Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Holiday blog roundup

Roaming about the blogosphere after returning from holiday, I discovered these choice blogbits Grits readers may enjoy:
  • Blogger makes good. Congrats to CrimProf blogger Mark Godsey for his appearance on Larry King Live after the Innocence Project he runs at the U. Cincinnatti law school achieved a remarkable DNA-based exoneration.
  • Fallible fingerprints. CrimProf Blog also points to this story about reforms at a Boston fingerprint lab after police technicians falsely confirmed a fingerprint match to convict a defendant of shooting a police officer.
  • Good blogging. Larry James at Urban Daily has been on a great roll over the holidays. Just start at the top and keep reading and scrolling.
  • Valley businesses against xenophobes. Rep. Pena tells why the President of the Rio Grande Valley Chamber of Commerce opposes a border wall. Given who works the Texas construction trades, I don't think it's possible to build such a wall without illegal immigrant labor. Meanwhile, Immigration Law Blog quotes the Arizona governor pooh-poohing the idea, declaring, "You show me a 50 foot wall, I'll show you a 51-foot ladder."
  • Hyping crime. Kevin Whited at BlogHouston says Houston's murder rate is "skyrocketing" because of a 23% one year increase, from 263 murders in 2004 to 324 so far this year. But he neglects to point out that the same article says overall crime is down, nor does Whited put the numbers into context. Houston experienced 608 murders in 1991, and 375 in 1994 (See here for historical stats [pdf]). Given that history, plus everything that happened this year in Houston with Katrina, Rita, etc., that kind of fluctuation doesn't seem like cause for hyperbole. UPDATE: Mark Godsey at CrimProf Blog wonders if there is a Katrina link to Houston's new crime stats.
  • Quite a pair. Nate at Common Sense has the story of Desperate Housewives star Eva Longoria and her boyfriend San Antonio Spurs point guard Tony Parker's encounter with a San Antonio cop.
  • Faith on the Web. Xpatriated Texan had an interesting item about faith on the web, where some folks are aspiring toward web-based "churches without walls." Abilene's Mike
    Cope had this great pre-Christmas post describing a pastor's front-row view of family relationships, inspiring equally thoughtful comments. Lately I've also been reading the folks over at Street Prophets, speaking of faith on the web, in particular Chuck Currie. I certainly wish Currie the best as he recovers from surgery.
  • Forbidden Love. Via Immigration Law Blog, it's an "open secret": By day the Border Patrol catches illegal immigrants, by night many agents date them. Life is messy, ain't it?
  • Anatomy of federal plea deals. This item from Federal Crimes Blog on the Enron fraud proceedings lists all the factors federal prosecutors are allowed to consider when making a plea deal. Topping the list at #1 was snitching, or the "willingness of the defendant to cooperate in the investigation or prosecution of others."
  • Innocence hell. Capital Defense Weekly has an item on the difficulties facing attorneys convincing judges to agree to new DNA tests when pursuing innocence claims, and links to this resource list on innocence issues.
  • Huge victory in Congress! DARE Generation Diary consoles itself with half a loaf, but definitely the "bigger half," I'd say, regarding the Senate's move to let students with past drug convictions receive financial aid. Dick Cheney cast the deciding vote to let the measure through, so President Bush's final approval seems assured. ACLU and Students for Sensible Drug Policy recently announced their intention to sue over the provision, so we'll see where that goes now that the law's changed. Congrats to all involved.
  • Do you really want to know? Bruce Schneier relays how to tell if the National Security Agency is reading your email.
  • Outlaw Christmas. Zach Patton at Governing magazine's 13th Floor blog tells how new anti-meth laws have him buying bulk cold medicine for his Mom's Christmas gift, and wonders if that makes him an "outlaw."


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Anonymous said...

Zach Patton at Governing magazine's 13th Floor blog tells how new anti-meth laws have him buying bulk cold medicine for his Mom's Christmas gift, and wonders if that makes him an "outlaw."

How does that make him an outlaw?

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