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 Mon, 06 Apr 2020 10:42:03 -0700 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 ebacaa7b2d263f5cc223c8f8a480a805 'Boring' Home Confinement Can Lead to Trouble for 04/04/2020 https://www.creators.com/read/diane-dimond/04/20/boring-home-confinement-can-lead-to-trouble Sat, 04 Apr 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p>I got a letter recently that made me wonder what Americans are doing to pass the time during the current pandemic and our strict stay-at-home directives. It was from an inmate at a federal correctional institute in Pennsylvania.</p> <p>I first wrote about him three years ago. In 2010, Mark B. was sentenced to 17 1/2 years in prison for viewing and distributing child pornography. Mark seems fully repentant now. He openly admits that as a "bored" ship's captain, he frequently logged on to see adult pornography and was lured into the darkest sections of the internet. </p> <p>"You just go click, click, click, and you don't realize what it is," Mark explained when we spoke on the phone in 2017. "Adult, teen, child &#8212; you get it all because it's all mixed together." The FBI was watching his every move.<p>Updated: Sat Apr 04, 2020</p> 643c3831b6025e3db8387aff65e41503 Fact: COVID-19 Sickens but Rarely Kills for 03/28/2020 https://www.creators.com/read/diane-dimond/03/20/fact-covid-19-sickens-but-rarely-kills Sat, 28 Mar 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Yes. The world is in the midst of a pandemic of the COVID-19 virus. But in between all the political posturing and breathless, fear-inducing media coverage, can we all just take a deep, cleansing breath? In fact, take four or five. </p> <p>I usually deal in crime statistics, but this week, let's look at health statistics, shall we? <p>Updated: Sat Mar 28, 2020</p> 395afa915a4af88055008f95dd6aae0e Price Gouging in a Time of Crisis for 03/21/2020 https://www.creators.com/read/diane-dimond/03/20/price-gouging-in-a-time-of-crisis Sat, 21 Mar 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p>We live in strange times these days. Nearly every American's life has been upended by something we can't even see, a miniscule coronavirus that has proven most deadly to those who already have compromised immune systems due to age or existing illness.</p> <p>So, during this volatile time, what would cause Amazon &#8212; the place where so many Americans shop &#8212; to remove more than a million coronavirus-related products from its online marketplace? Simply put: price gouging and misleading COVID-19 claims by vendors.</p> <p>One such banished seller was a pair of brothers in Tennessee. After the first U.S. coronavirus death, Matt and Noah Colvin scoured their region and bought up nearly 18,000 bottles of hand sanitizer and thousands of packets of antibacterial wipes. Their plan was to sell them on Ebay and Amazon for as much money as they could get. After some of the brother's sanitizing bottles sold for up to $70, both online marketplaces banned the Colvins' transactions. In fact, Ebay announced it was removing all offers for hand sanitizer, disinfecting wipes, face masks or any other product mentioning coronavirus or COVID-19.<p>Updated: Sat Mar 21, 2020</p> ab367c16d3e464a22ff52ad036248167 The 'Managing Anxiety' Defense for 03/14/2020 https://www.creators.com/read/diane-dimond/03/20/the-managing-anxiety-defense Sat, 14 Mar 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Let's see a show of hands. Who, among readers of this column, has experienced some anxiety in their lives? Ahhh, as I suspected, there are lots of hands in the air. Everyone has had moments of stress, strain and fear to deal with. The trick is how you handle it. </p> <p>Our 42nd president recently reappeared to tell us that, because he felt such enormous pressure during his tenure as commander in chief, he turned to extramarital sex with a woman half his age as a way of "managing my anxieties." </p> <p>Speaking to producers of a newly released Hulu documentary about his wife, former President Bill Clinton admitted his behavior with young Monica Lewinsky was inexcusable, but he seemed to justify the affair as a legitimate way of relieving professional pressure or, as he put it, "something that'll take your mind off it for a while." <p>Updated: Sat Mar 14, 2020</p> 2a65f19ecfbd9aa3ddea3209119e8a81 Robert Durst: Is He a Serial Killer? for 03/07/2020 https://www.creators.com/read/diane-dimond/03/20/robert-durst-is-he-a-serial-killer Sat, 07 Mar 2020 00:00:00 -0800 <p>The strange little man currently on trial for a 2000 murder in Los Angles admits he has killed before. He is now charged with putting a 9-millimeter bullet into