Let's do the numbers...

Ever since the show was cancelled, I keep getting asked about our numbers. And thanks to the good folks over at The Futon Critic, I can provide them. Now one thing about numbers—there are lots of ways to slice them including important things like the demographics, the number of people who watch live vs. time shifted, and stickiness (how often a DVR viewer skips commercials). But partly because it’s self-serving, and partly because it’s easiest, I’m using what are called “Live + 7” numbers which reflect the total audience who watched live or engaged in DVR playback within 7 days of the original broadcast.

So with that in mind, for all my friends and interlocutors, here are the stats…

In our second season (2009) Raising the Bar averaged just under four million viewers a week (3,961,000).

That’s more than any show on A&E, ABC Family or AMC—and yes, that includes Mad Men which averaged about two and a half million a week (2,496,000) and Breaking Bad (1,628,000).

And the other shows I’m regularly asked about?

South Park (which I love) had 3,481,000 viewers (but kicked our asses in 18-49)

Damages had about a third as many viewers at 1,398,000

On HBO we were slaughtered by True Blood (5,003,000) but beat out every other series including Hung (3,617,000), Entourage (3,460,000), Big Love (2,320,000), Curb Your Enthusiasm (1,518,000) and Bored To Death which managed about a quarter as many viewers (948,000).

On Showtime Dexter had about three fifths of our audience (2,166,000) Weeds less than half (1,524,000), Nurse Jackie about a third (1,314,000), Californication less than a quarter (981,000), and The Tudors (779,000) and The L Word (642,000) less than that.

And yes we beat everything on TBS and SyFy as well.

So who ate our lunch? USA. Basically everything they put on kicked our asses. Burn Notice, (7,677,000), Royal Pains, (7,474,000) Monk, (6,259,000) White Collar (6,080,000) and even Criminal Intent, (4,447,000) gave us a whupin. And of course TNT’s own The Closer (which was our lead-in) continued to post huge numbers.

Hope that answers the questions. And as we say in the biz "that's a wrap."


Episodes 13, 14 and 15...

For those of you wanting to know how RTB turns out, you can find the last three episodes onlinehere.

This from Simple Justice

Hat tip to Simple Justice who had this nice post on the recent decision in People v. Radcliffe More on this soon...


Britain to Tax Banker Bonuses

I love the way they're doing this. We won't of course, but we should--a windfall profits tax is perfectly appropriate here. At least as long as we're not going to just chuck the whole system and adopt an APT tax which is what we should do.


Thinking about time...

In the wake of yesterday's news that RTB had been cancelled, I found myself thinking a lot about the whole arc of my life, (leaving The Bronx Defenders, writing Indefensible, going back and forth to Hollywood etc) and more specifically about time and doing time. It turns out there's a handy website that calculates the number of days between dates, allowing me to easily determine that there were 1,259 days from the day I got a phone call from Steven Bochco and we agreed to do a show, until its cancellation two seasons later. In the spirit of idiotic RENT songs, the website also informs me that: 3 years, 5 months and 10 days also converts to:

108,777,600 seconds
1,812,960 minutes
30,216 hours
179 weeks (rounded down)

But put another way, it's almost exactly a four year prison sentence with good time, or what the feds would describe as a 48 month guideline sentence.

I am sad to see the show fall by the wayside. There was so much more I thought the show had to say, and I really felt we continued to improve from a story and character standpoint. I suppose I was even naive enough to think that a third season would have offered us a critical reappraisal. But, as a friend of mine use to say, "at least no one calls me "old peg leg".


TNT Cancels Mark-Paul Gosselaar's Raising the Bar - E! Online


The gutsiest move by a politician in a long time

Gov. Ted Strickland grants clemency to 78 people and why? Rehabilitation! And not just your drug guys doing 100 years for possession either, he actually released people convicted of murder, and other serious crimes. Bravo Governor. I'm sending you a donation today, and I urge other readers to do the same or to at least write and express your approval:

You can do that HERE


Justice à Manhattan

I love the french Here's the awesome plot summary of one of my RTB episodes:

Jerry et Richard se battent pour des clients victimes de verdicts injustes. Richard doit affronter le juge Kessler, qui est davantage préoccupé par un rencard surprise que par le procès... Pendant ce temps, Bobbi lutte pour régler une situation bouleversante impliquant son ex-mari.

