Diane Dimond from Creators Syndicate https://www.creators.com/read/diane-dimond Creators Syndicate is an international syndication company that represents cartoonists and columnists of the highest caliber. en Sun, 20 Jan 2019 06:46:56 -0800 https://www.creators.com/ http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/tech/rss Diane Dimond from Creators Syndicate https://cdn.creators.com/features/diane-dimond-thumb.jpg https://www.creators.com/read/diane-dimond 288601da47795d2a2d3f20e29eb49496 The U.S. Immigration System Helps Child Abusers for 01/19/2019 https://www.creators.com/read/diane-dimond/01/19/the-us-immigration-system-helps-child-abusers Sat, 19 Jan 2019 00:00:00 -0800 <p>We talk a lot about sexual abuse and harassment here in the United States. We are a country with a heightened sense of what's right and wrong when it comes to sex crimes. We are also a nation that preaches to others around the globe about the evils of forced marriage and marriages involving children. </p> <p>Our State Department has told officials in developing countries that forced marriage is a "human rights abuse and, in the case of minors, a form of child abuse." </p> <p>So why does our government actually encourage wedlock between girls as young as 13 and men in their 70s? <p>Updated: Sat Jan 19, 2019</p> 6d3eba18a27197047912ea416d56bacd A Border Wall for $55 for 01/12/2019 https://www.creators.com/read/diane-dimond/01/19/a-border-wall-for-55 Sat, 12 Jan 2019 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>All this recent talk about walls got me thinking. History books and legends are full of examples of the need for and laborious building of walls around cities, countries and various structures.</p> <p>The Wall of Jericho was built thousands of years before Christ and kept the city population safe &#8212; for a while, anyway. The city of Troy was protected from Greek invaders by a huge wall, that is, until the Trojan War and the infamous Trojan horse ploy. There is the Great Wall of China, all 13,000 miles of it, that kept out invaders who sought to overthrow several Chinese dynasties. The wall around the Alamo foiled early Indian attackers but later proved to be pretty ineffective. And then there was the Berlin Wall, which divided East and West Germany for 28 years and then was destroyed in spectacular televised fashion in 1989. <p>Updated: Sat Jan 12, 2019</p> b9746067b96733825594b1855fea2e51 Placing the Blame for Suicide for 01/05/2019 https://www.creators.com/read/diane-dimond/01/19/placing-the-blame-for-suicide Sat, 05 Jan 2019 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>If 2019 stays on trend, more than 47,000 Americans will kill themselves this year. Their loved ones will, understandably, be consumed with grief. But some of them will then go on to try and affix outside blame for the death. Many of them will hire a lawyer and file a wrongful death lawsuit against a person, company, school or maybe even a structure that, in the minds of the family members, failed to protect their suicidal loved one. </p> <p>But is any living person or thing really to blame for someone's suicide? A judge in New York has just said no. <p>Updated: Sat Jan 05, 2019</p> 371540720c50b9cdaa52559816dd1ec4 In 2019, This Pope Needs a Reality Check for 12/29/2018 https://www.creators.com/read/diane-dimond/12/18/in-2019-this-pope-needs-a-reality-check Sat, 29 Dec 2018 00:00:00 -0800 <p>During this holiest of Christian seasons, who could ignore the latest statements of Pope Francis about the festering child sex abuse scandal within his church? In a Christmas address, he spoke of priests who are "ready to devour innocent souls." </p> <p>He declared, "To those who abuse minors, I would say this: Convert and hand yourself over to human justice, and prepare for divine justice." </p> <p>Some saw the pope's words as stern and definitive. I saw them as a public relations move and a mealy mouthed response to criminals who have been protected by the Catholic Church for way too long. <span class="column--highlighted-text">Does the pope truly think offending priests are going to suddenly march themselves down to the closest cop shop and confess everything? Get real.</span> <p>Updated: Sat Dec 29, 2018</p> 03dd1c683aa0c1cb43fdcb9966649fd1 Here's to a New Year Filled With Civility and Less Crime for 12/22/2018 https://www.creators.com/read/diane-dimond/12/18/heres-to-a-new-year-filled-with-civility-and-less-crime Sat, 22 Dec 2018 00:00:00 -0800 <p>Professor P.M. Forni, 67, died earlier this month in Towson, Maryland. He was born in Bologna, Italy, and became a proud U.S. citizen and educator. I didn't know the man personally, but I am sad to hear that he is gone. </p> <p>Dr. Forni was one of the last clarion voices to advocate for civility among people. You know, the human behavior that comes from a place of respect, politeness and graciousness? Civility is rare to find in these oh-so-discourteous times, but professor Forni's work lives on for anyone who would like to explore how we might change today's ugly discourse. </p> <p>Pier Massimo Forni was a professor of romance languages and Italian literature, a member of the faculty