Category: Policy

No, that’s not what the Fifth Circuit said.

The internet is abuzz over yesterday’s Fifth Circuit decision on cell-site data. And hardly anyone seems to know what they’re talking about, as usual. It’s to be expected when sources like Wired say “cops can track cellphones without warrants, appeals court rules.” Which is not what the court ruled at all....

Confused about the outcome

You’re not the only one to ask, that’s for sure.  The short answer is this: The prosecution had the burden to remove all reasonable doubt from the jury’s minds — both that Zimmerman had committed every element of the crimes charged, and that he had not acted in self-defense. This...

Drawing the Line

Everyone knows that drunk drivers cause deadly car accidents. This is because alcohol impairs one’s ability to drive safely. So it is against the law to drive under the influence of alcohol. Everyone knows that texting while driving causes deadly car accidents. This is because texting distracts your attention from...

Understanding the law

A lot of the law is extremely formulaic. True, human intelligence is required to spot issues, devise strategies, and (most importantly) persuade decisionmakers. But in its actual application, the law is often little more than a series of IF-THEN decisions. A computer could be programmed to do it. This is...

On Overcriminalization: There’s nothing new under the sun

As we’ve mentioned perhaps a dozen times by now, we do this illustrated guide to law in our rare moments of free time. (Latest post on self-defense law is here.) We make every effort to avoid citing case names or statutes in that guide, because they’re almost never necessary for...

Making Drug Enforcement Work

  Tomorrow’s issue of the Economist has a brief piece on some new drug policing in Virginia: “Cleaning Up the Hood: Focusing on drug markets rather than users means less crime.” The article is on DMI, or Drug-Market Intervention, a law-enforcement strategy that has been spreading around the country since...