Wisconsin Watch: Questions about the doctor whose abusive-head-trauma diagnoses underlie convictions of people who continue to claim they're innocent.
(Dr. Barbara) Knox testified to a “reasonable degree of medical certainty” that each child died from abuse. Defense experts, who specialized in pediatric neurology and forensic neuropathology, blamed other possible conditions, saying they saw no signs of abuse.
“It would be most unusual to have a fatal head injury without an obvious large bruise on the scalp and a skull fracture,” Black’s expert, neuropathologist Dr. Jan Leestma, said in a report. “This child doesn’t have any of these things.”
Reuters: Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals rejects latest challenge to Wisconsin's mandatory bar dues.
The CT Mirror: Criminal justice reform bills are lingering in Congress.
President Joe Biden campaigned on reforming and strengthening the criminal justice system, but critics say his administration has allowed many of those issues to fall by the wayside. This week, Biden took a significant step by commuting the sentences of 75 individuals with drug-related convictions and granting pardons to three. The move broke with a long streak of presidents who have not used their executive clemency powers during their first two years in office – the last was George H.W. Bush in 1989, when he granted nine pardons and one clemency petition.
But many of Biden’s other major commitments, such as ending the federal death penalty and incarceration for drug use alone, haven’t been fulfilled. And in Congress, other proposed prison reform bills have stalled.
USA Today: Bipartisan reforms needed to address over-incarceration.
It’s important to understand just how harsh the U.S. criminal legal system is. Our courts dole out some of the longest punishments in the entire world. More than 200,000 people in the United States are serving life sentences and have virtually no hope of getting out. And between 1986 and 2016, the average time spent incarcerated for a federal drug offense more than tripled.
The Hill: Biden Administration updates regulations implementing National Environmental Policy Act.
For years, courts have held that NEPA requires agencies to consider direct, indirect and cumulative impacts. Agencies cannot permit oil and natural gas development and then pretend that combustion of those resources will not impact our air or climate. But that is precisely what the prior administration attempted to do by defining away most impacts, inviting five lawsuits claiming the Trump administration’s regulations failed to live up to the statute’s demands. The new NEPA regulations resolve that mistake.
Reuters: Second Circuit Court of Appeals hears argument on whether the Sacklers should get bankruptcy protection from lawsuits as part of settlement of Purdue Pharma opioid litigation.
The Sacklers should not be allowed to benefit from bankruptcy protections without filing for bankruptcy themselves, attorney Michael Shih said.
Politico: Donald Trump's attorney John Eastman to produce another 10,000 documents to the January 6 committee.
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