January 2011

State of Whose Union?

by Diane Dimond on January 31, 2011

State of President Obama's Union, 2011

One of the primary functions of government is to keep us safe – not only from foreign enemies but from fellow citizens who’ve turned to crime. We function best when we feel safe and secure in the world. It allows us to unlock our creative minds, produce more and better work and give back to society in the most positive ways.

So, as I watched President Obama’s State of the Union speech I listened carefully for what he would say that would address American’s concerns about crime and justice and help us feel safer. After all, consider recent events. Shortly before the speech, in states across the nation, eleven police officers had been killed in the line of duty in a 24 period. And the country is still reeling from the shooting rampage in Tucson, Arizona that left 6 people dead and 14 wounded, including Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords.

I was disappointed with the speech. [click to continue…]

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A New Year Call to Action – For the Kids

by Diane Dimond on January 24, 2011

Mom takes me to Sunday School

Let’s just say my long ago Sunday School lessons often went in one ear and out the other. But one passage from Matthew 6:3 always stuck with me, “…When you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing…”

I remember that saying confused me as a child. How could a part of your body not know what another part was doing?

As I got older I began to interpret the passage to mean when you give to those less fortunate do it quietly and with humility. To brag about your charity negates it somehow.

Every New Year I try to think of something more I can do to give back to the crime and justice community that fascinates me so. Almost always it comes around to what can be done for the most innocent victims – children – who through no action of their own are thrown into lifelong turmoil by the adults in their lives.

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Revenge Murders and Mental Illness

by Diane Dimond on January 17, 2011

Tucson's Dead: Christina Taylor-Green, Dorothy Morris, Judge John Roll, Phyllis Schneck, Dorwin Stoddard, Gabe Zimmerman

Now what?

After the tragedy in Tucson, Arizona – 6 dead including a federal judge and 14 shot including a congresswoman left as a national martyr, a symbol of the evil people are capable of heaping on each other – now what do we do as a nation?

We’ve lived through more than a week of people throwing barbs tinged with poisonous political rhetoric at each other (Republican rantings made the gunman snap! No, it was the Tea Party! It was intolerant liberal politics that made him pull the trigger!) and now that the initial vomiting of invectives is over, can we please just take a breath?

We need to not be distracted from solving crimes and figuring out what drives people to mass murder.

Let’s logically look at the facts surrounding the history of 22 year old Jared Loughner and ignore those who would use this terrible calamity to advance their own political agendas. Examine what happened in Tucson on January 8th as a detective would who’s investigating a crime cops call Rampage Murder. [click to continue…]

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Free At Last – The Scott Sisters New Life

by Diane Dimond on January 10, 2011

Jaime and Gladys Scott Breathing Free Air Again

Over the years there have been torrents of tears, rejected legal appeals, heartfelt rallies and now after nearly 17 long years there is finally clemency for Gladys and Jamie Scott. It’s a case that has had injustice written all over it from the get go.

The Scott sister’s 1994 conviction came on a crime they insist they played no part in – an armed robbery in which no one was hurt and about eleven dollars was stolen. Testimony at trial was completely contradictory and in later years witnesses admitted they’d committed perjury.

On Friday, January 7th, 2011 Gladys and Jamie jubilantly left the Central Mississippi Correctional Facility yelling, “We’re free!” and “God bless y’all!”  They moved immediately to Pensacola, Florida to start their new lives. [click to continue…]

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A Crime and Justice Wish List for 2011

by Diane Dimond on January 3, 2011

Thinking of Ways to Make a Safer and More Just World

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if the commandment to “Love Thy Neighbor as Yourself” was the only law we needed?

Strictly adhered to that would be enough to curb crime in a big way. There would be no murder, assault, fraud, burglary … well, you get my drift.

But as this New Year dawns we all understand that we’re way past biblical pronouncement at this point. Today society must have laws and rules and regulations. But I often heave a big sigh and wish they worked better to get crime under control!

In years past I’ve used this first column of each New Year to list my wishes for the crime and justice system. For 2011 the list is pretty simple … [click to continue…]

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