allegedly were overpaid federal benefits when the people were minors. What lawyer would dare defend that nonsense since it’s really nothing more than stealing someone’s money.

    I am not crazy about the judiciary running far afield in dealing with government operations (e.g., micromanaging schools)–but it should at least do its job and not tolerate bogus filings or plainly wrong defenses of abhorrent conduct (e.g., the IRS seizures). In a perfect world, the person responsible for the seizure of those tax refunds would be charged with a crime for each occurrence and sentenced consecutively. What that person did was profoundly evil, and he or she should spend a long time in prison reflecting upon what he or she did to undermine our free society.

  • That schoolteacher’s killing was outrageous .The Public screams for a criminal charges for a Police Officer when a man–who just robbed a store tries to grab an officer’s gun and punches him in the face–gets shot while trying to ambush him again, but is OK with a female officer plowing over schoolteachers?

    Something’s very wrong with America.

  • The FCC made an honorable try to let prisoners stay in contact with their families, but the prison industry seems to have ducked out of their reach with a network of extortionate fees. If there are any people of faith in Congress (“I was in prison and you visited me…”), they could create a civil right under the Fourteenth Amendment to reasonable family contact, and means to enforce it.