Last week, Bay Area residents had a disturbing reminder of a crime spree that terrorized Marin County women in the 1970s. While the police seem to believe that there's no reason for present-day women to be concerned, several locals disagree.
Assuming you believe that Hoffman got his final hit from Vineberg -- who can believe that if Vineberg wasn't around, Hoffman wouldn't have found drugs elsewhere? What is the point of locking him up, deporting him, and saddling him with a criminal record?
Young suspects like McCallum and Stuckey are like putty in the police's hands; they fold much more quickly under pressure.
For decades, "tough on crime" policies contributed to the explosive growth of the prison population -- and the amount of money we spend on locking people up.
Why did a self-described white supremacist target apparent white people at Jewish community centers? The answer is quite simple: Though Jewish people are members of every so-called "race," even Jews of European heritage have been and still continue to be "racially" othered by dominant, Christian-European-heritage communities.
The stupid things we say in person, or even by phone, are far worse when viewed in print -- indelible, encryptable print. Yet, people can't refrain from the ease of email or texting.
So what do we have here: an increased number of decisions to suppress, but fewer incidents of public displeasure with those decisions. So are times changing? Has public opinion, and thus political and judicial policy swung in the other direction?
U.S. Attorney Eric Holder announced the federal government would seek the death penalty against Tsarnaev. But the death penalty, even in this horrible case, is unlikely to serve the interests of the people of Massachusetts and the taxpayers of America.
Can you imagine how I felt when I heard that jury say I was guilty, when I knew I was in Florida at Disney World with my family when the murder was committed? I couldn't believe what was happening. It all felt like a nightmare, but one that I could never wake up from.
Despite warnings and near-constant reminders, many governments and first-responder agencies haven't thought thoroughly about communicating with the public during a crisis. In fact, most haven't even written a crisis communications plan.
The 'warning shot' protection does not extend to felons. Just because they have a criminal record, they can't be afforded the same self-defense privileges as those without a criminal past? That makes no sense, particularly for those convicted many years ago.
We need to increase awareness to the needs of victims and not just hand out plaques.
There is hardly ever a postmortem of a derailment in the criminal justice system, as there typically is when a train derails, or a plane crashes.
We seem to go a little nuts over weed -- I don't know why. And I'm afraid we're going to be reading lots of scary stories about it as more and more states make it legal.
While some researchers are looking for the fountain of youth, others are thinking that life extension will change the way we punish criminals. Philosophers and engineers are now exploring the possibility of making a life sentence in prison last hundreds -- and theoretically thousands -- of years.
As far as crime laboratories go it is not very impressive looking. And it is not very big, with a permanent staff of just three forensic scientists and a few interns. But the work product that comes out of the Veterinarian Forensic Lab at the University of California at Davis is important and it has changed the way crimes are investigated and prosecuted worldwide.