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A Terrible Solution to a Failed Criminal Justice System

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File this under “Terrible Idea”. (As opposed to this “Great Idea”: An Interesting Alternative to Prison)

Over the weekend, the front page of the NY Times ran an article about criminal registries. A few states and local districts are considering online registries for criminals similar to the online sex offender registry.

The offenses being considered as grounds for registration range from arson to animal abuse.

The basic arguments for the registry are that the public has the right to know and make decisions about law breakers in their neighborhoods. If I don’t want to live near a dangerous (or not so dangerous criminal) I have that right.

The basic arguments against the registry? There are quite a few. Read…


27 Years Is A Harsh Sentence But Not The Only Harsh Sentence

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Cross-posted to DovBear: Harsher Sentences Are Not The Answer

This is what the shoe feels like when it’s on the other foot.

For decades, right-wing / republican / conservative / Judeo-Christian Valuists have talked a big game when it comes to fighting crime. Running on “Law and Order” platforms and promising harsh sentences for criminals was a sure way to gain support.

On the other hand, bleeding heart liberals have been trying to model the justice system after the softer Euro sentencing structures.

Traditionally, middle class white people support Law and Order style justice. Harsh sentences make them feel safer and they are less likely to know someone who will be incarcerated, thus they are removed from the effects of the harsh sentencing of criminals.

Lower class folks usually support softer punishments. Read…


I’ve Been Published! My Article On Felony Murder Is Online

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(what "publishing" meant before the internet)

There is a very ambitious fellow in our class at Law School. His name is Paymon Khatibi. One day Paymon decided that our class should start an independent journal of law related articles. We would write student notes just like the official Law Reviews and publish them online in a digital journal. Sounds easy, right?

Well it took a lot of work and management to have all the pieces fall into place. Incredibly, Paymon was relentless and did not give up on this dream of his. Today, that dream has become a reality. And for that we are all very grateful.

The Loyola Journal has been published online and is open to all readers. Read…


Murder In Jewish Law and United States Law

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Yesterday we began learning about Homicide in our Criminal Law class at Loyola Law School. Our Criminal Law professor is world famous Laurie Levenson (she is in the news very often). She is an incredible teacher and a very successful practitioner. Studying Criminal Law in her class is a privilege. (Plus, she brings baked goodies for the class and sometimes stops at Schwartz’s Bakery to get some kosher goodies for the two Kosher observant Jews in the class. Pretty nice!)

After learning the building blocks of Criminal Law we began our unit in homicide.

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