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Ethics Complaints Against Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh Dismissed
WASHINGTON — All of the 83 ethics complaints filed against Justice Brett Kavanaugh during and after his confirmation to the US Supreme Court will remain dismissed, a nationwide committee of federal judges concluded Thursday, marking the judiciary's final word on the subject.

The decision from the Committee on Judicial Conduct and Disability confirms a ruling in late 2018 from an intermediate panel of judges dismissing the complaints, finding that Kavanaugh stopped being covered by the federal judiciary's internal ethics review system the moment he was confirmed to former justice Anthony Kennedy's seat in October.

There is no appeal option from here. The Supreme Court doesn't have its own formal ethics review process like the one that covers the federal appeals and district courts, and Thursday's decision makes clear that conduct by a lower court judge — Kavanaugh previously served on the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit — falls outside of the judiciary's ethics review process as soon as that judge is elevated to the Supreme Court.

The only body with the power to take action against Kavanaugh now is Congress, and notwithstanding fierce Democratic opposition to his nomination, there's been no effort by lawmakers to act so far. Supreme Court justices, like federal judges in the lower courts, can be impeached for misconduct, but it's extremely rare.

A coalition of liberal legal groups and court watchdogs sent a letter to House Democrats in April urging them to take up the investigation into allegations raised during Kavanaugh's confirmation proceedings that he participated in sexual assault when he was in high school and, separately, how the White House and the Senate responded to those claims when they came up. No congressional committee has held hearings or publicly expressed plans to do so.
Kavanaugh  ethics  assault  justice 
10 weeks ago by Quercki
Becerra backs change in murder law that's widely opposed by state prosecutors - The San Diego Union-Tribune
State Senator Nancy Skinner
21 hrs ·

Good news for my legislation, SB 1437, which was signed into law last year:

"The court filings from Attorney General Xavier Becerra contend the state’s new felony-murder law is constitutional, a significant break from the positions of scores of prosecutors across the state."
Criminal justice reform advocates said the law unfairly swept up and punished individuals for a crime they did not personally commit. The new law says an accomplice can only face murder charges if they directly participated in the killing, aided and abetted it, or were a “major participant” and acted with reckless indifference. The law does not apply to killings of police officers.
murder  justice  law  Nancy_Skinner 
11 weeks ago by Quercki
I Understand Why Democrats Don't Want to Impeach Trump
After a failed impeachment trial, Trump, being the person he is, would claim that he was exonerated, a claim that would be buttressed by his propagandists at Fox News (as if Trump would ever admit he was wrong). So, instead of fulfilling their constitutional duties, Pelosi and her cabal of soothsaying moderates have chosen to sidestep justice in favor of politics.

This is the kind of justice that black people have become accustomed to. Democrats won’t pursue justice because they assume the all-white, Republican jurors won’t convict him. This is the same reason why the killers of Alton Sterling, Emantic Bradford Jr., Korryn Gaines and Eric Garner never faced a jury in a criminal trial.

This is the definition of injustice.
Let the ongoing investigations continue

Almost five years after the whole world witnessed Eric Garner dying with a police officer’s arm around his throat, the NYPD is still investigating whether or not it was a chokehold. Footage of Sandra Bland’s 2015 arrest wasn’t released until a few weeks ago, because of an “ongoing investigation.” Emmett Till’s murder is still being investigated, over a half-century later.

Even when something is readily apparent, they will trot out the “ongoing investigations” excuse as the first line of defense. Robert Mueller wrote an entire report that more than 1,000 prosecutors say shows obstruction of justice, yet Nancy Pelosi wants to “investigate.”

White people really trust investigations.
impeach  Trump  racism  African-American  justice 
june 2019 by Quercki
Kamala Harris: America’s Public Defenders’ Offices Are Broken. Here’s How to Fix Them
Defendants in criminal cases need lawyers who have enough time, money, and resources to unearth all of the facts in their cases. They need lawyers who can stand up in court, fully prepared to challenge the prosecution.

That is why I recently introduced the EQUAL Defense Act (pdf), which makes a serious investment in our state and local public defense systems by providing the resources that lawyers need to give every client’s case the time and attention it deserves. It will attack these injustices head-on by providing more resources for training, capping attorneys’ workloads, and bringing more people into the profession by making sure public defenders are paid on par with prosecutors.

My plan would provide $250 million to finally close the pay gap between public defenders and prosecutors within five years.
Kamala_Harris  2020  president  racism  poverty  justice 
june 2019 by Quercki
Oakland organization celebrates 40 years of prison policy reform and legal advocacy | Oakland North
LSPC was originally founded as an organization for women who were in prison. “Legal Services for Prisoners with Children was originally the Network of Women in Prison,” said communications coordinator Mark Fujiwara. “The original focus was on a small population of women who were overlooked, underserved and unnoticed, women who had families. Over time the organization made the decision to help incarcerated people instead of just women.”

There were three guest speakers at the gala: Journalist Mark Hill of BET News, Vonya Quarles, the executive director of Starting Over Inc., and Michelle Alexander, author of the book The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness. Each spoke about the work they’re doing to advocate for alternatives to prison and the idea that it is not the only form of punishment that can be used.

Mark Hill, in particular, spoke about abolishing prisons and creating a new way for the justice system to respond when someone has done something wrong. “We have to get rid of this idea that justice means punishment. Our idea is that justice means punishment and for too many of us punishment means confinement.
prison  Oakland  justice  family  children 
october 2018 by Quercki
Blaming the victim: Belief in control or belief in justice? | SpringerLink
The attribution of responsibility to victims of bad fate (“blaming the victim”) is discussed under the perspective of Just World Theory (Lerner, 1980) and the Defensive Attribution Hypothesis (Walster, 1966; Shaver, 1970). Whereas Just World Theory suggests that the belief in a just world is the decisive motive of increased attributions of responsibility, the Defensive Attribution Hypothesis assumes that these attributions are motivated by the need to believe in internal locus of control. Research evidence shows both motives as conceptually linked and empirically correlated. The central question is whether belief in a just world and belief in internal control are facets of the same latent variable or empirically distinguishable constructs, and whether they contribute independently to attributions of responsibility and blame to victims of misfortune. Results of a questionnaire study assessing opinions about cancer and cancer victims are reported. There is evidence from factor analyses that the two motives are indeed distinguishable constructs.
victim-blaming  justice 
april 2018 by Quercki
What If Prosecutors Wanted to Keep People Out of Prison?
Colom’s 2015 campaign against Allgood, who’d been voted into office six times over 25 years, was daring: He promised to lock fewer people up, stop treating drug addiction as a crime, and expand rehab services. This was far from standard fare in a state that has legalized firing squads when lethal injections aren’t available. But Colom remembered what one of his law professors at the University of Wisconsin had told him: To minimize the Willie Horton risk, DAs tend to be overly punitive, though there are certain circumstances where the opposite strategy might carry the day. “If the campaign is about ‘My son or daughter might get in trouble for drugs, and I hope there’s a guy who understands this isn’t the whole picture of the person,’” Colom recalls him saying, “then you might be able to run a successful campaign.”

So the young lawyer — whose interest in politics was sparked by reading the Nixon-Kennedy campaign classic, The Making of the President, right after college — bet that Allgood had gone too far. The Mississippi Supreme Court, hardly known for its leniency, had accused Allgood of “egregious” prosecutorial misconduct in 2008.
justice  solutions  Mississippi 
march 2018 by Quercki
Why Does Our Justice System Fight So Hard to Keep Innocent People Behind Bars? | The Nation
In his new book, Blind Injustice: A Former Prosecutor Exposes the Psychology and Politics of Wrongful Convictions, University of Cincinnati legal scholar Mark Godsey examines why that happens. Godsey was a former prosecutor who would later go on to co-found the Ohio Innocence Project, a chapter of the national organization. The book, which is in part a confessional, looks at how innocent people can become the victims of faulty eyewitness testimony, bad forensics, and a variety of blinding cognitive biases on the part of law-enforcement personnel, prosecutors, and judges, and why the system so tenaciously defends the status quo, even when it’s guilty of railroading innocent citizens.

