Four bright spots in the American justice system this week:
- A federal judge has ruled that National Security Letters, at least accompanied by gag orders, are unconstitutional.
- DC District Court ruled that the CIA cannot reject out-of-hand the ACLU’s Freedom of Information Act request for information on the drone program. The lower court judge’s ruling effectively said that she thought the stuation absurd and unjust, but saw no way to compel the disclosure that was compatible with law and precedent. The district court disagreed with the no-compatible-way part, not the this-is-absurd part.
- The 9th Circuit set aside the 20-year-old capital conviction of Debra Jean Milke. Her conviction was based almost entirely on the testimony of a police officer that she had confessed, even though she and the other two other men convicted all denied her involvement. The officer had a history of lying under oath and mistreating defendants; he had also been ordered to record his interview with Milke but did not have a recording to back up his assertion that she confessed.
- Judge Otis Wright is laying down the smack on Prenda Law and its related lawyers, etc. for running what seems to be a massive scheme of extortion and fraud, using the courts and allegations of copyright infringement of pornographic videos to get people to pay settlements. Specious legal theories, extortion, forgery, a court hearing that would make Abbot and Costello proud, this case has it all.