All posts filed under: Repairing The Systen

Trump’s Constitution

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Democracy's Constitution / Repairing The Systen

In a year of shocking images, those from Charlottesville still  chill me the most. Certainly those of “alt-right”  marchers chanting “Jews will not replace us”, but even more so those of armed thugs attacking peaceful  #BlackLivesMatter demonstrators in full view of  quiescent police officers,   Eerily similar images from Germany in the 1930’s quickly come to  mind. While there is still a controversy over whether the police were ordered to “stand down” by their superiors, […]

The Psychology of Equal Protection

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Repairing The Systen / The Supremes

A  brotherly difference of opinion about cake portions  presents the  same type of  issue that the Supreme Court will soon decide in an important  case. They both involve examples of inequity. Nicholas Kristoff  reports  that scientists have found that monkeys  are very sensitive to   unequal treatment.  If you give one monkey  tastier food, the others resent it.   But Kristoff  also gives us a lot of examples of situations where humans protest  unequal […]

Creating the Future

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Heroes / Repairing The Systen

James Lorenz died  earlier this year. In the late 1960s  Lorenz  showed  himself to be one of the most important  social entrepreneurs of the second half of the Twentieth Century.  A 26 year old associate in a Los Angeles corporate firm, Lorenz not  only dreamed up the idea of  a network of local legal services  offices placed all over rural California  to serve its farmworkers, but also attracted  the political support necessary to get his […]

To Err is Human

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Democracy's Constitution / Repairing The Systen

I really think you should take time to view the PBS documentary The Confessions. It tells the shocking story of the grave injustice done to four sailors in Norfolk, Virginia in  1997. ( A young  navy wife, Michelle Bosko, had been found raped and murdered in her apartment. Based on the “hunch” of one of her friends,  the police  started investigating a Navy enlisted man, Daniel Williams, for the crime. Williams at first denied any involvement, […]

Let’s Give Law a Chance

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Repairing the System / Repairing The Systen

We are all unhappy about continuing stories of widespread police abuse of African-American citizens, but there seems to be no effective remedy available. One egregious example was the police killing of  seventeen year old Laquan McDonald  in Chicago.  McDonald  was shot by officer Jason Van Dyke. Van Dyke claimed McDonald  was coming at him with a knife and he only  shot in self-defense. Several of his police colleagues filed statements corroborating Van Dyke’s story. Then a […]

Irreversible Errors

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Repairing the System / Repairing The Systen

Thomas Thompson was executed by lethal injection eighteen years ago this month at the age of 43. After you read my post from a year ago I think you will agree that there is an excellent chance that Thompson never committed the crime that triggered his death. My brother, Quin Denvir, was Thompson’s lawyer. Shortly before his death, Quin wrote Governor Brown asking that he end executions in California. I know that, as […]

The Supreme Injsutice

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Book/film List / Repairing the System / Repairing The Systen

The new sensation in legal circles is the Netflix documentary Making a Murderer The film is a riveting examination of the two trials and appeals of Stephen Avery who in rural Wisconsin was twice convicted, first of sexual assault and attempted murder and later of murder, on questionable evidence. While the film certainly qualifies for the “no lawyer should miss” accolade, since it is ten hours in length, I fear many will. That’s why […]

Villain or Victim?

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Book/film List / Repairing the System / Repairing The Systen

Movies can not only provide great entertainment, but also raise issues well worth our consideration. Spotlight is a good example. It tells how a team of investigative reporters broke the story of widespread child abuse by Catholic priests in Boston that the church hierarchy was covering up. So it’s primarily a press story; but lawyers also play an important role from start to finish One is a solo practitioner, Mitchell Garabedian (Stanley Tucci) who has […]

More Dangerous than Racism

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Repairing the System / Repairing The Systen

I once read a story about the Hollywood director John Huston. One of Huston’s drinking buddies was a jockey who worshiped Huston, but only received verbal abuse in return. The abuse got to be so extreme that one of Huston’s friends finally confronted him, asking why he was so cruel to a guy who had never harmed him. Huston gave an candid response: “Because I can.” Huston felt that , unless he did something outrageous […]

Less Lawyers = More Injustice

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Repairing The Systen

Two stories have kept popping up in the legal news the past year. One is the law student debt crisis. The other is our broken criminal justice system. We need to connect the two discussions. There are lots of people to blame for the law student debt crisis. One group of culprits is the federal regulators who approved loans to students of “fly-by-night law” schools. Another is the administrators and faculty of traditionally […]