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 Thu, 22 Aug 2019 10:27:53 -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 c29a13f913f0bc1a863a69996557cafd The Trend Toward Distrusting Police Could Hurt Us All for 08/17/2019 https://www.creators.com/read/diane-dimond/08/19/the-trend-toward-distrusting-police-could-hurt-us-all Sat, 17 Aug 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>All Democrats want to take your guns. All Republicans are racist. So is law enforcement, and police brutality is commonplace. </p> <p>Of course, none of those statements are true, but they highlight the groupthink that has infected the national conversation. When a police-involved death occurs, it seems there are no shades of gray anymore, no need for facts, clarifying details or perspective, just the knee-jerk conclusion that the police officer was wrong.<p>Updated: Sat Aug 17, 2019</p> 10eac14e1e5f13b12a11625be9dc9ed0 Wanted: Leaders to Tackle Mass Shooting Epidemic for 08/10/2019 https://www.creators.com/read/diane-dimond/08/19/wanted-leaders-to-tackle-mass-shooting-epidemic Sat, 10 Aug 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>After the recent horror of multiple mass shootings &#8212; at a garlic festival in California; a Walmart in El Paso, Texas; and, finally, a popular nightlife neighborhood of Dayton, Ohio &#8212; I went to social media and posed two questions: "What is wrong with America? Why does this keep happening?" The responses were wildly different.</p> <p>"Pundits will make this political, each blaming the other side's ideology. But something bigger is happening here. It's called evil."<p>Updated: Sat Aug 10, 2019</p> a876e18d93447055d22022fa6a8f0efc Remembering Betty for 08/03/2019 https://www.creators.com/read/diane-dimond/08/19/remembering-betty Sat, 03 Aug 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p>The marvelous Betty Winstanley died recently, just shy of her 98th birthday in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. She died in the captivity of a court-sanctioned guardianship that haunted her final years. Her life never should have ended this way. </p> <p>Winstanley was an elegant, eloquent, remarkable woman. In an era when women were undereducated, she became a trained chemist. She was married for 72 years to her loving and supportive husband and was the mother of his three children. After Dr. Robert Winstanley died in 2014, Betty wanted to leave their retirement home in Pennsylvania and find another place in Maryland, closer to her two youngest children. The estranged oldest son protested and took the matter to the courtroom of Judge Jay Hoberg. Hoberg spent almost no time before declaring Betty to be "incapacitated." He appointed strangers to take control of all of Betty's life decisions. The legal battle, which lasted nearly four years, ate away at the $1.9 million nest egg the Winstanleys had worked so hard to amass. Betty hated every minute she was under court control.</p> <p>Hers was the first guardianship story I ever wrote about, back in early 2016. I almost couldn't believe that a judge could declare an American citizen "incapacitated" and a "ward of the court" without so much as having a meaningful conversation with the elder person. I soon learned it was a frequent occurrence. <p>Updated: Sat Aug 03, 2019</p> 227a148b3072428375233d5aac59a9ef America's Drug Crisis Happened Because We Let It Happen for 07/27/2019 https://www.creators.com/read/diane-dimond/07/19/americas-drug-crisis-happened-because-we-let-it-happen Sat, 27 Jul 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Here's some good news. Last year, for the first time since 1990, deaths from drug overdoses actually dropped in the United States. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports it wasn't a big drop &#8212; about 5% fewer deaths. But might this indicate a trend? </p> <p>Let's hope so, because even with that decline, a staggering 68,577 Americans died from overdoses in 2018. Some died from street drugs like heroin, fentanyl and cocaine, but a majority OD'd on prescription opioid painkillers. Last year's death toll was higher than all the U.S. fatalities during the Vietnam War. <p>Updated: Sat Jul 27, 2019</p> 00289eafca04b4ab1c8bf3333b7e23de Do Sex Registries Really Protect the Public? for 07/20/2019 https://www.creators.com/read/diane-dimond/07/19/do-sex-registries-really-protect-the-public Sat, 20 Jul 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Sex registries are in the news again thanks to a couple of high-profile child sex abuse cases. (Think multimillionaire Jeffrey Epstein and singer R. Kelly.) Keeping track of ex-cons who have sexually preyed on others sounds like a good idea. But do these registries really help keep us safe?</p> <p>Under a 2006 federal law, each state, the District of Columbia, Native American tribes and U.S. territories are required to set up and update a tracking system with the names of convicted sex offenders.