the head of his longtime friend, Susan Berman, a woman who authorities believe knew his deepest, darkest secrets. </p> <p>In 2001 in Texas, this man admitted he shot his aggressive next-door neighbor in the face. The jury believed his self-defense claim and acquitted him, even though the dead man's dismembered body parts, found floating in Galveston Bay, did not include the head, which would have either proved or disproved the killer's story. </p> <p>This same defendant is also suspected in the disappearance and murder of his first wife, Kathleen McCormack Durst, in New York back in 1982. But since no body was found, no charges were ever filed. Oh, and homicide detectives in both Vermont and two locations in California believe he might have also been involved in the murders of three young women between 1971 and 1997. <p>Updated: Sat Mar 07, 2020</p> 634990bce9bd2d7970234a78239f9e2e Not Everyone Rejoiced at Weinstein Verdict for 02/29/2020 https://www.creators.com/read/diane-dimond/02/20/not-everyone-rejoiced-at-weinstein-verdict Sat, 29 Feb 2020 00:00:00 -0800 <p>The verdict in the Harvey Weinstein sex crimes case was described as both a disappointment and a victory. Some court watchers felt the shamed movie mogul should have been found guilty on all counts. Others said the decision ushered in a new era for survivors of sexual assault and tamped down, once and for all, defense attorneys' tactics of blaming the victim.</p> <p>For Denise Conroy of Chicago, none of those things was the point.</p> <p>"Watching that trial," she told me, "I just kept getting madder. Why didn't (those women) report it when it happened? I thought, 'What the hell took you so long?'"<p>Updated: Sat Feb 29, 2020</p> fbc9288842a24f09a4428fa5be31e71a Time to Purge Bloated Sex Offender Registries for 02/22/2020 https://www.creators.com/read/diane-dimond/02/20/time-to-purge-bloated-sex-offender-registries Sat, 22 Feb 2020 00:00:00 -0800 <p>Those who fight for a more equitable way to keep track of sexual predators won a big victory in Michigan last week. That is a state with some 44,000 names on its sexual offenders registry. </p> <p>U.S. District Court Judge Robert Cleland put his foot down and gave the Michigan legislature 60 days to rewrite its current "unconstitutional" registry statute. Last spring, Cleland set a 90-day deadline for lawmakers to rework the law, but he was ignored. This time, he's serious. </p> <p>Everyone agrees we need to keep track of career sex criminals after they are released from prison. Once they've been convicted of violent sex crimes, it's possible they'll reoffend. A public safety monitoring system makes sense. <p>Updated: Sat Feb 22, 2020</p> c4b041e84b94a011ea0313a722b0b595 Romance Can Turn Brutal -- Especially for the Children for 02/15/2020 https://www.creators.com/read/diane-dimond/02/20/romance-can-turn-brutal-especially-for-the-children Sat, 15 Feb 2020 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>If you're the typical U.S. consumer, you just shelled out money to celebrate Valentine's Day. Collectively, Americans spend multiple billions of dollars each year on candy, flowers, jewelry or some other gift to spark romance with a loved one.</p> <p>Historians agree the celebration likely began in ancient Roman times with the mid-February fertility festival called Lupercalia. This involved the toga-wearing men getting naked, sacrificing dogs and goats and then using strips from the hides to chase down and whip local females. The women voluntarily submitted, somehow believing the beating would improve their fertility. Two days of forced coupling followed.<p>Updated: Sat Feb 15, 2020</p> 2b4bc1a146fde8945fa7ffa39a91505e We Need a Smarter War on Drugs for 02/08/2020 https://www.creators.com/read/diane-dimond/02/20/we-need-a-smarter-war-on-drugs Sat, 08 Feb 2020 00:00:00 -0800 <p>Did we learn nothing from the so-called crack-cocaine plague of the '80s and '90s? </p> <p>For those with fuzzy memories, the media back then erroneously and breathlessly declared that crack use had reached epidemic proportions. Newsweek declared crack was "the most addictive drug known to man." The full truth would eventually come out. Crack was only half the problem.