With so much attention rightly focused on racial injustice in recent years, Godsey’s book offers another important piece of the puzzle. You can listen to my 25-minute discussion with Godsey in the player above, or read a transcript that’s been edited for length and clarity below.
justice  prison  fail 
march 2018 by Quercki
A Deeper Look at the Whole School Approach to Behavior | MindShift | KQED News
Essien got all his teachers trained in de-escalation tactics. They learned about how nonverbal communication, tone, volume, cadence, word choice and proximity work to either escalate or de-escalate a situation. Now, when a teacher sees that a student has become escalated, rather than engaging with her and potentially worsening the situation, teachers pick up the phone, call the office for a push-in, and go back to teaching. The support staff all carry walkie-talkies where they receive the call and they respond on a rotation.

“The idea of going to the room and the push-in is to help the teacher repair the damage, the harm that has been done, the disturbance, whatever you want to call it, in the class,” said Antoinette Marracq, who was head counselor at MLK during this transition. When support staff show up in class they can either take over supervising the lesson so the teacher can step out into the hallway and resolve the issue with the student, or intervene themselves. The hope is to help de-escalate the situation and get the student back into class and learning.
school  children  behavior  education  solution  restorative  justice 
march 2018 by Quercki
How Black Women Shaped the Law Banning Sex Discrimination in Education - Rewire.News
But today, it’s fitting to note the Title IX anniversary also falls on the last day of Black History Month. Title IX stemmed in part from the legacy of civil rights and the organizing spirit of Black women who highlighted the dual costs of racism and sexism they faced, including racialized sexual violence.

Activist and attorney Pauli Murray was one of Title IX’s foremothers. Herself a pioneer who challenged segregation in higher education, public transportation, and businesses, Murray predicted in 1965 that the Civil Rights Act would do nothing for women unless they organized. She was convinced that establishing a “NAACP for women” was necessary. Shortly after, Murray became one of the co-founders of the National Organization for Women (NOW), which built upon the civil rights movement to push for the Equal Rights Amendment and eventually Title IX. Rep. Edith Green (D-OR), along with Rep. Shirley Chisholm (D-NY) (the first Black U.S. congresswoman), stated that she drew Title IX language directly from the Civil Rights Act and the Equal Pay Act. Black women have been instrumental in the creation of civil rights laws including Title IX, extending protections to race, gender, and historically marginalized identities.

Press freedoms are under attack now, more than ever.
Black women also have achieved justice through civil disobedience, mutual support systems, public education, mass communication, coalition building, and storytelling. As race, gender, and class have combined to disenfranchise and disempower them, Black women have made advocacy for civil rights and women’s rights a natural convergence.
Title_IX  women  equality  Black  justice 
march 2018 by Quercki
Pods and Pod Mapping Worksheet | Bay Area Transformative Justice Collective

Your pod is made up of the people that you would call on if violence, harm or abuse happened to you; or the people that you would call on if you wanted support in taking accountability for violence, harm or abuse that you’ve done; or if you witnessed violence or if someone you care about was being violent or being abused.

People can have multiple pods. The people you call to support you when you are being harmed may not be the same people you call on to support you when you have done harm, and vice versa. In general, pod people are often those you have relationship and trust with, though everyone has different criteria for their pods.
justice  accountability  abuse  solution 
february 2018 by Quercki
Free and Responsible Search: Who Owns the World?
By the time he writes Agrarian Justice, Paine has already played his role in the American Revolution, has gotten himself thrown out of England for preaching revolution there, and is in Paris trying to keep the French Revolution from going off the rails. Agrarian Justice is his proposal to the English, that they should give each young adult (of either gender) a stake of capital to get started in the world, and also establish an old-age pension, and that it should all be funded by an inheritance tax -- or (as Beck might say) a death tax.
solution  economy  justice  social  security  adult  capitalism  Paine 
february 2018 by Quercki
‘Insulting’: Judge blisters defense for race allegations, upholds $15M verdict against Lakewood in killing of unarmed black man | The Seattle Times
U.S. District Judge Barbara Rorthstein said there was ample evidence for the jury to conclude officers acted outrageously, unreasonably and with malice and callous indifference to the life of Leonard Thomas.

Share story
By Mike Carter
Seattle Times staff reporter
A federal judge has upheld a $15.1 million jury verdict against the city of Lakewood in Pierce County, Police Chief Mike Zaro and two other Lakewood officers for killing Leonard Thomas during a 2013 SWAT operation, taking the opportunity to scold the defense for suggesting the jury was motivated by fear of racial backlash if it exonerated the officers for killing an unarmed black man.
police  murder  BlackLivesMatter  justice 
february 2018 by Quercki
In East Oakland’s desert of desolation, an oasis of opportunity is rising - San Francisco Chronicle
Restore Oakland is seeking to change East Oakland’s fortunes by opening a community advocacy and training center in a renovated building on International Boulevard in the heart of the Fruitvale neighborhood.

Photo: Michael Macor, The Chronicle Liam Chinn, executive director of Restore Oakland, walks through the group’s newly acquired building.
The building was purchased by Ella Baker Center for Human Rights and Restaurant Opportunities Centers United, the founding organizations in Restore Oakland. The investment that will have a lasting impact is set to happen inside the building, in what Chinn refers to as a “social justice laboratory.”

The investment will be in the people who live in a part of the city devoid of jobs and economic opportunities. It’s the part of the city where promises of development pile up like trash on street corners. It’s the part of the city where the lack of resources and opportunities has decimated lives.

At Restore Oakland, people will have a place to go and learn skills that will help lift themselves out of poverty.
Oakland  Ella_Baker_Center  economics  justice 
december 2017 by Quercki
Vera Institute Of Justice Is Offering Legal Help To Fight Deportations
Using public funding to aid immigrants facing deportation helps build trust, increases public safety and keeps families together, says Turner.

The Vera Institute of Justices, the organization that launched SAFE, created the network after studying the impact of the New York Immigrant Family Unity Project (NYIFUP). NYIFUP started in 2014 and has represented immigrants facing deportation who otherwise didn’t have access to legal resources.

According to the study, Vera found that immigrants that had adequate representation in court had a higher chance of winning their case before an immigration judge. Forty-eight percent of immigrants who had proper representation in court were successful in their cases – an increase of 1,100 percent. It’s a stark contrast to the four percent success rate typical in similar cases.

The SAFE Cities Network includes:

Atlanta, GA, Austin, TX, Baltimore, MD, Chicago, IL, Columbus, OH, Dane County in Wisconsin, Oakland/Alameda County in California, Prince George’s County in Maryland, Sacramento, CA, San Antonio, TX and Santa Ana, CA.
immigration  justice  Alameda  county  Oakland 
november 2017 by Quercki
Platform - The Movement for Black Lives

We demand an end to the named and unnamed wars on Black people - including the criminalization, incarceration, and killing of our people.

We demand reparations for harms inflicted on Black people: from colonialism to slavery through food & housing redlining, mass incarceration, & surveillance.

We demand investments in the education, health, and safety of Black people, instead of investments in the criminalizing, caging, and harming of Black people.

We demand economic justice for all and a reconstruction of the economy to ensure Black communities have collective ownership, not merely access.

We demand a world where those most impacted in our communities control the laws, institutions, and policies that are meant to serve us.
BlackLivesMatter  platform  demands  politics  justice 
september 2017 by Quercki
No water for poor people: the nine Americans who risked jail to seek justice | US news | The Guardian
Inequality and Opportunity in America
No water for poor people: the nine Americans who risked jail to seek justice
To live without water means no bath time for your kids, no cooking and no useable toilets. As the city of Detroit cut water to 83,000 homes since 2014, nine activists put their bodies on the line to protest
by Drew Philp in Detroit, Michigan
water  Detroit  Flint  civil_rights  poverty  justice 
july 2017 by Quercki
Art for Justice Fund
What will the Art for Justice Fund support?

