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

What Jury Found Kevin Spacey Guilty?

November 15th, 2017

“Is Kevin Spacey a criminal sexual molester? I don’t know. Neither do you, unless you were actually molested by him, or, it seems, unless you’re the Boston Globe. ‘This Was A Criminal Act,’ the Globe headline blared, repeating former local news anchor Heather Unruh’s claim that Spacey groped her son at a bar in Nantucket last summer. The single quotes around the claim that Spacey is a criminal (who has yet to be indicted except in the media) don’t mitigate the headline’s clear presumption of guilt. They simply allow the Globe to level a sensational accusation while pretending to present an unbiased account of one.”

Read the commentary by Wendy Kaminer at WGBH News.

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

Vermont corrections officer of the year dies in apparent suicide

October 29th, 2017

Dalton pointed to a 2013 literature review from the U.S. Department of Justice that included research on the stress that correctional officers face. The review found, in part:

  • In 2011, about 31 percent of correctional officers reported “serious psychological distress,” twice the rate of the general public;
  • In 2012, 27 percent of correctional officers who responded to a study indicated they were suffering from PTSD;
  • “Much more research is needed to develop a better understanding of the prevalence and causes of suicide among (correctional officers).”

Read the article by Erin Mansfield in the Vermont Digger.

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

Sex offender registries endanger the lives they’re meant to protect

October 26th, 2017

“Our communities deserve effective public-safety measures that are based on facts and sound research, not wasteful and counterproductive measures born of fear. We all want to be safe. We have to demand our legislators pass laws that work and actually keep us safe.”

Read the article by Miriam Aukerman in The Hill.

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

Mothers Defend Sons Accused of Sexual Assault

October 24th, 2017

“Few issues in education today are as intensely debated as the way colleges deal with sexual misconduct. Women’s groups and victims’ advocates have deplored Ms. DeVos’s moves, saying they will allow colleges to wash their hands of the problem. But a growing corps of legal experts and defense lawyers have argued that the Obama rules created a culture in which accused students, most of them men, were presumed guilty.”

Read the article by Anemona Hartocollis and Christina Capecchi in the Sunday New York Times.

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

When Junk Science About Sex Offenders Infects the Supreme Court

September 14th, 2017

An important op-ed in the New York Times by David Fiegle.

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

No retrial for man freed following NECIR investigation

September 14th, 2017

In 2014, Nicas wrote a blog post for NECIR describing how main findings in his story were included in the judge’s grounds for a new trial. “There was excitement, disbelief and a sense of vindication,’’ he wrote. “Later, the feeling became relief. Not just that we were right, but that Victor Rosario was free.”

Read the report by Jennifer McKim for the New England Center for Investigative Reporting.

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

A “Frightening” Myth About Sex Offenders

September 14th, 2017

Current sex offender laws have no scientific basis.

View this video by David Feige at the New York Times web site.

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

Betsy DeVos could change sexual assault policy for the better

September 9th, 2017

“And yet it is also true that the current regime under which campus sexual-assault allegations are investigated and adjudicated is seriously flawed. Before the Obama administration instructed colleges and universities that they had to take sexual-assault allegations seriously — or risk losing federal funds — the system was way too disposed to discourage complaints. But the Obama administration’s move also prompted an overcorrection at some institutions that failed to do enough to protect the rights of students accused of wrongdoing.”

Read the op-ed by Ruth Marcus in the Washington Post.

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

Lowell man, after spending 32 years in prison for a fatal fire, to remain free

September 9th, 2017

“Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan agreed Friday to end the pursuit of murder charges against a Lowell man for a fatal 1982 fire he denied setting, ending a legal roller coaster that saw the man freed three years ago after spending 32 years in prison.”

The NCRJ played an important role in freeing Rosario.

Read the article by Milton J. Valencia at the Boston Globe.

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

The Bad Science Behind Campus Response to Sexual Assault

September 9th, 2017

I talked with Richard McNally, a psychology professor at Harvard and one of the country’s leading experts on the effects of trauma on memory, about the assertions Campbell made in her presentation. He first said that because assaults do not occur within the laboratory, “there is no direct evidence” of any precise or particular cascade of physiological effects during one, “nor is there going to be.” But there is plenty of evidence about how highly stressful experiences affect memory, and much of it directly contradicts Campbell. In his 2003 book, Remembering Trauma, McNally writes, “Neuroscience research does not support [the] claim that high levels of stress hormones impair memory for traumatic experience.” In fact, it’s almost the opposite: “Extreme stress enhances memory for the central aspects of an overwhelming emotional experience.”

Read the article by Emily Yoffe in The Atlantic.