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.

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

Is Shaken Baby Syndrome the New Satanic Panic?

April 11th, 2015

“It’s never simple when science suffers a shakeup. The road to the truth is littered with fallen experts who were disgraced when they tried to disprove—or prove—the common wisdom, be it that the earth revolves around the sun or that witches float. Today’s researchers are fighting to restore logic in the debate over vaccinations, global warming, and the increasingly hazy medical condition called Shaken Baby Syndrome, whose adherents accuse, pursue and prosecute an estimated 250 parents, babysitters and other caretakers each year.”

Read the article by Amy Nicholson in LA Weekly.

 

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

California’s Sane New Approach to Sex Offenders

April 4th, 2015

“Why did you write a book about the sex offender registry?”

“When I saw the research on the registry I was really shocked at how pointless it is. And it was shocking because usually, when you research something, there’s ambiguity—there are some good things and there are some bad things. But with the registry, there’s really no research that shows it’s effective at all.”

Read the interview with NCRJ Director Emily Horowitz in Slate.

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

Stop the Sex Offender Registry Panic

March 30th, 2015

“How did you arrive at taking up reform of the sex offender registry as a cause?

“Well, I’m interested in keeping kids safe and I’m also interested in when our fears don’t match reality. That began when I let my son ride the subway and everyone told me, “Don’t you watch ‘Law & Order’?” I was called “America’s worst mom” for trusting him on the subway, even though from my own personal experience, both as a New Yorker and as a reporter, I knew it’s really quite safe. So then I started hearing about other things that we worry about that are actually a lot safer than we think — for instance, in the suburbs, parents are driving their kids to the bus stop. Then I looked up the statistics and it turned out that only between 11 and 13 percent of kids are walking to school anymore — which, I walked to school when I was a kid. I looked up whether it’s really dangerous to wait at the bus stop and, in fact, the No. 1 way that kids die is as passengers in cars. So it seemed strange that we were obsessing about kidnapping and predators and such when the biggest danger to kids is putting them in the car and driving them to the mall.”

Read the interview with Lenore Skenazy in Salon.

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

A Disputed Diagnosis Imprisons Parents

March 23rd, 2015

Read these articles in the Washington Post on Shaken Baby Syndrome.

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

Case of “San Antonio Four” Set to Enter its Final Act

March 19th, 2015

“On April 22, the case will enter its final act as the two alleged victims take the stand. Now in their late 20s, one still maintains the abuse took place, and the other says the two were coerced to make a false accusation. After each is cross-examined, a judge will decide the likely truth — essentially who is more credible — and make a recommendation to the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals. The state’s highest criminal court will then decide whether the women should be declared innocent and entitled to compensation from the state, or, in an unlikely but plausible scenario, sent back to prison.”

Read the full article by Maurice Chammah in The Texas Tribune.

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

It’s Not Just the Drug War

March 7th, 2015

“The growing unpopularity of the War on Drugs and the number of bipartisan moves to, supposedly, roll back mass incarceration have led some leftists to believe that, finally, the prison-state is about to be cut down to size.

“Yet a new book by University of Pennsylvania political scientist Marie Gottschalk, Caught: The Prison State and the Lockdown of American Politics, makes it clear that the problem is far worse than commonly suspected, and that the reforms on the table are unlikely to even make a dent in the forces that keep millions behind bars.”

Read the interview with Marie Gottshalk in Jacobin.

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

Nine Horrible Social Panics

March 5th, 2015

9 Social Panics That Gripped the Nation, Were Totally False, and Did Horrible Lasting Damage.

Read the article by Janet Allon and Kali Hollway in Alternet.

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

Sexual Paranoia Strikes Academe

March 3rd, 2015

“You have to feel a little sorry these days for professors married to their former students. They used to be respectable citizens—leaders in their fields, department chairs, maybe even a dean or two—and now they’re abusers of power avant la lettre. I suspect you can barely throw a stone on most campuses around the country without hitting a few of these neo-miscreants. Who knows what coercions they deployed back in the day to corral those students into submission; at least that’s the fear evinced by today’s new campus dating policies. And think how their kids must feel! A friend of mine is the offspring of such a coupling—does she look at her father a little differently now, I wonder.”

Read the article by Laura Kipnis in Chronicles of Higher Education.

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

The progressive ideas behind the lack of free speech on campus

February 23rd, 2015

“Unsafe? These days, when students talk about threats to their safety and demand access to “safe spaces,” they’re often talking about the threat of unwelcome speech and demanding protection from the emotional disturbances sparked by unsettling ideas. It’s not just rape that some women on campus fear: It’s discussions of rape.”

Read Wendy Kaminer’s op-ed in the Washington Post.