judith_s: (Owl)
it just makes me depressed.

The facts of this case include some disturbing stuff. )

In other words, no matter how obviously the prosecution breaks the law -- and this was pretty blatant, permitting perjury and not handing over an accomplice's statement -- if you could've discovered this earlier, you cannot use it for an appeal. In other words, you had better get a decent lawyer the first time around, or you'll get executed even if the evidence points to your innocence, because the courts won't consider the evidence.

Did I mention that it's against the law for any official of the court to permit perjured testimony? How do we get these fuckers disbarred again?
judith_s: (Default)
We're back to 1942, except this time we are not in war that can be won & the enemy is anyone that the President declares an enemy. Apparently legal residents of the U.S. (like my parents) could be randomly declared "enemy combatants," locked up indefinitely with no right of habeas corpus, no right to be confronted with their alleged "crimes," and with a likelihood of being tortured.

I'm very disappointed in the Democrats for failing to filibuster this abomination of a bill. But more so in the few "moderate" Republicans and Democrats, some of whom spoke out against the bill, who voted for this piece of excrement.

We've never in the history of this country given this much power to a president, to arbitrarily declare the metes and bounds of a treaty, and the identity of the enemy who can be deprived of rights.

Be careful, if you vote the wrong way, you too may be declared an enemy combatant. Apparently selling satellite TV services that include Middle Eastern channels, donating money to a 501(c)(3) that works in the wrong country, or possibly joining the Quakers can get you declared as an enemy combatant these days.
judith_s: (Default)
In a rather significant departure from precedent, the Supreme Court held in a 5-4 decision that if the police fails to obey the knock & announce rule (knock & wait for enough time for someone to reach the door before knocking it down), it will not exclude the evidence they find. Apparently fruit of the poisonous tree is just fine to eat now.

The analysis in Scalia's majority opinion hints at some major future changes. According to the opinion, the key query is not whether the law was obeyed but whether "the interest that a constitutional right serves will, in fact, be directly advanced by barring the evidence obtained from a violation of that right." Here the interest according to the court is "not to be caught in your nightgown." And since excluding the evidence doesn't advance that right, the evidence is not excluded.

Short summary: exclusionary rule has been gutted. Expect more doors to be broken down in the near future.
judith_s: (Default)
In case you haven't seen it, Wired published a large chunk of the data that is under seal in the EFF v. AT&T lawsuit. I expect that there will be a complaint against Wired, with attempts to find out who the anonymous informant was who provided this data.

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