The Media

Are We Asking the Right Questions About Police and Race?

by Diane Dimond on November 24, 2014

Why Are Black Arrest Rates So High?

Why Are Black Arrest Rates in Some Places So High?

As the nation continued to watch for the grand jury announcement out of Ferguson, Missouri this week, USA Today released a disturbing analysis of arrest records from across the country.

After pouring over FBI records from more than 3,500 police departments the newspaper finds that blacks are far more likely to be arrested than people of other races – and for all sorts of crimes – from murder to marijuana possession.

USA Today called the racial divide in America’s 2011-2012 arrest rates a, “staggering disparity” with at least 70 police departments from Connecticut to California arresting blacks at a rate 10 times higher than people of other races.

But before you jump to any conclusions, the paper also quoted experts who said the lopsided nature of arrests didn’t necessary prove racism or racial profiling.

Read that sentence again, please. [click to continue…]

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Why Do Politicians Get to Lie in Ads?

Why Do Politicians Get to Lie in Ads?

                    We’re assured truth in advertising — unless its political advertising…

Are you absolutely sick to death of all the snarky campaign ads on television?

Yeah, me too.

November 5th cannot come fast enough. Let’s get this mid-term election over!

Nasty cracks, smarmy innuendo, selective editing of opponents interviews and downright lies. Isn’t there something that should be done to a candidate who deliberately tries to deceive the electorate? [click to continue…]

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It’s Mexico’s Turn to Give Back 

by Diane Dimond on August 4, 2014

This Veteran Needs to Come Home

This Veteran Needs to Come Home

Okay, I’m going to propose something radical. I’m sure it doesn’t fit into the strict confines of how our U.S. State Department conducts foreign policy but here goes …

How about we ask Mexico to do us a favor for once? Not only has that sieve of a country sat back and watched as more than 100-thousand desperate Hondurans, Guatemalans and El Salvadorans streamed through on their northward search for a safer life, they have also taken decades of generous U.S. foreign assistance without so much as a what-can-we-do-for-you?

Well, here’s what they can do for us. They can expedite the judicial process for U.S. Marine Sgt. Andrew Tahmooressi, held in Mexico since the last day of March, 2014. He is due back in court in Tijuana this coming Monday but without some high powered attention being applied it’s unlikely he will be quickly released. [click to continue…]

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Rembrandts of the Courtroom

by Diane Dimond on July 14, 2014

Charles Manson Nearly Caused a Mistrial

Charles Manson Nearly Caused a Mistrial

Okay, show of hands. How many readers have actually sat inside a courtroom and watched a trial? Having been assigned to cover countless high-profile trials over the years I have to admit I relish it.

I love going to courthouses with their stately facades and imposing corridors. And inside it’s like watching a big vat of human soup. We all get stirred up together in a courthouse. The poor, the middle-class, the rich. People seeking justice, people in big trouble with the law, people whose families are falling apart. The process is fascinating to watch.

Inside courtrooms where the most-watched trials take place there is a group of unsung regulars that I have never written about – professional courtroom artists. Whenever I can I try to get a seat next to one of them. Watching them work is a treat. [click to continue…]

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Time to Remember the Victims

Time to Remember the Victims

As the coroner’s van took away one of the bodies, I walked toward the bloodied sidewalk outside Nicole Brown Simpson’s condo. I’ll never forget what I saw that day. Law enforcement had come and gone and left behind only some strips of yellow police tape.

It might have been 20 years ago, but I can still see the rivulets of blood between the pavers at the condo’s entryway. Later I would learn that the paw prints and feathery marks punctuating the bloodbath were made by Nicole’s dog. In his confused state, the Akita had obviously circled the bloody scene, its leash traversing through the red and leaving a swoosh of stain all the way down to the corner stop sign.

With the evidence gathering clearly over, I remember thinking, “Why didn’t someone wash away all this blood?” [click to continue…]

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Who is Killing Whom in America?

by Diane Dimond on February 1, 2014

We’re Fascinated By Murder

We have a fascination in America about murder.

Serial killers, mass murders, thrill kills, the so-called “mission murderers” who think it’s their duty to rid the world of certain groups like prostitutes, drug users or the homeless. That all those prime time TV shows, replete with mysterious murders and the resulting criminal trials are so popular speaks volumes.

But what is the reality? How many murders are there in America? Who are the victims and their killers? What parts of the country are most dangerous?

The FBI’s latest figures tell us there were 14,168 killings in the U.S. in 2012. That’s slightly higher than the rate in 2011. [click to continue…]

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Crime and Justice Issues On The Public’s Radar

by Diane Dimond on January 20, 2014

 

Crime Stories on Top of List

Last year’s tally is now in and the news story that garnered the most searches on the internet was … (can I get a drum roll, please?) …. A crime story!

Before I get to the winner, may I just say that life as a crime and justice columnist is sometimes a lonely one. I don’t think there’s another writer in America who – week in and week out – concentrates only on issues surrounding our justice system.

I’m fascinated by the topic but, sometimes, I wonder how many of you readers are. Sure, I get mail from many of you, and I truly appreciate it, but now I have some real statistics to back up the idea that Americans are, indeed, interested in following crime and justice stories. [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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Kaitlyn’s Calamity – A Mess of Her Own Making

by Diane Dimond on August 26, 2013

She Got A Golden Ticket & Squandered It

Here’s a lesson everyone needs to learn. Don’t violate a court order. It will only make your problems worse. There is never an acceptable excuse for going against what a judge has ordered. Not even if you think it is unfair. Not even if it’s a matter of the heart.

Not long ago I wrote a column – actually, a rather sympathetic column – about the plight of Florida teenager Kaitlyn Hunt.  At 18, Hunt’s high school sweetheart was just 14 and female. Because Florida’s statutory rape law stipulates that no one under 16 can legally consent to sexual contact – Hunt was expelled from her high school where she had been an excellent student and athlete.

In mid-February, Hunt was charged with two felony counts of lewd and lascivious behavior with a minor. Circuit Court Judge Robert Pegg issued a no-contact order instructing Kaitlyn to have no further contact with the younger girl. [click to continue…]

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Facebook Embraces the Murderabilia Craze

by Diane Dimond on July 29, 2013

Now What’s Available Here?

Imagine searching on-line for the name of a deceased family member and being hit in the face with gruesome crime scene photographs of  his or her dead and decomposing body.  For the loved ones of Suzette Trouten or Izabella Lewicka – two of at least 8 victims of Kansas-based serial killer John Robinson – this nightmare is a reality.

Grisly photos of the murdered women found stuffed and floating in the ooze of 55 gallon barrels now grace the pages of Facebook.

Facebook is also where you can find for sale a display of a notorious killer’s sexually offensive artwork. A psychopathic meth addict named Jeremy Bryan Jones, a confessed serial killer suspected of murdering at least 17 people, features Jesus Christ as the main player in pornographic drawings.

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