justice

gavel
SalFalko, Mentus Media / Flickr Creative Commons

 

For more than a decade leaders in New Hampshire’s courts have been trying to modernize the state’s judicial system. In 2001 they began a major effort to digitized files. More recently, they’ve consolidated the lower courts.

On Thursday, the House begins hearings on an effort to speed up felony prosecutions.

Although the bill would create a trial phase in just two counties, debate over the proposed change is rippling through the state’s criminal justice community.

 

How It Works Now

By John Phelan (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Drug courts are supposed to save taxpayers money: one year of intense treatment and supervision costs about a third as much as a year behind bars.

But it still requires money, up front.

Now, after squeezing four years out of a federal startup grant, Rockingham County is wrestling over how to fund the program.

New Hampshire is one of seven court districts where a powerful Mexican drug kingpin faces indictment. Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, the alleged leader of the Sinaloa cartel, was arrested last weekend in Mexico on charges of drug trafficking.

In September 2012, New Hampshire prosecutors announced the arrest of four other high ranking members of the Sinaloa cartel—including a cousin of Guzman—after an international investigation involving FBI undercover agents and the Boston Police Department.

civicboosterclub via Flickr Creative Commons

It’s The Socrates Exchange on the question of Justice or Vengeance.  Justice is often defined as fairness, the dispassionate rule of law, while vengeance is defined as a personal vendetta. But when justice doesn’t seem enough, is vengeance the answer? Does justice bring closure while vengeance is perpetual?  Does justice require that victims feel avenged?  We ask these and more questions on the Socrates Exchange.

Nick Smith, Associate Professor of Philosophy at UNH, advisor to the Socratic Society at UNH, and advisor to The Socrates Exchange.

via W.W. Norton Company Inc.

At the time of his capture in 2011, James “Whitey” Bulger  was wanted for 19 murders, extortion and loan sharking committed during his reign over Boston’s Irish mob between the 1970s and 1995. During 16 years on the lam, Whitey became the subject of myth; characterized alternately as a “good bad guy”, and, in Martin Scorsese’s 2006 film, The Departed, a venal sociopath.

Shelley Murphy and Kevin Cullen, a pair of Boston Globe journalists have drawn on 25 years of reporting to create a more complete and nuanced portrait of the restless boy from the Boston projects who became the most wanted fugitive of his generation. Tonight, Murphy and Cullen will be at the Red River Theatre for a screening of The Departed and at a pre-screening reception and talk.

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With Dzhokhar Tsarnaev in custody, the relief many Bostonians felt at his capture turns to anger.  While prosecutors have only begun to build their case against the 19-year old marathon bombing suspect, the public has strong expectations of how Tsarnaev’s trial should proceed and how he should be punished.

Leon Neyfakh writes for the ideas section of the Boston Globe, he spoke to criminologists, legal scholars and academics who warn that the trial will likely fall short of the public’s wish for emotional closure, and justice.

Mar is sea Y, courtesy Flickr

EarthTalk®
E - The Environmental Magazine


Dear EarthTalk: I understand that the “environmental justice” movement seeks to protect the poor and non-white communities from being unfairly targeted to host activities like sewage treatment plants, landfills and polluting factories. Have there been notable victories? -- P. Silver, Peekskill, NY

Recent dispatches from the trial of Norwegian mass murderer Anders Breivik have stirred politicians and online groups to urge Norway’s justice system to re-examine its maximum sentence of twenty-one years, given the severity of the charges.

More Cuts Threaten Legal Services for the Poor

Apr 3, 2012

The most recent State budget slashed funding for legal services for the poor. Last week, the House passed a bill that would put even more aid at risk.

The legislation would change how something called IOLTA works.

IOLTA stands for ‘Interest on Lawyers Trust Accounts’.

When a client hands money over to a lawyer for a short period of time, say, while a real estate deal is being closed, the lawyer puts the money into a pooled account. That account earns interest.