Thoughts, essays, and writings on Liberty. Written by the heirs of Patrick Henry.

March 8, 2011

Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is — The Innocence Project

[To skip my blather and go straight to The Liberty Papers' page at the Innocence Project, go here.] It’s been said before that a conservative is simply a liberal who’s been mugged, and that a libertarian is a conservative who’s been mugged — by his own government. I know that for me, it wasn’t *exactly* [...]

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February 17, 2011

Exonerated After 18 Years on Death Row, Anthony Graves Will Not Be Compensated on a Legal Technicality

Anthony Graves, the 12th death row inmate to be exonerated in Texas, will not receive his $1.4 million compensation for serving 18 years in prison for a crime he did not commit. The sum of $1.4 million might sound like a lot of money until one considers all the years of lost income potential, time [...]

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January 12, 2011

Gov. Pat Quinn to Decide Fate of the Death Penalty in Illinois

Both houses of the Illinois legislature passed a bill which would end the death penalty in the state. However, Gov. Pat Quinn (D) has reportedly stated he wants to “reflect” on the issue before deciding whether or not he will sign the bill into law. (Reuters) – Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn said on Wednesday he [...]

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December 30, 2010

Open Thread: Successes and Setbacks for Liberty in 2010/Hopes for 2011

Was 2010 a good year or bad year for liberty and why? Like most of you will likely respond, 2010 was very much a mixed bag IMHO. On the positive side, the mandate section of ObamaCare was found unconstitutional, the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy was repealed, Wikileaks exposed the federal government for the [...]

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December 23, 2010

Is it Possible that More Conservatives are Getting a Clue About Criminal Justice Reform and Even the War on (Some) Drugs?

Up until about Monday of this week, such a question would have made me laugh. As I have increasingly involved myself in criminal justice issues, I have found the Democrats to be slightly more willing to take on the Prison Industrial Complex, mandatory minimum sentences, and decriminalization (if not outright legalization) of marijuana. These Democrats [...]

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November 8, 2010

Correcting the so called “Corrections” system

As of today, it should be clear to everyone in this country, that our system for dealing with criminals (I won’t call it a “criminal justice” system since justice has so little to do with it), is utterly broken, beyond any conventional concept of repair. At this point, again I say, it should be clear [...]

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October 18, 2010

“More Expensive” Offers Alternatives to Incarceration to Break the Recidivism Cycle

Title: It’s More Expensive to do Nothing Producer: Humane Exposures Films Directed by: Alan Swyer Non-violent offender is arrested, convicted, does his time, re-enters society and the cycle repeats. This is the typical cycle of recidivism in the American criminal justice system thanks largely to the “tough on crime” approach of state and federal policy. [...]

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September 17, 2010

Constitution Day Open Thread: Top 3 Amendments You Would Make

Today marks the 223rd anniversary of the U.S. Constitution, allegedly the supreme law of the land. The framers of the Constitution recognized that over time changes would need to be made through an amendment process. In the intervening 223 years, this document has been amended only 27 times. This brings me to the question I [...]

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September 16, 2010

Jack Conway’s Unfair Attack on Rand Paul

I’m not a Rand Paul fan, not a Kentuckian and am not going to endorse him or give money to his campaign. Given that, all of the above is true of his Democratic opponent Jack Conway as well. His disingenuous advertisement attacking Paul for an alleged laissez faire approach to law enforcement is absurd and [...]

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August 26, 2010

Even Death Penalty Supporters Urge Ohio Gov. Strickland to Spare Kevin Keith

Its one thing when anti-death penalty activists petition a governor to pardon or commute a sentence of an individual scheduled for execution but quite another when death penalty supporters agree. Kevin Keith is scheduled to be executed by the state of Ohio on September 15th for the 1994 murders of 2 adults and 1 child; [...]

