Friends of Justice is a personal blog. Here I speak only for myself.

Sex Offenders Locked Up on a Hunch

August 16th, 2015

“The essence of the American criminal justice system is reactive, not predictive: You are punished for the crime you committed. You can’t be punished simply because you might commit one someday. You certainly can’t be held indefinitely to prevent that possibility.”

Read the full editorial in the New York Times.

Friends of Justice is a personal blog. Here I speak only for myself.

Have Sex-Offender Registries Gone Too Far?

July 9th, 2015

“Some 800,000 registered sex offenders can’t live near parks or schools — or sometimes even in the homes of their own parents. Is it time to re-visit sex-offender registries that cast a wide net and often treat juvenile offenders as if they were adults?”

Listen to this episode of NPR’s To the Point, which features NCRJ Board Member Roger Lancaster.

“My understanding of the literature … is that there are no substantial studies which suggest that the sex offender registries are effective at achieving their stated aim, which is to reduce recidivism rates. Some studies actually suggest that the registries increase recidivism rates, basically because they convert every registrant into an unemployable, unhouseable, permanent social outcast living on the fringes of society. This gives them no conceivable stake in their own rehabilitation. That’s a very serious and significant negative effect of the registries.” –Roger Lancaster

Friends of Justice is a personal blog. Here I speak only for myself.

Judge Alex Kozinski Identifies 12 Lies About American Justice

July 9th, 2015

“Much of the so-called wisdom that has been handed down to us about the workings of the legal system, and the criminal process in particular, has been undermined by experience, legal scholarship and common sense,” Kozinski writes in the Georgetown Law Journal.

Read this summary in Business Insider by Matthew Speiser and Kozinski’s article in the Georgetown Law Review.

Friends of Justice is a personal blog. Here I speak only for myself.

Please Send a Card to Bruce Perkins

July 5th, 2015

Bruce Perkins has been moved due to rather serious health problems. Cards and letters will be much appreciated. His new address is:

Kenneth Bruce Perkins
#647327 Terrell Unit
1300 FM 655
Rosharon, Tx 77583

Friends of Justice is a personal blog. Here I speak only for myself.

Minnesota sex offender program is ruled unconstitutional

June 20th, 2015

“A federal judge ruled Wednesday that the Minnesota Sex Offender Program (MSOP) violates the U.S. Constitution by confining offenders indefinitely without giving them access to the courts and other protections of the criminal justice system.”

Read the full article by Chris Serres in the Minneapolis Star-Tribune.

Friends of Justice is a personal blog. Here I speak only for myself.

Are we too hard on sex offenders? Lenore Skenazy on Emily Horowitz

June 5th, 2015

“She’ll be reading from her book this Sunday night, June 7, at the Bluestockings bookstore, 172 Allen St., on Manhattan’s Lower East Side, at 7 p.m. Admission is free.

“If you’re wondering what it looks like when an academic talks the talk, walks the walk, and changes the lives of future cops and former convicts, don’t miss it.

“I know I won’t.”

Read the full article by Lenore Skenazy in the Downtown Express.

Friends of Justice is a personal blog. Here I speak only for myself.

Questionable Committments

June 2nd, 2015

“No one wants to allow a child to be hurt, and laws that create mechanisms to “keep bad men away” are seductive because they make us feel safer – but that safety is an illusion that comes at a great price. As a society we are not capable of predicting who will or will not reoffend, and we must not punish someone for imaginary future crimes. When we begin to define individuals as criminals for who they are or what they think, instead of holding them accountable for specific acts, we rob them of their constitutional right to due process and dangerously erode the barriers that are meant to keep the awesome power of the state, to take away our lives and our liberty, at bay.”

Read the article by Galen Baughman in Cato Unbound.

Friends of Justice is a personal blog. Here I speak only for myself.

New Jersey judge orders newspaper to take down article

June 1st, 2015

“Permanent injunctions following a full trial may be constitutional, if the speech fits within some First Amendment exception, such as perhaps the libel exception. Preliminary injunctions are almost never constitutional, as the Pentagon Papers case shows. And in any event, any injunction would have to be based on a showing that the entire article was indeed within a First Amendment exception — it’s hard for me to see how this could be so.”

Read the article by Eugene Volokh in the Washington Post.

Friends of Justice is a personal blog. Here I speak only for myself.

Emily Horowitz: In defense of Josh Duggar’s parents

May 31st, 2015

“When I learned that, more than a decade ago, reality-TV star Josh Duggar avoided jail after his parents dealt with molestation charges via church and family contacts, it made me think about the men I interviewed for my book about our draconian sex-offender laws.”

Read the article in the Daily News.

Friends of Justice is a personal blog. Here I speak only for myself.

The ongoing legacy of the great satanic sex abuse panic

May 28th, 2015

“Ultimately, the panic and power of suggestion was pervasive enough to dupe our entire criminal justice system, as dozens of innocent people were sent to prison for crimes for which there was no evidence other than the coerced testimony of kids, and for which those same defendants would later be exonerated.”

Read the article by Radley Balko in the Washington Post.