Over the next five years (2017-2022), the Art for Justice Fund (A4JF) will support innovative advocacy and interventions aimed at safely cutting the prison population in states with the highest rates of incarceration, and strengthening the education and employment options for people leaving prison. In addition, the Fund will support selected artistic initiatives that enable artists to bear witness to the injustices of the system and speak to the potential of people enmeshed in it.

What will Art for Justice Fund not fund?

Individual social service and alternative to incarceration programs that do not engage policy reforms or structural change.
Individual college in-prison or re-entry programs, outside of a larger public/private initiative.
Academic research disconnected to specific policy or practice initiatives.
art  justice  racism  prison 
june 2017 by Quercki
White People, It’s Time To Prioritize Justice Over Civility
There can be no peace without justice. And it’s time white moderates prioritized justice above civility, and put the well-being and safety of people of color above their curiosity over that funny little man who makes feminists angry. It’s time for white folk to stop expressing personal displeasure when, say, some young activist calls them “oppressor,” instead of wondering what would lead someone to say that in the first place. White moderates have little to lose by maintaining the status quo, but much to gain by fighting against it.
Privilege is a blindspot that requires constant interrogation, and we can only hope that white people listen to us when they blunder, instead of flirting with the sympathetic eye of the Nazi.
But who said being a better person would be easy? Racism is primarily white people’s problem, even though people of color must face it every day. White people can help us by putting aside their white fragility — and, importantly, not making it our problem to manage — and start fighting white supremacy alongside us: Start by listening to our opinions on race, instead of your gut reaction and feelings of being attacked.
That is what we need, that is how we progress, that is how we obtain justice.
racism  justice  peace  White  fragility  Nazi  alt-right 
may 2017 by Quercki
Why Women Are So Angry with Sanders | Bitter Gertrude
Sanders has set himself up as the national face of progressivism, openly stating that his “movement” is the future of a party to which he does not belong, and withholding his endorsement from Democratic candidates he believes are not adequately progressive. Yet Sanders has, multiple times, endorsed anti-choice candidates because they otherwise support his agenda of economic justice.

Here’s why this is problematic:

Women cannot access economic justice without full reproductive rights. Economic justice is impossible for women without being able to decide when, or whether, to have children. Lack of access to reproductive health care can put women into poverty and keep them there. Someone claiming they are in favor of economic justice while actively voting against reproductive rights is saying that economic justice only matters for men. 
Bernie_Sanders  anti-abortion  candidates  reproductive_freedom  economics  justice  women 
april 2017 by Quercki
Afraid of Jail? Buy an Upgrade | The Marshall Project
allowing some defendants to avoid the region’s notoriously dangerous county jails has long rankled some in law enforcement who believe it runs counter to the spirit of equal justice.The region’s pay-to-stay jails took in nearly $7 million from the programs from 2011 through 2015, according to revenue figures provided by the cities. In attracting paying customers, some cities openly tout their facilities as safer, cleaner and with more modern amenities. The Santa Ana jail’s website, for example, notes that jail is a “highly disruptive experience” and promotes its jail as a place where criminals can serve their time in a “less intimidating environment.”“The whole criminal justice system is becoming more and more about: How much money do you have? Can you afford better attorneys? Can you afford to pay for a nicer place to stay?” said John Eum, a detective with the Los Angeles Police Department who investigated the hip-hop choreographer.
jail  prison  justice  felony  class 
march 2017 by Quercki
The Woman Students Call When They’ve Been Raped On Campus
She runs SurvJustice, a nonprofit that in its brief lifespan is credited with ushering in at least 120 federal investigations of schools around the country. She spent time at Joe Biden’s official vice presidential residence, and one of Biden’s former advisers, Lynn Rosenthal, sits on SurvJustice’s board. State and federal lawmakers ask her to endorse legislation. Still, Dunn wants more. Much more.
“I’m always mad that we’re not bigger,” said Dunn, matter-of-factly. “I want to be Gloria Allred big. People know if your civil rights get violated, you go to the ACLU. I want people to know if you get raped, you go to SurvJustice.”
college  rape  justice  solution 
february 2017 by Quercki
Meet James Robart, the judge who halted Trump’s immigration ban
Trump tweeted Saturday morning that he thought U.S. District Senior Judge James Robart's temporary restraining order was “ridiculous,” and declared it would be overturned.

Robart, who Trump demeaned as a “so-called judge,” was appointed to the bench by President George W. Bush in 2004 after receiving unanimous support from the U.S. Senate.

Robart sits on the federal bench in Seattle, where he last year declared that “black lives matter” while hearing a Department of Justice lawsuit against the Seattle Police Department over racial disparities in fatal shootings by police.
justice  Trump  Muslim  immigration  ban 
february 2017 by Quercki
The President’s Role in Advancing Criminal Justice Reform - The President’s Role in Advancing Criminal Justice Reform
We have made progress in helping people, especially young people, avoid getting entangled in the justice system in the first place. This Commentary talks about those achievements — and the tools Presidents can use to effect meaningful change throughout the system. And it emphasizes the continuing historic opportunity to make further progress.

Part I details the current criminal justice landscape and emphasizes the urgent need for reform. It would be a tragic mistake to treat criminal justice reform as an agenda limited to certain communities. All Americans have an interest in living in safe and vibrant neighborhoods, in raising their children in a country of equal treatment and second chances, and in entrusting their liberty to a justice system that remains true to our highest ideals. We simply cannot afford to spend $80 billion annually on incarceration, to write off the seventy million Americans — that’s almost one in three adults — with some form of criminal record,12×
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to release 600,000 inmates each year without a better program to reintegrate them into society, or to ignore the humanity of 2.2 million men and women currently in U.S. jails and prisons13×
13. Id.
and over 11 million men and women moving in and out of U.S. jails every year.14×
14. Peter Wagner, Jails Matter. But Who Is Listening?, PRISON POL’Y INITIATIVE (Aug. 14, 2015), [] (compiling data retrieved from the Bureau of Justice Statistics’ Jail Inmates at Midyear Series 2007–2014).
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In addition, we cannot deny the legacy of racism that continues to drive inequality in how the justice system is experienced by so many Americans.
criminal  justice  law  Obama 
january 2017 by Quercki
Justice Dept. Shakes Up Inquiry Into Eric Garner Chokehold Case -
Federal authorities have been investigating whether officers violated Mr. Garner’s civil rights in his fatal encounter with the police. But the case had been slowed by a dispute because federal prosecutors and Federal Bureau of Investigation officials in New York opposed bringing charges, while prosecutors with the Civil Rights Division at the Justice Department in Washington argued there was clear evidence to do so.

Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch, who as the United States attorney for the Eastern District of New York oversaw the beginning of the federal inquiry before her appointment to Washington, has been considering for months how to proceed.

In recent weeks, the F.B.I. agents who have been investigating the case were replaced with agents from outside New York, according to five federal officials in New York and Washington. Federal prosecutors in Brooklyn are no longer assigned to the case. It is not clear whether civil rights prosecutors from Washington will work alone in presenting evidence to a grand jury in Brooklyn and in trying the case if charges are eventually brought.

The officials who described the reorganization did so on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss it publicly.
Eric_Garner  #BlackLivesMatter  police  killing  justice  civil_rights 
october 2016 by Quercki
Justice Department Says Poor Can't Be Held When They Can't Afford Bail - NBC News
Holding defendants in jail because they can't afford to make bail is unconstitutional, the Justice Department said in a court filing late Thursday — the first time the government has taken such a position before a federal appeals court.

It's the latest step by the Obama administration in encouraging state courts to move away from imposing fixed cash bail amounts and jailing those who can't pay.

