June 22, 2013

  Daily Record and Sunday Mail – (Scotland)
Corroborating evidence in criminal trials could be abolished in justice changes

Long held to be an essential of criminal justice, corroborating evidence may be eliminated from the Criminal Code if Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill gets his way.  The Law Society of Scotland sees the change as a change in the quality of the evidence rather than the quantity of evidence and fears a greater risk of miscarriages of justice.   Government page on the Bill:   Related article: Herald (Scotland) – New criminal justice bill could abolish need for corroboration  

 Policy Mic (US) – Kevin Maloney
8 Of the Most Vicious Myths about Illegal Immigrants

The senate reform bill, all 844 pages ( ) , is attempting to de-bunk myths surrounding immigration and to reform a system in place forever.  Here are the eight most popular myths used to defeat the effort at reform.  

 Restorative Justice BC
Recommended reading page

RJBC offers a page with links to articles it sees as helpful to RJ.  Here is the link:  

NPR (US) – Jennifer Guerra
School Hopes Talking It Out Keeps Kids from Dropping Out

Educators have long known of the relationship between school suspensions and dropping out of school.  Suspensions are generally on the rise in US schools.  Ypsilanti High School in Michigan has a viable alternative: peer mediation in the conflict resolution room. 

 CBC News – Jeremy Allingham
Would you befriend an ex-inmate?

M2/W2 Association in BC has been befriending inmates for quite some time but now the volunteers are trying to establish the relationship after release and in the community. Four to six volunteers agree to work with a former inmate in a circle for up to 18 months after release.  Usually, the ex-offender has been inside for 10 years plus.  

 Miami Herald (US) – Andrew Welsh-Huggins, Associated Press
Ohio prisons privatize meal service to save money

Ohio is outsourcing the meal services in a bid to save money on its 50,000 plus inmates.  The contract allows Ohio to save 14 million by basing the service on $3.61 per inmate per day.  Aramark is the winning bid contractor.  Despite efforts to reduce prison population, the numbers are growing beyond the state’s own estimates. 

 Tampa Bay Times – Robyn Blumner
This is not who we are

Here are some insights as to why Obama is having a hard time to close Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.  46 of the inmates, says the administration, can not be brought to court – the evidence was tainted by Bush era torture – and yet they are too dangerous to release. We need, so the story goes, to trust the administration now 11 years later that the same situation endures. 

In the Battle of Racial Bias vs. Racial Justice in North Carolina, Governor Insists on Bias

North Carolina was the only state to prohibit racially discriminatory jury selection in the US.  ACLU claims it was the success in demonstrating in four capital cases the presence of bias by removing Black jurors from selection that prompted the repeal, “a direct assault on civil rights and racial justice by our government.”  Related article:  CNN News – Matt Smith  ‘Racial Justice Act’ repealed in North Carolina  

 Courthouse News Service (California) – By William Dotinga 
Day of Inmate-Reduction Reckoning in CA Looms

A three panel federal judge court has ordered the reduction of California’s jail population by 10,000 inmates.  Governor Brown and the Sheriffs’ Association are objecting vociferously on the grounds of risk without adequate preparation.  The decision, the third from the judges since 2007, follows a long running battle between the federal court supervision and the state’s prisons on the issue of overcrowding.  At first, the realignment, as it is called, was left to the state to plan and implement.  Now the state has until December 31 to comply with the specific target reduction. The state is promising more resistance. 

 Toledo (Ohio) Blade – Natalie Trusso Cafarello
‘Restorative Justice’ raises dialogue on equality

The three day National Conference on Restorative Justice (June 19-21) was focused on how a community and holistic approach can repair some the damages from injustices in race, ethnicity and class.  

 Dallas News (TX) – Editorial
Texas’ grim death penalty milestone

  On Wednesday, Texas’ 500th execution since national reinstatement is set to be carried out. The life scheduled for termination belongs to Kimberly McCarthy, whose grisly murder of elderly neighbour Dorothy Booth of Lancaster brings the state to this grim milestone.  It’s one that no other state may ever touch. Related article: Fort Worth Star Telegraph – Editorial   It’s time to halt executions in Texas