- Bob Libal: "Secure Communities makes our community less safe." See more on the subject from the Texas Observer.
- Paul Ruffins, "Freeing the Unjustly Imprisoned" who argues that "students of the Innocence Project (IP) ... [have] a strong claim to be the most successful example of student activism since the Civil Rights Movement."
- David Eaglema, "The Brain on Trial."
- Here are several interesting stories on possible international fallout from last week's execution of murderer/rapist Humberto Leal, which the UN and others say violated international law; Governor Perry played a pivotal role, which some have attributed to political motives.
- From the "You knew this was coming" department, Texas state Sen. Chris Harris has said he'll file legislation to enact "Caylee's Law," which would make it a felony for a parent not to report their missing child.
- Finally, Steve Blow at the Dallas News poses this provocative question about parole decisions to close out a column (behind the paywall):
Why should crime victims be so involved in this process at all?
What about those victims who don’t mount a campaign because it’s simply too painful? Or because they’re too overwhelmed trying to scratch out a living? Or because they prefer to forgive and forget?
Should their perpetrators get a pass to earlier parole?
On the other hand, should a massive letter-writing campaign automatically mean more time for the perpetrator? And should 100 letters translate into more prison time than 10 letters?
These just don’t seem like useful factors in deciding when someone is ready to be released from prison.
We might wish there were no parole at all. I get that. But the economic reality is that we can’t build enough prisons to hold inmates for entire sentences. And on a practical level, parole motivates prisoners to behave, maybe even to improve themselves while behind bars.
I say let’s give crime victims the chance to write one letter expressing their desires about parole. Put it in the file and leave it there. If their feelings change, they can write again.
But crime victims shouldn’t have to mount repeated anti-parole campaigns. They shouldn’t feel it’s on their shoulders to keep perpetrators behind bars.
Being a crime victim shouldn’t be a job.