Daily Archives: March 27, 2012

What Will It Take to Fight the Gun Lobby?

Law enforcement officers investigate the crime...

Law enforcement officers investigate the crime scene on January 8. Photo by Steve Karp. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In the wake of the Tucson massacre, you would have thought we could have a dialogue about extended magazine clips, which were illegal until George Bush let the assault weapons law expire in 2004. There is no reason any non-law enforcement would need such a weapon.

Here we are again, and we can’t even review the “Stand Your Ground” law, which was misapplied by the Sanford Police Department. If the police work under the misconception that the law means you can shoot anyone and claim self-defense and they can’t arrest you, can’t we admit that we have a problem?

What will it take?

There is no tragedy big enough to push back against the NRA. What’s to stop another tragedy like this? What comfort can citizens take when the police misapply the law or have been misled

about its intentions and nuances?

The co-sponsor of the law said that it does not prohibit the police from arresting George Zimmerman, but he derided the notion that it needed to be reviewed.

This law fell down in its writing, passage, and implementation. It is misused and was written poorly to allow such misuse, but we can’t get a review of it.

Of course, there will be the usual screams about the second amendment, as if that were the only right granted to us and as if it were the only sacred amendment.

What about Trayvon Martin, Gabby Giffords, Christina Taylor Green, and many more? What about their rights? Are we going to swallow that the second amendment is so precious that we can’t discuss reviewing a gun law?

It is not so sacred that it should never be weighed against the other rights of citizens. Furthermore, gun rights do not grant the right to be a vigilante. No one has that right; and to argue so is to stand against the rule of law.

If someone is against the rule of law, they can hardly take honest refuge in the second amendment.

Via Politicus USA.

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Filed under Crime and Punishment, Law, Sick Sad World

On This Day…

Soviet Premier Nikita Khruchchev in Vienna.

Soviet Premier Nikita Khruchchev in Vienna. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In 1958, Nikita Khrushchev became Soviet premier in addition to first secretary of the Communist Party.

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New NY Law Makes It Easier to Convict Criminals, Release the Innocent

Micah's DNA

Micah's DNA (Photo credit: micahb37)

An expansion of New York’s DNA database will enhance the ability of law enforcement to convict the guilty and exonerate the innocent, but the measure still leaves New York without some protections to avoid wrongful convictions.

The measure requires people convicted of any crime to give a DNA sample. It exempts those without a criminal record convicted of possessing marijuana.

Violent criminals often commit multiple offenses before getting caught, warranting the collection of DNA samples that can be searched for matches with crime-scene samples. Assembly Democrats deserve credit for insisting on provisions to make it easier for defendants and convicted persons with claims of innocence to get testing for DNA evidence on the order of a judge. Those provisions draw on recommendations by a task force on wrongful convictions.

Other reforms sought by the Assembly did not make it into the final bill, leaving unaddressed two of the biggest causes of wrongful convictions: witness misidentification and false confessions. The proposed changes would have mandated the videotaping of police interrogations and “double blind” police lineups so neither the witness nor person administrating the lineup knows the identity of the suspect. Gov. Cuomo supports both reforms but had to omit them to reach a compromise on the DNA database expansion. Gov. Cuomo has said he intends to revisit the overlooked issues.

He should do so soon.

Via The New York Times.

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Filed under Crime and Punishment, Law

Toobin: Court Unlikely to Uphold ACA

Jeffrey Toobin at the 2007 Texas Book Festival...

Jeffrey Toobin at the 2007 Texas Book Festival, Austin, Texas, United States. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

CNN’s legal correspondent Jeffrey Toobin reports that the Supreme Court’s conservative wing appeared skeptical of the Affordable Care Act.

“This was a train wreck for the Obama administration. This law looks like it’s going to be struck down,” Mr. Toobin said on CNN. “All of the predictions including mine that the justices would not have a problem with this law were wrong.”

“The only conservative justice who looked like he might uphold the law was Chief Justice Roberts who asked hard questions of both sides. All four liberal justices tried as hard as they could to make the arguments in favor of the law, but they were — they did not meet with their success with their colleagues,” Mr. Toobin said.

Via Politico.

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Filed under Law, The Supremes