For Reason TV. On a pending New Jersey case: “I think it’s the first case of letting a kid wait in a car that’s going to any state supreme court.” Lenore’s now-classic appearance at Cato, “Stop Bubble-Wrapping Our Kids!,” can be viewed here.
- As condition of bail, federal magistrate orders arrestee to recant charge of government misconduct [Eugene Volokh]
- Possible life sentence for pot brownies shows “utterly irrational consequences of pretending drugs weigh more than they do” [Jacob Sullum, Radley Balko] Life sentence for guy who sold LSD: “the prosecutor was high-fiving [the] other attorneys” [Sullum]
- Do low-crime small towns across America really need MRAP (mine-resistant ambush-protected) armored vehicles and other military gear, thanks to federal programs? [Balko]
- Minnesota reforms its use of asset forfeiture [Nick Sibilla, FIRE] Rhode Island, Texas could stand to follow [Balko]
- If not for video, would anyone believe a story about Santa Clara deputies “spiking” premises with meth after finding no illegal drugs? [Scott Greenfield]
- Falsely accused of abuse: “He Lost 3 Years and a Child, but Got No Apology” [Michael Powell, NY Times “Gotham”; Amine Baba-Ali case]
- Two federal judges denounce feds’ “let’s knock over a stash house” entrapment techniques as unconstitutional [Brad Heath, USA Today]
- Oscar-winning “Dallas Buyers Club” should please libertarians and FDA reformers [David Boaz/Cato, Jack Hunter/Rare, Kyle Smith/Forbes]
- Don’t assume patent trolls won’t threaten pharma/biotech [Nicholson Price, Bill of Health]
- “Why are patients shut out of the debate over prescription pain medicine?” [Maia Szalawitz]
- A retrospective on the Satanic abuse panic [Richard Noll, courtesy Maggie McNeill] And why you haven’t read it at Psychiatric Times [Gary Greenberg]
- High-profile medical and custody dispute in Massachusetts over teenager Justina Pelletier appears to pit hospital against hospital [Boston Globe (autoplays), CBS Boston, J.D. Tuccille/Reason]
- Actual fertility procedure under FDA consideration doesn’t live up to hype about supposed “three-parent babies” [Nita Farahany]
- Study points to benefits of easing licensing constraints on nurse practitioners [Jeffrey Miron, Cato]
- More: Florida Supreme Court, long elected with support from plaintiff’s bar, invalidates medical malpractice limits [Miami Herald, Alex Stein/Bill of Health]
- Faking a Sept. 11 injury would seem basically as disgraceful as faking a war injury, no? [NY Post, Legal Ethics Forum; earlier on Ground Zero compensation here, here, here, here, here (2008 fraud), here, etc. ]
- “Illegal Aliens May Get License to Practice Law in California” [Volokh, earlier] A curious companion headline from only three and a half years ago, and also from California: “Government seeks forfeiture, managers’ prison time for hiring illegal aliens”
- A look back at the Keller Satanic-ritual-abuse case from Texas [Slate]
- Piacentile v. Amgen case “offers a little window into the ugly side of the qui tam business” [Steve McConnell, Drug and Device Law; related from same blog on case of U.S. ex rel. Watson v. King-Vassel, here and here]
- “Father and Daughter Sentenced in $1.5 Million Insurance Fraud Case” [San Diego D.A.]
- Michael McConnell in the Yale Law Journal on religious freedom;
- Child support law madness, Virginia division [Hans Bader]
The San Antonio Four, women released after more than a decade of imprisonment over child-abuse crimes they say they never committed, talk to NBC News. “Plea deals were offered, but they refused to accept them on the grounds that they were innocent.” One of the two accusers (pre-teens at the time) has recanted, the other sticks by her story.
The Massachusetts attorney general is now running for governor of the state after losing a Senate run three and a half years ago, so this makes a good occasion to revamp a 2010 post slightly so as to remind readers of Coakley’s central role in the Amirault travesty of justice, described so well by Dorothy Rabinowitz here. Earlier on the Amirault case here and here; on Coakley’s prosecutorial record here. More: John Stossel and (via Memeorandum): Bronwyn’s Harbor, No Quarter (citing views of Jeralyn Merritt/TalkLeft); Dan McLaughlin, RedState; Dan Riehl (Woodward, Souza cases). Yet more: on Coakley’s offer to a deal to one defendant on condition that the experienced defense counsel handling the deal agree not to represent a second defendant in future, see Scott Greenfield (characterizing the move as “a deliberate effort to undermine the constitutional right to counsel”), Kenneth Anderson/Volokh, and John Steele/Legal Ethics Forum. In 2010 we wondered whether Coakley’s Senate-race nosedive under critical public and press scrutiny amounted to the first time a Massachusetts prosecutor had paid a price for being wrong in the Amirault episode.
In Hopewell, Va., Mr. Montgomery spent four years behind bars after Ms. Coast falsely accused him of a rape eight years earlier, when he was 14. Eventually she admitted she’d made it up. “Coast however was sentenced by Hampton Circuit Court Judge Bonnie L. Jones to just two months in jail and ordered to make $90,000 in restitution for perjury. Jones suspended the rest of the five-year sentence and even allowed Coast to serve the remainder on weekends so not to disrupt her life.” [Jonathan Turley via Amy Alkon, Richmond Times-Dispatch]
“They will spend 10 years and all their money on litigation because of their inability to agree on anything,” a therapist predicted accurately. Yet more unsettling: the mom leveled false abuse accusations at the dad before eventually recanting. [Winnipeg Free Press]
- “‘Stand Your Ground’ task force offers no big changes to Florida law” [Orlando Sentinel, Tampa Bay Times]
- “Statutes of Limitations Apply Especially to Government Agencies” [Ilya Shapiro on Cato Institute amicus brief in Gabelli/SEC case] “The rule of lenity is violated when people go to prison for breaking ambiguous laws/regulations.” [Roger Marzulla, Federalist Society “Engage”]
- Sen. Rand Paul on the Missouri rabbit breeder case [Daily Caller]
- Mondale Act of 1974 (CAPTA) laid down basis for child abuse witch hunts [William Anderson, Agitator]
- Sententiousness vs. due process, plus a window into comments moderation at BoingBoing [Popehat] Background on State v. Fourtin [Gideon’s Trumpet first, second post]
- Massachusetts: “State’s Chemist Admits ‘Testing’ Drug Samples by Looking at Them” [Lowering the Bar]
- Plea bargaining: For Scott Greenfield, a showdown for justice at high noon turns into one of life’s little compromises [Simple Justice]
Four Texas women have been serving long prison terms since a 7-year-old and 9-year-old girl, nieces of one of them, accused them in a lurid tale of assault. Now, the younger accuser has grown up and recanted [Michelle Mondo, My San Antonio]:
“I want my aunt and her friends out of prison,” Stephanie, 25, said by phone last week. “Whatever it takes to get them out I’m going to do. I can’t live my life knowing that four women are sleeping in a cage because of me.”…
On and off the witness stand, the sisters changed their accounts of the timing, the use of weapons, the perpetrators and other basic details of the assault every time they told it to authorities, records show.
P.S. And another Texas recantation, of charges lodged during a bitter custody fight, the defendant has served more than 12 years of a 20-year sentence.