<p>Updated: Sat Jul 20, 2019</p> 3eecdcbd4e729fa69d5e7cb4e52d3898 Jeffrey Epstein -- Justice Delayed for 07/13/2019 https://www.creators.com/read/diane-dimond/07/19/jeffrey-epstein-justice-delayed Sat, 13 Jul 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p>We live in a country where justice is supposed to be blind. Citizens expect that people who bad things will be caught and arrested and spend an appropriate period behind bars. Not so if you are an uber-wealthy guy named Jeffrey Epstein. </p> <p>He got away with a lot. Until now.</p> <p>Jeffrey Epstein is a suspected serial pedophile who was allowed to dodge allegations that he sexually abused some 40 girls (from mostly troubled or low-income families) with only minimal punishment. An award-winning Miami Herald series puts the number of Epstein's victims at 80.<p>Updated: Sat Jul 13, 2019</p> b8bdd9bdb4f83ea55c0c7b62e9c3b9a8 America's Mindset This Independence Day for 07/06/2019 https://www.creators.com/read/diane-dimond/07/19/americas-mindset-this-independence-day Sat, 06 Jul 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Have you been enjoying the 243rd birthday of our country over this long weekend? Wait a minute. Do I hear some grousing out there? Is that grumbling I hear about the state of the nation? Complaints that everything is not perfect in the USA? </p> <p>Get a grip, people. No nation can be faultless in its operation. We are, after all, a group of flawed human beings trying to govern ourselves as best we can. <p>Updated: Sat Jul 06, 2019</p> 2679f0122eef3a9dcc54202f5ab2c4f1 Policies That Make the Poor Poorer for 06/15/2019 https://www.creators.com/read/diane-dimond/06/19/policies-that-make-the-poor-poorer Sat, 15 Jun 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>See if you can find the logic in this. A local government issues traffic fines to residents for infractions like not wearing a seat belt, expired registration tags or a broken taillight. If the fine isn't promptly paid, then interest and penalties pile up, and a $50 or $100 ticket can quickly balloon to be thousands of dollars. If a person cannot afford to promptly pay the full ticket, what sense does it make to keep piling on extra monetary demands?</p> <p>It happened to Leah Jackson in Otsego, Minnesota. She was ticketed for obstructing traffic and fined $135. She had just gotten a new job but hadn't gotten a paycheck. Immersed in her new position, she inadvertently forgot about the ticket. Unbeknownst to her, the city suspended her driver's license, but she had to drive as part of her job. She then got three $200 tickets for driving without a license. Over time and overwhelmed with the financial burden, Jackson's fines and penalties rose to a grand total of $13,000.<p>Updated: Sat Jun 15, 2019</p> 937e73f1cbce01319fb1730ab4e05233 D-Day's Youth Vs. Today's Youth for 06/08/2019 https://www.creators.com/read/diane-dimond/06/19/d-days-youth-vs-todays-youth Sat, 08 Jun 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Seventy-five years ago, tens of thousands of brave and selfless young men from the United States, Canada and Great Britain took part in the largest seaborne invasion history has ever seen. It was carried out on the beaches of Normandy, France, and propelled by the ideal that no one man should dominate others, no foreign power should be allowed to conquer another.</p> <p>In coordination with young people from the French Resistance who staged elaborate pre-invasion sabotages against Hitler's invaders, we ousted the dreaded Nazis from their unlawful occupation of France. Even after much blood was shed on that beach, surviving warriors would go on to rescue Western Europe from German domination as well. The Nazi regime was crushed. Democracy emerged alive and well.<p>Updated: Sat Jun 08, 2019</p> 85595183d016e279a6462ab09a059748 Horrible Harvey for 06/01/2019 https://www.creators.com/read/diane-dimond/05/19/horrible-harvey Sat, 01 Jun 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p>How is it that someone accused of dozens of criminal acts can throw millions of dollars at a problem and pay his way out of trouble? </p> <p>That is what's happening with Horrible Harvey Weinstein, except if all goes as planned, he won't be paying out anything. His insurance companies will handle the payoffs to the tune of at least $44 million. </p> <p>I have called him Horrible Harvey after accusations of sexual harassment, sexual assault and rape by not just 10, 20 or 30 women but by more than 80 women! According to The New York Times, over the last three decades, Weinstein paid out settlements to at least eight female actresses and other employees. Astoundingly, he never seemed to learn his lesson. <p>Updated: Sat Jun 01, 2019</p> 2d0892bd4841cc704a5ccb7c26689113 The Staggering Costs of Imprisonment in the US for 05/25/2019 