Related: A Victory in Bail Reform for Criminal Justice Advocates

"Bail practices that incarcerate indigent individuals before trial solely because of their inability to pay for their release violate the Fourteenth Amendment," the Justice Department said in a friend of court brief, citing the Constitution's guarantee of equal protection.

A corrections officer removes handcuff from an inmate in his cell at San Quentin State Prison in San Quentin, California, on Aug. 16. Bloomberg / Bloomberg via Getty Images
The filing came in the case of Maurice Walker of Calhoun, Georgia. He was kept in jail for six nights after police arrested him for the misdemeanor offense of being a pedestrian under the influence. He was told he could not get out of jail unless he paid the fixed bail amount of $160.
justice  bail  poor 
august 2016 by Quercki
Why Racial Justice Work Needs to Address Settler Colonialism and Native Rights — Everyday Feminism
“To recognize one’s own role in the oppression of others is not about blame but about opening our eyes to see how power works and how we can redirect it so it doesn’t diminish us all.” —Shona Jackson

I am Taiwanese American, and I still struggle to make sense of what that really means. My relationship to nationhood and to space has been about trying to seek belonging and acceptance.
justice  racism  Native_American  colonialism  allies 
august 2016 by Quercki
Fact-checking the Democrats | The Marshall Project
“She fought, as a senator, against sentencing disparities and racial profiling.” — Eric HolderIn 2007, Hillary Clinton co-sponsored legislation to eliminate the sentencing disparity between crack and cocaine and the five-year mandatory minimum for first-time crack possession. The bill died. In 2010, Obama signed legislation that reduced the disparity from 100 to 1 to 18 to 1. Clinton has pledged during her campaign to eliminate this disparity completely and make it retroactive. Clinton was a co-sponsor on the End Racial Profiling Act several times while in Congress. The act would have created a federal ban on racial profiling by law enforcement, required agencies to collect data on routine stops and investigations, and allowed the Department of Justice to withhold grant money from agencies that continue discriminatory policing. It never came to a vote.
Hillary  justice  crime  facts 
july 2016 by Quercki
The Foodscape Argument: When Fatphobia Poses as Radical Social Critique - Food, Fatness and Fitness
According to the foodscape argument, low-income people lack access to nutritious foods and are therefore forced to consume an “unhealthy” diet, which causes them to become too fat. Certainly, it is true that many people live in food deserts (neighborhoods in which food choices are severely restricted), and this injustice urgently needs to be rectified. But the foodscape argument is not the emancipatory theory that it seems to be; as we shall see, it reinforces fatphobia, along with many other interlinked forms of oppression. Here are some reasons why.
fat  diet  social  justice 
june 2016 by Quercki
Lets Talk: At the Heart of Movement Building From French Fries to Fracking - Inspiring Movement Moments of 2013 - Lets Talk: At the Heart of Movement Building
Remember this spring, when the Associated Press finally dropped the I-word, and youth of color defeated prison-to-pipeline policies in Los Angeles public schools?

Or remember back in February when 50,000 people rallied in DC against the XL Pipeline?  And then in October when the protests of 5,000 young people linked the pipeline, fracking, and the whole mess of fossil fuel development?

How about September, when legendary Black activist Chokwe Lumumba scored a grassroots electoral victory in the Jackson, Mississippi mayoral race?

Or just this month, when fast food workers chucked the french fries and grabbed headlines and policy attention with strikes in over 100 cities?

Each of these moments is part of movement-building — the labor of love that keeps our work alive in quiet times, ignites movement sparks in loud times, and fans movement embers when the work gets really tough.
justice  immigration  oil  race 
march 2016 by Quercki
In oral arguments for the Texas abortion case, the three female justices upend the Supreme Court’s balance of power.
The case involves a crucial constitutional challenge to two provisions in Texas’ HB 2, the state’s omnibus abortion bill from 2013. The first requires doctors to obtain admitting privileges from a hospital 30 miles from the clinic where they perform abortions; the second requires abortion clinics to be elaborately retrofitted to comply with building regulations that would make them “ambulatory surgical centers.” If these provisions go into full effect, Texas would see a 75 percent reduction in the number of clinics serving 5.4 million women of childbearing age. The constitutional question is whether having 10 clinics to serve all these women, including many who would live 200 miles away from the nearest facility, represents an “undue burden” on the right to abortion deemed impermissible after the Casey decision. Each of the female justices takes a whacking stick to the very notion that abortion—one of the safest procedures on record—requires rural women to haul ass across land masses larger than the whole state of California in order to take a pill, in the presence of a doctor, in a surgical theater.

The morning starts with an arcane and technical debate that eats up most of Stephanie Toti’s time. Toti, arguing on behalf on the Texas clinics, first has to answer an argument—raised by Ginsburg—that the clinics were precluded from even bringing some of their claims. Between this and factual challenges from Roberts and Justice Samuel Alito as to whether there was any evidence on the record to show that the law itself triggered the closings of Texas clinics, she doesn’t have much time to get to the merits. So frustrated is Justice Elena Kagan by the conservatives’ repeated insistence that perhaps the clinics just coincidentally all closed within days of HB 2’s passage that she finally has to intervene. “Is it right,” she asks Toti, “that in the two­-week period that the ASC requirement was in effect, that over a dozen facilities shut their doors, and then when that was stayed, when that was lifted, they reopened again immediately?” Toti agrees. “It's almost like the perfect controlled experiment,” continues Kagan, “as to the effect of the law, isn’t it? It’s like you put the law into effect, 12 clinics closed. You take the law out of effect, they reopen?”
justice  abortion  law  supreme_court 
march 2016 by Quercki
Resources for Racial Justice
A Note from Paul
Sorgorea Te' Land Trust
Resources for White People About Racism
Christian Hegemony -- A Blog and a Book
racism  justice  links 
january 2016 by Quercki
The Justice Department just shut down a huge asset forfeiture program - The Washington Post
Asset forfeiture has become an increasingly contentious practice in recent years. It lets police seize and keep cash and property from people who are never convicted — and in many cases, never charged — with wrongdoing. Recent reports have found that the use of the practice has exploded in recent years, prompting concern that, in some cases, police are motivated more by profits and less by justice.
Previous research by the Institute for Justice has shown that when states have stricter forfeiture laws, cops are more likely to pursue forfeiture cases under federal law as a means of bypassing those stricter state restrictions.

In California, for instance, police are allowed to keep 66.25 percent of forfeiture proceeds under state law, but 80 percent if they opt for the federal equitable sharing route. And forfeiture figures reflect this: In 2013, California police forfeited $28 million worth of cash and property under state law, but $98 million under federal law, according to the Institute for Justice's research.
asset  forfeiture  police  DOJ  stealing  justice  budget 
december 2015 by Quercki
Hillary Clinton's Racial Justice Platform is Finally Taking Shape | The New Republic
The Reagan and Clinton administration laws—drawn up during a panic over crime rates and drug abuse—are still being used to send first-time offenders away to rot. But where once discussion about the disproportionality of sentences handed out to black defendants convicted of nonviolent drug crimes was primarily in the province of academics, lawyers, and activists fighting to reverse these biased policies, it’s nice to see that the topic has become a presidential campaign issue.

“The entire conversation around criminal justice reform is substantially different from what we've seen before,” said Nicole Porter of The Sentencing Project. “The talk has always been tough on crime instead of smart on crime, so it's encouraging that you have leading candidates acknowledging the need to revisit the nation's harsh policies and address mass incarceration.”

Jessica McGowan/Getty
To that end, Clinton’s second proposal was perhaps more to the point, seeking to interrupt the casual introduction of people to the justice system just because of how they look. Once a co-sponsor of the End Racial Profiling Act during her days as a U.S. senator, Clinton on Friday pushed for legislation to end racial profiling, stating, truthfully, that it actually makes law enforcement less effective. She underscored the psychological impact of the practice on marginalized communities in her remarks. “It is wrong, it is demeaning, and it does not help keep us safe or solve crimes," Clinton said in her speech. "It’s time to put that behind us."
Hillary  justice  race  BlackLivesMatter 
november 2015 by Quercki
The white man in that photo | GRIOT
The two Americans had asked Norman if he believed in human rights. Norman said he did. They asked him if he believed in God, and he, who had been in the Salvation Army, said he believed strongly in God. “We knew that what we were going to do was far greater than any athletic feat, and he said “I’ll stand with you” – remembers John Carlos – “I expected to see fear in Norman’s eyes, but instead we saw love.”

