November 2013

DNA and Death Row

by Diane Dimond on November 25, 2013

Spending Justice System Money More Wisely

In this time of economic strain anyone who doesn’t look at ways to cut their personal or business budget is just not being responsible. Same goes for the justice system.

For nearly two decades lawyers working with death row inmates have spent countless hours, court time and multiple tens of millions of dollars fighting for access to DNA testing. These attorneys work right up until execution time to win court orders for DNA tests on crime scene evidence or DNA of the condemned prisoner him or herself.

I could never figure out why so much time and money was spent fighting a condemned person’s last chance to establish their innocence. Don’t we want to make sure we’re executing the right person? Now that DNA technology has become so advanced isn’t that one extra step the necessary and honorable thing to do? [click to continue…]

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Warned in 1949 – Today it is a Reality

So, George Orwell was off by 64 years.

In 1949, Orwell’s masterpiece novel entitled “1984” wove a tale about a fictitious shadowy world in which government surveillance was ubiquitous, public mind control was an open secret and independent thinking was labeled and prosecuted as a “thought-crime.” The tyrant in control was the mysterious being called Big Brother.

Orwell’s prophecies didn’t materialize in the year 1984, of course, but they are on a fast track to reality today.

We’re all well aware of the millions of randomly situated video cameras all across the country – at banks, hotels, state and federal offices, schools, retail stores and other public buildings – capturing what we do 24/7. Facial recognition systems are in place at airports, casinos, some police departments and other places we can’t even fathom. [click to continue…]

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Jurors Urge Another Look At Their Verdict

by Diane Dimond on November 11, 2013

19 Years in Prison for Stealing a Necklace?

Sometimes the justice system just doesn’t work.

The prosecutor could be more interested in winning than finding the truth. The defense attorney might be inexperienced and botch things. Maybe the judge makes rulings that keep crucial evidence from the jury.

Was the trial of 19-year-old Tyra Patterson of Dayton, Ohio one of those flawed cases?

Six of the jurors who sat in judgment of Tyra now say if they knew back then what they know now they likely would not have found her guilty of aggravated robbery and murder.

But, you decide. [click to continue…]

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ObamaCare Has Boondoggle Written All Over It

by Diane Dimond on November 4, 2013

Judge ObamaCare Like Any Other Consumer Product

So, ponder this hypothetical case.

A corporation comes up with a feel-good project that’s designed to help people. Corporate PR teams talk up the altruistic nature of the plan. The campaign attracts more than $400 million in private investment money. Everyone is super excited to see the finished product.

When the corporation finally rolls out the super-hyped project it is immediately clear that it is a stupendous dud. Promises have been broken, long term goals are unlikely to be met and investors are screaming mad that they had been so roundly deceived.

“Someone must pay!”

“Damn corporations, always feeding off the public!”

“Someone should go to jail for perpetrating such a scheme!” [click to continue…]

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