The Journal Times: Judge sides with City of Racine in open records dispute.
NPR: Federal judge strikes mandate for masks on public transportation.
Slate: U.S. Supreme Court denies racial-bias claim by Black man on death row.
Racism pervades every aspect of the death penalty, but it’s not often as obvious as it was at (Kristopher) Love’s 2018 trial. Love’s attorneys asked prospective jurors whether they believe that some races “tend to be more violent than others” in an attempt to smoke out illicit bias. One juror, Zachary Niesman—who is white—answered “yes,” elaborating: “Statistics show more violent crimes are committed by certain races. I believe in statistics.”
During voir dire, Niesman doubled down on his beliefs. He told Love’s defense attorneys as well as the state prosecutors that he belived (sic) the “non-white” races to be the “more violent races.” He claimed that “news reports and criminology classes” bore this out, but added that his views were based on “statistics,” not “personal feelings towards one race or another.” Niesman then insisted that he would be a fair and impartial juror with no bias against Love on account of his race.
Washington Monthly: Head of Brennan Center for Justice sees both alarms and optimism regarding voting rights.
Fortune: Consumers blocked from class action lawsuits are using "mass arbitration" against corporations.
TurboTax’s parent company, Intuit, is the latest major corporation facing a barrage of arbitration claims after consumers were blocked from moving forward with a class action lawsuit courtesy of mandatory arbitration stipulations. And how Intuit navigates the deluge could lead other companies to reconsider how they engage with legal disputes.
Reuters: Hundreds of Texas convictions now questioned because prosecutor moonlighted as law clerk for judges in same cases.
Starting in 2001, Weldon Petty prosecuted hundreds of criminal cases for the Midland County District Attorney’s Office while secretly moonlighting for the judges hearing those very same cases, even writing decisions for the court in some instances. . . .
The conflicted arrangement was known to judges and at least two preceding district attorneys. It was uncovered publicly in 2019 when the current D.A. inadvertently found records showing Petty worked for the prosecution in a capital murder case against Clinton Young, while also working as a law clerk for the judge in the case.
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