Category: Policy

The Well-Educated Citizen

  We have more and more college graduates these days, but is it doing any good? On our first day of college, at UVA back in the late summer of ’87, we didn’t feel the usual nervous excitement one gets from moving away from home, meeting new roommates, trudging through...

The Science of Ethical Relativism?

If you’re looking to start an argument with a loved one, or a fight, moral relativism is an excellent way to start. Specifically the position that, because different people do have different ideas of what is and is not ethical, your loved one’s morals are not true. Nor are they...

A Neat Primer on Neuroscience and Criminal Law

  One of our favorite topics here at the Criminal Lawyer has been the interaction of brain science and criminal law. So it’s with a pleased tip of the hat to Mark Bennett that we have the video linked above, an excellent summary of modern neuroscience as it applies to...

When Is It Unfair to Get a Fair Trial?

  “You are saying it was unfair to have a fair trial?” That was a fair question put by Justice Kennedy at oral argument today. The issue is whether a criminal defendant can be deprived of the effective assistance of counsel (for Sixth Amendment purposes) when a lawyer screwup prevents...

Using Neuroscience to Gauge Mens Rea?

Over at Edge, in a short video, we get an intriguing look at criminal justice from the perspective of neurological science. Put all this together, as you can see here, and we discover little areas that are brighter than others. And this is all now easily done, as everyone knows,...

Myth #3: “I was Entrapped!”

So you were hanging out with your buddy Joe, a guy who buys weed off you every now and then. Joe tells you he knows a guy who’s looking to buy more than Joe usually gets, and offers to introduce you. One thing leads to another, and soon you’re making...

Falling Economy, Falling Crime

Or maybe not… For some reason, common wisdom would have it that crime should go up when the economy is going down. Violent crime in particular. Apparently, the thinking is that less prosperity leads to increased frustration and desperation, leading to more beatings killings muggings and rapes. As if the...

What Would Plato Do?

Wanda: What would an intellectual do?  What would… Plato do? Otto: Apol- Wanda: Pardon me? Otto: Apollgzz. Wanda: What? Otto: Apologize! Well, no.  He probably wouldn’t.  Not Plato. And certainly not in the case of Troy Davis, whose final clemency request was denied this morning, and who now faces execution...

Making the Jury’s Job Easier – and Better

Anyone who has served on a jury or tried a case knows that the American jury system is pretty stupid.  Don’t get us wrong — it is absolutely without a doubt a sacred institution designed to ensure justice better than any other system we know of — but it’s still...