at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland, where he co-founded The Johns Hopkins Civility Project in 1997. Among the books he authored are "Choosing Civility" and "The Civility Solution." <p>Updated: Sat Dec 22, 2018</p> b2801bb6e37663190674c902e6ab1d6d Families, Kids and a Flawed Law for 12/15/2018 https://www.creators.com/read/diane-dimond/12/18/families-kids-and-a-flawed-law Sat, 15 Dec 2018 00:00:00 -0800 <p>This column is dedicated to issues of crime and justice. But this time of year, it seems out of place to talk about murders, wrongful convictions, child abuse, the scourge of drugs and all the other topics I usually opine about in this space. </p> <p>Because this is the pre-Christmas season, I'd like this column to be about families with children &#8212; all families &#8212; even if they don't look like yours. This is also a column about meaningful journalism. </p> <p>The Marshall Project, which also focuses its publication on crime and justice topics, recently ran a deep dive into the unintended consequences of The Adoption and Safe Families Act. What its reporters found is disturbing. <p>Updated: Sat Dec 15, 2018</p> e4977218f06a1fea5901cbddb1f9c728 Mass-Murder Compensation Compliments of Uncle Sam for 12/08/2018 https://www.creators.com/read/diane-dimond/12/18/mass-murder-compensation-compliments-of-uncle-sam Sat, 08 Dec 2018 00:00:00 -0800 <p>The Department of Justice has announced it's sending the last installment &#8212; nearly $17 million of a total $20 million &#8212; to aid survivors of the October 2017 deadly mass shooting in Las Vegas, Nevada. The toll was 58 dead and some 600 physically injured after a lone gunman took up a high position within the Mandalay Hotel and began shooting at a group that had gathered for an outdoor country music concert. It became the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history. </p> <p>But wait a minute. What about all the other victims of mass shootings? Do they get to dip into the government coffers for monetary relief? Where does all this money come from? </p> <p>Reader Dan Klein first brought this story to my attention, and he asked some intriguing questions: "Does this mean that every time there is a mass shooting in America the Department of Justice will set aside millions for the victims? What DOJ policy governs this?" He observed, "58 dead, but not 50? Las Vegas, Nevada but not Orlando, Florida? A country music concert, but not a gay nightclub?" And Klein, a retired police sergeant from Albuquerque, New Mexico, wondered if the DOJ has enough money in its budget to offer this type of multimillion grant to all citizens who fall victim to the ever-growing number of mass shooters and domestic terrorists.<p>Updated: Sat Dec 08, 2018</p> fc92f7c2d1179e19032555ce33ec7991 The Cold, Hard Facts About Illegal Aliens and Crime -- There Aren't Any for 12/01/2018 https://www.creators.com/read/diane-dimond/11/18/the-cold-hard-facts-about-illegal-aliens-and-crime-there-arent-any Sat, 01 Dec 2018 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>We hear so much these days about the migrant caravan straining to cross into the U.S. Media reports focus on the immigrants' desire for a better life, the desperation that led hundreds of them to throw rocks and storm the border at Tijuana, and the tear gas that forced them farther back into Mexico. We hear repeated warnings about how our crime rate will surely increase if we allow unchecked immigration. But is that true? Do those who migrate here commit more crimes than legal residents? </p> <p>Researching that proved to be a real eye-opener. Why? Because there is no definitive answer! <span class="column--highlighted-text">Neither states nor the federal government systematically keep track of the citizenship status or the birth country of those they arrest. It's unbelievable but true.</span> <p>Updated: Sat Dec 01, 2018</p> 4b4df2ca72dcc45cd2e4750f42d19dff More Presidential Pardons for People, Please for 11/24/2018 https://www.creators.com/read/diane-dimond/11/18/more-presidential-pardons-for-people-please Sat, 24 Nov 2018 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>Hey, if turkeys Peas and Carrots can get a presidential pardon, how about the thousands of Americans waiting in line for similar consideration?</p> <p>This week, we saw the traditional &#8212; some might call it corny and meaningless &#8212; spectacle of the president pretending to pardon rotund turkeys to ensure they don't wind up on someone's Thanksgiving table. In the meantime, pending petitions for a pardon &#8212; or even a commutation &#8212; pile up at the Department of Justice.<p>Updated: Sat Nov 24, 2018</p> 1ae0b4a8ee292ce86441976caf5500cf The First Step in the Fight for Criminal Justice Reform for 11/17/2018 https://www.creators.com/read/diane-dimond/11/18/the-first-step-in-the-fight-for-criminal-justice-reform Sat, 17 Nov 2018 00:00:00 -0800 <p>So, did you hear? Democrats and Republicans in Washington have promised to cooperate in finding solutions for the country's lingering problems! After the midterm elections, they promised they would try really, really hard to work together. Color me skeptical. But there is one legislative area where there does seem to be honest bipartisan collaboration: criminal justice reform.