https://www.creators.com/read/diane-dimond/05/19/the-staggering-costs-of-imprisonment-in-the-us Sat, 25 May 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Guess how much our nation's system of mass incarceration costs each year? I'm talking about the taxpayer-funded budgets of prisons, jails, probation departments and the public employees who staff them. Add in the cost of running the criminal justice system; the amount spent on health care, food and incidentals for inmates; and the financial burden on families that have a person in the system. Put all that together and guess how much we, collectively, spend on our system of imprisonment in the United States: $182 billion a year. </p> <p>Let that sink in for a moment. At least $182 billion &#8212; <i> each year</i>, according to criminal justice think tank the Prison Policy Initiative. At a time when the nation's crime rate is declining (except in a few major cities), the cost of incarceration is ever increasing. Why is that? <p>Updated: Sat May 25, 2019</p> 56f19bccd005f137ad9c14030e0cdefa Allowing Prisoners to Vote: Let's Think This Through for 05/18/2019 https://www.creators.com/read/diane-dimond/05/19/allowing-prisoners-to-vote-lets-think-this-through Sat, 18 May 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p>So democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders wants to give all prisoners the right to vote. He said so during a recent campaign speech, much to the surprise of many. I was among them. </p> <p>Sanders believes that "the right to vote is inherent to our democracy" and even "terrible people" like the Boston Marathon bomber should be allowed to participate. No other democratic candidate has gotten behind this idea, although several have said they support returning the right to vote to convicts after their release. </p> <p>It is up to individual states to decide who can and cannot vote. In some states, convicted felons are never allowed to vote again. Other states require the newly released ex-con to apply for reinstatement to the voting rolls. Some make the applicant wait until after probation and/or parole is complete. Currently, only two states allow felons to cast ballots from behind bars: Sanders' home state, Vermont, and the neighboring state Maine. <p>Updated: Sat May 18, 2019</p> 6ca32b69985999653976a061219835a4 It Is Not a Crime to Win for 05/11/2019 https://www.creators.com/read/diane-dimond/05/19/it-is-not-a-crime-to-win Sat, 11 May 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>This is not one of my typical crime and justice columns. This one comes from a personal place. </p> <p>I love the television show "Jeopardy!" I adore host Alex Trebek, and I watch the program whenever I can. So when contestant James Holzhauer recently started racking up hundreds of thousands of dollars and then reached more than $1.6 million before a two-week hiatus, I was spellbound! Holzhauer is perhaps on his way to beating the all-time "Jeopardy!" champ, Ken Jennings, who took home more than $2.5 million in 2004. I can't wait to see if that record is broken. <p>Updated: Sat May 11, 2019</p> 6860e35955e9fd435a3ef4f11fa7e4d1 Are Lawyers Immune From Defamation Laws? for 05/04/2019 https://www.creators.com/read/diane-dimond/05/19/are-lawyers-immune-from-defamation-laws Sat, 04 May 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p>If someone libels, slanders or defames your character, you can sue them. Of course, you'll have to be able to prove in court how the person injured your reputation or business, and you'll have to show that what was said was more than just ugly opinion. You'll have to show the offender made a false statement of fact. </p> <p>I got to thinking: If everyone is equal under the law, shouldn't this standard also apply to those high-powered lawyers who routinely throw out defamatory comments while defending their celebrity clients? </p> <p>Brothers Bola and Ola Osundairo have filed a defamation lawsuit against the attorneys representing television actor Jussie Smollett. You probably remember that Smollett was accused by law enforcement in Chicago of filing a false police report in late January. <p>Updated: Sat May 04, 2019</p> aeb670bcbe334b94053986501e50b862 Reducing Mass Shootings by Recognizing Red Flags for 04/27/2019 https://www.creators.com/read/diane-dimond/04/19/reducing-mass-shootings-by-recognizing-red-flags Sat, 27 Apr 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Want to reduce the number of mass shootings in the United States? Then let's ramp up efforts to stop domestic abuse. </p> <p>Just as a red flag is raised when a child tortures animals, often a precursor to later criminal behavior, there is plenty of evidence that mass shooters display red-flag behaviors, like aggression and violence against women and children, before they ever pick up a gun and start hunting fellow human beings. </p> <p>Oh, I know domestic abuse is a topic people don't like to talk about. And when they do, they often conclude it's a private matter or a "woman's issue." It happens behind closed doors. It's their business. We shouldn't interfere. Wrong, wrong, wrong. In case study after case study we see that those who beat and otherwise terrorize their families (some of the aggressors are women) then direct their unresolved anger at perfect strangers. It's a flaming red flag that we should no longer look past.