When we compromise with democracy in order to achieve some other purpose, even when the purpose is to defend democracy, then we are in danger of losing it. The purpose of democracy is to enable people to live democratically. There is not greater or higher good….
After decades of increasing incarceration of blacks, a new trend at U.S. prisons is emerging, particularly among women, according to a new report from a Washington-based criminal justice watchdog.
WikiLeaks’s Manning Pleads Guilty
Bradley Manning pleaded guilty to 10 of 22 charges against him in the WikiLeaks case on Wednesday, admitting that he helped engineer the largest intelligence leak in U.S. history. But the Army private denied that the leaks directly benefited al Qaeda—the most serious charge in the case. A military judge will now decide whether to accept the guilty plea, though prosecutors could still pursue the 12 remaining charges. The 10 charges he admitted to carry a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison, but Manning could face a lifetime sentence if convicted of aiding the enemy.
– See more at: http://www.thedailybeast.com/cheats/2013/02/28/manning-pleads-guilty-in-wikileaks-case.html?utm_medium=email&utm_source=newsletter&utm_campaign=cheatsheet_morning&cid=newsletter%3Bemail%3Bcheatsheet_morning&utm_term=Cheat%20Sheet#sthash.d1f1R5lC.dpuf
“Judges cautioned against reliance on overstated ballistics testimony”
From Grits for Breakfast:
Recently, thanks to contributions from readers, Grits purchased a copy of the brand spanking new third edition of the “Reference Manual on Scientific Evidence” produced by the Federal Judicial Center and the National Research Council of the National Academies of Science – the first update of the manual in more than a decade . . . .
As with other comparative forensic techniques from fingerprints to bitemarks to microscopic hair examination, essentially, all ballistics experts are really saying is “After looking at them closely, I think these two things look alike.” It strikes this writer that it’s quite a big leap from “reasonable scientific certainty” to “more likely than not.” Basically it’s the leap from “beyond a reasonable doubt” to having “substantial doubt.” I wonder how many past convictions hinged on testimony where experts used phrases like “reasonable scientific certainty” or “to the exclusion of all other firearms in the world”? And I wonder how many times those experts were simply wrong?
October 20, 2011 | Permalink
It becomes obvious that the members of the Supreme Court have never tried a criminal case and the one that is closest was a prosecutor…they completely miss the point of the eyewitness argument and their recent oral argument on the subject shows a real lack of sophistication on the matter….one need look only no farther than the number of eye witness identifications that were made in convictions that were subsequently overturned by DNA evidence…Humans are not video players …we should not treat them as such….