The wife and the little ones all managed to get sick for much of the last two weeks, so I’m just barely caught up with my bookmark list in the last few days. Should be able to do some commentary in the next roundup. News items from the last two weeks below the jump…
Radley Balko asks a few questions that each presidential candidate should answer.
Ta-Nehisi Coates writes about the difficulty of police reform in a society that expects complex social problems to be solved by a deference to authority.
Adam Johnson writes about the fake ISIS plots set up by the FBI and how it helps exaggerate the danger the group actually poses to Americans here at home. Jana Winter looks at one recent instance.
Lincoln Caplan argues against the death penalty.
Jana Winter and Cora Currier write about the SPOT program, TSA’s unscientific protocol for spotting potential terrorists.
Brad Heath reports on the pre-9/11 history of the DOJ and DEA tracking Americans’ international call records. Trevor Timm writes about why the government was trying so hard to hide what they were doing. Marcy Wheeler details the different telecommunications dragnets that the government has been using to spy on us.
The Department of Homeland Security is still trying to find ways to obtain data warehouses of license plate scans on American roads.
By detaining Central American asylum seekers in order to send a message to potential future asylum seekers, the Obama Administration broke the law. Michael Tan writes about how asylum seekers are being held indefinitely due to an inability to post bond.
Religious fundamentalists across the United States continue to use junk science to justify abortion restrictions, as the United States slips further behind the rest of the world in ensuring basic rights for pregnant women. In North Carolina, they’re breaking new ground in anti-choice extremism.
Former CIA Officer and whistleblower John Kiriakou talked about the objections within the CIA to sending innocent Canadian Maher Arar to Syria to be tortured.
The Kettle Falls Five legal defense group is asking for help covering their legal expenses.
A white police officer in Phoenix will not face charges for the killing of an unarmed black man in December.
New Mexico took a huge step towards abolishing civil asset forfeiture under a bill signed by Governor Susana Martinez.
For some reason, Tulsa police gave a 73-year-old police volunteer a gun and this happened.
A private prison in Louisiana has as many grievances filed each year as it has inmates.
Ryan J. Reilly and Mariah Stewart wrote about a candidate in the widely-covered Ferguson City Council elections who’s been near the center of the corruption. Juan Thompson adds another horrendous personal story to the “New Jim Crow Tales” of St. Louis.
In North Dakota, a student who was busted for pot and pushed to become an informant was found dead with a gunshot wound.
Kira Lerner writes about Chicago’s history of police torture.
Georgia Governor Nathan Deal is making serious waves with criminal justice reforms in his state.
The killing of Walter Scott in North Charleston, SC shows how routine it is for officers to lie about police shootings without any concern for accountability.
A mentally ill woman killed by officers using stun guns in a Virginia prison was shackled at the time she was murdered.
The use of secret cell-phone tracking technology by Baltimore police is being held back during trials to avoid divulging what law enforcement is really capable of doing.
Private interests, including foreign governments, have been contributing large sums of money to the NYPD and their controversial anti-terror activities.
New York City police somehow managed to break the leg of NBA player Thabo Sefolosha after a late-night incident at a club. Another New York police detective went on a crazy tirade against an Uber driver.
Jamaica has loosened its cannabis policy.
Brazil is starting to deal with its own prison overcrowding problems.
Kieran Hamilton writes about how British drug policy is motivated by politics and ideology rather than evidence-based policymaking.
A journalist in Turkey was given a jail sentence for liking something on Facebook that was insulting to President Erdogan.
The Syrian military still appears to be using chemical weapons against its own citizens.
The United Nations is calling on Israel to end the widespread practice of detaining Palestinians without charges or due process.
An Egyptian judge sentenced an American citizen to life in prison for participating in a protest against the coup that brought the current military dictatorship to power. Also in Egypt, a radio station that focuses on human rights was raided by the police.
Tunisia is debating a stronger anti-terrorism bill that would weaken due process and bring back the death penalty.
In Burundi, the practice of using hospitals as defacto debtor’s prisons continues.
A South African novelists was committed to a mental institution for publicly supporting the work of author Salman Rushdie.
The four Blackwater employees who went on a shooting spree at a traffic intersection in Baghdad in 2007 were all given lengthy jail sentences.
Detained Washington Post reporter Jason Rezaian is expected to face espionage charges in an Iranian court.
Pakistan’s ISI shut down a University discussion about human rights in Balochistan.
John Garnaut reports on some harrowing tales from the Chinese criminal justice system.
New Zealand’s spy agency is accused of assisting the Bangladeshi government of tracking and persecuting human rights campaigners.