<p>Updated: Sat Apr 27, 2019</p> 24e03e9e9bc58925fa649b08f266087a Our Justice System Isn't Fair for 04/20/2019 https://www.creators.com/read/diane-dimond/04/19/our-justice-system-isnt-fair Sat, 20 Apr 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p>We in America have lost faith. Not only is there a decline of religious faith in the United States; there is also a lack of confidence in the institutions that made this country a worldwide superpower, respected by all.</p> <p>I'm most worried about the lack of faith in our justice system. </p> <p>Today, people of all races, creeds and colors believe the status quo, which has created a current prison population of 2.3 million plus another 4.5 million on probation or parole. That simply isn't fair. Rich people get to pay their way out of problems while poorer people (mostly those with darker skin) get swallowed up by the system, imprisoned and tainted by their conviction record for life.<p>Updated: Sat Apr 20, 2019</p> 7f9af9abffb67549e53e7b0ede81a212 The Myths Surrounding Rape Victims for 04/13/2019 https://www.creators.com/read/diane-dimond/04/19/the-myths-surrounding-rape-victims Sat, 13 Apr 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Former Pennsylvania Prosecutor Kristen Gibbons Feden has a message for defense attorneys who represent accused rapists: The days of victim shaming are over. Her prosecution partner, Stewart Ryan, agrees, saying, "The band aid has been ripped off now," and more than ever victims are feeling strong enough to press charges against their attacker and go to trial. </p> <p>Credit the #MeToo movement. But also credit the team of Feden and Ryan (along with police investigator Sgt. Richard Schaffer) who delivered to the nation the first major celebrity sex-crimes conviction in recent history &#8212; that of comedian Bill Cosby. <p>Updated: Sat Apr 13, 2019</p> f2b094aec4e09cf4bf8a6478f5c141fa Eradicating Robocalls Once and for All for 04/06/2019 https://www.creators.com/read/diane-dimond/04/19/eradicating-robocalls-once-and-for-all Sat, 06 Apr 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Say, here's an idea for something Congress can do while it anxiously awaits release of the Mueller report. How about doing something to directly &#8212; and positively &#8212; help countless millions of Americans every single day? </p> <p>Stop all those damn robocalls that plague us once and for all! No one on the planet welcomes a robocall. No one. <span class="column--highlighted-text">We dutifully sign up for the National Do Not Call Registry, but they still come, billions of times every month. They are the daily bane of our already harried existence.</span><p>Updated: Sat Apr 06, 2019</p> 93928ea7d46a240251312ee1cd2aa3c6 The Stark Lessons After Mueller for 03/30/2019 https://www.creators.com/read/diane-dimond/03/19/the-stark-lessons-after-mueller Sat, 30 Mar 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p>We are just emerging from a traumatic nearly two-year-long political drama that will surely be written about in history books. It has created a national schism that's left permanent scars with disagreeing family members, political parties and the public's trust of the media. </p> <p>While the so-called Russian collusion scandal has not played out entirely, it is already time to ask ourselves what we can learn from it. </p> <p>The scandal was born of the body politic, an organization that has disintegrated into a game of media-assisted character assassination coupled with a scorched-earth policy aimed at attacking every person close to the opposition candidate. Today it is routine to viciously attack those who embrace different political views, even if it means using allegations that are 10, 20 or even 30 years old. <p>Updated: Sat Mar 30, 2019</p> ed5397616a7941023ad1161c259d68cf Mug Shots Live on -- Even for the Not Guilty for 03/23/2019 https://www.creators.com/read/diane-dimond/03/19/mug-shots-live-on-even-for-the-not-guilty Sat, 23 Mar 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>When the suspect of the Christchurch, New Zealand, mass shooting was led into a courtroom, photographers captured his shackled image. The judge then ordered that the face of Brenton Harris Tarrant, accused of the worst mass murder in New Zealand history, be blurred from public view to ensure he gets a fair trial. </p> <p>What a quaint judicial order in this media-saturated day and age. <p>Updated: Sat Mar 23, 2019</p>