Posted inOpinion

Two Thomas decisions declare ‘war on innocence’

TWO SUPREME COURT opinions written by Justice Clarence Thomas and issued in the past month, Shinn v. Ramirez and Jones v. Hendricks, look like routine attacks on the Warren Court’s protections for criminal defendants. In fact, they declare a war on innocence. Shinn decided two Arizona capital cases. In one, the victim’s time of death excludes the defendant […]

Posted inOpinion

Looking at 911 mental health calls in a new way

A SPOUSE,  A SISTER, or a brother suffers an acute mental health crisis. Family members call 911 as a last resort. A Boston Globe analysis reports that these calls—there are a lot of them—initiate chains of events that can (and, on an average of five times each year in Massachusetts, do) culminate in a fatal police […]

Posted inOpinion

It’s time for major reforms at the US Supreme Court

FOR 146 YEARS, until 1935, the Supreme Court had no building of its own: it met in the Capitol. But architect Cass Gilbert, in consultation with former chief justice Charles Evans Hughes, modeled new quarters for the court on a Roman temple, creating a marble structure suitable for opening the bodies of fowl and examining their […]

Posted inCriminal Justice, Opinion

The problem isn’t just a few bad apples

Now we learn that  Inspector General Glen Cuhna, who once seemed ready to pin a massive state drug lab scandal on a lone chemist, Annie Dookhan, actually referred four other lab workers for prosecution.  Interesting. Still, counting the number of “bad apples” shouldn’t distract us from the reality that the Massachusetts lab scandals were not the work of […]