Category: crime

Is the Karen moniker more sexist than funny?

Count me among those who don’t find the “Karen” designation amusing. I think it’s sexist, anti-woman, and even dangerous. When I first learned of this social media trend, which has even been adopted by the regular media, particularly the tabloid press, a Karen was defined as a white woman who calls the police on black... Read more »

Let’s give it up to the brave journalists on the streets

The events and images of the past several weeks, coming on the heels of an extended lockdown and in the midst of the worst pandemic in a century, have left Americans reeling. In all the madness, I want to give props to a group of people that is getting largely overlooked in all the protesting... Read more »

Are cruise lines responsible when a passenger gets raped?

If an underage girl is plied with alcohol and sexually assaulted by fellow passengers on a cruise ship, can the cruise line be held responsible? This was the question at the center of a recent case decided by the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals. In December 2015, “K.T.,” whose exact age at the time is... Read more »
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Are mass shootings Twitter’s fault?

With three tragic mass shootings dominating the headlines in as many weeks, it brought to mind a recent federal court decision which didn’t seem to get much play in the media at the time. Many of these shooters feed their radical, hateful ideologies from content on Internet websites and especially social media.  But should those... Read more »

Tarantino's Manson movie invites more apprehension than anticipation

When I first read that director Quentin Tarantino was shooting a film centered around the 1969 Charles Manson murder rampage, I rolled my eyes. Why, Quentin, why? Tarantino, the former video store clerk turned directing genius, is one of my favorite filmmakers. But not only has this particular story been done to death (no pun... Read more »

A way to deter mass shooters: Stop giving them recognition

These mass shootings have become tragically routine. As have the usual gun-control debates that rage in their aftermath. Now a new proposal is gaining traction, one that could be a very powerful deterrent if only the mass media would heed it. These shooters—overwhelmingly male, mostly (but not always) young, often mentally ill and/or antisocial, alienated,... Read more »
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No matter how you spin it, Brendan Dassey's confession was unreliable (Part 3)

In law school, they teach us about established legal theories and landmark court decisions such as Miranda and the like, which are supposed to set the rules for the way we interact among ourselves as citizens and the way the government interacts with us. But these principles are on paper, and what’s on paper is... Read more »

The shameful police interrogation of Brendan Dassey (Part 2)

(In my last post, I explained that a 4-3 Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals decision released Dec. 8 held that Brendan Dassey’s 2006 murder confession was admissible and upheld his conviction, reversing a federal district court ruling that had granted Dassey habeas corpus relief.) For a very long time, I was one of those who... Read more »

Making a Murderer’s Brendan Dassey loses quest to have confession thrown out (Part 1)

Anyone who watched Netflix’s hit 2015 documentary Making a Murderer is familiar with the case of Brendan Dassey, a 17-year-old Wisconsin youth who was convicted of helping his uncle murder Theresa Hallbach. Last Friday, a bitterly divided Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals likely defeated any remaining chance Dassey had of having his conviction overturned and... Read more »
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