Author Archives: Mackenzie Grant

Why There Are So Many Bad Sheriffs

GOVERNING.COM, APRIL 2018, FEAT. PROF. SETH STOUGHTON:

No matter how tight the food budget, you can always find ways to cut corners. The state of Alabama sends counties a paltry $1.75 per day to feed each inmate locked up in jail, but sheriffs often manage to spend a good deal less than that. They have a strong incentive to do so. The sheriffs get to keep whatever they don’t spend, which in some cases has reached well into the six figures. Daily ration money adds up. 

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How one California billionaire is pushing victims’ rights laws across the country

SCPR, 29 MARCH 2018, FEAT. PROF. COLIN MILLER:

In New Hampshire, the senate has overwhelmingly approved a constitutional amendment known as Marsy’s Law.

If it wins final approval from voters this fall, the amendment would enshrine a list of rights for crime victims into the state constitution. They include the right to be notified of when the accused is released on bail, the right to be heard at sentencing hearings, and the right to reasonable protection from the accused.

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South Carolina Moves to Shield Names of Police Involved in Shootings

SPUTNIK NEWS, 5 APRIL 2018, FEAT. PROF. SETH STOUGHTON:

After four Greenville County Sheriff’s Deputies fatally shot 35-year-old Jermaine Massey on March 19, 2018 the officers were placed on administrative leave until the conclusion of the investigation. Unless their actions result in criminal charges, they will remain unnamed.

“While a case is under review and no charges are made, we’re not going to identify a particular officer who had just had to use his service weapon,” Wilkins told Greenville News. “We’re not going to subject him to scrutiny by the public until a case has been vetted and completed.”

Wilkin’s policy makes exceptions for officers whose identities are already exposed, for example, by a bystander’s video of their shooting.

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Florida law allows driverless vehicles. Does the law go too far?

TAMPA BAY TIMES, 2 APRIL 2018, FEAT. PROF. BRYANT WALKER SMITH:

To many, driverless cars still seem a far-off concept, one their grandkids might experience. But state Sen. Jeff Brandes has spent the better half of the past decade making them a reality in Florida.

The St. Petersburg Republican pushed to make the state a leader in autonomous vehicles, starting with legislation in 2012 that made it legal for self-driving cars to operate on Florida’s roads. Bills that followed removed the need for a human to be in the car at all.

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Askwith Debates – Charter Schools: Expanding Opportunity or Reinforcing Divides?

HARVARD EDUCATION, 29 MARCH 2018, FEAT. PROF. DEREK BLACK:

Rapid growth in the number of public charter schools, which now serve more than three million students nationwide, has sparked debate over their implications for educational equity. Proponents contend that charters provide an escape valve for low-income, mostly minority students in struggling school districts, while critics allege that charters serve a select few, reinforce racial and economic school segregation, and destabilize urban communities. Some prominent organizations within the civil rights community have called for a moratorium on charter growth. Do charter schools enhance or undermine equity in American education? Should their growth be encouraged or curtailed? Join us as leading educators, policymakers, and researchers come together to debate the charter school movement and its future.

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‘Hey, mute’: After they shot Stephon Clark, officers cut their audio. And that adds to the outcry

LA TIMES, 31 MARCH 2018, FEAT. PROF. SETH STOUGHTON:

Among the unanswered questions that have fueled anger in the wake of Stephon Clark’s shooting is why officers muted their body cameras after firing 20 shots at the unarmed black man.

Community activists and the Clark family’s attorney say the silencing came at an unsettling moment, as officers were regrouping following the shooting. Sacramento’s police chief said the issue is part of the investigation, adding that the decision to turn off the audio “builds suspicion.”

The incident draws attention to law enforcement rules dictating when officers can switch off the audio on their body cameras, coming at a time when the devices increasingly are being used to record police interactions with the public. Policies on muting cameras vary from department to department.