Wednesday, December 15, 2021

Success in Criminal Legal Reforms

 Don’t let any politician convince you your taxes will be going down

George Orwell outside the whale New Statesman. Ian McEwan.

“Formerly incarcerated activists, lawmakers, and advocates achieved important changes in criminal justice policy this year to reduce mass incarceration, expand voting rights and advance racial justice. Success in Criminal Legal Reforms, 2021, by Nicole D. Porter, describes these key changes:

  • Sentencing: Several states addressed extreme sentencing. Two states — Colorado and Illinois — addressed felony murder statutes for cases when individuals did not directly cause the death of another person. Washington state policymakers established a “second look” resentencing policy for certain robbery offenses. Virginia lawmakers abolished the death penalty.
  • Racial Disparity: Three states — Maine, Maryland, and Virginia — enacted racial impact statement policies to forecast potential racial disparity on proposed sentencing laws.
  • Probation and Parole: Two states — New York and Virginia — limited returns to incarceration for parole and probation violations.
  • Felony Disenfranchisement: Three states — Connecticut, New York, and Washington — restored voting rights to persons on community supervision with felony convictions.
  • Youth Justice: Eight states — Alaska, Connecticut, Indiana, Iowa, Missouri, North Dakota, Oklahoma, and Utah — adopted legislation to remove youth charged as adults from jails and prisons to comply with the federal Juvenile Justice & Delinquency Prevention Act.
  • The full briefing paper, which includes details on the authorized legislation, can be found online here.”

Washington Post – Chip maker Qualcomm argues that “always-on” cameras can make phones more secure. “If you have a smartphone, you probably use its front-facing camera for selfies and the occasional video call. Perhaps, if you’re lucky, you’ll shoot the next viral TikTok masterpiece. You might use your next smartphone’s front camera for the same things, but there’s a chance that camera won’t completely turn off once you’re done with it. This week, chipmaker Qualcomm revealed its latest Snapdragon processor, which will power many of the high-end Android smartphones you’ll see in stores in 2022, including models from Motorola, Sony, OnePlus. And a new feature built into that chip could allow smartphone makers to keep those front-facing cameras on all the time in a sort of low-power mode, waiting and watching for a face to appear in front of it. The idea of a camera that stays on as long as your phone does seems deeply unsettling, even in an age where people are convinced that smartphones are already eavesdropping on our conversations. So why is a company responsible for building the brains of our smartphones trying to make “always-on” cameras a common feature?..”

Quartz: “…In its latest summary of company disclosures, published Dec. 7, CDP reported that in 2021, about 13,000 companies globally disclosed some form of climate data and strategy. That group represents 64% of global market capitalization, according to CDP. But just 1.5% of those—200 companies—scored an A. The list, included in full below, includes companies in just about every sector, from utilities to pharmaceuticals to banks, with representatives from every continent…To score an “A,” companies must have science-based net zero targets, disclose their emissions and have those audited by a third party, and provide proof of year-over-year progress on reducing emissions and increasing the use of renewable energy.

  • 13,000: Companies that disclosed some form of climate data and strategy in 2021
  • 64%: Global market capitalization represented by that group
  • 200: Companies that scored an A
  • 4,000: Companies—including Chevron, Exxon Mobil, and Volvo—that scored an F because they hadn’t disclosed climate data to CDP in spite of a request to do so.”

Jason Falinski says pursuing Wikileaks founder’s return is a ‘delicate balancing act’; Bridget Archer backs his release and return

  1. “The broadening of personhood to include some nonhuman entities is not so much a recent adaptation of an old legal concept as it is a return to an even older one” — Justin E.H. Smith (Université Paris Diderot) on the personalization of nature
  2. Making discussions of cosmopolitanism more cosmopolitan — short reflections from nine philosophers initiate a project to draw upon Chinese philosophical traditions in order to explore alternative understandings of the nature and future of cosmopolitanism
  3. Part of his legacy is the motivating of “a history of political philosophy that does not cleave to exclusionary conceptions of the discipline” — an appreciation of Charles Mills by Sophie Smith (Oxford)
  4. “Almost every person has reason to avoid subjection to digital recording whenever possible” — Elizabeth O’Neill (Eindhoven) on the “spectacular set of new threats” we face owing to the combination of digital recording, the internet, and artificial intelligence
  5. “Living in the now does not entail a refusal to care about the future, only a refusal to condition happiness and meaning on it” — John Martin Fischer (UCR) on a common insight of Stoicism and Buddhism
  6. “Just as we would be loath to dictate what art people must engage with, we should be wary of social pressures that decree what they can’t” — Erich Hatala Matthes (Wellesley) on consuming the art of immoral artists
  7. “Ten Propositions of Baruch Spinoza for Tenor and Piano” by British composer Michael Zev Gordon has been shortlisted for an Ivors award — you can listen to the 21-minute song cycle sets of texts from Spinoza’s Ethics at the link