Crime and punishment roundup

  • Sorry, Denver cops, but you can’t keep a journalist from photographing an arrest on the street by telling her she’s violating the health-privacy law HIPAA [Alex Burness, Colorado Independent on handcuffing of editor Susan Greene]
  • Conor Friedersdorf interviews Scott Greenfield, criminal defense blogger and longtime friend of this blog, at the Atlantic;
  • Claim in new article: “extremely broad criminal statutes, no less than vague and ambiguous criminal statutes, are constitutionally problematic for depriving ordinary people of ‘fair notice’ about how the legal system actually works” [Kiel Brennan-Marquez guest series at Volokh Conspiracy: first, second, third]
  • “We Cannot Avoid the Ugly Tradeoffs of Bail Reform” [Alex Tabarrok; Scott Greenfield] New York should learn from Maryland on risks of unintended consequences [New York Post, and thanks for mention] And a Cato Daily Podcast on bail reform with Daniel Dew of the Buckeye Institute and Caleb Brown;
  • In Little Rock and elsewhere, police use of criminal informants creates disturbing incentives that can challenge both probity and accountability [Jonathan Blanks, Cato on Radley Balko account of Roderick Talley raid episode]
  • Call to scrap juries in UK rape trials (because they acquit too often) is met with criticism [Matthew Scott, Spectator]


  • In regard to the Denver police HIPAA flub, I can’t help but think that the police were not ignorant of the law, but rather using it as an excuse to get rid of the reporter. There are numerous Youtube videos documenting police making up stories to get rid of those concerned with police accountability. Being neither police nor lawyer, the officer’s misinformation seems so obvious to me, I can’t help but wonder about his integrity.

    It is well known that there is no expectation of privacy in public. As a result, it is not only the press, but any citizen who would be allowed to document the police’s activity in public, as long as they don’t interfere.

    Most troubling to me is that even though the police were clearly wrong on this case, there was no penalty. Police reviewing their own too often leads to this result. As long as police can violate a citizen’s constitutional rights without penalty, there is no incentive to stop.

    Susan Greene was a victim of police ignorance/dishonesty/brutality. She was painfully placed in cuffs for being a law abiding citizen exercising her constitutional rights while the police go to work the next day as if they had done nothing wrong. Releasing her without charges does not negate police actions. Her opportunity to cover this story was denied.

  • “Sorry, Denver cops, but you can’t keep a journalist from photographing an arrest on the street by telling her she’s violating the health-privacy law HIPAA”

    Ah, but they did.

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