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.
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.
I was deeply moved by your efforts to educate prisoners on their rights at the federal prison in North Carolina where you were held before being transferred to Montgomery, Ala. And I wasn't surprised to see those efforts it landed you in solitary confinement.
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.
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.
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.
One of the things I impress upon people is what never to do, and what TO do, if they suspect they're being followed on foot or by car.
We need to increase awareness to the needs of victims and not just hand out plaques.
In the film 12 Angry Men, a lone man is able to convince his fellow jurors to switch their votes from guilty to not guilty. But in some places, the movie would have been much shorter and the result different -- because in those states, 10 out of 12 jurors voting guilty is enough to send a person away to prison for the rest of his life.
I know that for Shelia's sake I must go on. I know that she would want me to do something to somehow bring a positive change out of this unspeakable horror.
In the mid-nineties, the "superpredator" myth was premised on junk science and inaccurate predictions based on demographics that forecasted an increase in violence by urban teenagers who were "fatherless, Godless, and jobless."
With news that another shooting tragedy has hit Ft. Hood, my heart is breaking for the families of those who were wounded and killed by a gunman who is said to have purchased a gun, off-base, brought it on to the base, and unleashed carnage. While many details are still unknown, it is too early to talk about what may have triggered this incident and what, specifically, could have stopped it. But even when we do know all the details, until civilian law matches military law on guns, we unfortunately must brace ourselves for the possibility of more of these tragedies.
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.
Samantha Geimer's story matters to the public not because the man who raped her was famous, but for the lessons it has to teach us about recovering from abuse.