</p> <p>Crack is created when powder cocaine is mixed with baking soda and water and cooked down into rocklike nuggets to be smoked in a pipe. It's a relatively cheap high and favored by those in poorer neighborhoods. The more expensive powder cocaine was snorted primarily by higher-income Caucasians. What was happening in the '80s wasn't just a crack epidemic; it was also a cocaine epidemic &#8212; and poor and rich alike were addicted. <p>Updated: Sat Feb 08, 2020</p> 56a2a058fe457c737f2166618f766165 The Government Can Take Your Cash for No Reason for 02/01/2020 https://www.creators.com/read/diane-dimond/01/20/the-government-can-take-your-cash-for-no-reason Sat, 01 Feb 2020 00:00:00 -0800 <p>If you carry too much cash, the federal government can take it away from you. Yep, you read that right. </p> <p>If an agency, such as the Transportation Safety Administration, the Drug Enforcement Administration or U.S. Customs and Border Protection, finds someone carrying large amounts of cash, they can confiscate it by simply declaring it to be "suspicious." This is not a rare occurrence. </p> <p>A 2017 inspector general's investigation found that over the last decade, the DEA has seized more than $4 billion in cash from those suspected of drug activity. But most of the money seized &#8212; $3.2 billion of it &#8212; never resulted in any criminal charges. This doesn't include the value of all the other favorite targets of seizure like cars or homes. <p>Updated: Sat Feb 01, 2020</p> 16bfba6364ab6306d60038d62ee70eb7 Tracking Political Donations Into Zombie Land for 01/25/2020 https://www.creators.com/read/diane-dimond/01/20/tracking-political-donations-into-zombie-land Sat, 25 Jan 2020 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>Are you among the countless Americans who feel so passionately about the upcoming presidential election that you wrote a check to your favorite candidate? But if your candidate dropped out of the race, can you get your money back?</p> <p>At one time, there were a whopping 29 Democrats running for president . Now only 12 remain. Collectively, those candidates amassed hundreds of millions of dollars in donations &#8212; some from large contributors like corporations, some from political action committees and many from small individual contributors, maybe just like you.<p>Updated: Sat Jan 25, 2020</p> ea83faeb00345cfa948b2dba8f63f06b Bail Reform: Proceed With Caution for 01/18/2020 https://www.creators.com/read/diane-dimond/01/20/bail-reform-proceed-with-caution Sat, 18 Jan 2020 00:00:00 -0800 <p>January 2020 ushered in a unique new law in New York state that abolished cash bail for defendants arrested for nonviolent crimes. Activists in the bail reform movement called it landmark legislation that stops judges from locking up the poor while they await trial simply because they can't afford bail. </p> <p>Others, many in law enforcement, are calling it "a disgrace" and say the politicians forgot to consider a most important point: public safety. </p> <p>Lawmakers nationwide are watching what happens in New York as bail reform movements press forward in their states. So far, it isn't pretty.<p>Updated: Sat Jan 18, 2020</p> ea5e34310c424b1483823b4e1da3aa85 Universities Routinely Ignore and Violate Basic Civil Rights for 01/11/2020 https://www.creators.com/read/diane-dimond/01/20/universities-routinely-ignore-and-violate-basic-civil-rights Sat, 11 Jan 2020 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>This column might win me no fans on college campuses, but there is something that must be said. </p> <p><span class="column--highlighted-text">Universities across the country are unconstitutionally punishing those accused of sex-based misconduct with no regard to the civil rights guaranteed of due process.</span> They say they are acting lawfully under the so-called Title IX law of 1972. But the meaning of that law has been twisted over the years by a tortured Victorian-era school of thought almost beyond comprehension. <p>Updated: Sat Jan 11, 2020</p> a6842e282e0bd8ee1493ead6ea6a48f7 Getting Away With Murder for 01/04/2020 https://www.creators.com/read/diane-dimond/01/20/getting-away-with-murder-93070 Sat, 04 Jan 2020 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>It has never been easier to be an undetected serial killer in the United States. </p> <p>That's the opinion of two experts in the field of collecting murder data in America. And both men say that as you read this, there are thousands of active serial killers roaming the U.S. Some operate in big cities; others prefer the wide-open spaces of rural America. <p>Updated: Sat Jan 04, 2020</p> 7505ea897b032fad9589a8b116cc11c5 No Happy New Year for Nick for 12/28/2019 https://www.creators.com/read/diane-dimond/12/19/no-happy-new-year-for-nick-or-sexual-harassment-complaints-used-as-a-weapon Sat, 28 Dec 2019 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>This will not start out as a good year for professor Nick Flor of the University of New Mexico. Beginning Jan. 1, he will be suspended from this tenured position, without pay, for a full year. He is not allowed to get another full-time job; the multimillions of dollars in grants he has received will dry up; and his ability to win new grants will be next to impossible. </p> <p>Flor's predicament follows a rather bizarre and brief interaction with a 35-year-old graduate student who reportedly has a history of pursuing and then complaining about professors.