“Unseen, confinement is where society’s unspent rage takes its toll on human lives. It reduces existence to a room that grows smaller with each degradation. A house of pain and trauma, its concrete walls and steel doors enclose people in jails and prisons, juvenile facilities, solitary, immigration detention and civil commitment. Incarceration intersects punishment, dignity, and end of life. And fear of its horrors are the bludgeon of interrogations, plea bargaining, and retributive justice.” This comprehensive, deeply researched and significant article by Ken Strutin compiles recent and notable reports, scholarship and news concerning the devastating spectrum of prison life and mortality. Through the perspective, insights and voluminous documentation of this leading expert on criminal justice we are given a deeper, more encompassing and meaningful understanding of a complex institutional structure that impacts the lives of millions of Americans. Strutin’s article is not only a critical legal resource but it is also a body of knowledge that calls out for understanding as well as action to ensure that civil liberties, social justice, and our belief in a just society includes the incarcerated, their families, and all of our communities.
This commentary by attorney Nicolle Schippers offers insight and perspective on how technology has changed the paradigm of legal services and client communications in 2017. Looking forward to 2018, Schippers calls upon her colleagues to engage in a continuing dialogue to collectively deliver more consumer-focused and service-oriented services that leverage actionable technology solutions applied in the interest of best serving the legal needs of consumers.
Peggy Roebuck Jarrett writes about an issue that is significant to law librarians, federal documents librarians, and to the public. The subject is a draft House bill that proposes “to amend title 44, United States Code, to reform the organization, authorities, and programs relating to public printing and documents, including the Federal Depository Program.” Jarrett shares why this bill could fundamentally change the publication and distribution of official print and digital government information. In addition, Jarrett describes how the future of no-fee public access to reliable government information – which includes the very laws that govern us – is at stake.
Ken Strutin’s exemplary research once again advances our understanding of critical issues pertaining to our justice system in the United States. According to Strutin: ‘the number of innocent people in post-conviction confinement is counted in the thousands, the pre-trial population of the unconvicted is in the millions. Every accused has constitutional rights to liberty, dignity and innocence, and yet, confinement often arrives before conviction. Money bail has the unfortunate effect of monetizing personal liberty and alchemizing human beings into negotiable instruments. This is the slippery slope of criminal justice, the erosion of liberty and due process. So it is that excessive bail bars the way to fully realize constitutional rights and increases the risk of wrongful conviction. Present efforts to improve pretrial release and detention practices have inspired some legislative and policy changes as well as bail funds and advocacy programs. This guide and annotated bibliography covers noteworthy legislation, court decisions, reports and guides, news articles and other sources concerning bail reforms and practices.”
Marcus Zillman’s guide is a comprehensive link dataset toolkit of electronic reference resources and services currently available on the Internet. Zillman provides researchers with a wide ranging A-Z pathfinder of subject matter specific sources, sites and services that provide researchers with actionable information on topical issues including: business, dictionaries and digital archives, the economy, education, energy, governance, law and legislation, news, online services provided by librarians, information maintained by US and global organizations (public, private, industry, news, academic/scholarly, government), sciences, and more.
Our exposure to and reliance upon an increasingly ubiquitous range of technology is intertwined with issues related to intellectual property law. With smartphone cameras used to capture and share what their respective creators otherwise claim as intellectual property, to the devices, services and applications that comprise the Internet of Things (IoT), Ken Grady raises significant and as yet unresolved concerns about how the rule of law will be applied in response to the use, and misuse, of AI and digital personal assistants.
The Internet of Things (IoT) has permeated all facets of our lives – professional, family, social – more quickly and expansively than many are willing to acknowledge. The repercussions of IoT are multifaceted – and directly impact issues that span privacy, cybersecurity, intellectual property rights, civil liberties and the law. Law and technology scholar Joshua A.T. Fairfield discusses the ramifications of allowing our environment to be seeded with sensors that gather our personal data using a plethora of devices we now consider to be essential conveniences.
This overview by Peter Charles focuses on the impact of data collection in reference to DUI prosecutions, and includes recent court cases, notable articles on DUI law, and loops in the escalating use of data collection and privacy rights.
Notable developments in courtrooms, academia and government institutions, both state and federal, are laying the groundwork for challenges to fingerprint matching. This extensively researched, comprehensive annotated bibliography by Ken Strutin includes new and noteworthy materials such as key opinions, significant articles and online resources concerning accuracy, reliability, validity as well as authenticity of fingerprint evidence. It also includes information on scientific and technological developments that are pushing the frontiers of biometric analysis.
Attorney Carolyn Elefant discusses what she has learned from her recent experience with data-driven decision making – specifically, although data improves the accuracy of predictions, it doesn’t remove all risk.