C'est bien.

Court officer steals documents from the defense file on videotape!

Now he has to apologize or go to jail.

Judge Donahoe held Deputy Adam Stoddard in contempt for the Oct. 19 incident in which he could be seen on a courtroom security video sneaking up behind attorney Joanne Cuccia in the middle of a hearing and taking a document from her file.

During several days of testimony following the incident, Stoddard said he happened to have glanced at the file and saw the words “going to,” “steal” and “money” grouped together in a sentence. It made him think a crime was taking place and gave him the authority to pull the document, he said.

But Donahoe rejected that story, saying there’s no way “a reasonable detention officer” would have thought a crime was taking place based on what he saw.

“There was no immediate or future security threat that would have justified a reasonable detention officer in DO Stoddard’s situation removing, seizing and coping a document from a defense attorney’s file,” Donahoe wrote in his ruling, which was made public today. “A reasonable detention officer would have recognized after spending approximately 37 seconds reading the paragraph in question, that the ‘key words’ had nothing to do with an immediate or future security threat to the jail or anyone else.”

Here's the video!

Alexander Cockburn quotes me...

how cool is this?!

"They will offer these and scores of other persuasive arguments, and it is impossible to imagine they will prevail. As David Feige, a public defender in the Bronx, presaged in a smart piece on the Slate site, these efforts by the defense team will fail and produce bad law."



Fernando Bermudez Declared Innocent of Murder

It's about time.

Congratulations to former colleague Michael Risinger and his wife who represented Fernando and were instrumental in his exoneration.


Someone knows how to spell schadenfreude


A man blamed a low-flying pelican and a dropped cell phone for his veering his million-dollar sports car off a road and into a salt marsh near Galveston. The accident happened about 3 p.m. Wednesday on the frontage road of Interstate 45 northbound in La Marque, about 35 miles southeast of Houston.

The Lufkin, Texas, man told of driving his luxury, French-built Bugatti Veyron when the bird distracted him, said La Marque police Lt. Greg Gilchrist. The motorist dropped his cell phone, reached to pick it up and veered off the road and into the salt marsh. The car was half-submerged in the brine about 20 feet from the road when police arrived."

Facebook update saves teen from jail

Hat tip to Joel...



Makes me nostalgic...


Republicans and Democrats like us...

Ok, dear readers, I'd love your analysis of this one:

Want to grab a Republican and not in the usual TV places? Try "Wipeout" on ABC. A Democrat? How about TNT's "Saving Grace"?

In July, TiVo used Power||WatchTM ratings service -- one that surveys its DVR users -- to examine party affiliations concerning TV programming. It didn't just measure the seemingly obvious TV news show category, but monitored general entertainment programming, as well.

The highest-rated show for those who identify themselves as Republicans was Discovery Channel's "Deadliest Catch," a show about real-life lobster fishermen in the rough and cold waters of Alaska. The show grabbed a 4.9 rating among Republican viewers, with an index of 130.2, which equates to some 30% over the average.

The second-best show was ABC's special "J.K. Rowling: A Year in the Life," which took in a 3.8 Republican rating and a 125.2 index. ABC's "Wipeout," the reality athletic competition show, was in third with a 6.6 rating and a 116.2 index.

For those identified as Democrats, the best-rated show was TNT's "Saving Grace," a drama about an Oklahoma City detective who deals with crime and her guardian angel. It scored a 5.3 rating among Democrats and a 153.6 index -- the highest index for either party affiliation.

Almost as high for the Democrats was Bravo's "Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D-List," which took in a 6.4 rating and a 151.2 index. "The Closer," another TNT show, was in third place with a 9.6 rating and a 138 index. The best-rated broadcast network show was NBC's "The Philanthropist," with a 5.8 rating and a 137.2 index.