<p>Updated: Sat Dec 28, 2019</p> a46119e467d44860527967cf566075bc Taking Stock of America for 12/21/2019 https://www.creators.com/read/diane-dimond/12/19/taking-stock-of-america Sat, 21 Dec 2019 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>As we near the end of this decade, it is a good time to reflect on where we stand at this moment in history. It's not really standard cheerful holiday fare, but here goes. </p> <p>Half the country hates or doesn't want the duly elected president. The other half likes or tolerates him. <p>Updated: Sat Dec 21, 2019</p> c2f1c534f166090636658f3f4fafa40c Why Crime Is on the Decline for 12/14/2019 https://www.creators.com/read/diane-dimond/12/19/why-crime-is-on-the-decline Sat, 14 Dec 2019 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>"Poverty is the parent of revolution and crime." &#8212; Aristotle</p> <p>Aristotle had a point, but there are many factors that contribute to crime. Experts have told us about them for a long time. Poverty; unemployment; lack of education or adequate housing; the breakdown of the two-parent family; mental illness; drug abuse; and sexual exploitation of children (which can result in lifelong trauma and antisocial behavior) are some of the main contributors.<p>Updated: Sat Dec 14, 2019</p> 7ad87606265a96ade6d6c129d5e4f60b The Move to Find the Innocent People in Prison for 12/07/2019 https://www.creators.com/read/diane-dimond/12/19/the-move-to-find-the-innocent-people-in-prison Sat, 07 Dec 2019 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>Among the most powerful people in the justice system are prosecutors and the judges to whom they present their cases. The way our system is set up, judges must rely on whatever facts a prosecutor puts forth inside their courtroom.</p> <p>It is the prosecutor who weighs the evidence police have gathered and then decides who is charged with a crime. They are the authors of the storyline presented to a jury in a criminal court. Prosecutors are the ones who suggest a sentence for the convicted &#8212; from a few years to life in prison or even death by state execution. Prosecutors hold the key every step of the way. <p>Updated: Sat Dec 07, 2019</p> 930a3631abb7d3d1e2a07faea9074bc5 Crime-Fighting Developments to Be Thankful For for 11/30/2019 https://www.creators.com/read/diane-dimond/11/19/crime-fighting-developments-to-be-thankful-for Sat, 30 Nov 2019 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p><span style="background-color: initial;">There are some citizens who, in this season of Thanksgiving, believe America is going to hell in a handbasket. I am not one of them.</span><br></p> <p>From my perch in the world of crime and justice, <span class="column--highlighted-text">I find more than 686,000 reasons to be thankful. That's the number of full-time law enforcement officers in the United States</span>: 686,665 sworn officers, to quote the latest statistics, who go out every day to help keep us safe. I know it is popular among some groups to distrust police. It is clear that not everyone who wears a badge is perfect. But when things go wrong, this is the force that doesn't hesitate to go into a dangerous situation determined to make sure the problem doesn't spread into the public at large. By the way, on average, about 85 working officers are killed every year, and that doesn't include those who die from on-the-job accidents.<p>Updated: Sat Nov 30, 2019</p> e5144441740242cd63f1bb3127f6c254 Whistleblower's Motivation: You Decide for 11/23/2019 https://www.creators.com/read/diane-dimond/11/19/whistleblowers-motivation-you-decide Sat, 23 Nov 2019 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>What do you think of when you hear the word "whistleblower"? Perhaps "tattletale" or "snitch" pop into your mind. Maybe the word conjures up the image of a person who, at great personal risk, comes forward to reveal illicit activity the public needs to know. Either way, as you have likely noticed, the term whistleblower has been in the news a lot lately.</p> <p>History shows the nation's landscape littered with the shattered lives of those who have exposed corporate or governmental misconduct. Careers have been ruined. Marriages have suffered. Whistleblower suicides have occurred, and it's likely that vast amounts of liquor have been consumed by whistleblowers as they pondered whether their explosive revelations were worth it. <p>Updated: Sat Nov 23, 2019</p>