All eyes were on Houston this week, where Shannon Miles has been charged with murdering Deputy Darren Goforth. Miles allegedly approached Goforth from behind at a gas station and fired 15 rounds into the officer. This CNN story has the details. It includes a statement by the national president of the Fraternal Order of Police that “In the last few years, ambush attacks aimed to kill or injure law enforcement officers have risen dramatically.” I hope that’s a blip, not a trend.
In other news:
Deputies at Kerrick trial praised. Speaking of deputies, the Charlotte Observer has an article here praising the work of the deputies who kept order during the recent trial of CMPD officer Randall “Wes” Kerrick. The article gives the deputies credit for cultivating at atmosphere of civility and decorum despite the presence of emotionally invested spectators on both sides. Job well done.
Exonerated brothers still struggling, to receive compensation. WRAL has a story here about half-brothers Henry McCollum and Leon Brown, released last year after decades of imprisonment for a rape and murder that they didn’t commit. They were officially pardoned this summer, and will receive $750,000 each in compensation. But Brown, in particular, has struggled since being released, and has been hospitalized repeatedly in connection with mental illnesses that he attributes to his experience in prison.
Most NFL players aren’t criminals. I’m not talking about Tom Brady, who won his legal challenge against the NFL this week and so won’t be suspended for his alleged role in Deflategate. I’m referring to a new study that shows that since 2000, the arrest rate for NFL players has been lower than the arrest rate for the general population every year. Of note, however, is the fact that the players have closed the gap in recent years.
New York Times unfair to Justice Thomas? The Times recently ran this Adam Liptak article, entitled Clarence Thomas, a Supreme Court Justice of Few Words, Some Not His Own. The key finding is that Justice Thomas’s opinions “contain language from briefs submitted to the court at unusually high rates.” The article contains a number of qualifications and caveats, but it does leave the impression that Justice Thomas is more likely than others to crib from the briefs when drafting opinions. Over at the Volokh Conspiracy, Professor Orin Kerr takes the Times to task, breaking down the numbers and arguing that Justice Thomas isn’t that different from other Justices, and that none of them adopt language from the parties’ briefs all that often. Kerr’s post provides enough detail that readers can pretty well reach their own conclusions.
Labor day. Enjoy the long weekend. We’ll be back in action on Tuesday.