News Roundup

The SBI is investigating allegations that nude photographs of middle and high school students have been posted on photo-sharing site Instagram without the students’ consent. The investigation began in Wake County but has now reached eight additional counties as well. WRAL has the story here. I imagine that the images first came into circulation through sexting, a topic I discussed in the early days of the blog, here. My colleague LaToya Powell has been looking into some of the legal issues surrounding sexting and I hope she will share her insights on the blog in the future.

In other news:

Free speech at the Supreme Court. Above the Law reports here on a protestor who sat in the audience during an oral argument before the United States Supreme Court, then rose to speak from the gallery about campaign finance reform and the need to overrule Citizens United. He was quickly removed and has apparently been charged with a violation of 40 U.S.C. § 6134, which makes it a crime to “make a harangue or oration, or utter loud, threatening, or abusive language in the Supreme Court Building or grounds.” Seriously, it’s a crime to make an oration at the Supreme Court? Maybe that’s why Justice Thomas keeps his mouth shut.

How long would you last in solitary confinement? Check out this New York Times article by Rick Raemisch, who runs the Colorado prison system, about his 20-hour stay in solitary. He was in the most punitive version of solitary, where no personal property is allowed – no books, no TV, nothing to write on – and there is nothing to do. The article notes the awful irony that Mr. Raemisch’s predecessor, a reformer who significantly curtailed the use of solitary confinement, was killed by a man who had recently been released from solitary.

World’s biggest drug baron arrested. If your image of Mazatlan is as a port of call for the Love Boat, think again. Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, leader of the Sinaloa cartel, was arrested there by Mexican Marines this week. CNN has the details here. The arrest is the culmination of a series of moves against the cartel by Mexican and United States authorities. Whether it will be an effective strike against drug violence or will prompt a succession struggle, time will tell. The United States is seeking extradition, but Reuters reports here that it is not yet clear whether that will be successful.

Google strikes back. As regular readers of the blog know, I’m on a bit of a Google Glass kick, so I read with interest this Ars Technica piece about Google’s stepped-up lobbying effort to get state legislatures to permit driving while Glassed.

New gang threat! Finally, this local article reports on the unique menace of Disney gangs, sets of heavily tattooed, pierced, and denim-clad dudes with group names like the Black Death Crew who stalk the Happiest Place on Earth. These organizations undertake nefarious activities like “watch[ing] movies, trad[ing] pins and other memorabilia . . . and immers[ing] themselves in all things Disney.” Watch out! These evil brotherhoods also claim to be out “for fun, for friendship—and to uphold Walt Disney’s Magic Kingdom ideal.” Frightening. You didn’t hear it from me, but I think Jamie Markham may be a member.

2 thoughts on “News Roundup”

  1. The New York Times article is just fantastic! A wonderful look into how our corrections system has blurred the lines between “race” and “group” and “gang.” It was very, very well written and researched!

  2. Photos
    I would have by an educated guess concluded that most of these sort of pictures would have originated from the new camera phones etc. I am not big on creating new laws and or regulations as a rule but maybe we need a law that prohibits minors from having camera phones? It seems that parents are unable to control their children today, and children are motivated by peer pressure to do a lot of real stupid things.
    Free speech
    Unfortunately over the course of several generations it seems we have managed to get a lot of laws, rules, regulations, and ‘policies’ which I personally feel go against the most fundamental principles of our American system of Jurisprudence.
    “make a harangue or oration, or utter loud, threatening, or abusive language” This part of that particular laws leaves a lot of room for ‘personal opinions’ concerning whether or not the prohibited conduct actually occurred. Do they allow the audience in any of these settings a chance to express their opinions? I have never been in any court that did, and never encountered one that ‘asked’ for comments.


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