I was hoping to say more about the latest in Syria, but Halloween weekend won that battle. I just finished this book as well, so no way to pull my thoughts together with two kids jacked up on candy and stuck in the house because of the rain. Hope to pull it off for a later one.
Here’s what’s been happening the last two weeks…
A UN proposal suggesting that all countries decriminalize drug use and possession will not be considered. Details of the proposal were leaked by Richard Branson, who is devoting a lot of time and energy to ending mass incarceration.
Danielle Allen writes about how the war on drugs leads to much of the violent crime that also fills our prisons.
Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor writes about the death of Freddie Gray and the fight for black liberation.
Samuel Sinyangwe debunks the “Ferguson effect”.
Tim Lynch writes about a hearing in the Senate Judiciary Committee on sentencing reform. Mary Clane Jalonick has more. Daniel Denvir discusses the difficult parts of reducing mass incarceration. Nick Pinto explores why it’s so difficult to get there.
A group of high level law enforcers and prosecutors in the U.S. are calling for criminal justice reforms.
Chris McDaniel and Tasneem Nashrulla write about the mysterious business in India that’s selling death-penalty drugs to Nebraska. In Ohio, the Senate President suggested heroin as a potential alternative. States are hiring lawyers to try to explore what’s legal for them when it comes to obtaining these drugs.
Cyrus Farivar writes about the dismissal of an anti-surveillance lawsuit brought by Wikimedia against the NSA.
Jason Koebler writes about the troubling “cybersecurity” bill that passed in the Senate this week.
Muckrock has an extensive roundup of information on cell phone surveillance capabilities. Joseph Cox writes more about the latest capabilities with social media apps.
A Hawaiian police officer is being investigated for arresting two lesbians for kissing in public.
A petition has been started to demand a pardon for the victims of the Kettle Falls Five medical marijuana prosecution.
A woman in California is suing a highway patrol officer after she claims that, during a DUI traffic stop, he opened her phone and forwarded private photos of the woman to himself.
A California police department is issuing nunchucks to officers.
Beryl Lipton writes about a private prison coming to California. Kelly Davis finds more horror stories coming out of California prisons.
Erica Hellerstein writes about the Oklahoma prosecutor who’s sent dozens of people to death row in his career.
Radley Balko writes about a Missouri man who was falsely accused of sexual misconduct trying to clear his name.
A former St. Louis prosecutor plead guilty in a case where she covered up a police beating.
Also in St. Louis, a police officer attempting to shoot a dog shot a person instead.
The DEA raided hemp farms on Wisconsin tribal lands.
University of Illinois professor Steven Saliata, fired for his opinions on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, would welcome the opportunity to go back to the university.
Prosecutors in Cleveland are finally presenting evidence to a grand jury in the videotaped murder of 12-year-old Tamir Rice by a Cleveland police officer. Jaeah Lee writes about why public anger is not likely to subside any time soon.
In Kentucky, a prosecutor stated in court that driving while hispanic is probable cause for pulling someone over.
An Alabama judge is accused of forcing people to give blood as a way to avoid jail.
An Alabama police officer who severely injured an Indian national visiting his relatives is being retried after the first trial ended in a jury deadlock.
Wesley Lowery writes about the killing of musician Corey Jones by a plainclothes cop in Florida after his car broke down on the freeway. The officer had been reported for multiple violations at a previous job. Jones’ lawyer alleges that the officer did not have his badge either.
An Orlando police officer was acquitted of using excessive force against a handcuffed suspect.
An Atlanta police officer is shown releasing a handcuffed suspect after noticing that he was being filmed.
CJ Ciaramella writes about seven prisoners in South Carolina who got a combined 20 years in solitary confinement for making a rap video.
Sharon LaFraniere and Andrew Lehren write about the stark racial disparities in how police in Greensboro, NC treat its citizens.
Christopher Ingraham writes about the racial disparities in Virginia’s ramped up marijuana enforcement.
A video shows Maryland police officers improperly arresting someone for trying to assert their rights during a stop.
Theodore Hamm and Alex Vitale look at the racial disparities in marijuana enforcement across different neighborhoods in New York.
Corey Robin writes about police spying on Muslims at Brooklyn College.
Julie Netherland writes about the potential safe-injection facility for addicts in New York City, which would be the first in the United States.
Scott Shackford writes about NYPD secrecy over the use of X-Ray emitting equipment used to search cars and buildings.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo commuted two sentences for the first time in office.
German Lopez writes about the potential impact of Canada legalizing marijuana under its new Liberal government. Cory Doctorow writes about the concerns over internet freedom with the Liberals in power.
Police in Toronto harassed some men who were legally filming an arrest.
British resident Shaker Aamer was released from Guantanamo Bay.
In London, several protestors were arrested during the visit of Chinese President Xi Jinping.
Also in England, the BBC did nothing to prevent police from seizing the laptop of one of its reporters.
Germany is investigating another potential instance of UK-US spying involving a computer virus known to be used by NSA and GCHQ.
Megan Specia writes about the violent arrest and release of a Turkish journalist.
A drone strike in Syria killed an alleged al-Qaeda leader.
In Yemen, a hospital run by Doctors without Borders was bombed by Saudi forces. Lee Fang writes about how American defense contractors brush aside the humanitarian concerns over Saudi actions. Richard Norton-Taylor has more.
Raif Badawi, a Saudi blogger, continues to serve a 10 year jail sentence along with 1,000 lashes.
Michael Wahid Hanna argues for downgrading our relationship with the increasingly totalitarian nightmare of a government in Egypt.
Police in Uganda are interfering with legitimate political activities.
Iran appears to be on track to execute 1,000 people this year.
Jason Cone calls for an investigation into the hospital bombing in Kunduz, Afghanistan by U.S. forces. This week, it was revealed that American forces were aware it was a hospital at the time it was attacked.
The Myanmar government is accused of committing genocide against Rohingya Muslims.
China is the worst in the world among developed countries when it comes to internet freedom.
Simon Denyer writes about the damage caused by China’s one-child policy over the years.
Helen Davidson writes about mass incarceration and racial disparities in the Northern Territory of Australia.
Court records show that police illegally searched the bank records of a New Zealand journalist.