Smith and Carlos had decided to get up on the stadium wearing the Olympic Project for Human Rights badge, a movement of athletes in support of the battle for equality.

They would receive their medals barefoot, representing the poverty facing people of color. They would wear the famous black gloves, a symbol of the Black Panthers’ cause. “Take one eRachele”, Norman suggested. Smith and Carlos took his advice.

But then Norman did something else. “I believe in what you believe. Do you have another one of those for me ?” he asked pointing to the Olympic Project for Human Rights badge on the others’ chests. “That way I can show my support in your cause.” Smith admitted to being astonished, ruminating: “Who is this white Australian guy? He won his silver medal, can’t he just take it and that be enough!”.

Smith responded that he didn’t, also because he would not be denied his badge. There happened to be a white American rower with them, Paul Hoffman, an activist with the Olympic Project for Human Rights. After hearing everything he thought “if a white Australian is going to ask me for an Olympic Project for Human Rights badge, then by God he would have one!” Hoffman didn’t hesitate: “I gave him the only one I had: mine”.

The three went out on the field and got up on the podium: the rest is history, preserved in the power of the photo. “I couldn’t see what was happening,” Norman recounts, “[but] I had known they had gone through with their plans when a voice in the crowd sang the American anthem but then faded to nothing. The stadium went quiet.”
justice  history  Olympics  Black_Power 
october 2015 by Quercki
Team Bilal Robbed At Gunpoint In Oakland, CA Okayplayer
Yesterday afternoon during a video shoot for “I Really Don’t Care” in Oakland, Bilal and his crew were held up by four assailants while packing up equipment. Two of those four are apparently already in custody after a high-speed chase that ended with their vehicle crashing on the highway, and the Oakland Police seem to be on the tracks of the remaining two suspects (get the full text of the basic incident report below via Nixle). We’ve yet to receive a direct statement from Bilal, but we’ve spoken with his manager Hans Elder (also present when the incident occurred) in regards to the welfare of team Bilal and are gratified to know that everybody’s physically okay and appear to be in relatively good spirits as the police continue their investigation and attempt to retrieve the remainder of the equipment lost in the robbery.

Although nobody was harmed–and some of the stolen equipment has apparently been recovered already–during what was surely a traumatic experience, everyone involved is understandably shook up and should be granted some time and space to regroup following the robbery. It is worth adding that by all accounts the Oakland PD have been incredible through what was clearly a terrifying ordeal.
Oakland  robbery  police  justice 
october 2015 by Quercki
Trayvon Martin and the Irony of American Justice - The Atlantic
In trying to assess the killing of Trayvon Martin by George Zimmerman, two seemingly conflicting truths emerge for me. The first is that based on the case presented by the state, and based on Florida law, George Zimmerman should not have been convicted of second degree murder or manslaughter. The second is that the killing of Trayvon Martin is a profound injustice. In examining the first conclusion, I think it's important to take a very hard look at the qualifications allowed for aggressors by Florida's self-defense statute:

Use of force by aggressor—The justification described in the preceding sections of this chapter is not available to a person who:
(1) Is attempting to commit, committing, or escaping after the commission of, a forcible felony; or

(2) Initially provokes the use of force against himself or herself, unless: (a) Such force is so great that the person reasonably believes that he or she is in imminent danger of death or great bodily harm and that he or she has exhausted every reasonable means to escape such danger other than the use of force which is likely to cause death or great bodily harm to the assailant;
Trayvon_Martin  Ta-Nehisi_Coates  racism  justice 
september 2015 by Quercki
The simple idea that could transform US criminal justice | Tina Rosenberg | US news | The Guardian
As Pratt read the report on Red Hook, she felt a growing excitement. “Newark really needs this,” she reported to Crump. A few months later, Pratt went to Red Hook to see the court in action. It wasn’t just what Judge Calabrese did that was different – it was how. Calabrese, a big man whose instinctive mode of interaction is a verbal bear hug, sat at eye level with defendants. He congratulated them on each victory, no matter how small. He explained things clearly, in plain language. He asked defendants to tell the court how they had ended up there. He quizzed them on their plans for the future. Over the years, Calabrese became famous in Red Hook as the judge who actually went into the public housing buildings when handling housing matters. He asked defendants: what do you think is best for you? “I had never seen anything like that,” Pratt said.

Calabrese was using what have become the four principles of procedural justice: first, that people who come before a judge trust that the process is impartial; second, that they are treated with respect; third, that they understand what is going on and what they are expected to do; fourth, that they have a voice. Defendants find the procedure fairer when they are allowed to state their views. Experimental evidence shows that this is true even when they are allowed to speak only after the judge has announced their decision. No one likes to lose a court case. But people accept losing more willingly if they believe the procedures used to handle their case are fair.
crime  law  procedural  justice  solutions 
june 2015 by Quercki
This Country Needs a Truth and Reconciliation Process on Violence Against African Americans—Right Now by Fania Davis — YES! Magazine
Restorative justice is founded on a worldview that affirms our participation in a vast web of interrelatedness. It sees crimes as acts that rupture the web, damaging the relationship not only between the individuals directly involved but also vibrating out to injure relationships with families and communities. The purpose of RJ is to repair the harm caused to the whole of the web, restoring relationships to move into a brighter future.

Applied to schools, communities, the justice system, and to redress mass social harm and create new futures, restorative justice is increasingly being recognized internationally. In Oakland, California, where I co-founded and direct Restorative Justice for Oakland Youth (RJOY), school-based programs are eliminating violence, reducing racial disparity in discipline, slashing suspension rates, dramatically boosting academic outcomes, and creating pathways to opportunity instead of pipelines to incarceration. These outcomes are documented in a 2010 study by UC Berkeley Law School and a soon-to-be-released report by the school district. Oakland’s RJ youth diversion pilot is interrupting racialized mass incarceration strategies and reducing recidivism rates to 15 percent. (Based on discussions with folks who run the program—no studies as yet.)

Police and probation officers are being trained in RJ principles and practices. Youth and police are sitting together in healing circles, and creating new relationships based on increased trust and a mutual recognition of one another’s humanity.
Oakland  African-American  racism  solutions  truth  reconciliation  justice 
june 2015 by Quercki
A New Conservative Approach to Justice: Serve the Poor | The Marshall Project
With jails filling up, right to counsel gains favor.
The Senate Judiciary Committee will hold a first-of-its-kind hearing on Wednesday with a long title and a blunt new message: Conservatives now support significant reforms designed to strengthen the right to counsel for indigent defendants charged with misdemeanors.These low- or no-income people accused of relatively petty crimes represent a sizeable class of defendants in every jurisdiction in the nation, many of whom can languish in jails for months at taxpayer expense before they are even tried or convicted. Without adequate representation, they are pressured into guilty pleas, told their right to counsel is not free, and in many instances abandoned by harried judges who rubber-stamp convictions in the parade of cases they see each day. Here is Sixth Amendment Center director David Carroll’s new take on the scope of the problem.Wednesday’s hearing, called by the committee chairman, Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa), and titled “Protecting the Constitutional Right to Counsel for Indigents Charged with Misdemeanors,” confirms in several ways both the nascent conservative embrace of this issue and the urgency with which some lawmakers view the problem. Suddenly, indigent defense is being framed as a matter of economics and freedom from oppressive government overreach, a cause that involves “choice” and “vouchers” and the need to unburden taxpayers.
justice  law  poor  politics 
may 2015 by Quercki
Two Judges Who Get It About Banks -
According to court filings, the Holms fell behind on their mortgage in spring 2008 after a storm damaged the property. They quickly put together the roughly $10,000 needed to bring the loan current, and Wells agreed to reinstate the mortgage one day before a scheduled foreclosure sale.

