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.

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

Please Send a Birthday Card to Joseph Allen

May 24th, 2015

May 29th is Joseph Allen’s birthday. Joseph is a dear friend and his is perhaps the most tragic case I have encountered. You can read about it here.

Here is Joseph’s prison address. A card from you would brighten his day!

Joseph Lee Allen #A293-486
Grafton Correctional Institution
2500 South Avon Beldon Road
Grafton, Ohio 44044-9802

Thank you!

-Bob

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

“Satanic” Day-Care Operator’s Conviction Tossed

May 22nd, 2015

The NCRJ has long sponsored the case of Dan and Fran Keller.

“Beginning in 1991, Fran and Dan Keller, who ran a day care out of their Austin home, committed unspeakable acts against their charges — they put one in a swimming pool with a baby-eating shark; they forced the kids to watch as they dismembered an infant; they flew the children to Mexico, where they were raped by soldiers, before flying them back to the day care in time to be picked up by their parents.

“Except, possibly, just maybe, perhaps, none of that ever happened. Incredibly, even though the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals on Wednesday overturned the charges against Fran Keller because of “false evidence,” the court denied her claims of actual innocence.”

Read the full article by Craig Malisow in HoustonPress.

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

The Shadowy Realm of Civil Commitment

May 4th, 2015

Lelaind knew he’d test positive for marijuana. But after spending the past few years bouncing in and out of jail, mostly for minor parole violations, he wasn’t afraid of another 30-day stretch. I can do that standing on my head, he thought.

That was in 2006, when Lelaind was 26 years old. He’s been kept under lock and key ever since. His problem wasn’t the drug bust itself. But the bust prompted the authorities to review Lelaind’s checkered past. As a teenager, he had been convicted for sexual abuse against a minor — and had served his time.

That fact, along with other aspects of his criminal and life history, were entered into the “Static-99,” a little-known but highly influential questionnaire that critics contend is being tragically misused. The test spit out a score that set him on the path to being locked up in a state psychiatric facility. Why? Because he might commit another crime in the future. He doesn’t know if he will ever be released.

Read the article by Peter Aldhous in Buzzfeed.

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

Day one of ‘San Antonio Four’ hearing

April 23rd, 2015

The “San Antonio Four” appeared in court Wednesday for the first time since they were convicted and sentenced for sexual assault in the late 90’s.

These four women — were sent to prison for more than a decade, after being accused of raping and threatening two young girls with a gun.

The four were let out about three years ago on bond, based on new evidence…now the defense says they have even more new evidence.

Read the article by Andrew Lofholm of News 4 San Antonio.