Accurate, Focused Research on Law, Technology and Knowledge Discovery Since 2002

Daily Archives: October 23, 2018

Philly DA Larry Krasner’s Campaign to End Mass Incarceration

The New Yorker – Philadelphia’s District Attorney reinvents the role of the modern prosecutor: “…In 2015, Philadelphia had the highest incarceration rate of America’s ten largest cities. As its population grew more racially diverse and a new generation became politically active, its “tough on crime” policies fell further out of synch with its residents’ views. During Krasner’s campaign, hundreds of people—activists he had represented, supporters of Bernie Sanders, Black Lives Matter leaders, former prisoners—knocked on tens of thousands of doors on his behalf. Michael Coard, a left-wing critic of the city’s criminal-justice system, wrote in the Philadelphia Tribune that Krasner was the “blackest white guy I know.” The composer and musician John Legend, a University of Pennsylvania graduate, tweeted an endorsement. In the three weeks before the primary, a PAC funded by the liberal billionaire George Soros spent $1.65 million on pro-Krasner mailers and television ads. Strangers started recognizing him on the street. He trounced his six opponents in the primary, and went on to win the general election, on November 7, 2017, with seventy-five per cent of the vote. He was sworn in on January 1, 2018, by his wife.

…Krasner’s first initiative was to eliminate cash bail for most nonviolent crimes. “We don’t imprison the poor in the United States for the so-called crime of poverty,” he said. In March, he sent a memo to his staff outlining his policies, which he described as “an effort to end mass incarceration and bring balance back to sentencing.” Few of the ideas were truly new—many progressive prosecutors have stopped prosecuting people for possessing small amounts of marijuana, for instance, or have increased the number of people diverted from prison into drug-rehab programs—but the memo caught on in criminal-justice circles, arguably because of one recommendation: each time a prosecutor wanted to send somebody to prison, he had to calculate the cost of that imprisonment (an estimated forty-two thousand dollars per inmate per year), state it aloud in court, and explain the “unique benefits” of the punishment. James Forman, Jr., the author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning study of race and criminal justice “Locking Up Our Own,” teaches at Yale Law School. He assigned the memo as reading in his criminal-law class. Krasner’s suggestion was powerful, Forman told me: “Nobody seems to ask the questions of prison that we ever ask of any other aspect of the system. Nobody says, ‘Well, if prison didn’t work last time, maybe we shouldn’t try it the next time.’ “

New on LLRX – AI’s Third Wave: A Perspective From The World Of Law

Via LLRX –  AI’s Third Wave: A Perspective From The World Of Law – Itai Gurari begins his article with a reference to DARPA’s recent announcement of interest in “researching and developing ‘third wave’ AI theory and applications that address the limitations of first and second wave technologies by making it possible for machines to… Continue Reading

Firefox 63 arrives with Enhanced Tracking Protection, search shortcuts, and Picture-in-Picture on Android

VentureBeat: “Mozilla today launched Firefox 63 for Windows, Mac, Linux, and Android. The release brings Enhanced Tracking Protection, performance improvements on Windows and macOS, search shortcuts, and Picture-In-Picture on Android. Firefox 63 for the desktop is available for download now on, and all existing users should be able to upgrade to it automatically. As… Continue Reading

Study – Almost 9 in 10 Android Apps Are Able To Share Data With Google

Third Party Tracking in the Mobile Ecosystem. Reuben Binns, Ulrik Lyngs, Max Van Kleek, Jun Zhao, Timothy Libert, Nigel Shadbolt. 18 October 2018. “Third party tracking allows companies to identify users and track their behaviour across multiple digital services. This paper presents an empirical study of the prevalence of third-party trackers on 959,000 apps from… Continue Reading

New govinfo API

October 22, 2018 – A tour of the new govinfo API – Jump to: Introduction | Definitions | Example: Federal Register | Example: Congressional Record | Wrapping Up Highlights “Try the govinfo API for easier access to documents and metadata from all three branches of the Federal Government. Use the API to request lists of… Continue Reading

Protecting Older Consumers: 2017-2018: A Report to Congress of the Federal Trade Commission

“A new report released today by the Federal Trade Commission details the agency’s comprehensive efforts to protect older consumers from fraud, identity theft, and other problems in the marketplace. The report, Protecting Older Consumers 2017-2018: A Report of the Federal Trade Commission, outlines the FTC’s research, law enforcement, and education efforts aimed at protecting older… Continue Reading

NCSL’s Redistricting Legislation Database

National Conference of State Legislatures: “This database contains state legislation related to redistricting. Bills found here deal with redistricting-related issues from 2018 onward. Bill information for the current year is updated each Tuesday. New measures are added as they are introduced or identified by NCSL staff. Bills may appear twice in carry-over states. In these… Continue Reading