The couple, who have a 12-year-old daughter, scrambled to do what Wells required: fax a copy of a certified check to one office and send it by overnight mail to another. The next day, the bank foreclosed anyway. Freddie Mac bought the Holms’ 5.5-acre property.

Lawyers in the Missouri case and the New York matter contended that Wells had moved to foreclose on both properties even though the bank had no proof that it possessed the notes underlying the mortgages. This is a common and often persuasive argument, given the documentation failures that were rife in the mortgage industry.

Another common element in such cases — conflicts of interest in mortgage loan servicing — also seemed to disturb the judge overseeing the Holm matter. An employee of Freddie Mac testified that it would have welcomed a reinstatement of the Holms’ mortgage. But Wells stood to make more money foreclosing on the couple’s home, an expert witness in the case testified.

“Defendant Wells Fargo’s deceptive and intentional conduct displayed a complete and total disregard for the rights of David and Crystal Holm,” wrote R. Brent Elliott, a circuit judge in Missouri’s 43rd Judicial District, in a Jan. 26 opinion. “Wells Fargo took its money and moved on, with complete disregard to the human damage left in its wake.”

In addition to $2.9 million in punitive damages awarded to the Holms, Judge Elliot gave them clear title to their home and almost $96,000 to be paid by Wells Fargo, representing the difference between the amount it paid for the property in 2008 and its current value.

Continue reading the main story
mortgage  fraud  bank  solution  justice 
february 2015 by Quercki
How Expensive It Is to Be Poor -
“According to the study, in 2015 the poorest fifth of Americans will pay on average 10.9 percent of their income in state and local taxes, the middle fifth will pay 9.4 percent and the top 1 percent will average 5.4 percent.”

In addition, many low-income people are “unbanked” (not served by a financial institution), and thus nearly eaten alive by exorbitant fees. As the St. Louis Federal Reserve pointed out in 2010:

“Unbanked consumers spend approximately 2.5 to 3 percent of a government benefits check and between 4 percent and 5 percent of payroll check just to cash them. Additional dollars are spent to purchase money orders to pay routine monthly expenses. When you consider the cost for cashing a bi-weekly payroll check and buying about six money orders each month, a household with a net income of $20,000 may pay as much as $1,200 annually for alternative service fees — substantially more than the expense of a monthly checking account.”

Even when low-income people can become affiliated with a bank, those banks are increasingly making them pay “steep rates for loans and high fees on basic checking accounts,” as The Times’s DealBook blog put it last year.
poor  class  money  NYT  income  bank  credit  economics  justice 
january 2015 by Quercki
Lateefah Simon: Youth advocate nominated as Visionary of the Year - SFGate
Simon to help start a program to help nonviolent, first-time, low-level drug offenders get jobs, enroll in school, attend parenting classes and otherwise improve their lives before they became embroiled in the revolving door of the criminal justice system.
“Our goal was to get people off the street. How do you do that? Turned out it was easy — you just ask them what they need,” Simon said. “Housing? A bank account? A job? Therapy? A gym membership, so you can take better care of yourself? We could help them get those things.”
Simon and her colleagues would go to court hearings and try to intercept young men and women as they met with a judge. In the one-year program, offered as an alternative to jail, offenders would take mandatory parenting classes, regular drug tests, job training workshops and other steps designed to help them “transition to a crime-free life,” Harris wrote in the Huffington Post.
If they completed the program, their felony charges would be dropped.
The program, called Back on Track, was immediately successful. Those who graduated from Back on Track had only a 10 percent recidivism rate, compared with 70 percent for those not enrolled in the program. It was also a bargain for taxpayers: The public pays about $5,000 for each participant, compared with the $50,000 or so it costs to keep a person incarcerated for a year.
social  justice  crime  solutions 
january 2015 by Quercki
6 Ideas for a Cop-Free World | Rolling Stone
But police are not a permanent fixture in society. While law enforcers have existed in one form or another for centuries, the modern police have their roots in the relatively recent rise of modern property relations 200 years ago, and the "disorderly conduct" of the urban poor. Like every structure we've known all our lives, it seems that the policing paradigm is inescapable and everlasting, and the only thing keeping us from the precipice of a dystopic Wild West scenario. It's not. Rather than be scared of our impending Road Warrior future, check out just a few of the practicable, real-world alternatives to the modern system known as policing:

Unarmed mediation and intervention teams

Unarmed but trained people, often formerly violent offenders themselves, patrolling their neighborhoods to curb violence right where it starts. This is real and it exists in cities from Detroit to Los Angeles. Stop believing that police are heroes because they are the only ones willing to get in the way of knives or guns – so are the members of groups like Cure Violence, who were the subject of the 2012 documentary The Interrupters. There are also feminist models that specifically organize patrols of local women, who reduce everything from cat-calling and partner violence to gang murders in places like Brooklyn. While police forces have benefited from military-grade weapons and equipment, some of the most violent neighborhoods have found success through peace rather than war.
police  alternative  solution  justice  society  peace 
december 2014 by Quercki
Guest commentary: 'Restorative Justice' program has become a vital tool for public - Inside Bay Area
Restorative Justice for Oakland Youth launched California's first urban school-based restorative justice pilot at a middle school in 2007, reducing suspension rates by 87 percent, eradicating violence and teacher attrition, and improving academic outcomes. These successes led the school board to adopt restorative justice as official policy in 2010.

Today, restorative justice is in almost 30 Oakland schools, with a growing infrastructure of staff at the district and school site levels. At a current RJOY pilot, a last-chance continuation high school, graduation rates are up and violence, suspensions, and racial disparities in discipline have been eliminated.

According to a school district report soon to be released, from 2011-2014, suspensions of African-American students for defiance decreased by 40 percent; harm was repaired in 70 percent of conflict circles; students are learning to talk instead of fight through differences at home and at school; and graduation rates and test scores are increasing while chronic absence and dropout rates are decreasing.


Oakland is also trailblazing restorative juvenile justice practices. Inspired by the successes of New Zealand's Maori-influenced Family Group Conferencing, Oakland's Community Works West has launched a restorative diversion pilot that is dramatically reducing recidivism.

The Oakland-based National Council on Crime and Delinquency is helping other jurisdictions initiate similar pilots.
justice  education  African-American  Indigenous  Oakland  crime  solutions 
december 2014 by Quercki
Police Brutality Action Kit | SURJ: Showing Up for Racial Justice
As white people, we must show up in the struggle for human rights and dignity, and demand an end to targeting people of color. This can happen in small and large ways every day.

Below are actions you can take in response to these murders and violence against people of color, ranging from one minute to a lifetime of action. Please join us in making a commitment to take one or more of these actions in this important time.


Get Informed

Short Actions:

1 Minute Action: Join SURJ

2 Minute Action: Sign petitions

3 Minute Action: Tweet

5 minute Action: Post a picture or video on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Google+, etc.

Medium Actions:

10 Minute Action: Donate to a racial justice organization

15 Minute Action: Get your ideas out there –  on social media

30 minute Action: Engage people in your life: talk about it

One Hour Action: Write about it – letters to the editor or online comments

Long-Term Actions:

One Hour+ Action: Take part in direct action or hold a house party

Ongoing Action: Support Demilitarizing the Police

Ongoing Action: Join a local organization and/or get involved with SURJ

Audrey Ward, Organizer at We are Guahan, Mother: “As white people, it is not too much to commit our lives to ending racism. It is, in fact, only right in the light of our history, and through our collective vision and action it is possible.
racism  justice  social  good  Ferguson  Oakland  police 
november 2014 by Quercki
The Miraculous Works Of The Criminal Justice System | Techdirt
First off, a person picked up by police (for minor possession) managed to commit (inadvertent) suicide with a gun he'd somehow kept hidden during two previous searches of his person.

