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February 2, 2022

Rounding up some good midweek reads

A busy week amid weather warnings means not enough blog time and too much to read.  So, making up for lost time, here is a round-up of some of what I have been reading:

From the ABA Journal, "Inmate's life sentence spurs him to push for felony murder reform"

From The American Prospect, "Michelle Childs’s Punitive Criminal Justice Rulings Were Repeatedly Overturned"

From The Atlantic, "The Other Speed Trap: America’s traffic laws hurt the poor, and don’t really deter anyone. But what if traffic fines scaled with income?"

From CNN, "We need to understand America's spike in murders"

From MarketWatch, "Tough-on-crime laws and mass incarceration waste tax dollars and don’t make us any safer"

From Slate, "9-Year-Olds Are Being Forced to Register as Sex Offenders. That Might Finally Change."

From Stat, "Despite Biden’s big promises and a far better understanding of the virus, Covid-19 is still raging through the nation’s prisons"

From The Washington Post, "Biden’s Supreme Court nominee should be a criminal defense lawyer"

February 2, 2022 at 09:52 PM | Permalink


9 year olds on the sex registry? Are people nuts?

Posted by: Federalist | Feb 3, 2022 2:58:04 PM

Federalist --

Yes, it is nuts, plenty nuts, but no more nuts than "sex education" for second graders, to teach them the finer points of masturbation, homosexuality and transgenderism. The problem with a culture that's gone crazy is that there's no obvious place to stop.

Posted by: Bill Otis | Feb 3, 2022 3:48:57 PM

Unfortunately, the cultural rot is deep in the Republican party, a personality cult devoted to a thrice-married reality star who cheated on his third wife with a pornstar.

Posted by: Culture | Feb 4, 2022 9:16:49 AM

Bill Clinton’s DOJ prosecuted people for lying about sex when he lied about sex under oath. And Hillary evaded the federal records act while foisting the Russia hoax upon the polity. This hoax was of course gleefully joined by the FBI and the DOJ and Joe Biden and many other ‘rats.

Trump’s peccadilloes pale in comparison.

Posted by: Federalist | Feb 4, 2022 12:14:54 PM

We had a bizarre case here in Kentucky, where the age of consent for sex is 16. A 15-year old boy was prosecuted for statutory rape of his 13-year old girl friend. Despite 2 years of age difference, they were only 1 grade apart in the same school. They "dated" for 2 years before deciding to have consensual sex. Most of the sex happened at the girl's home, because both of her parents worked outside the home. She would send her bf text messages, inviting him to come over and have sex. This issue is that if both kids are younger than 16, is there any crime at all? The 15-year old boy pled guilty. He was removed from his parents' home and placed in a Kentucky juvenile facility; he was placed on a sex-offender registry until he turned 18. His guilty plea was appealed from Juvenile Court to Circuit Court, and then to the Kentucky Court of Appeals and ultimately to the Kentucky Supreme Court. The case was affirmed at all levels until it reached the Kentucky Supreme Court. After the case was fully briefed and argued at the Kentucky Supreme Court, the Attorney General's Office (more than a year after oral arguments) sent a letter requesting that the appeal be dismissed for lack of jurisdiction. It seems that all of the other prior appellate courts in the case had missed the fact that the defendant's attorney had failed to preserve the issue for appeal by making a conditional guilty plea. The Kentucky Supreme Court dismissed the appeal (the boy was then 21) and we never got an answer to the important issue presented: if both kids are younger than 16, is there any crime being committed by either one when they have consensual sex with one another? And if the 15-year old boy was guilty of statutory rape, then why wasn't the 13-yeaar old girl guilty too? That boy's prosecution and conviction is just wrong.

Posted by: Jim Gormley | Feb 6, 2022 12:32:18 AM

Jim Gormley --

A 15 year old having sex with his 14 year old girlfriend should not be a crime, and no normal person who has ever been a teenager would regard it as a crime. A 15 year old having sex with a 7 year old should be a crime, and normal people would regard it as a sign of behavior that needs to stop right now. What exactly the response of the law should be is a more complicated question.

Posted by: Bill Otis | Feb 6, 2022 2:28:09 PM

Bill Otis: I feel that the Kentucky Legislature needs to step into that situation and amend the statutory rape statute to clarify the situation, so this kind of prosecution doesn't happen again. It just seemed horribly unfair and wrong to me. This was just teens doing what teens naturally do. It started when the girl's parents found nude pics on her cell phone and interrogated her about them. The girl's parents then went to the County Attorney to seek to have her 15-year old bf prosecuted. This just should not have been a crime.

Posted by: Jim Gormley | Feb 7, 2022 10:49:20 AM

Jim Gormley --

I'm a contrarian-type person, so I hate to agree. But I do. The legislature is the right place to look to.

Posted by: Bill Otis | Feb 7, 2022 2:24:34 PM

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