Where did Democrats and Republicans meet? TNT's "Raising The Bar," about young public defender lawyers and young DAs in New York City, which scored well on both lists. For Republicans, this pulled in a 4.2 rating and a 112.9 index; for Democrats, the show earned a 4.8 rating and a 128.8 index.

Among TV news shows, Republicans and Democrats split along party lines, according to what critics believe are their affiliations. Eight of the top 10 shows for Republicans were on the Fox News Channel, while eight of the top 10 show shows for Democrats were either MSNBC or CNN.

So: Is this a good metric of the Political Engagement of Viewers? If so, is there a correlation between political engagement and purchasing?



Weird NYT goof...

This looks to me like an e-mail from the writer to the assignment editor.


Just once and for all, can we get this straight?

Ok, I'm sick and tired of hearing about how you can't release pedophiles and rapists because they all re-offend.
Let's once and for all understand what our ownBureau of Justice Statistics says:


Of the 272,111 persons released from prisons in 15 States in 1994, an estimated 67.5% were rearrested for a felony or serious misdemeanor within 3 years, 46.9% were reconvicted, and 25.4% resentenced to prison for a new crime.

Within 3 years of release, 2.5% of released rapists were rearrested for another rape, and 1.2% of those who had served time for homicide were arrested for a new homicide.

Sex offenders were less likely than non-sex offenders to be rearrested for any offense –– 43 percent of sex offenders versus 68 percent of non-sex offenders.

Sex offenders were about four times more likely than non-sex offenders to be arrested for another sex crime after their discharge from prison –– 5.3 percent of sex offenders versus 1.3 percent of non-sex offenders.

On a given day in 1994 there were approximately 234,000 offenders convicted of rape or sexual assault under the care, custody, or control of corrections agencies; nearly 60% of these sex offenders are under conditional supervision in the community.

Of the 9,691 male sex offenders released from prisons in 15 States in 1994, 5.3% were rearrested for a new sex crime within 3 years of release.

Approximately 4,300 child molesters were released from prisons in 15 States in 1994. An estimated 3.3% of these 4,300 were rearrested for another sex crime against a child within 3 years of release from prison.


Released prisoners with the HIGHEST rearrest rates were robbers (70.2%), burglars (74.0%), larcenists (74.6%), motor vehicle thieves (78.8%), those in prison for possessing or selling stolen property (77.4%), and those in prison for possessing, using, or selling illegal weapons (70.2%).

Released prisoners with the LOWEST rearrest rates were those in prison for homicide (40.7%), rape (46.0%), other sexual assault (41.4%), and driving under the influence (51.5%).

Within 3 years, 2.5% of released rapists were arrested for another rape, and 1.2% of those who had served time for homicide were arrested for homicide.

Ok, can we all please stop echoing the bullshit now?


A must read...

Just read this piece. It's called The Rubber Room and it's about education in NYC


Unhappy Ashcroft...

A federal appeals court has ruled that former Attorney General John Ashcroft may be held liable for people who were wrongfully detained as material witnesses after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

In a harshly worded ruling handed down Friday, a three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals called the government's use of material witnesses after Sept. 11 ''repugnant to the Constitution and a painful reminder of some of the most ignominious chapters of our national history.''Sweet.

Love the LA Times....

Compare this from today with this from just a year ago...


Teddy Kennedy: May he rest in peace

A real loss.:

"He was a Rabelaisian figure in the Senate and in life, instantly recognizable by his shock of white hair, his florid, oversize face, his booming Boston brogue, his powerful but pained stride. He was a celebrity, sometimes a self-parody, a hearty friend, an implacable foe, a man of large faith and large flaws, a melancholy character who persevered, drank deeply and sang loudly. He was a Kennedy."


It's only taken eight years...

But finally there's a little more progress on double blind sequential line-ups. Turns out, Dallas has adopted what they term a pioneering new photo lineup approach, and only 8 years after I filed the first motion on this in People v. Franco.

Better late than never.


A little preview of my episode...

