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Bye-Week Links

Make your vote count! Prosecutors behaving badly. (Call us vote-rigging provincials, but we’re partial to the Badger state nominee, Grant County DA Lisa Riniker, UW 2000, who wants a 6-year-old held subject to sex offender registration for “playing doctor.” Residency restrictions for this 6-year-old? Deterrence at work. We have too many doctors, anyway.)

Cliff Gardner “says there are two types of criminal defense lawyers: Those who respond professionally to an ineffectiveness claim, and those who don’t.”

Mike Sacks, “Chief Justice John Roberts’ Defense Of Supreme Court Ethics Doesn’t Soothe Critics” (re the Chief’s expression of “complete confidence in the capability of my colleagues to determine when recusal is warranted”: “The chief justice might hope that would be the end of the criticism; he likely knows better.”) An equally skeptical Sherrilyn Ifill: “The Chief Justice of the United States is too polite to tell those of us who’ve raised concerns about Supreme Court ethics and recusal standards to go jump in a lake.” (Mendota? C’mon in, the water’s still fine!) You etymologists out there: do “recuse” and “recall” have shared roots? Just wondering.

Sooner or later, the law school bubble is gong to burst. (“Law students have more debt on average than almost all other graduate students, excepting only medical students. And more law students borrow to pay for their education than all other graduate students.”) More on the bubble, from the estimable Michael Cicchini. Related (“700 Lawyers Apply for 12 Openings at DA’s Office; Harvard Law Grad Likes the Job”)?

Via Kent Scheidegger: “Arizona has prevented more than a million crimes since 1994 by incarcerating its most dangerous criminals, according to a major research study released today.” Marquette’s own, invaluable Michael O’Hear, takes a look at “The Effect of Truth in Sentencing in Wisconsin,” and observes that under the TIS regime, “Wisconsin’s imprisonment rate has dropped markedly in comparison with those of the peer states.” But, “Wisconsin’s rate of violent crime in 2010 was actually slightly higher than it was in 1999.” Why, then, might TIS have “put the brakes on a rapidly expanding prison population”? Possibly, Professor O’Hear hypothesizes, at least in part because by taking “the parole board out of the equation for new crimes, TIS may have mitigated a dysfunctional institutional dynamic.” Larger message: monocausal explanations of crime and imprisonment rates (TIS has reduced crime!) should be resisted; for good reason, multivariate analysis is beyond reach of most of us. David Cole’s contribution: “Turning the Corner on Mass Incarceration?” (“While what must be done is relatively clear—reduce criminal sentences, reduce reliance on criminal penalties for illicit drugs, increase resources for alternatives to incarceration, and invest in communities that are most vulnerable to crime—it is less clear how we persuade the public that these measures are worth it.”)

ACLU Backs Young Defense Lawyer Jailed by Judge for Asserting Client’s 5th Amendment Rights.” Contemnor attorney’s brief, here.

Judges behaving badly. Reprimand, for judge who “imposed a punishment in a case that involved handcuffing a father to a son as a punishment.”

Now that we have conceal-carry, it’s germane to ask: “Does Presence of a Concealed Weapon Create Reasonable Suspicion of a Crime?

Football Over Soccer.”  (“Soccer is called the beautiful game. But football is chess, played with real pieces that try to knock each other’s brains out. It doesn’t get any more beautiful than that.”) Hey, it’s from a soccer-loving Brit, and for that matter he could have said the same about basketball and baseball, not to mention jazz – all, without the beat-your-brains-out part. Besides, we do have soccer the way it was meant to be played – it’s just that we call it, lacrosse.

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