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Category Archives: Civil Liberties

Bail Reform: New Directions for Pretrial Detention and Release

Stevenson, Megan and Mayson, Sandra G., Bail Reform: New Directions for Pretrial Detention and Release (March 13, 2017). In Academy for Justice, A Report on Scholarship and Criminal Justice Reform (Erik Luna ed., 2017, Forthcoming).; U of Penn Law School, Public Law Research Paper No. 17-18. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2939273

“Our current pretrial system imposes high costs on both the people who are detained pretrial and the taxpayers who foot the bill. These costs have prompted a surge of bail reform around the country. Reformers seek to reduce pretrial detention rates, as well as racial and socioeconomic disparities in the pretrial system, while simultaneously improving appearance rates and reducing pretrial crime. The current state of pretrial practice suggests that there is ample room for improvement. Bail hearings are often cursory, with no defense counsel present. Money-bail practices lead to high rates of detention even among misdemeanor defendants and those who pose no serious risk of crime or flight. Infrequent evaluation means that the judges and magistrates who set bail have little information about how their bail-setting practices affect detention, appearance and crime rates. Practical and low-cost interventions, such as court reminder systems, are underutilized. To promote lasting reform, this chapter identifies pretrial strategies that are both within the state’s authority and supported by empirical research. These interventions should be designed with input from stakeholders, and carefully evaluated to ensure that the desired improvements are achieved.”

Paper – Environmental Personhood

Gordon, Gwendolyn, Environmental Personhood (March 7, 2017). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2935007 “Environmental personhood is the nascent notion of designating parts of nature as legal persons entitled to independent regard and consideration. Several jurisdictions, including areas in the United States, have developed versions of legal regimes granting rights directly to nature in and for itself. Protecting… Continue Reading

Paper – The Role of Human Rights in EU-US Bilateral Relations

Unger, Anna and Wallace, Stuart and Ziegler, Tamas Dezso, The Role of Human Rights in EU-US Bilateral Relations (August 31, 2016). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2935031 “This report aims to analyse the different dimensions and levels of EU-US relations, to survey the instruments the EU uses in this relation and to provide some recommendations for future… Continue Reading

Women’s and Men’s Earnings by Occupation From the 2015 American Community Survey

“In honor of Women’s History Month, the U.S. Census Bureau released today a graphic showing median earnings by detailed occupation from the 2015 American Community Survey. The occupation table shows the male-to-female earnings ratio for full-time, year-round workers in the past 12 months. Internet address: www.census.gov/people/io/.” Continue Reading

March is Women’s History Month

“The Library of Congress, National Archives and Records Administration, National Endowment for the Humanities, National Gallery of Art, National Park Service, Smithsonian Institution and United States Holocaust Memorial Museum join in commemorating and encouraging the study, observance and celebration of the vital role of women in American history.” Thank you, this month, and every month,… Continue Reading

New on LLRX – President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology Casts Doubt on Criminal Forensics

Via LLRX.com – The President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) stated in their report – “Among the more than 2.2 million inmates in U.S. prisons and jails, countless may have been convicted using unreliable or fabricated forensic science. The U.S. has an abiding and unfulfilled moral obligation to free citizens who were… Continue Reading

Economist Daily Chart visualizes Trump’s first budget

The Economist Daily Chart by the Data Team – Donald Trump’s ‘America First’ budget would make deep cuts to domestic programmes – Graphic detail “Stephen Bannon, President Donald Trump’s chief strategist, famously promised the “deconstruction of the administrative state”. On March 16th, the Trump administration took its first step toward achieving Mr Bannon’s vision by… Continue Reading

Handful of lawyers now dominate the docket at SCOTUs

“A Reuters examination of nine years of cases shows that 66 of the 17,000 lawyers who petitioned the Supreme Court succeeded at getting their clients’ appeals heard at a remarkable rate. Their appeals were at least six times more likely to be accepted by the court than were all others filed by private lawyers during… Continue Reading

New IPU and UN Women map shows women’s representation in politics stagnating

UN Women: “The number of women in executive government and in parliament worldwide has stagnated, with only marginal improvements since 2015, according to the data presented in the Women in Politics 2017 Map launched today by the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) and UN Women. The Map, which depicts global rankings for women in the executive and… Continue Reading

Statement of ABA President re: Eliminated Funding for Legal Services Corporation

March, 16, 2017 – “The American Bar Association is outraged that the administration proposes to eliminate funding for the Legal Services Corporation in its budget and calls on every member of Congress to restore full funding. LSC provides civil legal aid to people who desperately need help to navigate the legal process. Without this assistance,… Continue Reading

Federal budget proposal cuts programs and services across the government

Bloomberg provides a detailed, clear and actionable article, accompanying visualization and charts specific to These 80 Programs Would Lose Federal Funding Under Trump’s Proposed Budget – “U.S. President Donald Trump’s first budget proposal includes massive cuts across most of the federal government. The Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Agriculture face unprecedented discretionary funding… Continue Reading

MIT announces prize for responsible civil disobedience

“On July 21, 2016 we announced the creation of a $250K cash prize award for responsible disobedience. This idea came after a realization that there’s a widespread frustration from people trying to figure out how can we effectively harness responsible, ethical disobedience aimed at challenging our norms, rules, or laws to benefit society. And so… Continue Reading