The whole gang...


6 months in jail for yawning -

THanks to O for this one:

JOLIET, Ill. – Drowsy spectators in one suburban Chicago courtroom might want to stifle their yawns from now on. Clifton Williams, 33, of Richton Park, is facing six months in jail for making what court documents call a yawn-like sound in Will County Judge Daniel Rozak's court last month. The yawn happened as Williams' cousin, Jason Mayfield, was being sentenced for a drug charge on July 23. Rozak found Williams in contempt of court and sentenced him to six months in jail. However, Rozak could free Williams after a status hearing Thursday, if Williams apologizes and the judge accepts. By then, Williams will have served 21 days.

Witnesses disagree about whether Williams' yawn was out of line.
Charles Pelkie, spokesman for the Will County state's attorney's office, said the prosecutor in the courtroom at the time told him that what came out of Williams' mouth could hardly be called a "yawn." "This was a very loud, boisterous, deliberate attempt on the part of this individual to disrupt the proceedings and show disrespect to the court," Pelkie said. "It was not a guy who involuntarily yawned. This guy was making a statement — a very loud statement — in court."

Mayfield disagreed, saying it was "not an outrageous yawn." Williams has written his family to say that he can't believe he's in jail "for nothing." A message left for Rozak Tuesday was not immediately returned.

Six months is the maximum sentence judges can give for criminal contempt without a jury trial.


If poverty tends to criminalize people, it is also true that criminalization inexorably impoverishes them.

If you read one thing today, let it be this perfect Times Op-Ed called Is It Now a Crime to Be Poor?

In it, the incomparable BARBARA EHRENREICH observes:

""The viciousness of the official animus toward the indigent can be breathtaking. A few years ago, a group called Food Not Bombs started handing out free vegan food to hungry people in public parks around the nation. A number of cities, led by Las Vegas, passed ordinances forbidding the sharing of food with the indigent in public places, and several members of the group were arrested. A federal judge just overturned the anti-sharing law in Orlando, Fla., but the city is appealing. And now Middletown, Conn., is cracking down on food sharing."


40,000 to be released in CA

What a perfect synopsis:

The massive 750% increase in the California prison population since the mid-1970s is the result of political decisions made over three decades, including the shift to inflexible determinate sentencing and the passage of harsh mandatory minimum and three-strikes laws, as well as the state’s counterproductive parole system. Unfortunately, as California’s prison population has grown, California’s political decision-makers have failed to provide the resources and facilities required to meet the additional need for space and for other necessities of prison existence. Likewise, although state-appointed experts have repeatedly provided numerous methods by which the state could safely reduce its prison population, their recommendations have been ignored, underfunded, or postponed indefinitely. The convergence of tough-on-crime policies and an unwillingness to expend the necessary funds to support the population growth has brought California’s prisons to the breaking point. The state of emergency declared by Governor Schwarzenegger almost three years ago continues to this day, California’s prisons remain severely overcrowded, and inmates in the California prison system continue to languish without constitutionally adequate medical and mental health care.


Pick A Number: What does Madoff get?

Thanks to the promptings of my friend Randy, I've been thinking about the Madoff sentencing...

Here's the problem as I see it. The magnitude of his crimes are virtually unprecedented, and his lifespan is quite short, so in truth I think that almost all of these discussions are academic. The question then becomes, if a 13 year sentence is functionally the same as a 150 year sentence, it seems you can basically buy some deterrent value with very little personal cost. Now that said, I think the judge will be sensitive to seeming absurd or seeming to overtly pander, so my guess is he'll impose a sentence consistent with Madoff being a young guy. Say something around 600 months (or 50 years) Maybe a touch more. If there were a betting pool, I'd put my money on 56 years.

The usual things obtain when you're talking about sentencing: Is this really a life we want to waste in prison? The problem is, in his case, with the number of victims and the length of the fraud, there is a very good argument that he's done nothing but carry on a massive criminal enterprise for the bulk of his life. So other than the acceptance of responsibility, I'm not sure I see a lot of argument for anything that would genuinely count as leniency.

