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September 3, 2023

A hot, long reading list for a hot, long (last?) summer weekend

The hot weather this weekend, at least on the east coast, makes it feel like we are still in the middle of summer.  But with college football and law school classes now in full swing, the Labor Day weekend certain has an end-of-summer feel.  Because I am on the road this weekend, I do not have time for full seasonal reflections, though I can assembled some interesting recent crime and punishment readings:

From AL.com, "Here is how Alabama plans to carry out first nitrogen hypoxia executions in the nation"

From The Marshall Project, "Ending the Golden State Era of Solitary Confinement"

From The Messenger, "Republicans Should Lead by Listening to the Voters on Criminal Justice Reform"

From The Nation, "Progressives Need to Have Real Answers on Crime"

From the New York Daily News, "Jeffries pushing to expand eligibility for expunging first-time minor drug convictions"

From the New York Times Magazine, "The Dungeons & Dragons Players of Death Row"

From The New Yorker, "Listening to Taylor Swift in Prison"

From PBS News Hour, "Departing governor races to move prisoners off death row in Louisiana"

From Phsy.org, "How Norway is helping to restore humanity inside US prisons"

From Reason, "Federal Prison Guards Confessed to Rape and Got Away With It"

From RedState, "The First Step Act Is a Resounding Success so Far"

From the Sacramento Bee, "Thousands of California inmates are sentenced to die in prison. Should some get to seek parole?"

September 3, 2023 at 11:17 AM | Permalink


And a nod to recurring anthem "Freedom" by Ritchie Havens

Posted by: Fluffyross | Sep 4, 2023 8:20:03 AM

Doug's view is that the rape victims had no right to defend themselves in prison.

Posted by: federalist | Sep 5, 2023 1:29:24 PM

Yet another misrepresentation of my views --- here I should just call it a bald-faced lie --- federalist. That you are so eager to make such misrepresentations over and over again in this space (under a fake name) suggests you are not an especially truthful person, federalist. Or maybe your feelings make you unable to process information without your distorting biases. Either way, I hope you do not make a habit of misrepresentation under your real name in your day job.

Posted by: Doug B | Sep 5, 2023 2:32:47 PM

Well, what rights did they have to defend themselves? Deadly force? Only way, realistically, to stop it.

Posted by: federalist | Sep 5, 2023 4:12:37 PM

I think all persons in prison have a right to defend themselves from unlawful force comparable to how persons outside of prison have a right to defend themselves from unlawful force. The definition of "unlawful force" differs in prison, but the right of self defense (in my view) should be the same under applicable statutes and common-law approaches to SD.

Posted by: Doug B | Sep 5, 2023 5:33:14 PM

But you'd be ok with subjecting a rape victim to a trial or prison discipline. That's not much of a belief in the right to SD.

Posted by: federalist | Sep 6, 2023 9:01:40 AM

federalist, I am "ok" with following the applicable law and relevant facts, not your feelings and beliefs. FFM.

Posted by: Doug B | Sep 6, 2023 9:56:22 AM

So rape victims who defend themselves can be punished . . . . ok, gotcha.

Posted by: federalist | Sep 6, 2023 10:35:13 AM

Not if they defend themselves consistent with the applicable law of self defense. Again, FFM, but your feelings are not the law.

Posted by: Doug B | Sep 6, 2023 12:30:36 PM

Au contraire: Ever hear of prison admin procedures? Think any punishment under that would be stayed? And wouldn't being prosecuted be a sort of punishment? You know, the whole retaliation thing? By the by, applicable statutes allow deadly force to be used to prevent sexual assault . . . . should rape victims be put in fear of LWOP or even death if they use deadly force to prevent rape?

Posted by: federalist | Sep 6, 2023 1:01:13 PM

Are you asserting, federalist, that simply starting a prosecution (or an investigation) qualifies as "punishment" for legal purposes? Or are you just giving your latest feelings about what should count as "punishment" (and for only people in prison or for all people)? FFM.

Posted by: Doug B | Sep 6, 2023 2:46:13 PM

First of all, Doug, prosecution can be punishment--or I guess you never heard of the tort of malicious prosecution? And yes, prosecution can be punishment in the context of retaliation or exercise of rights.

And notice how you just elide over the admin procedures . . . .

DFM--the idea that Congress, sub silentio, banned appeal right waivers in the context of a plea deal.

Posted by: federalist | Sep 6, 2023 3:37:07 PM

for exercise of rights

Posted by: federalist | Sep 6, 2023 3:37:47 PM

federalist: the tort is called "malicious prosecution," not "malicious punishment." Are you now asserting all torts are punishment?

Debating the silly semantics of your feelings and peculiar assertions is a poor use of time --- in part because your feelings rarely make much logical sense or have much semantic clarity. Perhaps that is why you shrink from the suggestions that you write up your claims with rigor under a real name. FFM.

Posted by: Doug B | Sep 6, 2023 4:38:19 PM

Oh good grief, Doug. Would you want to be prosecuted if you, you know, reported a rape of one of your family members? Or if you used SD to prevent one of your family members from being raped?

Posted by: federalist | Sep 7, 2023 9:49:24 AM

I suspect nobody wants to be prosecuted, federalist, whether they committed a criminal offense or did not do so. But I am not aware of any legal doctrines that consider the investigatory and prosecutorial process to be "punishment." Again, you are sloppy with your legal semantics.

I believe you seek to advance the notion that, in any seemingly clear cases of self defense, prosecutors ought not even pursue an investigation/prosecution because doing so is a hardship to the person acting in self-defense. That is reasonable view, and one you could lawfully effectuate if you were a prosecutor. But many prosecutors, I surmise, are disinclined to see many SD cases as clear. I teach a number of classic SD cases in my 1L class where prosecutors pursued charges on facts that seemed pretty clear -- eg, People v. La Voie, 395 P.2d 1001 (1964); State v. Thomas, 77 Ohio St. 3d 323 (1997). The La Voie case documents that courts can check prosecutors in this setting (and, as you should know, I am always keen on courts checking prosecutors).

Posted by: Doug B | Sep 7, 2023 10:27:45 PM

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