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With Enough People, Power, and Persistence, the System Will Improve



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One year after George Floyd’s murder: What is the status of police reform in the United States?


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May 25th marked the one-year date of George Floyd’s murder.  Floyd's death sparked a massive movement for police reform and racial justice.  Though many were relieved that Derek Chauvin was convicted of murder, it is impossible to celebrate the killing of a person who died under the knee of a police officer while three other officers stood guard, ignoring the pleas of several concerned bystanders.  And yet, it took this shocking public display of police violence to get the attention of most Americans.

Qualified Immunity Is a Bad Thing


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New York is now the first city in the country to end qualified immunity for police officers.  The measure was passed as part of a package of police reform bills.  The decades-old protection has prevented officers from being sued or liable for misconduct.

Gun Reform, Crime Rate, and Homicide Data


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As of today’s date, there have been 102 mass shootings in the United States just this year, and it’s only March.  The recent horrific mass shootings in both Atlanta and Boulder have again brought up the discussion advocating for gun reforms.  A once in a century pandemic cannot be the only thing that slows mass shootings in this country.  In many ways, our lives are starting to feel normal again after a long, difficult year filled with so much loss.  Sadly, the return to mass shootings is also a sign of a return to “normal” in the United States.

The Government's Involvement in Killing Dissenters


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On April 4, 1968, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was shot while standing on the balcony of the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tennessee.  An hour later he died.  For nearly fifty years, the federal government has maintained that James Earl Ray was the gunman who assassinated King that day.  But within Martin Luther King’s family, there remains a strong belief that Ray is innocent, and was set up to take the fall.

New Laws in 2021


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With a new year come new rules and regulations across the country.  A plethora of new laws that went into effect on January 1, 2021, reflect the issues of the last year when employment, the pandemic, and criminal justice reform was top of mind for many Americans.

Here are some of the biggest changes that went into effect on January 1.

A Look at Presidential Pardons since 1900


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Corruption is the rule.  This week marks twenty-eight years since George H.W. Bush pardoned six defendants as part of the Iran-Contra cover up.  One of whom, confessed criminal Elliot Abrams, was brought back into government by George W. Bush, and now serves as Trump’s Iran/Valenzuela envoy.  Trump is not just using the pardon power as other presidents have, but pardoning people to send a clear signal to witnesses and prosecutors.  Each of the pardoned miscreants was convicted of crimes that may have been committed by witnesses against Trump or by the president himself.

Corruption Is Alive and Well in American Courts


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A judiciary without honesty has little chance of executing its moral and constitutional duties, no matter how many rules of ethics exist.  This is true in the United States, where the judiciary is afforded wide discretion.  Facts and laws require interpretation; justice and equity require judgment.  We count on honest judges to navigate our ship of justice through dangerous waters.  We expect judges to be honest because we establish institutions that incentivize honesty.  Despite the critical importance of maintaining judicial integrity, there is much to say about how commonplace corruption is in our courts.

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