Over 125 years ago, in a death penalty case called In re Medley, 134 U.S. 160, 170-71 (1890), the United States Supreme Court wrote that solitary confinement was a “further terror and peculiar mark of infamy.” The Court described it further as an “additional punishment of the most important and painful character.”
Alluding to this ancient recognition of solitary confinement’s mind-destroying, soul-sapping, and otherwise dehumanizing effects – a view shared today by every reputable mental health professional, scientist, and reasonable, justice-loving person – Justice Kennedy wrote (in his 2015 concurrence in Davis v. Ayala, 135 S. Ct. 2187, 2209-10): “The human toll wrought by extended terms of isolation long has been understood, and questioned, by writers and commentators.” Kennedy’s opinion highlights the unsurprising conclusion that, “research still confirms what this Court suggested over a century ago: Years on end of near total isolation exact a terrible price.”
These are not simply draconian measures to curb refugee movement towards Europe, but populist ideals presented to the European Parliament as an authentic means of terminating its “refugee crisis”.
In Franz Kafka’s ‘The Trial’, Josef K. (an allegorical personification of the author) finds himself arrested, charged and on trial for a crime of which he knows nothing, without any defence. The undermining of presumed legal norms by the two “unidentified agents from an unspecified agency” and the “Committee of Affairs” leaves K. in the impossible position of a guilty man who does not know the nature of his crime.
The updated Toxic Substances Control Act brings new hope for protecting Americans’ health and environment. Here’s what it does — and doesn’t — do.
“This is a big deal,” said President Barack Obama as he signed into law the bill that updates — for the first time in 40 years — the nation’s main chemical safety legislation. Called the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act to honor the late senator for whom this was a special cause, the law revises the Toxic Substances Control Act that gives the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency authority to regulate chemicals used commercially in the United States.
Amendments to Criminal Procedure Would Erode Judicial Authority
Malaysia’s Senate should reject the government’s proposed legal changes that would undermine the rights of criminal suspects, Human Rights Watch said today. Amendments to the country’s Code of Criminal Procedure passed the lower house of parliament on May 19, 2016, and will be debated by the Senate in the session starting on June 13.
“The proposed amendments are part of a troubling trend of the Malaysian government undermining the right to a fair trial during periods of political turmoil,” said Phil Robertson, deputy Asia director at Human Rights Watch. “The Senate should reject amendments that undermine the rights of the accused or judges’ authority to protect rights.”
US citizens obtain immunity for supporting Israeli war crimes.
A warning from Jeremy Harding.