So what do you think the Judge sentences Madoff to?

Leave your predictions in the comments...


We Find the Defendant Not Guilty (if That's O.K. With Everyone) - New York Times

It's kind of funny to look back at this piece as we, in the RTB writer's room begin to ponder our season finale (RTB 215). I suppose it's a nice metric by which to judge one's own show. I wrote this for the New York Times back in January of 2006...

Long strange trip.

We Find the Defendant Not Guilty (if That's O.K. With Everyone)

Published: January 1, 2006

FROM the airy second-floor ballroom of a once-grand hotel, David Swain, the preening, pugilistic focus of ABC's new show "In Justice," presides over an organization he calls the National Justice Project. Loosely based on the many "innocence projects" that have sprung up across the country since the advent of DNA testing, the show, in its promotional materials, claims to offer "a completely new take on the procedural drama."

The criminal justice system has always made for good drama, and over the years the political and narrative tides have shifted back and forth between the values of protecting the innocent and nailing the guilty. But 15 years into the reign of "Law & Order" (with no end in sight), "In Justice" makes it clear that even a series about wrongful conviction must tiptoe around the idea of setting the inmates free.

The show's solution is to create a zero-sum world in which for every innocent person who is exonerated and liberated, a sneaky perp must get his or her comeuppance. The problem is not merely that "In Justice" is terribly inaccurate (though it is), but that it shows just how rigid our collective view of the criminal justice system has become, and how unwilling we are to rethink our view of cops and prosecutors as heroes.

Police procedurals have often both reflected and predicted our criminal justice sensibilities. From 1957 to 1966, when "Perry Mason" first graced our televisions, viewers were accustomed to seeing the failures of the system, such as innocent people being accused of crimes they simply didn't commit. And while Perry Mason often identified the real perpetrator, as a zealous defense lawyer he nonetheless embodied the era of the Warren court, and presaged a great expansion in civil liberties. It was, after all, well into the show's run that the Supreme Court decided Miranda v. Arizona (the seminal 1966 decision that required police to read suspects their rights before interrogating them), Gideon v. Wainwright (the 1963 decision requiring that poor people be represented by counsel when charged with serious crimes) and Mapp v. Ohio (the 1961 decision banning the use of evidence discovered during illegal searches).

But in the intervening decades, from "Hill Street Blues" through the wildly successful "Law & Order" franchise, police dramas have moved from a presumption of innocence to a certainty about guilt. And as goes television, so goes America.

"Law & Order" had its debut in 1990, at the height of the crack craze and the apotheosis of violent crime. It brilliantly exploited the crook fear of the late 80's and early 90's by recasting the entire criminal justice system - lionizing sharp-featured, street-savvy prosecutors and cops and rendering defense lawyers as ineffective and largely irrelevant. Both on our televisions and in our courthouses, the focus of the criminal justice system became ensuring not the freedom of the innocent but the incarceration of the guilty.

Through more than a decade of falling crime rates, mandatory sentencing minimums and an incarcerated population that nearly tripled, from 739,000 in 1990 to well over two million today, "Law & Order" made more than a billion dollars while adroitly exporting its clever formula to a number of successful progeny. Other than "The Practice," David E. Kelley's darkly rich drama about a scrappy defense firm, there hasn't been a genuine challenge to the "Law & Order" worldview since it took to the airwaves.

But amid resistance to the Patriot Act, revelations of a secret domestic spying program and a growing awareness - even among senators and governors - that the genuinely innocent can in fact be convicted, this would seem to be the time for the pendulum to swing back toward a more nuanced view of the criminal justice system.

"In Justice" is, in fact, that first small step, though it is clearly terrified about abandoning the cop and prosecutor archetypes that "Law & Order" erected. The result is, that unlike "Perry Mason," "In Justice" simply can't seem to play defense lawyers or the National Justice Project straight.