The official statement from police said this:
“[Victor White III] was taken into custody, handcuffed behind his back, and transported to the Iberia Parish Sheriff’s Office for processing. Once at the Sheriff’s Office, White became uncooperative and refused to exit the deputy’s patrol vehicle. As the deputy requested assistance from other deputies, White produced a handgun and fired one round striking himself in the back.”
The police questioned his father at 5:00 am the next morning, never once mentioning White was already dead. Police did not allow White's father to see his entire body at the morgue, but what could be seen (White's face) had abrasions and bruising.

This somewhat miraculous self-shooting was made even more miraculous by the autopsy report, which showed something else entirely.
The autopsy report, issued by Iberia Parish Coroner Dr. Carl M. Ditch six months after the death, revealed that the bullet did not enter the body from behind, as police had claimed. Instead, the report stated that the bullet penetrated White’s chest from the front, perforated his heart and left lung, then exited through his left armpit and injured his upper left arm.
So, apparently White, with his hands cuffed behind him, shot himself in the chest. The coroner's report also noticed a couple of other things at odds with the official explanation.
According to the report, the forensic pathologist found gunshot residue in the wound, but not the sort of stippling that a close-range shot can sometimes produce. He also found abrasions on White’s face.
If you thought this miraculous event would have prompted a full investigation, your faith is sadly misplaced. Despite nothing agreeing with the official narrative, the coroner still found the officers' description of the incident largely believable.
Dr. Carl Ditch ruled that White shot himself, and declared his death a suicide.
police  justice  racism 
september 2014 by Quercki
Revoking Power in the Face of Harassment | Life as an Extreme Sport
But there’s an elephant in the room, one that people (at least on Twitter) are running up to briefly to tackle before retreating. And that is this: what should happen to Zivkovic? Should he lose his job?

To those of you on the edges or outside of this particular science online writing/blogging community, the answer might seem simple. But in reality, we are talking about a community where many consider Zivkovic a friend and credit him with their career. It’s a lot harder when it’s someone you know; I understand this (really, I do). But the problem is simple: Zivkovic used the influence and power from his position as the Scientific American blogs editor to harass at least two women.

A lot of people have questioned if he actually used his position as blogs editor to ill gain, but this seems pretty clear: the meeting with Byrne was supposed to be regarding freelancing/blogging work, and while contact with Waters spanned SciAm to SciOnline and general science community events, it certainly included his role as editor and mentor on Scientific American.

But it’s about more than just his actions against these two women, as this long, sad, and powerful thread on Twitter shows. Waters questions her talent in her post; is she where she is because she’s talented, or because she’s cute? The flip side is also true: many people are now talking about their doubt; how they wonder if they weren’t nurtured and didn’t get blog posts and exposure because Zivkovic didn’t think they were pretty enough.

This won’t go away with a slap on the wrist.

If Zivkovic remains in his role as Scientific American blogs editor, there will always be the question, people will always wonder: am I getting this because I’m talented or because I’m cute? Was I turned down because I am not pretty enough? Am I too old? Do I not smile enough? Did I earn this?

This isn’t about Zivkovic damaging the Scientific American brand, this is about the trust people have in Zivkovic-as-blogs-editor being broken. And as such, Zivkovic must no longer function in that role; he has shown that he is incapable of properly wielding the great power and responsibility of that position, and should be held accountable. Part of that accountability is removing his power and influence.
sexual_harassment  Bora_Zivkovic  consequences  punishment  justice 
june 2014 by Quercki
Shakesville: The Costs of Disbelief
To survive that sort of physical harm, only to be disbelieved by people who you trust(ed), by people who are tasked with protecting you, to have your lived experience be audited and denied, to be victim-blamed and suspected of lying, to have reporting the harm done to you grotesquely twisted into an accusation of attempting to hurt the person who abused you, can create lasting psychological turmoil from which it is harder to recover, sometimes, than the original act of violence.

The depth of that betrayal in such a vulnerable moment is difficult to convey, to someone who has never experienced it.

I also mean the costs beyond what is taken from individual survivors, when they are disbelieved.

I mean the cost of communicating to other survivors, when we publicly disbelieve one person, that they will be disbelieved. That there is no point to reporting the crimes done to them, because they will not find justice. And may instead find in its place an aggressive avalanche of hostility and suspicion and contempt.

I mean the cost of empowering predators, who are grateful indeed to everyone who participates in the systemic disbelief of survivors. Even if their victims report the abuse they perpetuate, their chances of being charged and convicted are vanishingly small, because of our cultural investment in disbelief.

I mean the cost of failing to stop predators, a majority of whom attack again and again. I mean the cost of creating more victims.
predator  rape  disbelief  rape.culture  violence  justice 
june 2014 by Quercki
False Witness | Feature | Oakland, Berkeley & Bay Area News & Arts Coverage
Many civil rights lawyers and social scientists would like to make double-blind sequential lineups mandatory in California. However, inertia is a powerful force and many police agencies don't want to overhaul their long-standing practices based on lab studies that haven't been extensively tested in the real world.

Proponents of double-blind sequential lineups, however, often point to Santa Clara County's experience as proof that the procedure works. In 2002, all police agencies in the county implemented double-blind sequential lineups, and they have reported positive results ever since. "We are very pleased with the protocol, and I think our police chiefs are as well," said District Attorney Jeffrey Rosen. "This reform has worked well in the big departments and the small departments, in the urban departments and in the rural departments .... Everyone should want to do this because it is the best way to do things." 
justice  prison  false_accusation 
july 2013 by Quercki
Exclusive: Meet the Woman Who Kicked Off Anonymous' Anti-Rape Operations | Mother Jones
While the Steubenville operation inspired other Anons to launch #OPJustice4Rehteah, it also served as a cautionary tale. "One of the reasons I wanted to get involved to begin with was that I didn't really like the way that the stuff in Steubenville was handled at all times," says the Canadian op's secretive spokesman and ringleader, whom I'll call Fawkes. "I'm glad that it happened, but I'm not convinced that all of the people who were implicated were guilty. I wanted the chance to work on an operation like this and have it go in a different direction."

For one, the Anons involved in the Parsons case have not publicized the names of the accused rapists. "We're not trying to inflict any punishment," Fawkes says. "We just want the police to do their job." (On April 12, the Mounties reopened their investigation, saying that a person had come forward with new information.)

Fawkes believes that it was a lack of cybersleuthing skills, not a lack of interest, that led the police to quit pursuing the case in the first place. "The reason that this is necessary and will continue to be necessary is mainly because the police don't know how to do that type of work," he says. "There's not going to be any justice available through law enforcement, so the public is going to turn to whomever it can."

"It has evolved into something that I think is like Batman," says comedian Roseanne Barr, who began publicizing the Steubenville rape in December at the urging of KnightSec. "Batman goes to City Hall and he challenges the people in charge to do the right thing, and then he flies away in his Batmobile. That's kind of what they are. They're just challenging the people in power to do the right thing."
rape  justice  Anonymous  Stubenville  Parsons  solutions 
may 2013 by Quercki
The Personal Is Political: That’s the Challenge: Roe v. Wade and a Black Nationalist Womanist Writer | Dissent Magazine
At the risk of sounding overdramatic, I’m going to tell you that I regret my lack of involvement in the fight for reproductive rights. Maybe I would have made a different choice if I had known about Florynce “Flo” Kennedy, a civil rights and black liberation movement attorney and co-founder of the National Organization for Women. Perhaps my ambivalence would have dissipated if I’d learned about Reproductive Justice, a women-of-color-led, grassroots movement that decentralizes abortion and focuses on “the right to have children, not have children, and to parent the children we have in safe and healthy environments,” as the pioneering SisterSong Women of Color Reproductive Justice Coalition defines it. After all, the Reproductive Justice framework was born at a 1994 caucus of black women. Among other results, that framework helped Asian Communities for Reproductive Justice organize Vietnamese nail salon workers to protest toxic workplace chemicals. It led to the formation of Trust Black Women, a collective that gave laypeople and sympathetic legislators the language they needed to deconstruct racist billboards that equate black women’s reproductive health choices with black genocide. If I had known that radical women of color were fighting for reproductive rights and health care outside of traditional, white feminist pathways, I think I would have been all in.
abortion  choice  race  justice 
january 2013 by Quercki
In Goddess We Trust: America's Spiritual Crossroads | Reality Sandwich
Perhaps what is needed is a reaffirmation of allegiance not to our nation's God, but to our nation's forgotten Goddess: Columbia, the Great Dove, the Maiden Martyr.

