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By Gail Gibson and Gail Gibson,SUN NATIONAL STAFF | July 12, 2004
BOSTON - From his chambers overlooking Boston Harbor, Judge William G. Young has watched with barely constrained delight the fallout from a Supreme Court ruling that has cast doubt on sentencing practices across the country. Less than a week before the high court delivered its unexpected ruling, Young, the chief U.S. District Court judge for Massachusetts, unleashed his own blunt critique of the way punishment is handed out. He declared federal sentencing guidelines unconstitutional in a scathing, 177-page decision that could have made him a lonely figure in the judiciary.
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NEWS
By Leonard Pitts Jr and By Leonard Pitts Jr | April 27, 2014
It swallowed people up. That's what it really did, if you want to know the truth. It swallowed them up whole, swallowed them up by the millions. In the process, it hollowed out communities, broke families, stranded hope. Politicians brayed that they were being "tough on crime" -- as if anyone is really in favor of crime -- as they imposed ever longer and more inflexible sentences for nonviolent drug offenses. But the "War on Drugs" didn't hurt drugs at all: Usage rose by 2,800 percent -- that's not a typo -- in the 40 years after it began in 1971.
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NEWS
March 14, 2014
According to Tom Schaller's column ("Hate if you must, just don't act on it," March 5), any American who does not subscribe to Mr. Schaller's particular credo on the law and homosexuality is a hater. Such blanket condemnation and name-calling are more appropriate to a bigot than an academic. Mr. Schaller refuses to even consider that a good American can be motivated not by hate but by a moral and educated religious conscience. Mr. Schaller correctly asserts that "the deity that rules America is the almighty dollar," yet he then hypocritically condemns those few Americans who are willing to sacrifice monetary profits (and perhaps even risk legal punishment)
NEWS
March 14, 2014
According to Tom Schaller's column ("Hate if you must, just don't act on it," March 5), any American who does not subscribe to Mr. Schaller's particular credo on the law and homosexuality is a hater. Such blanket condemnation and name-calling are more appropriate to a bigot than an academic. Mr. Schaller refuses to even consider that a good American can be motivated not by hate but by a moral and educated religious conscience. Mr. Schaller correctly asserts that "the deity that rules America is the almighty dollar," yet he then hypocritically condemns those few Americans who are willing to sacrifice monetary profits (and perhaps even risk legal punishment)
NEWS
By New York Times News Service | September 11, 1995
WATERLOO, Iowa -- Tommy Lee Farmer had never heard of the new federal three-strikes law until sheriff's deputies brought him into court last October.That was when his lawyer gave him the bad news. Farmer had expected to face state charges for his role in a botched holdup of a supermarket here.But three weeks earlier, President Clinton had signed a law intended to put incorrigible career criminals behind bars for life.Farmer, the son of a minister and brother of a college professor, had spent most of his 43 years in jails or prisons for crimes that included murder, conspiracy to murder and armed robbery.
NEWS
By Kenneth Lasson | February 27, 2013
President Barack Obama's forthcoming trip to Israel affords him a special opportunity to mend political fences and guarantee a warm popular reception in that country, while at the same time ensuring that justice is served here at home. These are goals he should surely embrace - and he could achieve them by heeding the pleas of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Shimon Peres, as well as many high-minded Americans, and freeing Jonathan Pollard from prison. Mr. Pollard was convicted in 1985 for having passed classified information to Israel.
FEATURES
April 25, 2001
The 15th annual "American Comedy Awards," taped Sunday in Hollywood, includes presentation of the Lifetime Achievement Award to George Carlin. Carlin has appeared on "The Tonight Show" more than 130 times, and his 12th HBO special is scheduled for November. Airs tonight at 8 on Comedy Central. At a glance "Contact" (8 p.m.-11 p.m., WJZ, Channel 13) - Jodie Foster stars in this well-regarded 1997 movie about a message from outer space. CBS. "The Old Settler" (8 p.m.-9:30 p.m., MPT, Channels 22 and 67)
NEWS
June 13, 2008
In a historic ruling, the U.S. Supreme Court said yesterday that suspected terrorists held for years by the Bush administration at the U.S. Naval Station at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, had been denied their constitutional right to habeas corpus. It was a welcome assertion of a basic principle of American justice that should foreshadow an early closing of the Guantanamo facility. There is no doubt that terrorism is a serious threat to American security that should be battled vigorously. But honoring the right of the suspects at Guantanamo to challenge the legal basis of their imprisonment in an American court of law is a far cry from setting terrorists free.
NEWS
March 7, 2013
In Kenneth Lasson's commentary, "Freeing Pollard benefits all" (Feb. 27), who is "all?" Jonathan Pollard passed classified information to Israel to circumvent U.S. policy. Is "all" the thousands of Americans with security clearance who do not betray that confidence, or does it refer to the country Mr. Pollard betrayed? He is serving a life sentence because of a plea bargain. His cooperation was in no way exculpatory. Mr. Lasson writes, "It is now more clear than ever that he is being severely punished for deeds he never did. " Mr. Pollard confessed, and Israel acknowledged his espionage years later.
FEATURES
By Steve McKerrow and Steve McKerrow,SUN STAFF | November 8, 1995
The hosts were talking up the crab cakes yesterday in preparation for today's visit to Baltimore by NBC's "Today" show. And PBS tonight offers a performance of Hollywood film music.* "Today" (7 a.m.-9 a.m., WBAL, Channel 11) -- Although visits to Wilmington and Philadelphia were postponed in light of the Yitzhak Rabin story, the network morning show is still due in Baltimore today. Bryant Gumbel, Katie Couric and Matt Lauer are scheduled to broadcast from Rash Field, while Willard Scott visits Lexington Market.
