Wednesday, December 08, 2004

Optimistic, Sentenced, and Prickly

Jim Hoagland in the Washington Post writes about "subtle signs of change" for the better in the Middle East region. It's a more broadminded, positive look at events than normally found in the mainstream media, even though it's a bit back-handed. Worth reading.

Barry Scheck is on a short list of lawyers I admire. He's done ground-breaking work on development of the evidentiary power of DNA, and through his efforts a number of innocent people have been freed from prison. (My only criticism would be his selling out to participate in the O.J. Simpson defense, but I guess we all need some cash now and then.) In a column in the Washington Post yesterday he wrote:

In my lifetime I have seen hundreds of wrongfully convicted persons freed from prisons and death rows. I hope to see the unjustly imprisoned allowed back into society. At a minimum, we can stop the madness of mandatory minimum sentencing.

He makes a strong case that federal minimum sentencing rules need to be changed. In addition, his work has had a major impact on my thinking about the death penalty, discussed in an earlier post.

Dennis Prager's column in the Washington Times today looks at the prickliness of liberals. He says, "...a major defining characteristic of modern-day liberalism is the ease with which liberals take offense personally and/or on behalf of others." I've noticed this, too, and it seems to have intensified in the last couple of years. Maybe it's a reaction to so many electoral loses, or maybe it's just in the nature of leftist thinking to be intolerant of criticism and dissent.


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