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Category Archives: Legal Research

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.”

Sentieo Trump Tracker: Follow The President’s Impact on Your Investment

Senteio Blog: “Today, we are excited to introduce the Trump Tracker. It’s a bot that constantly scans new public financial documents for mentions of President Trump. These documents include all SEC filings, conference call transcripts, investor presentations, press releases, and more. The bot instantly surfaces new mentions of Trump as soon as they’re published, while… Continue Reading

How WSJ visualized 500+ conflicts of interest of The Trumps

Storybemch explainer: “The Wall Street Journal recently published an interactive graphic showing the Trump family’s more than 500 potential conflicts of interest. In it, a galaxy of dots and lines show the complicated relationships between Trump, his children and a complex network of business holdings. Storybench spoke with Joel Eastwood, the reporter, and Julia Wolfe, the graphic designer,… Continue Reading

H.R. 1628, American Health Care Act, incorporating manager’s amendments 4, 5, 24, and 25

Follow up to previous postings pertaining to the repeal and replacement of the Affordable Care Act, today’s revised cost estimate remains grim: “CBO and the staff of the Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT) have prepared an estimate of the direct spending and revenue effects of H.R. 1628, the American Health Care Act, as posted on… Continue Reading

Social Media Info Guide to Tumblr

The Social Media Information Blog Investigator’s Guide to Tumblr – “Founded in 2007,  Tumblr is a microblogging and social networking website. The platform, which was acquired by Yahoo in 2013, allows users to share text, images, quotes, links, video, audio, and chats. Tumblr’s appeal is that it allows users to be creative and build independent… Continue Reading

Using data and design to compare corruption and transparency across 50 U.S. states

Storybench article: “With Senate confirmation hearings for President-elect Donald Trump’s Cabinet picks happening this week, questions of conflicts of interest and financial disclosure are top of mind. Northeastern University journalism professors John Wihbey and Mike Beaudet, along with Information Design and Visualization professor Pedro Cruz and graduate student Irene de la Torre Arenas, recently published an… Continue Reading

Brief – Who Gains and Who Loses under the American Health Care Act

Brief – Who Gains and Who Loses under the American Health Care Act, Linda J. Blumberg, Matthew Buettgens, John Holahan, Gordon B. Mermin, Frank Sammartino. March 22, 2017. “Congress is currently considering passage of the American Health Care Act (AHCA). This bill would repeal large portions of the Affordable Care Act, including most of its… Continue Reading

Innovations in Federal Statistics: Combining Data Sources While Protecting Privacy

“Federal government statistics provide critical information to the country and serve a key role in a democracy. For decades, sample surveys with instruments carefully designed for particular data needs have been one of the primary methods for collecting data for federal statistics. However, the costs of conducting such surveys have been increasing while response rates… Continue Reading

House GOP amended health care bill, but CBO estimates of coverage losses are not likely to meaningfully improve

Follow up to previous postings included in CBO Health Score – 14 million more uninsured next year under GOP plan – via Brookings – “Late Monday night (March 20, 2017) Republican leaders unveiled a “manager’s amendment” that makes several changes to the American Health Care Act (AHCA). The House is currently scheduled to vote on… Continue Reading

Official Corruption Prosecutions Decline: February 2017

“The latest available data from the Justice Department show that during February 2017, the first complete month under the new Trump Administration, there were only 24 new official corruption prosecutions filed by federal prosecutors. During the last two fiscal years of the Obama Administration, federal prosecutors filed an average of 43 official corruption cases each… Continue Reading

Supreme Court Appointment Process: Consideration by the Senate Judiciary Committee

Supreme Court Appointment Process: Consideration by the Senate Judiciary Committee, Barry J. McMillion, Analyst in American National Government. March 17, 2017. “The appointment of a Supreme Court Justice is an event of major significance in American politics. Each appointment is of consequence because of the enormous judicial power the Supreme Court exercises as the highest… Continue Reading