NEWS
March 7, 2013
In Kenneth Lasson's commentary, "Freeing Pollard benefits all" (Feb. 27), who is "all?" Jonathan Pollard passed classified information to Israel to circumvent U.S. policy. Is "all" the thousands of Americans with security clearance who do not betray that confidence, or does it refer to the country Mr. Pollard betrayed? He is serving a life sentence because of a plea bargain. His cooperation was in no way exculpatory. Mr. Lasson writes, "It is now more clear than ever that he is being severely punished for deeds he never did. " Mr. Pollard confessed, and Israel acknowledged his espionage years later.
NEWS
By Kenneth Lasson | February 27, 2013
President Barack Obama's forthcoming trip to Israel affords him a special opportunity to mend political fences and guarantee a warm popular reception in that country, while at the same time ensuring that justice is served here at home. These are goals he should surely embrace - and he could achieve them by heeding the pleas of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Shimon Peres, as well as many high-minded Americans, and freeing Jonathan Pollard from prison. Mr. Pollard was convicted in 1985 for having passed classified information to Israel.
NEWS
By Leonard Pitts Jr | May 20, 2012
So the people got sick of it, all those criminals being coddled by all those bleeding heart liberal judges with all their soft-headed concern for rights and rehabilitation. And a wave swept this country in the Reagan years, a wave ridden by pundits and politicians seeking power, a wave that said, no mercy, no more. From now on, judges would be severely limited in the sentences they could hand down for certain crimes, required to impose certain punishments whether or not they thought those punishments fit the circumstances at hand.
NEWS
June 13, 2008
In a historic ruling, the U.S. Supreme Court said yesterday that suspected terrorists held for years by the Bush administration at the U.S. Naval Station at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, had been denied their constitutional right to habeas corpus. It was a welcome assertion of a basic principle of American justice that should foreshadow an early closing of the Guantanamo facility. There is no doubt that terrorism is a serious threat to American security that should be battled vigorously. But honoring the right of the suspects at Guantanamo to challenge the legal basis of their imprisonment in an American court of law is a far cry from setting terrorists free.
NEWS
By Gail Gibson and Gail Gibson,SUN NATIONAL STAFF | July 12, 2004
BOSTON - From his chambers overlooking Boston Harbor, Judge William G. Young has watched with barely constrained delight the fallout from a Supreme Court ruling that has cast doubt on sentencing practices across the country. Less than a week before the high court delivered its unexpected ruling, Young, the chief U.S. District Court judge for Massachusetts, unleashed his own blunt critique of the way punishment is handed out. He declared federal sentencing guidelines unconstitutional in a scathing, 177-page decision that could have made him a lonely figure in the judiciary.
NEWS
By Andrew Cohen | March 22, 2002
DENVER -- The Andrea Yates trial meant a lot of things to a lot of different people. It spurred a national debate over how the mentally ill are treated in our justice system. It generated much awareness and discussion of the nature of post-partum illnesses, schizophrenia and even filicide -- the troubling phenomenon in which parents kill their own children. It became a symbol for both victims' and women's rights groups. And, of course, it focused national attention on the insanity defense.
FEATURES
By LOS ANGELES TIMES | November 15, 1995
LOS ANGELES -- Johnnie L. Cochran Jr., who repeatedly confounded the legal pundits during his successful defense of O. J. Simpson, stunned the publishing industry yesterday when he signed the most lucrative book contract yet awarded to a participant in the so-called trial of the century.According to sources involved in the negotiations, the total value of Mr. Cochran's deal with the Ballantine Group, a division of Random House, "slightly exceeds" the $4.2 million advance obtained just last week by prosecutor Marcia Clark.
FEATURES
By Chris Kaltenbach At a glance | December 17, 1997
Had enough of Christmas with Kathie Lee? Ready to lose your lunch if forced to watch another reworking of "A Christmas Carol"? Find yourself wishing that, just once, Clarence decided the water was just too cold for him to jump in and save whiny George Bailey?May I suggest you check out Comedy Central tonight?Significant portions of the American viewing public -- for instance, those who offend easily -- should go nowhere near the Christmas episode of the animated, determinedly tasteless "South Park" (10 p.m.-10: 30 p.m.)
FEATURES
April 25, 2001
The 15th annual "American Comedy Awards," taped Sunday in Hollywood, includes presentation of the Lifetime Achievement Award to George Carlin. Carlin has appeared on "The Tonight Show" more than 130 times, and his 12th HBO special is scheduled for November. Airs tonight at 8 on Comedy Central. At a glance "Contact" (8 p.m.-11 p.m., WJZ, Channel 13) - Jodie Foster stars in this well-regarded 1997 movie about a message from outer space. CBS. "The Old Settler" (8 p.m.-9:30 p.m., MPT, Channels 22 and 67)
TOPIC
By David Cole | May 16, 1999
THANKS TO the New York police force, Abner Louima and Amadou Diallo have become household names. Thanks to state police in New Jersey, Maryland and elsewhere, "Driving While Black" has entered the general lexicon. For the moment, the nation seems to be taking seriously the issue of racial bias in the criminal justice system. It's about time.The issue is not new. Were it not for some of its dated rhetoric, the 1968 Kerner Commission Report, which discussed the causes of the urban riots of the mid- and late 1960s, could well be a description of many of our cities today.
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