Thom Hartmann rightly points out that images of America's Goddess adorn the entrances to all of the major federal government buildings in Washington, D.C. She stands blindfolded, faithfully balancing the scales in front of the Department of Justice. She is the source of Inspiration and Knowledge displayed at the entrance to the Department of Education. She is the Goddess of New Life, abundance, provision and harvest who offers her cornucopia to her subjects at the Department of Agriculture. She stands guard atop the Capitol Building and from behind the Speaker of the House's podium. America's Goddess watches, protects and guides from atop her silent perch; encouraging her subjects to set aside selfish desires and serve her in faithful submission. In fact, the holy city and temple of our Goddess, the "District of Columbia," does not allow its citizens to vote based partly on the notion that all who come to the "district of the Goddess" should forfeit their individual egos and agendas and instead work for the Great Goddess and her agenda of liberty, justice and democratic self-governance. A song in her honor, "Hail, Columbia," was actually an unofficial national anthem up until 1931.

But who is she? And how is it that we as a nation have come to forget her, despite her ubiquitous presence atop the nation's most prominent institutions of power?
U.S.  Goddess  Columbia  Liberty  Justice 
june 2012 by Quercki
Go to Trial - Crash the Justice System -
AFTER years as a civil rights lawyer, I rarely find myself speechless. But some questions a woman I know posed during a phone conversation one recent evening gave me pause: “What would happen if we organized thousands, even hundreds of thousands, of people charged with crimes to refuse to play the game, to refuse to plea out? What if they all insisted on their Sixth Amendment right to trial? Couldn’t we bring the whole system to a halt just like that?”

The woman was Susan Burton, who knows a lot about being processed through the criminal justice system.
justice  crime  drugs  solutions 
april 2012 by Quercki
Politicized ‘Hate Crimes’, the OPD and District Attorney O’Malley | Hyphenated-Republic
Finally, angered by the relentless verbal abuse, Brontez spat on the car the two men were driving. One of the attackers then rushed over and punched Brontez, and began to return to his car. Brontez then struck the car with his bike lock; the attacker returned and attacked Brontez. As the attacker set upon his friend, Adal rode back on his bike to help, but was attacked by the other man and knocked off his bike. He blacked out and awoke covered in blood as Brontez was calling the police.

What would seem like an easy investigation, with a clear mandate for a hate crime charge, however, has astonishingly, from Adal’s perspective, become a nightmare of justice denied. Despite the fact that Brontez had made it clear that the attack had been motivated by their perceived sexual orientation—the department’s clear predicate to launch a hate crimes investigation according to its own rules—Oakland police were uninterested in even a simple assault charge. No supervisor was called, as departmental rules require in the case of a possible hate crime.

“The cop didn’t even want to talk to me” Adal says, “Brontez was like, don’t you want to talk to him? And the cop was like, no, it doesn’t matter.”

Despite having obviously severe facial injuries, and being covered with blood, the police

Xrays show the extensive damage to Adal's skull, where plates were used to reconstruct his face.

officer’s report said only that Adal had received a “chipped tooth”. None of his teeth were damaged, though his jaw, cheek and eye socket were shattered—another example of the shocking indifference that OPD showed toward the case.

Brontez and Adal were determined, however, to have the case investigated. Indeed, Adal argues that Brontez’s throwing the bike lock was a tactic to slow down the assailant’s escape long enough to get the car’s license number so that they could report their attackers to the police and prevent other attacks on their community.

“Everyone should stand up for social justice.” argues Adal,
hate  crime  Oakland  justice 
march 2012 by Quercki
Feds Withholding Evidence Favorable to Bradley Manning, Lawyer Charges | Threat Level |
The civilian lawyer for Bradley Manning, the Army private who allegedly leaked tens of thousands of classified U.S. government documents to WikiLeaks, is seeking to question the severity of the leak by requesting the government’s own internal damage assessments that reportedly contradict statements that Manning irreparably damaged national security.

Manning’s defense attorney, David E. Coombs, is attempting to get evidence from the government to defend Manning in his upcoming pre-trial hearing on Dec. 16, but says the government is stonewalling him.

“The defense has repeatedly requested the below discovery in this case, but the government has consistently responded with a blanket denial of the defense request,” Coombs wrote in the partially redacted filing.

The evidence Coombs seeks includes copies of internal reports conducted by task forces assessing the damage from and the classification levels of the 250,000 State Department diplomatic cables and 500,000 classified Iraq and Afghanistan war field reports allegedly leaked by Manning to WikiLeaks.

Published information about the various reports put them at odds with each other, Coombs notes. One assessment conducted by the Defense Intelligence Agency concluded that all of the information allegedly leaked was dated, represented low-level opinions, or was already commonly known due to previous public disclosures, while an official at another government office indicated that the leaks had caused damage to national security.

Coombs wants to use the DIA report, along with another unpublished one apparently commissioned by the White House, to ban witnesses from describing the leaks as more damaging than these official reports found them to be.

Manning is charged with 22 violations, which could get him up to life in prison if convicted.

The filing also sheds light on other likely avenues Coombs will use to mitigate or challenge the charges against Manning, including questioning the actions of President Barack Obama and Manning’s betrayer, Adrian Lamo.

For instance, Coombs seeks “known evidence tending to diminish credibility of any government witness including, but not limited to, prior convictions under Military Rule of Evidence (M.R.E.) 609, evidence of other character, conduct, or bias bearing on witness credibility under M.R.E. 608. Specifically, the defense requests the name and contact information for any law enforcement agent working with —.”

The name is blacked out in the document, but could be an indication that the defense will seek to discredit Lamo, a former hacker and prosecution witness who turned Manning in to authorities after Manning allegedly confessed to Lamo in chat logs that he leaked thousands of government documents to WikiLeaks.

In a section of the document that refers to the White House, the document seeks information about any assessment “given by any member of the government to —”. Although the identity of the person receiving the assessments is redacted in the document, a subsequent sentence seems to indicate it refers to President Barack Obama.

“The defense requests any e-mail, report, assessment, directive, or discussion by — to the Department of Defense concerning this case in order to determine the presence of unlawful command influence,” the sentence reads.
Bradley_Manning  justice 
november 2011 by Quercki
Who counts in talking about social justice? « Zero at the Bone
There was a thread in the conversation that had really been bothering me: the idea that “nobody cared” about those who had been trafficked. Well, I pointed out, at least one group of people cared, namely those who had been trafficked themselves. Pushing the people we were supposedly trying to defend and highlight into the oblivion of “nobody” was dehumanising. My point was noted, and then the conversation went right back into the language of nobody.

That’s quite telling: there is that ingrained dehumanisation of those supposedly being defended on the part of privileged people doing the defending.
nobody  justice 
november 2011 by Quercki
Justice is served, but more so after lunch: how food-breaks sway the decisions of judges | Not Exactly Rocket Science | Discover Magazine
The graph is dramatic. It shows that the odds that prisoners will be successfully paroled start off fairly high at around 65% and quickly plummet to nothing over a few hours (although, see footnote). After the judges have returned from their breaks, the odds abruptly climb back up to 65%, before resuming their downward slide. A prisoner’s fate could hinge upon the point in the day when their case is heard.
food  law  psychology  statistics  justice  lunch  decision 
september 2011 by Quercki

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