WJI's daily reads for Nov. 22, 2021
Reuters: How Amazon worked to kill privacy rights for Americans.
Reason: Don't punish people for asserting their right to a jury trial.
The "right" thing. At first glance, I'd posit most readers wouldn't think much of that; plea bargains are a core part of the U.S. criminal justice system. Yet in being frank with (Jacob) Chansley, (U.S. District Judge Royce C.) Lamberth laid bare why those "bargains" are raw deals: Had Chansley insisted on his constitutional right to a trial by jury, he would have been staring down more than 16 additional years in prison. That's not because the government believes such a stratospheric sentence would serve public safety. It's because prosecutors routinely inflate hypothetical prison sentences and dangle them over defendants in order to bully them out of going to trial, where outcomes are both costly and uncertain.
The Washington Post: Americans do not want guns at protests, research shows.
The Guardian: How fentanyl is unfolding as one of America's great tragedies.
More than 100,000 people died from overdoses in the US in a 12-month period ending in April, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
It’s the biggest increase ever seen in the US – and it’s only rising each month, drug researchers say.
Fentanyl is driving the majority of these deaths, associated with at least 60% of the fatal overdoses – a 50% increase in a single year, Nora Volkow, director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, told the Guardian.
“It’s devastating,” she said. “It’s an epidemic within the pandemic.” Deaths from fentanyl were already on the rise across the country, but the pandemic supercharged their speed and intensity.
The Hill: How religious liberty was distorted in the age of COVID-19.
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