By Stephen A. Crockett, Jr.
Rene Lima-Marin robbed two video stores 15 years ago, when he was just 19. He walked into the stores with an unloaded rifle and demanded money. He admitted to the crime and was sentenced to what he and his lawyer believed was a 16-year-sentence. After 10 years of serving time, Lima-Marin was set free. He got married, fathered two children and purchased a home. He swore he would never do anything to jeopardize the new life he had created.
Then, earlier this year, the life he had built came crumbling down when a judge, citing a clerical error, sent him back to prison to finish a 98-year sentence.
By Christopher Ingraham
State legislators who support voter ID laws are motivated in no small part by racial bias, according to a new study from the University of Southern California. The study finds strong evidence that “discriminatory intent underlies legislative support for voter identification laws.”
The findings raise questions about the constitutionality of voter ID laws, which the Supreme Court affirmed in 2007 on the basis that Indiana’s strict law represented a “generally applicable, nondiscriminatory voting regulation.” For quick background, these laws require registered voters to show some sort of government-issued ID before they vote — supporters say they’re necessary to prevent voter fraud, while opponents counter that they disproportionately affect elderly, minority and low-income groups. For more, see ProPublica’s excellent backgrounder on the topic.
By Catherine Thompson
New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd on Thursday addressed the reactions to her column about a bad marijuana edibles trip she experienced in Colorado, saying she was focused “more on the fun than the risks” and calling her experiment “ill-advised.”
“I wrote in the column that I take responsibility for not knowing enough about what I was doing,” Dowd wrote in a statement obtained by The Cannabist, a marijuana news site operated by the Denver Post. “I was focused more on the fun than the risks. In that sense, I’m probably like many other people descending on Denver.”
Today General Motors announced that it has fired 15 employees and disciplined five others in the wake of an internal investigation into the company’s handling of defective ignition switches, which lead to at least 13 fatalities.
“What GM did was break the law … They failed to meet their public safety obligations,” scolded Sec of Transportation Anthony Foxx a few weeks ago after imposing the largest possible penalty on the giant automaker.
Attorney General Eric Holder was even more adamant recently when he announced the guilty plea of giant bank Credit Suisse to criminal charges for aiding rich Americans avoid paying taxes. “This case shows that no financial institution, no matter its size or global reach, is above the law.”