Friday Morning News and Open Thread
In the news this morning:
- Walter Cronkite Gravely Ill, May Be Near Death
- NY Times Blasts Supreme Court for Rejecting Right to DNA Innocence Test
- New Study Shows 88% of Criminologists Believe Death Penalty is Not a Deterrent to Murder. The study, by Univ. of Colorado Sociology Professor Michael Radelet, is published in the Northwestern University School of Law’s Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology.
Huffpo has more on the study.
“The deterrent effect of a punishment is really an effect of two things — severity and certainty — and it turns out that certainty is a more effective deterrent than severity,” Radelet said. “In Colorado, if we wanted to reduce the homicide rate, we would spend our money solving some of the 14,000 homicides that we know of that haven’t been solved. Anything we can do to increase the certainty of apprehension is a much better deterrent than taking people we already know will die in prison and spending millions to determine the date and cause of death.”
- NYTimes to Obama: Get busy on immigration reform. You owe it to the Hispanics and Latinos who voted for you.
It boils down to a simple question: If you accept legalization for the undocumented as desirable and inevitable, then why continue to put them through hell?
As they wait for a legalization bill, they are suffering under unjust laws, corrupt policing and a detention and deportation system that routinely suppresses their rights. American citizens who are Hispanic, and are all too frequently victims of racially-driven sweeps, are also suffering. Mr. Obama and his Homeland Security secretary, Janet Napolitano, must do much more to curb those excesses.
- Another sign of non-transparency from Obama: His Justice Department is fighting a Freedom of Information Act request in federal court, trying to keep CREW from obtaining FBI reports and summaries of Dick Cheney's statement to the FBI over the Valerie Plame Leak. The Judge held a hearing yesterday and was very unhappy with the Government's position. He's going to review the statement himself to see if there's any reason not to release the requested documents. The Government gave this ridiculous reason: They don't want the statements "to become fodder for Cheney's political enemies or late-night commentary on "The Daily Show."
- As for the clueless Washington Post today, it has a column by Paul Wolfowitz and another by Charles Krauthammer criticizing Obama, and Dan Froomkin is nowhere to be found. The Post has just thrown its credibility in the toilet. Maybe they're about to merge with the Washington Times, which just picked up the Weekly Standard. Billionaire Phil Anschutz, owner of the Washington Times, can afford to be partisan. The Washington Post can barely afford to exist at all, let alone lose not only its reputation but a good share of readers who are seriously angry over Froomkim's dismissal.
- Question of the day: Is anyone considering a pre-palm over an iPhone 3GS? AT&T rejected my request for an early upgrade. They said my bill, which is $101 a month, is under $100 a month before taxes. But, they did get back to me in 2 days like they promised. So, I can pay $399 now (for the 32 MG -- I like to take video) or wait till December and pay $299.
If you have other news to talk about, or want to talk about these stories, here's an open thread to do so. BTD was working yesterday and I'm not sure if he's freed up enough to blog yet. I've got some motions to write and clients to visit at the jail, but I'll be checking in here throughout the day.
Thanks to those of you who sent in birthday donations to TalkLeft this week, I'll be e-mailing out thank-yous over the weekend.
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