To mark the historic anniversary of the signing of our Constitution, the Washington, D.C.-based Constitution Project invited documentarian Ken Burns to receive an award and lead a panel on the lessons of his film "The Central Park Five." Joining Burns were experts on cases involving innocents convicted of crimes and the question of coerced confessions.
Behind the specifics of the notorious rape of a jogger in New York City’s Central Park years ago that led to a wrongful conviction is the question of the constitutional right to a fair trial, as well as the related question about why people would confess to crimes they didn’t commit, as these defendants did.
Identity thieves will stop at nothing to pawn others' identities for their own personal gain. But you know the newest trend in identity theft has reached an ultimate low when identity thieves start to target innocent children for their own personal gain.
Imagine a city where the citizens have come to feel so victimized by gun violence that they give up trying to stop criminals. Instead, they choose the most easily identifiable symbol of their problem — gun manufacturers — and start yelling at them.
To these frightened souls, it feels good to yell at gun manufacturers. It feels good to vent their fears. A mainstream media, both TV and in print, are now telling sad and compelling stories about how innocent citizens are gunned down across our nation, to convince we the people that the solution is more gun control legislation.
The Chief Judge of the New York court system, Jonathan Lippman, was
correct in his State of the Judiciary speech last week that the bail
system is both unfair to the poor and unsafe for the public. That
paradox is not new; there was a pass at bail reform in the 1960s, pushed
by then Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy. Time has not cured the
The paradox then and now is that poor defendants are
jailed because they cannot afford bail, and dangerous defendants are
freed because they can.
I have to confess I watched not only former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords’s short, moving testimony Wednesday but also watched her making her way into the hearing room and leaving after she spoke.
Accompanied by her husband, Capt. Mike Kelly, she walked carefully and deliberately, step by step, working her way past senators and staff who watched as she smiled at them, gave some hugs, gave others a kiss on the cheek. Silence does not begin to describe that room.
Only six votes truly matter in the fight over gun control. Five are vulnerable Senate Democrats from deeply red states.
The five senators (with Obama 2012 vote percentages) are Mark Begich of Alaska (40.8 percent), Max Baucus of Montana (41.7 percent), Tim Johnson of South Dakota (39.9 percent), Mark Pryor of Arkansas (36.9 percent) and Mary Landrieu of Louisiana (40.6 percent).
In my last column I suggested New Jersey Republican Gov. Chris Christie could be the GOP Winston Churchill for warning Republicans about the direction of their party. Now, in one of the most crass, craven, ghoulish and insensitive acts in lobbying history, the National Rifle Association is gloating with glee about how much dues money it is raking in from the mass murder of the children in Newtown.
Meanwhile, Piers Morgan should be given a presidential medal of freedom for his leadership on guns while the nut wing of the right calls for him to be deported. The weird and bizarre performance by Alex Jones on Morgan's show is a great advertisement for banning military-style assault weapons, and a great example of attitudes that Republicans and conservatives should denounce and deplore.
Mass murders, as distinguished from smaller incidents, are all the same in one regard: They pit one armed man against many unarmed people. How did the Newtown shooting end? When Lanza saw the police, he killed himself. It was in direct response to force that the shooting ended.
Stupid gun laws don’t become smart because an incident so horrifying and unlikely as the Newtown shooting has happened. These suggestions are the wrong lesson to take from this harrowing incident. The right lesson? Those parents hugging their children — and not just their children but their spouses, their friends, their parents — even tighter.