Edward's blog

Edward
If you are not concerned about Women's Rights, then you are not paying attention.

Edward
We were relieved in January when the Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee voted unanimously against LD 1095, a bill designed to facilitate the creation and use of private prisons in Maine.  Of course, as we like to say, no civil liberties victory ever stays won.  Last month, Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) sent letters to Governors across America offering to buy up their prisons as a remedy for "challenging corrections budgets." 

Edward
Reading about drones, lately?  It might not be long before we are actually seeing them.

Edward
Kathleen Maxian has advanced-stage ovarian cancer that could have been prevented. When Myriad Genetics patented the two genes associated with breast and ovarian cancer they put Kathleen and thousands like her at risk.



A U.S. Court of Appeals has granted companies the right to patent genes, but the Supreme Court is now reviewing a petition to hear the case submitted by the ACLU and the Public Patent Foundation on behalf of plaintiffs.

Edward
Today's Bangor Daily News features an article on the first Maine inmate to come back from an out-of-state prison since a new policy was put in place last May.

Maine Department of Corrections Commissioner Joseph Ponte deserves credit for following through on his promise to establish clear guidelines for when a prisoner can be moved out of state and criteria on which they can return.

According to the Bangor Daily News:
Edward
This morning Laura Murphy, Director of our Washington Legislative Office appeared on NBC’s Today to discuss the recent controversy surrounding the Obama administration’s announcement that it would keep in place a proposed rule that ensures that new insurance plans include coverage of contraception.



Edward
Yesterday, the Transportation Security Agency held its official unveiling of three new full-body scanners at the Portland International Jetport.  These are, of course, the same scanners that notoriously produced "nude" images of passengers and the corresponding heavy handed TSA policy of patting down anyone who refused to go through the machine.

Edward
In Sunday's Washington Post, Jonathan Turley highlights ten sobering reasons why the United States is not the "land of the free".

Turley cites the following expanded powers that have dangerously eroded individual rights and liberties post 9/11:
  1. Assassination of U.S. Citizens
  2. Indefinite Detention
  3. Arbitrary Justice
  4. Warrantless Searches
  5. Secret Evidence
Edward
Today, LD 1095, a bill that would allow a privately run prison in Maine, was unanimously killed in committee.  This is very good news for three reasons:
  1. Private prisons need high incarceration rates to make money.  Quite simply, the more Draconian the sentencing, the better for business.  So while mandatory sentencing and three strikes laws keep the prison full to capacity, they do little to make our society safer.
     
Edward
The New York Times Sunday Review features a harrowing first hand account by Nicholas Peart relating his experiences as a target of the NYPD's "stop-and-frisk" policy.

In 2009, the NYPD stopped and frisked 576,394 people. Over the 3 1/2 years leading up to 2009, the NYPD initiated over 1.6 million stops of New Yorkers.

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