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July 29, 2010

Innocence Project Press Release: House Passes Bipartisan Bill to Review and Reform the Criminal Justice System

House Passes Bipartisan Bill to Review and Reform the Criminal Justice System Innocence Project praises the House of Representatives’ leadership and urges the Senate to enact this legislation as soon as possible (Washington, D.C.: Wednesday, July 28, 2010) – Late yesterday, the House of Representatives passed critical bipartisan legislation, “The National Criminal Justice Commission Act [...]

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July 13, 2010

Did the Jury for the BART Shooting Get the ‘Right’ Verdict?

It was arguably the first nationally broadcast officer involved shooting of 2009. Early January 1, 2009 BART Officer Johannes Mehserle shot and killed Oscar Grant on a crowded platform at the Oakland station. Several videos (see them here) captured by cell phone cameras show what appears to me to be an execution style shooting of [...]

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May 26, 2010

SCOTUS will Hear Hank Skinner’s Case but Might Not Make the Final Decision

Yesterday SCOTUS decided they will hear Hank Skinner’s case; arguments will likely be heard sometime next year. However, even if Skinner ‘wins,’ SCOTUS is unlikely to decide once and for all if convicts have a Constitutional right to challenge their convictions if exculpatory evidence becomes available post-conviction. Legal experts say that the most Skinner can [...]

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May 17, 2010

Modern Jurisprudence is PROFOUNDLY Broken

Two contrasting stories out of the Supreme Court today, that bring home the fact that jurisprudence in this country is profoundly… hopefully not irreparably… broken. First, from the New York Times: NO MORE LIFE SENTENCES FOR MINORS WHO HAVEN’T MURDERED…. In yet another 5-4 ruling, the Supreme Court said this morning that incarcerated minors can’t [...]

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March 25, 2010

Legalization Of Marijuana To Be On California Ballot In November

Advocates of marijuana legalization have succeeded in getting a referendum on the November ballot: LOS ANGELES, March 24 (UPI) — California will again be the flashpoint in the smoldering debate on legalization of pot as officials said Wednesday the question will be on the November ballot. Los Angeles County elections officials Wednesday submitted their official [...]

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March 22, 2010

Hank Skinner Execution Update: Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles Deny DNA Test Request

All seven members of the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles Death Panel voted earlier today to deny Hank Skinner’s request to have DNA samples tested. Unless Gov. Rick Perry or the U.S. Supreme Court intervenes, Hank Skinner will be executed this Wednesday as scheduled. The courts have rejected Skinner’s requests for the DNA tests [...]

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March 19, 2010

ACTION ALERT: Tell Gov. Perry to Give Hank Skinner 30 More Days

With less than five days until the scheduled execution of Hank Skinner, a DNA testing laboratory in Phoenix, AZ has offered to test evidence that Skinner’s attorneys say will prove his innocence. Chromosomal Laboratories has told Texas Gov. Rick Perry that they will run the tests for free if Perry agrees to grant Skinner a [...]

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March 11, 2010

Former Texas Prosecutor and Judge Both Believe the State Has Executed More Than One Innocent Man

Hank Skinner is scheduled to be executed by the State of Texas on March 24th. Despite more than a decade of requests to have his DNA tested, Texas courts have denied him every step of the way. The Medill Innocence Project has even offered to pay for the testing to no avail. Skinner’s attorneys have [...]

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February 19, 2010

LP’s Wes Benedict on ‘Limited Government’ Conservatives

Those of us who truly believe in limited government* tend to be simultaneously amused and irritated hearing the folks at CPAC speak of limited government as though it’s a principle they truly support. Yesterday, the Libertarian Party’s Executive Director Wes Benedict, monitoring the CPAC festivities from afar, said some of the things that many of [...]

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February 18, 2010

Crystal Mangum Strikes Again

From The Associated Press: Crystal Mangum, 31, was arrested late Wednesday on charges including assaulting her boyfriend, Durham police said in a press release. Durham County jail records indicate she also was charged with identity theft, communicating threats, damage to property, resisting an officer and misdemeanor child abuse. A judge ordered that she remain in [...]

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