Monthly Archives: September 2011

It’s good to see that Canada is doing things the right way…

Canadian Supreme Court ruling opens doors to drug injection clinics across Canada

The Supreme Court of Canada has opened the door to supervised drug injection clinics across the country in a landmark decision on Friday that ordered the federal government to stop interfering with Vancouver’s controversial Insite clinic.

The Court was persuaded by evidence that drug addicts are considerably safer administering their own injections under medical surveillance rather than obtaining and injecting hard drugs on the streets of the city’s troubled Downtown Eastside.

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Court of Appeals Releases Another Medical Marijuana Opinion

Somehow Court of Appeals Judge Hoekstra keeps ending up on the panels dealing with medical marijuana. I’m not exactly sure how he keeps ending up on those cases, but it seems awfully shady that the panels are supposed to be random, yet he is on EVERY SINGLE ONE and has authored the last two opinions to come out of the Court of Appeals.

Regardless, click here ——->Bylsma Case 09.28.11 to read the absurd opinion.

– Colin A. Daniels

Police Lineups Start to Face Fact: Eyes Can Lie

The decision by New Jersey’s Supreme Court last week to overhaul the state’s rules for how judges and jurors treat evidence from police lineups could help transform the way officers conduct a central technique of police work, criminal justice experts say.

In its ruling, the court strongly endorsed decades of research demonstrating that traditional eyewitness identification procedures are flawed and can send innocent people to prison. By making it easier for defendants to challenge witness evidence in criminal cases, the court for the first time attached consequences for investigators who fail to take steps to reduce the subtle pressures and influences on witnesses that can result in mistaken identifications.

“No court has ever taken this topic this seriously or put in this kind of effort,” said Gary L. Wells, a professor of psychology at Iowa State University who is an expert on witness identification and has written extensively on the topic.

Other courts are likely to follow suit, and in November the United States Supreme Court will take up the question of identification for the first time since 1977.

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It Is Time to Fix the Federal Criminal System

Blackstone famously declared that “it is better that ten guilty persons escape, than that one innocent suffer.”In today’s federal criminal system, that idea seems quaint. An acquittal is viewed as a sign the system does not work.Efficiency has become the highest value.

The federal criminal system in its current form affords the prosecution so many advantages that even an innocent defendant has little chance of acquittal. A defendant whose guilt is merely doubtful has almost no chance. Once in a great while the defense wins, but only because courageous judges and juries resist the systemic pressure to convict and imprison.

This article lists ways the system favors the prosecution, from investigation through appeal, and suggests a menu of reforms. The list is not exhaustive — just a few examples among dozens. Encountered in isolation, each imbalance may seem inconsequential. As a whole, they produce a system so heavily stacked for conviction that few defendants dare risk trial. Those who do (Jeffrey Skilling, Bernard Ebbers, Raj Rajaratnam) often pay for their temerity with decades in prison.3

It is time to fix the federal criminal system. Let’s start at the beginning and look at the process step-by-step, from pre-indictment investigation through appeal.

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EMU seeks to ban medical marijuana on campus – Vote Will Happen Tonight

Eastern Michigan University is looking to ban medical marijuana use and possession on campus, a move that will put the college in line with other state institutions who have barred the drug, including Michigan State University and the University of Michigan.

The university says that although the Michigan Medical Marihuana Act of 2008 permits marijuana use with a certified prescription, federal laws such as the Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1988 and theDrug-Free Schools and Communities Act Amendment of 1989 prohibit the drug on campuses.

Because EMU receives federal funding, it is subject to the federal act, the school asserts.

The matter will be put to a vote at EMU’s Board of Regents meeting today.

Doug Ordway, owner of the Green Bee Collective, a medical marijuana dispensary in Ann Arbor, says he is disappointed by EMU’s push to ban the substance.

“They’re dependent on federal funding and it’s hard for them to support medical marijuana without getting in trouble,” he said. “But I’d like them to, at the minimum, be neutral on it because they’re going contradictory to the will of the people in Michigan.”

via Ann Arbor.com

Neil Rockind and Colin Daniels on Fox 2 News – Discussing the Medical Marijuana Raids in Commerce Township