That David Swain omits the word "innocence" from his project's name is no accident. The National Justice Project seeks both to free the innocent and to incarcerate the guilty - thereby blurring the lines between prosecutors and defense lawyers to virtual irrelevance. This isn't just a convenient dramatic device; it also reflects the fear that merely freeing the innocent won't sell. The consequence of that fear is a show that ignores the fundamentally adversarial relationship between prosecutors and defense lawyers, and squanders the narrative tension that might otherwise propel the show toward righteous indignation.

Swain himself (played by Kyle MacLachlan) comes across as a man more motivated by ambition and ego than by compassion; heroic crusading defense lawyers aren't ready for prime time just yet.

While the show does do an outstanding job of vividly portraying the agonies of prison, the dangers of false confessions, the vagaries of eyewitness identification and the pressure on criminal defendants to snitch, at its root it seems more likely to adopt the traditional shibboleth of incompetent defense lawyers than to turn a critical eye toward bad judges or venal prosecutors. And it is in the acceptance of this worldview that the show falls most dramatically short of its promise.

Even in its structure, "In Justice" is familiar. After the view from the jury box and a plea from a desperate defendant or his family, the rest of the hour follows Swain and his team, led by Charles Conti (Jason O'Mara), his chief investigator - an ex-cop who once put away the wrong guy before quitting the force and turning toward righteousness - as they pound the pavement, engage in elaborate expository disquisitions and eventually solve the case. In the end, it takes only a few minutes for the prosecutors to see the light, for the real perpetrator to confess and for the wrongly convicted to walk dramatically out of prison.

At the end of the first episode, a teary-eyed brother embraces his newly freed sister. "Thank you," he murmurs to Swain, "thank you for giving me back my family." Moments later, as Swain turns maudlin, Conti fixes him with a perplexed look.

"You know," Conti says, "I can never tell if you are a cynical man pretending to be sentimental or the other way around."

Swain, cocking his head in the canny fashion of a supermodel on a photo shoot, glances back at his trusty sidekick. "Does it matter?" he asks archly.

It won't be long before there is a show for which the answer to that question is "yes."

David Feige is a public defender in the Bronx and a writer. "Indefensible," his book about the criminal justice system, will be published in June by Little, Brown & Company.


Jerry Kellerman (jerrykellerman) on Twitter

Just for fun, you can follow .Jerry Kellerman (jerrykellerman) on Twitter

RTB Season Two Premieres Tonight!

Tune in for Season Two of Raising the Bar
10 PM on TNT!

And leave comments below to let me know what you think.
I look forward to any and all of them...




Pretty Funny...

Jail Term Sought in Medical Marijuana Case -

Government lawyers are expected to ask a federal judge to impose a five-year sentence on the owner of a marijuana dispensary.

H. Marshall Jarrett, the director of the Executive Office for United States Attorneys, on Friday sent a letter to United States Attorney Thomas P. O’Brien of Los Angeles guiding him to seek a five year sentence. Mr. Jarrett was the head of the Justice Department’s ethics office until Mr. Holder replaced him following allegations of prosecutorial misconduct in the corruption case against former Alaska Senator Ted Stevens.

Yep, Change but no change...


What Music Should Be...

No reason to post this, except that the Counting Crows Rock just totally rock the house...


Moses is Departing Egypt: A Facebook Haggadah

Hat tip to my friend Mitch who sent me this brilliant bit


More Repulsive Tripe from Caitlin Flanagan

In this Op-Ed Caitlin Flanagan (voted one of MSN's 13 Women who make us cringe) is once again cringe-worthy with this absurd argument about Sarah Jane Olsen. As usual she gets it back-asswards cloaking her argument for forcing SJO to serve her parole in California in the rhetoric of racial equality.

But that's probably why this self-styled housewife should stick to writing about domestic issues rather than legal or political ones. If she'd managed to talk to anyone involved in the criminal justice system, including even the one person she quotes in the piece, she'd realize that the problem isn't allowing SJO out of prison nor is the issue that she gets to go home to Minnesota, the problem is others don't get those benefits. And the solution? Not to burn precious space on the TImes Op-Ed page whining about Olsen's crime, but rather to advocate for more liberal parole rules everywhere.

