Bring in the lawyers for Flight 370 families
April 15, 2014
(CNN) -- As the search for the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 continues, both the Malaysian government and the airline have come under sharp criticism. Some say that all involved parties, including the manufacturer Boeing, are circling their wagons and bracing for a long public relations siege while the families of the missing passengers continue to grieve.
Meanwhile, others have stepped in to help the relatives of the passengers. One group of emissaries from the United States has traveled across the globe at their own expense to offer assistance to the grieving families. However, instead of being welcomed, their arrival was reported with thinly veiled revulsion.
I'm talking about the lawyers.Read more...
Boy suspended for bringing own hand to school
April 9, 2014
(CNN) -- Recently a school principal in Ohio suspended a student for three days after the 10-year-old pointed his finger at another student in class and pretended to shoot.
This kind of harsh sentencing is not new. In recent years, we've heard of kids being suspended for pop-tarts chewed into "gun shapes," or for firing an imaginary bow and arrow.
In fact, school suspensions over things that could not possibly be guns have been going on for years. Last year, a Mount Carmel, Pennsylvania, kindergarten student was suspended from school for allegedly threatening others and herself with a weapon -- her pink "Hello Kitty" bubble gun.Read more...
Upskirting in Massachusetts: Gross but legal
March 6, 2014
(CNN) -- On Wednesday, the Massachusetts Supreme Court issued an opinion in the matter of Commonwealth v. Michael Robertson, holding that it is not illegal to secretly photograph underneath a person's skirt on the subway, a practice widely known as "upskirting." The court, and the justice who wrote the opinion, have since weathered harsh -- and undeserved -- criticism. On Thursday, state lawmakers passed a bill banning upskirting, but that new law—which yet to be signed by the governor-- will still be subject to the same judicial scrutiny if it fails to adequately define the crime and the elements thereof.
No one, including the members of the Massachusetts Supreme Court, condones upskirting. But the court is not in the business of "condoning" activity, nor is it in a position to adjudicate the fairness of the outcome. The court is in the very limited business of applying the law enacted by the legislatures, and it did just that. In fact, it carefully applied the definitions provided by both the Legislature and Webster's dictionary. The problem isn't the justice; it's the statute itself.Read more...
Juror: Race not an issue in "Loud Music" murder Trial
February 19, 2014
Parallels between the killing of Trayvon Martin and Jordan Davis
February 17, 2014
Dunn verdict a win for prosecution, despite critics
February 18, 2014
(CNN) -- If trials were predictable, they wouldn't happen.
You can root for a jury to see a case your way and disagree with its ultimate verdict, but you cannot criticize the jury system for being unpredictable. In that sense, a Florida jury's recent verdicts -- and nonverdicts -- against Michael Dunn demonstrate a fundamental truth about trials. They are not only unpredictable; they are designed that way.
The case against Dunn stemmed from an incident on November 23, 2012. Dunn, a 47-year-old white man, arrived at a gas station in Jacksonville, Florida, and parked next to an SUV that contained Davis and other black teenagers. When Dunn complained about loud music coming from the SUV, words were exchanged and Dunn ultimately fired a gun that killed Davis. Dunn said he saw a gun barrel pointing out of the SUV, but the prosecution said there was no gun.Read more...
Should American Samoans be citizens?
February 11, 2014
(CNN) -- American Samoans have every right to be frustrated.
The United States laid claim to these eastern islands of a South Pacific archipelago in 1900, and since that time, American Samoans have served in the U.S. military, including the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Yet, those born in American Samoa receive passports declaring the holder is only a U.S. national, not a U.S. citizen. Noncitizen residents complain they are unable to vote in national elections or to work in jobs that require citizenship status. They also claim their birth status renders them ineligible for federal work-study programs in college, firearm permits and travel/immigration visas.Read more...