Law enforcement roundup

by Walter Olson on August 10, 2012

  • Domestic law enforcement use of drones should require a warrant [Richmond Times-Dispatch editorial] “Are license readers an invasion of privacy? ACLU asks police agencies to elaborate on use of readers, data collection” [Baltimore Sun]
  • “Sheriff Joe Arpaio is hands down my favorite Sacha Baron Cohen character” [Matt Oswalt, background]
  • “Protester accused of bank robbery for holding ‘You’re Being Robbed’ sign” [CBS Philadelphia]
  • “How a Single Oxycontin Pill Nearly Ruined One Man’s Life” [Mike Riggs, Reason] Good Samaritan shields could help in overdose emergencies [Reason] Milton Friedman on the Drug War [Tim Lynch]
  • After Washington Post exposed widespread unreliability in forensics, DoJ, FBI to investigate thousands of cases [WaPo]
  • Lynne Stewart 10-year rap upheld: “stark inability to understand the seriousness of her crimes” [Reuters, earlier]
  • “Illinois Supreme Court Upholds Eight-Year Sentence for Taking Pictures of Legal Sex” [Reason] One family’s nightmare with the sex offender registry [Mary DeVoy, Virginian-Pilot via Lenore Skenazy]

{ 7 comments }

1 William Nuesslein 08.10.12 at 8:33 am

The last item in the list about sex offender registers is a terrific and maddening. One unfortunate death was used to put in place a scheme that cost millions to administer and administers punishment weakly connected to any crime and subject to abuse. What comes to my mind is the poor woman who at age x+1 pleasured her boyfriend of age x. She has to register as a sex offender every time she moves.

The problem, and it is a problem with unrestrained democracy, is that anyone wanting to fix the problem of registration will be treated as an advocate of child molestation.

2 Ed 08.10.12 at 11:46 am

While one can feel badly for Mary Devoy and her husband, the flip side is what happened at Penn State when the State didn’t do their job. In 1998, a victim’s mother contacted the police about Sandusky, the police contacted the PA Department of Public Welfare, the PA Children and Youth Services, the Centre County DA and Centre County Prosecutor. Without any explaination Gricar the DA dropped the charges, the DPW doesn’t remember anything and the Prosecutor refuses to discuss the case. If they had put Sandusky on a manadtory watch list, all those kids wouldn’t have been molested. The State of Pennsylvania refuses to investigate even thought the Freeh report recommended it. Could it be because the police and other ran an illegal wiretap; could it be because the Governor was State Attorney General and dropped the ball; or, could it be becasue if they were found culpible the State could get sued for big bucks. It easier to blame Penn State and hid their negligence.

3 John Rohan 08.10.12 at 12:43 pm

I felt badly for the couple in the article, but the man did plead “no contest” to BS charges, and now he has to live with that. Big mistake.

4 Hugo S. Cunningham 08.10.12 at 1:58 pm

Some of the worst injustices of sex-offender registries could be alleviated if the registrant had the option to demand that the offense be described in specific detail, rather than just sinister legalese. Potential employers and landlords, scared away by “statutory rape of minor age 12-15″, might be willing to reconsider upon reading in the same registry, “convicted of voluntary sex at age 16 with high school classmate, age 15 years and 8 months.”

5 mojo 08.10.12 at 2:00 pm

“Eight year olds, Dude.”
– The Big Lebowski

6 William Nuesslein 08.11.12 at 4:51 am

Ed above has no understanding of the Penn State matter. The case against Mr. Sandusky was based on repressed memories. Ardent investigators lead by a political opportunist pressured young men until they got what they wanted. There were cases in North Carolina, Florida, Boston, Long Island, and New Jersey where the use of specialists brought forth memories that were, in the words of Mr. MeGettigan, hidden in shame. Repressed memories theory has been proven to be bunk.

The second problem is community madness. When asked to differentiate Penn State matter from the Salem Witch trial, one commenter said that the difference was that Sandusky was guilty. He missed the point that 19 people were hanged and one crushed to death in Salem after full blown trials too.

Back in 1998 two policemen were hidden in the house of the complaining mother as she talked to Sandusky. They were ready to pounce on him if he admitted that his genitals brushed against the boy in the shower. Nothing was covered up.

The jury determination with respect to victim 2 said they did not believe the anal rape but they did believe every thing else. That showed that was incoherent and showed that emotion overwhelmed reason.

The main problem is that juries follow the dictates of the community as understood by them. The OJ jury was a classic example. In Penn State the judge signaled to the jury that the stories of the accuser should be taken as real evidence. One guy took his little family to visit Dottie and Jerry, another boasted that he would get a Jeep out of it, and they all said their fancy-pants lawyer were to help with the media.

I am bothered that an innocent man is imprisoned and also by the inability to read of high education officials.

7 Assman 08.13.12 at 12:15 pm

Did Mike McQueary repress the memory of seeing Sandusky rape a 10-year-old boy in the shower?

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