JSP Scope

Monday, October 29, 2007

JSP Student Mark Massoud Presents on Legal Aid in Sudan

JSP Student Mark Massoud will present his research "Legal Aid Organizations and the Rule of Law in Sudan", this Thursday, November 1, 2007, Noon to 1:30 pm, at the Blum Center for Developing Economies.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

The Onion Quotes Fictional Boalt Criminologist

Taking a leaf perhaps from Doonesbury's fictional boalt student Joanie Caucus , the satirical newspaper The Onion, interviewed Dr. Daniel Blecker, a professor at the University of California, Berkeley, School of Law, and expert on capital punishment,for a sickeningly hilarious send up of the real life Supreme Court case on lethal injection, and the wave of moratoriums that have occurred as a result in some states (including California). Titled, Lethal Injection Ban Leads To Rise In Back-Alley Lethal Injections, the article profiled an anonymous governor forced to seek a back alley lethal injection for a death row inmate in order not to lose face with voters.

Dr. Blecker (perhaps a conflation of Robert Blecker, a pro-death penalty law professor at New York Law School, and JSP's own Frank Zimring), offered the following analysis:

"Every day more and more governors find themselves in dank basements or filthy garages with a retinue of prison guards and a convicted killer," said Blecker, referring to testimony he has gathered from more than a dozen politicians who have participated in illegal lethal injections. "In extreme cases, the inexperienced executioners will inject the prisoners with cheap, common household poisons, such as oven cleaner and bleach, instead of the suggested sodium thiopental, Pavulon, and potassium chloride cocktail that a state-licensed executioner would use."

Blecker also cited reports of back-alley injections performed so hastily that no last meal was provided.

"The reality of the situation is that you can't legislate lethal injections away," Blecker said. "If governors can't inhumanely execute prisoners legally in prisons, they're going to turn elsewhere for the procedure. More often than not with tragic results."

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

JSP Alum Christopher Jewell Publishes New Comparative Study of Welfare

Palgrave MacMillan has just published Agents of the Welfare State: How Caseworkers Respond to Need in the United States, Germany, and Sweden by Christopher Jewell, a recent JSP grad and currently a post-doctoral research fellow at UCSF. It is based Chris's dissertation research and provides a closely-observed, illuminating perspective on the legal, social, and political construction of welfare law implementation in Los Angeles, Bremen, and Malmo. Chris's article-length condensation of the book appears in the most recent issue of Law & Policy. According to JSP Professor Robert Kagan, "research on the vitally important kind of legal decision making that goes on in the bureaucracies of the welfare state is woefully rare, and comparative research of this kind is virtually unprecedented."