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Prosecutorial Resistance to Exculpatory DNA Evidence
Why We Must Overcome It, And What Institutional Safeguards Will Help Us Do So
FindLaw columnist, attorney, and author Edward Lazarus argues that prosecutors' offices must create independent committees to review cases in which DNA evidence suggests that a person convicted of a crime was innocent. Lazarus argues that leaving the decision whether to admit error -- or at least support reopening the case, or retrial -- to line prosecutors is too dangerous, given that recent examples have shown, and human nature suggests, that they are too invested in the convictions they have won.
How Misinterpretation of an Important Federal Securities Fraud Statute Led to the Dismissal of the Case Against Former MCI WorldCom Executives
FindLaw columnist and attorney Brian Lehman discusses the difference in the resolution of civil and criminal cases relating to MCI WorldCom: Although a major civil suit against former WorldCom executives was dismissed, a criminal indictment remains. Lehman argues that the dismissal of the civil suit was based on an error in statutory interpretation, and that both civil and criminal cases should be allowed to go forward.
Thursday, Sep. 04, 2003

 Columns Archive 
Argentina, Peru, & Chile
Truth, Justice & Reconciliation In Latin America
FindLaw columnist and human rights advocate Joanne Mariner discusses "truth and reconciliation" in Latin America. Her examples are drawn from Peru's recently-released truth and reconciliation report, and Chile's investigation of the atrocities of the Pinochet regime. Mariner takes issue with the idea of "truth not justice," under which truth-telling alone can guarantee amnesty.
Wednesday, Sep. 03, 2003

Privacy and Poverty:
Why The Proposed Federal and Local Homeless Tracking System Raises Serious Privacy Concerns
FindLaw columnist and U. Washington law professor Anita Ramasastry discusses the privacy issues raised by a proposed new HUD program, the Homeless Management Information System (HMIS). Under HMIS, local coordinators of homeless services would be required to track and report personal data about homeless persons. Ramasastry argues that the program should be revised to further protect the little privacy homeless persons still retain.
Wednesday, Sep. 03, 2003

A New Proposal to Permit Lawyers To Cite "Unpublished" Opinions
Does It Go Far Enough?
FindLaw columnist and Columbia law professor Michael Dorf considers a controversial practice of some federal appellate courts: Designating a large number of opinions as "unpublished" or "non-precedential" (although they are available on electronic databases), and then prohibiting attorneys from citing them in briefs. Dorf discusses a proposed new rule that would alter this practice, and argues in favor of simply abolishing it instead.
Tuesday, Sep. 02, 2003

The California Supreme Court's Recent Decision On DeCSS, the DVD Encryption-Cracking Code:
Its Reasoning and Significance
FindLaw columnist, attorney, and author Julie Hilden discusses a recent, important decision by the California Supreme Court.Ý The decision upheld a preliminary injunction (that is, an injunction for the duration of the case) requiring certain websites to de-post the DeCSS code -- which allows the user to decrypt encrypted DVD movies.Ý The plaintiff alleges that posting the DeCSS code violates trade secret law; website owners argued unsuccessfully that the preliminary injunction violated the First Amendment.
Monday, Sep. 01, 2003

GAO's Final Energy Task Force Report Reveals that the Vice President Made A False Statement to Congress
FindLaw columnist and former counsel to the President John Dean carefully analyzes the General Accounting Office's recent report, "Energy Task Force: Process Used to Develop the National Energy Policy." Despite the report's dry title and tone, Dean contends, it contains bombshells -- such as evidence that Vice President Dick Cheney made a false statement to Congress concerning the White House's production of Energy Task Force-related documents to GAO.
Friday, Aug. 29, 2003

The Era of Entitlement:Ý
What Alabama Judge Roy Moore, File "Sharers," and the Catholic Church Have in Common
FindLaw columnist and Cardozo law professor Marci Hamilton contends that our era is marked by an attitude of entitlement that leads individuals and institutions to claim that, in some cases, they deserve to be able to break the law.Ý To illustrate her point, Hamilton looks at file sharers who claim the right to infringe copyright, the Alabama Supreme Court Justice who claimed the right to place a religious statue in the courthouse, and the Catholic Church's claim that it should be excused from the same child abuse reporting requirements that apply to others.
Thursday, Aug. 28, 2003

Governor Jeb Bush Sends Lawyers to Represent a Fetus:
Targeting A Mentally Retarded Pregnant Woman for Pro-Life Intervention
FindLaw columnist and Rutgers law professor Sherry Colb discusses a new angle on the controversial decision by Governor Jeb Bush to seek the appointment of a fetal guardian in an abortion controversy.Ý In the case in which he has sought a guardian, the woman at issue is a mentally disabled rape victim.Ý Colb argues that the fact that Governor Bush chose hers as the test case for fetal guardianship should trouble all Americans -- whether pro-life or pro-choice.
Wednesday, Aug. 27, 2003

Expanding Discrimination Law To Protect Independent Contractors:
Why It's Crucial to Sex Equality
FindLaw columnist, attorney, and author Julie Hilden discusses a possible extension of discrimination law -- to cover not only employees, but also independent contractors.Ý In particular, Hilden considers whether sex discrimination law should be extended to protect freelance writers, in light of evidence that freelancers for The New Yorker and other publications are predominantly male.
Tuesday, Aug. 26, 2003

Could a "Material Support" Treaty Reduce Suicide Bombings?Ý
How The U.S.'s Reluctance To Support Such a Treaty Will Harm the War on Terrorism
FindLaw guest columnist and human rights attorney Noah Leavitt discusses a crucial gap in international law: The lack of a treaty addressing the problem of those who provide material support to suicide bombers.Ý Leavitt explains why the gap exists, and details Israel's recent attempt to press for a treaty that would fill that gap.Ý He also explains why the U.S. has not joined the push for such a treaty -- and why he believes that it should.Ý
Tuesday, Aug. 26, 2003

The Controversy Over Alabama's Ten Commandments Statue, And the Nature of Justified Civil Disobedience
FindLaw columnist and Brooklyn law professor Anthony Sebok comments on the controversial recent case in which the Alabama Supreme Court's chief justice -- who has now been suspended from his position -- refused to comply with a federal court order.Ý The order commanded him to remove a large "Ten Commandments" statute from the courthouse; the justice refused. Drawing on Dr. Martin Luther King's criteria for justified civil disobedience, Sebok argues that the justice's argument for failing to comply with the federal court order is weak.Ý
Monday, Aug. 25, 2003

 Coming Friday:
Guest Columnist Vikram Amar On "Racial Privacy Initiative" & The 1st Amendment

AND: Columnist Joanna Grossman Reviews Roy Williams & Vic Preisser's "Preparing Heirs"

 Book Reviews
Sidney Blumenthal's
The Clinton Wars

- by Laura Hodes
Akhil Amar
Vikram Amar
Bart Aronson
Sherry Colb
John Dean
Michael C. Dorf
Joanna Grossman
Marci Hamilton
Julie Hilden
Edward Lazarus
Joanne Mariner
Anita Ramasastry
Anthony Sebok
Guest Columnists
  Featured Books
3   [On Sale July 29]
A compelling chronicle of obsession and power, 3 brings new immediacy to a timeless question: What is the greatest sacrifice you would make for love?
by Julie Hilden
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