How about a little note about how overcrowded California prisons are already stuffed full of parole violators sent back only on "technical specs"?

How about a nice piece about the dangers of mass incarceration or the absurd sentences meted out to those self same folks who have committed lesser crimes? Flanigan has made a career out of shaming working women and glorifying home-makers.

Time to make some donuts.


RTB en Italia...

I came across a listing for "Avvocati a New York" And what it is? Yep, RTB.

Here's the awesome auto translation of the description...

"The series tells the stories of private and professional group of young lawyers of the Big Apple, the court rivals, but friends in private life. Every day have another case to solve that sees them in opposing the classroom, but their relationship of mutual friendship that has lasted since the university is stronger than any rivalry.
Among them is Jerry Kellerman (Mark-Paul Gosselaar, the popular protagonist of Bayside School), a public defender and courageous idealist who is always committed to the maximum for his client. His head is Rosalind Whitman (Gloria Reuben), including but tough, that spurs the most of his team. Together with them, work Woolsley Patrick Richard (Teddy Sears,) and Roberta "Bobbi" Gilar (Natalia Cigliano). In the department of public prosecution, however, there are Ernhardt Michelle (Melissa Sagemiller), Nick Balco (Currie Graham) and Marcus McGrath (J. August Richards), really relentless in putting criminals behind bars. The group is also the Judge Trudy Kessler (Jane Kaczmarek), a former public defender who presides over the court with an iron fist, and his mysterious assistant Charlie Sagansky (Jonathan Scarfi).

Most Immigrants In Detention Do Not Have Criminal Records

"The data show that 18,690 immigrants had no criminal conviction, not even for illegal entry or low-level crimes like trespassing. More than 400 of those with no criminal record had been incarcerated for at least a year. A dozen had been held for three years or more; one man from China had been locked up for more than five years."



Barbie Party...

Fun. But over by 10.


Top Judge in Texas Closes Early to Insure Execution...

Evil judge Keller

And what kind of Judge is she? In 1998, she wrote the opinion rejecting a new trial for Roy Criner, a mentally retarded man convicted of rape and murder, even though DNA tests after his trial showed that it was not his semen in the victim. “We can’t give new trials to everyone who establishes, after conviction, that they might be innocent,” she later told the television news program “Frontline.”

Her campaign slogan? "Pro-Prosecution"

Shame on Texas. Conduct like this, she should be off the bench.



ColorLine's 2009's Innovators

Guess who made the list? You guessed it. The Bronx Defenders!


Starve the inmates and get rich...

Amazing piece about this sheriff, finally jailed for essentially starving his inmates. Bear in mind, he spent less than $1.75 per day to feed them.

this is the guy...


Thank you Canada...

So it seems we're getting a very warm reception in the dead of winter north of the border.This, today's nice nod from the Globe and Mail...

CTV Raising the Bar (Jan. 9) Shades of Perry Mason: There are still signs of life in the TV legal drama. First broadcast on the U.S. cable channel TNT last September, this series hails from iconic TV producer Steven Bochco. Revisiting his days of L.A. Law, Bochco romanticizes and idealizes the lives of a handful of capable lawyers working opposite ends of the legal system – the district attorney's office and the public defender's office. Former Saved by the Bell star Mark-Paul Gosselaar, whom Bochco tapped to replace Rick Schroder on NYPD Blue several years back, takes on the central role of Jerry Kellerman, idealistic public defender drawn to hopeless cases. Jerry has an even more earnest boss, Rosalind, played by Canadian Gloria Reuben, and a formidable courtroom opponent in Nick Balco, played by another Canadian, Currie Graham, who succeeded Gosselaar on NYPD Blue (Bochco likes to work with the same people).

Former Malcolm in the Middle mom Jane Kaczmarek is grand as a hardball judge. The show was well-received and highly rated upon its U.S. debut, even with the distraction of Gosselaar's incredibly girly hairstyle.!

Shades of Perry Mason? I'll take that.



What a perfect wish for 2009. Thanks New York Times!