October 4th, 2015
“Prosecutors who bend or even break the rules to win a conviction almost never face any punishment. But even given lax controls, the blatant and systemic misconduct in the Orange County district attorney’s office in Southern California stands out. In a scheme that may go back as far as 30 years, prosecutors and the county sheriff’s department have elicited illegal jailhouse confessions, failed to turn over evidence that is favorable to defendants and lied repeatedly in court about what they did.”
Read the editorial by the editorial board of the New York Times.
October 3rd, 2015
“At what point do professionals in these settings openly acknowledge to them/ourselves that we are participating in systems that are openly unconstitutional and therefore unlawful according to the standards of much of the Western world? Even beyond American law, consider the case of Shawn Sullivan, who fled the US and was on Interpol’s most-wanted list. One of the UK’s highest courts denied a U.S. extradition request on the basis that Minnesota’s program to commit sex offenders indefinitely to treatment violates European human rights law. Lord Justice Alan Moses said returning Sullivan for trial with the possibility of later being placed in the sex offender system would be a “flagrant denial of his rights” under European law.
“With that in mind, professionals might also want to ask at what point we are violating basic human rights when we render “treatment” that no one can ever complete.
“As a profession, we have the research, the tools, and the templates to provide prompt and adequate treatment and to reduce the harm of sexual abuse, and yet we find ourselves in political climates where we cannot use them. At what point do we as individual professionals, or as professional organizations, take a stand against practices that are clearly not working to anyone’s long-term benefit? One need only look at the recent scandal of the American Psychological Association and its involvement with torture to see how collective inaction can ultimately bring disgrace to a profession.”
Read the full article by David Presoctt in Forensic Psychologist.
September 9th, 2015
“Satanism lacks a Jones or Koresh. Satanism has no Jonestown, no Waco, no Kool-Aid, no casual point of reference. This is because Satanic cults, as imagined in popular culture, do not exist. Still, some places across the country—West Memphis, Arkansas; Manhattan Beach, California; Edenton, North Carolina; Austin, Texas—belong to a brotherhood of cities united not by the stunned, silent grief of a tragedy like Waco’s, but by the shame of having left innocent families’ lives in ruin in the fervent pursuit of an imaginary evil.”
Read the full article by Dan Shewan in Pacific Standard.
September 8th, 2015
“Protecting children from sexual abuse is, of course, a paramount concern. But there is not a single piece of evidence that these laws actually do that.”
Read the editorial in the New York Times.
September 5th, 2015
“Sure there was no evidence. The dead animals weren’t found. The missing and murdered children don’t seem to have been missing or murdered. The pornographic films (or the studios where they were made) weren’t discovered. The gouged out eyeballs and lopped off body parts don’t seem actually to have been gouged or lopped. But the press dutifully (and enthusiastically) reported as true. And juries often believed.
“Because like Julie Bates, nobody could believe that little kids would lie. At least not about something really awful being done to them. And after all, the more you had to threaten them for not telling or reward them for telling, the more obviously true the allegations.”
Read the full review by Jeff Gamso, Ohio criminal defense lawyer/
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.
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
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.
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
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.