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Daily Archives: February 4, 2019

TAKEN: How police departments make millions by seizing property

Greenville Online – In South Carolina, civil forfeiture targets black people’s money most of all, exclusive investigative data shows“. The Greenville News and Anderson Independent Mail examined these cases and every other court case involving civil asset forfeiture in South Carolina from 2014-2016. Our examination was aimed at understanding this little-discussed, potentially life-changing power that state law holds over citizens — the ability of officers to seize property from people, even if they aren’t charged with a crime. The resulting investigation became TAKEN, a statewide journalism project with an exclusive database and in-depth reporting. It’s the first time a comprehensive forfeiture investigation like this has been done for an entire U.S. state, according to experts. The TAKEN team scoured more than 3,200 forfeiture cases and spoke to dozens of targeted citizens plus more than 50 experts and officials. Additionally, the team contacted every law enforcement agency in the state.

This yielded a clear picture of what is happening: Police are systematically seizing cash and property — many times from people who aren’t guilty of a crime — netting millions of dollars each year. South Carolina law enforcement profits from this policing tactic: the bulk of the money ends up in its possession…That money adds up. Over three years, law enforcement agencies seized more than $17 million, our investigation shows…”

State of the Union 2019: Live on YouTube

“Key moments throughout U.S. presidential history have been captured on YouTube, from visiting American troops and celebrating life’s achievements, to taking the oath of office and hosting world leaders. As President Trump begins his third year in office, this tradition continues. As we have done since 2010, YouTube will live stream the President’s State of… Continue Reading

Visualizing the Lifespan of a News Story

News Life Span: Which stories stay longest in the public view, and which ones fade away? – “In today’s “attention economy,” attention is a resource. Furthermore, trust in the media is at an all-time low—arguably the effect of the polarization of the political landscape and the spread of “fake news” in the Trump Era. Given this… Continue Reading

Attacking a Pay Wall That Hides Public Court Filings

The New York Times: “The federal judiciary has built an imposing pay wall around its court filings, charging a preposterous 10 cents a page for electronic access to what are meant to be public records. A pending lawsuit could help tear that wall down. The costs of storing and transmitting data have plunged, approaching zero.… Continue Reading

Colorado Senate passes bill favoring popular vote over Electoral College

The Denver Channel: “A bill championed by Sen. Mike Foote, D-Lafayette, is the most accessed bill on the Colorado legislature’s website and could eventually change how the United States chooses its president. “The bottom line is that every Coloradan should have their voice heard,” said Foote.” Senate Bill 19-042 …makes] Colorado the 13th state to… Continue Reading

The economic costs and benefits of Airbnb

Economic Policy Institute – No reason for local policymakers to let Airbnb bypass tax or regulatory obligations. “…In our cost-benefit analysis, we find: The economic costs Airbnb imposes likely outweigh the benefits. While the introduction and expansion of Airbnb into U.S. cities and cities around the world carries large potential economic benefits and costs, the… Continue Reading

What is it like to write a State of the Union?

Politico Explainer – “Every president will likely agree: speechwriters are the forgotten heroes behind almost everything they say in public. And no matter who the president is or what party he’s from, the writers have a huge lift for the State of the Union: to craft, arguably, the biggest speech a president will give all… Continue Reading

How to Succeed in Legal Writing by Really Trying

Lebovits, Gerald, How to Succeed in Legal Writing by Really Trying (September 1, 2018). Gerald Lebovits, The Legal Writer, How to Succeed in Legal Writing by Really Trying, 90 N.Y. St. B.J. 61 (Sept. 2018). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3277191 – “This column addresses how to make someone competent at legal writing if they currently are… Continue Reading