It’s Probably More of a Dingy Gray…

When I read Spencer Ackerman’s story in the Guardian about a Chicago Police “black site” right here in the city — where CPD supposedly keeps people in secret to interrogate them without access to a lawyer — I was skeptical. Scott Greenfield is too: How is it possible that this off-the-books facility existed for so […]

Return to the Planet of Reasonable Doubt

Over at a public defender, Gideon has posted his second attempt to create a jury instruction for the meaning of “reasonable doubt,” based on feedback he got from his first attempt, which has a lot of interesting comments. The discussion is far too technical for me to contribute to, for reasons that Scott Greenfield spells […]

Reviewing the Charges Against the Bronx Defenders

Professor Jonathan Oberman from the Cardozo School of Law has a great opinion piece in the New York Law Journal about the two lawyers who were forced to resign as a result of the Bronx Defenders’ “Hands Up” kerfuffle. These lawyers are smart, committed and hardworking, and have earned their clients’, their community’s, and this […]

Why Are Grand Juries So Secret?

I’ve been trying to understand why grand jury secrecy works the way it does, and there are parts of it that just don’t make sense to me. At a fundamental level, the idea of the government telling people there’s stuff they can never, ever talk about just doesn’t seem right. Our right to free speech […]

The Bronx Defenders Get Some “Corrective Action”

A resolution of sorts has arrived at the Bronx Defenders, with lawyers Kumar Rao and Ryan Napoli both resigning from the firm as a consequence of the controversy over their involvement in the “Hands Up” rap video. News reports say that Executive Director Robin Steinberg has been suspended for 60 days without pay, and that […]

A Very Good Point About the “Hands Up” Controversy From Radley Balko

In his article about the Bronx Defenders’ involvement with the “Hands Up” rap video, Radley Balko makes explicit something I had in the back of my mind when I wrote my post, but that I couldn’t quite articulate: In the Bronx Defenders, we have group that knows how to work the system. It has irreplaceable […]

A Bit Of Excitement Around Here

On a personal bloggy note, this past week I’ve started seeing signs that Windypundit is once again beginning to draw a bit of attention. The tweet for my post about the attempt to shut down the Bronx Defenders because of a rap video was retweeted by a relatively large number of people, starting with Gideon […]

Je Suis Bronx Defenders

The Bronx Defenders, a non-profit law firm in New York, are taking some heat because two of their lawyers, Kumar Rao and Ryan Napoli, acted in a few scenes of a rap video which were filmed in the firm’s offices. The song, “Hands Up,” is not my kind of music, but if you want to […]

DUI Lawyers and Faith In Websites

Matt Brown, a criminal defense lawyer in Tempe, Arizona, has noticed that a lot of local lawyers have websites that get the law on concealed weapons wrong. Every single lawyer website I visited had misstated the law. Fortunately, the law has become more permissive, so nobody who believes what they read on the lawyers’ websites […]

Illinois Schools Hate Your Children’s Privacy

Illinois recently passed an anti-bullying law that some school districts are interpreting as granting some disturbing powers, according to a story at Motherboard by Jason Koebler: School districts in Illinois are telling parents that a new law may require school officials to demand the social media passwords of students if they are suspected in cyberbullying […]

Of Experts and Explainers

The Volokh Conspiracy blog has finally made the move behind the Washington Post paywall, and that led to an interesting comment on Twitter by conspirator Orin Kerr about the change in audience from being an independent blog to being part of a major media outlet: I think we’ve gained some and lost some. I’m worried […]

McWhores!

McWhores!

At The Honest Courtesan, Maggie McNeill notes a human trafficking propaganda infographic by Haisam Hussein that includes this map, which shows sex trafficking hot spots: This pattern looked familiar… Watch what happens when I overlay the sex trafficking hotspots with another geographic data source. The overlay’s not perfect, because the maps use different projections, but […]

Free Speech From a Friend of the Blog

Over at the Friendly Atheist, my sometimes co-blogger Rogier van Bakel (a.k.a. Terry Firma) comes out of the closet with some harsh words about media outlets that congratulate themselves for standing up for free speech but refuse to publish images of the controversial Charlie Hebdo cover even in stories specifically about it.

To Publish or Not To Publish

Rick Horowitz has an interesting post about his decision not to display any Charlie Hebdo cartoons in his post about the Charlie Hebdo massacre. Er, in other words, his post about the Charlie Hebdo massacre consisted of an explanation of why he wasn’t posting Charlie Hebdo cartoons in his post about the Charlie Hebdo massacre. […]

Je ne suis pas Charlie

Je ne suis pas Charlie

I am not Charlie. Honestly, until this shit happened, I didn’t know a damned thing about Charlie Hebdo. I don’t have a clue what Charlie Hebdo stood for, so I’m not about to identify myself with them or support their editorial agenda, whatever it is. Besides, in my mind, “I am Charlie” links to the […]

Should It Be a Crime to Hate Police?

One of the implicit assumptions I make here is that the criminal justice system is not exempt from the general principle that social institutions enforce social norms. In a society hostile to minorities, giving authorities another law to enforce is giving them another way to punish minorities. Even a law intended to help minorities can […]

2014 in Review

According to WordPress, 2014 was a slow year, with only 114 posts, almost a quarter of which were on a Saturday. And for the first time in years, the #1 post was not my anti-Sprint rant. Instead it was my post about the protests in Ferguson. In addition to the usual social media outlets, I […]

More On Cops, Protesters, and Racial Bias

More On Cops, Protesters, and Racial Bias

In a previous post, I criticized Jack Marshall’s post about the connections between protesters and cop killers. Jack tried to respond, but apparently my comment system is acting up again, so he emailed it to me.  I started to write a response, but I guess Jack decided he had enough material for a full blog […]

Merry Christmas!

Just a little local color:

Quicken, WTF?

The other day I was doing some household bills in Quicken, and I ran the update step to download data from all my financial institutions. Reviewing the charges on my main credit card, I spotted one that really stuck out from the rest: A $250 charge to match.com. Uh, oh. I’m a married man, and […]

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