</p> <p>It has finally dawned on lawmakers that all those years of imposing mandatory minimum sentences were largely to blame for our grossly over-bloated prisons. Taking away a judge's discretion to deal with defendants individually and adjust their sentence accordingly was foolish. It meant the low-level, nonviolent person who answered the drug kingpin's telephone was often sentenced just as harshly as the drug kingpin. Those in this low-level category now make up a full 25 percent of our federal prison population.</p> <p>Congress has also become aware of the prosecutorial tactic known as stacking firearm offenses. A startling case in point came in Utah several years ago. Weldon Angelos, a first-time drug offender, was caught selling $1,000 worth of marijuana. Prosecutors added enhancements to their sentencing recommendation because he was allegedly carrying guns during his first two sales. That meant five years to his sentence plus 25 years. But after police located a gun at his home, prosecutors stacked another 25-year sentence on top. Under law, then-Judge Paul Cassell was forced to impose a 55-year sentence.<p>Updated: Sat Nov 17, 2018</p> 8292230eaa33d6facd98d7d7429fc6b8 Record Voter Turnout -- but We Can Do Even Better for 11/10/2018 https://www.creators.com/read/diane-dimond/11/18/record-voter-turnout-but-we-can-do-even-better Sat, 10 Nov 2018 00:00:00 -0800 <p>Phew. The midterm elections are over! You voted, right? Yes? Great. </p> <p>For those who did not join the record-breaking throngs who either cast an early ballot or turned out on Election Day, you missed out. Voting is one of America's greatest civil rights, and it gloriously brings us all together &#8212; old, young and people of all races, classes and creeds. In a world where so many human beings have absolutely no control over who runs their country, we regularly get the chance to make our voices heard.</p> <p>Everyone should be heartened by the energetic turnout. No matter how divisive we may be, public participation in the voting process has swelled &#8212; some 114 million of us voted in the midterms &#8212; and that's a good thing. That said, there is still much to be done before we can honestly brag about our all-inclusive system. <p>Updated: Sat Nov 10, 2018</p> e4a3442c1d4b5080d4da9db918bb85e2 Equal Justice #ForAll for 11/03/2018 https://www.creators.com/read/diane-dimond/11/18/equal-justice-forall Sat, 03 Nov 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Consider the fates of two prominent Americans, comedian Louis C.K. and former President Bill Clinton. Both have been accused of serious sexual misconduct. But unlike the comedian, whose recent tiptoe back into show business has been met with howls of protest, Clinton continues to enjoy public adulation.</p> <p>In this #MeToo era of enlightenment, how is it that a man (C.K.) who has admitted to exposing himself to women without their consent can be treated so differently than a man (Clinton) who has been accused of multiple acts of hands-on sexual assault and even rape?<p>Updated: Sat Nov 03, 2018</p> de8f23c2a54dbaf03da495399515a4da DOJ to Voters: Beware the Propaganda for 10/27/2018 https://www.creators.com/read/diane-dimond/10/18/doj-to-voters-beware-the-propaganda Sat, 27 Oct 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>You've probably seen a spunky witness or lawyer on a TV courtroom drama spout out an unacceptable line and the judge caution the jury, "Disregard the testimony you just heard." This effort has been likened to trying to put toothpaste back in the tube. After all, you can't unhear a comment, right? But it is the court's way of trying to assure prejudicial content doesn't play a part in the jury verdict. </p> <p>As we approach the midterm elections, I'm asking everyone to try to disregard all the prejudiced and politically soaked social media you've been exposed to. <span class="column--highlighted-text">Let's vote with our common sense and not with information absorbed from subliminal and destructive messages planted by enemies of this country.</span> <p>Updated: Sat Oct 27, 2018</p> 181754c335b163b9d193cfba994de1f0 Breaking the Blue Wall of Silence for 10/20/2018 https://www.creators.com/read/diane-dimond/10/18/breaking-the-blue-wall-of-silence Sat, 20 Oct 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>For the first time in nearly 50 years, a Chicago police officer has been convicted of murder after shooting a civilian to death while on duty. It took a while, but officer Jason Van Dyke was found guilty of second-degree murder and 16 counts of aggravated battery, one count for each of the 16 bullets he pumped into teenager Laquan McDonald back in 2014. Van Dyke is white; McDonald was black.</p> <p>The shooting took place in an isolated area while several other Chicago Police Department officers watched. But the public was kept in the dark because the dashcam video of the incident was kept secret for more than a year. When a judge finally ordered it released, everyone who saw the young man's final moments was shocked. He seemed to be slowly dancing and twirling in the street holding a 3-inch pocketknife and not, as cops claimed, lunging at armed officers who had him surrounded.<p>Updated: Sat Oct 20, 2018</p> 85de83b91cd1c627fa9d0e2d8c0556af Need a Unifying Midterm Issue? Curb Government Spending! for 10/13/2018 https://www.creators.com/read/diane-dimond/10/18/need-a-unifying-midterm-issue-curb-government-spending Sat, 13 Oct 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Call me crazy, but I think if federal employees routinely waste millions of taxpayer dollars, someone ought to be held accountable &#8212; criminally accountable, if possible. </p> <p>And anyone who signs off on obviously outrageous spending, like the person who approved buying coffee cups for the Air Force at $1,200 each, or the one who OK'd spending $3 million to study how shrimps perform on tiny treadmills, let them come before Congress and explain their actions. If their supervisor made them do it, I want to know. Let's figure out how high up the food chain these nutty expenditures are being approved. <p>Updated: Sat Oct 13, 2018</p> df9c8decfc23bcc680525cbcfcd70a73 Due Process in the #MeToo Era for 10/06/2018 https://www.creators.com/read/diane-dimond/10/18/due-process-in-the-metoo-era Sat, 06 Oct 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>The U.S. Constitution guarantees that no American citizen shall "be deprived of life, liberty or property" without being afforded due process of the law. It is one of the bedrocks of our legal system. The 14th Amendment to the Constitution guarantees every person, including those in the country illegally, "equal protection" under the law. And everyone is presumed innocent until proven guilty. </p> <p>What has happened to those ideals?<p>Updated: Sat Oct 06, 2018</p> 4fdcd51f1988e4396ba79bf5ef589971 The Boy Under the Billboard for 09/29/2018 https://www.creators.com/read/diane-dimond/09/18/the-boy-under-the-billboard Sat, 29 Sep 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Every law enforcement investigator has one, that one unsolved case that preys on their mind and gnaws at their soul. For Major Tim Horne of the Orange County Sheriff's Office in North Carolina, it is the case that's come to be called "The Boy Under the Billboard."</p> <p>Twenty years ago, Horne first saw the murdered child, discarded by the side of the road at the intersection of Interstates 85 and 40, near the town of Mebane, North Carolina. The boy was discovered by a man who was mowing the brush under a tall billboard. <p>Updated: Sat Sep 29, 2018</p> 88986f16aabb1a9aa8d379f68f4ff9e1 Tackling the Opioid Crisis -- Finally for 09/22/2018 https://www.creators.com/read/diane-dimond/09/18/tackling-the-opioid-crisis-finally Sat, 22 Sep 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Can I get a round of applause for our United States Congress? Yes, indeedy, ladies and gentlemen, put your hands together for both Democrats and Republicans! They have miraculously come together to approve one of the only major pieces of legislation set to become law this year. Amazing. </p> <p>It was a rare moment as the U.S. Senate put the needs of American citizens before party loyalty and overwhelmingly approved a sweeping package of bills aimed at alleviating our epidemic of opioid deaths. </p> <p>How significant is the opioid crisis? According to preliminary numbers from the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, more than 71,000 Americans died of overdoses in just a one-year period, a majority from heroin and other street drugs laced with the insidious synthetic opioid fentanyl. Fentanyl is 50 times more potent than heroin and so deadly that just a few flakes of it can kill. It has typically been shipped into the U.S. by criminals from China and Mexico, according to U.S. law enforcement. <p>Updated: Sat Sep 22, 2018</p> 6c280f0391bd5641386e92f35d503d4b Gun Violence Target: The Bullets for 09/15/2018 https://www.creators.com/read/diane-dimond/09/18/gun-violence-target-the-bullets Sat, 15 Sep 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>The mantra "It's the economy, stupid," propelled Bill Clinton's candidacy during the presidential campaign in 1992. His decision to highlight the nation's then-struggling economy (and promise to fix it) helped him win the White House.</p> <p>One theme in this year's midterm elections is the renewed call for more gun control laws, especially from students worried about school shootings. I'm left wondering when someone will come up with the rallying cry "It's the bullets, stupid." After all, guns don't work without bullets.<p>Updated: Sat Sep 15, 2018</p> 819cd073676cd4c1fa9f6ce43e602c71 A Come-to-Jesus Moment for the U.S. Catholic Church for 09/08/2018 https://www.creators.com/read/diane-dimond/09/18/a-come-to-jesus-moment-for-the-us-catholic-church Sat, 08 Sep 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Pope Francis has called for silence and prayer from those who criticize the Catholic Church's attempts to root out and punish priests who are committing sexual abuse. But it is clear the time for silence has long passed.</p> <p>Priests who prey on children are criminals, not souls to be saved for the sake of an institution.<p>Updated: Sat Sep 08, 2018</p>