/ March 17, 2014

Episode 26: IM IN UR KOMPUTERZ, READIN ALL UR EMAILZ

Cover of Fastcase Album

Back after an impromptu hiatus! I came down with a really bad case of the flu last week while simultaneously traveling to Chicago for the NABE and BLI conferences, so we took an unscheduled break. But fear not — we’re back now. Consider welcoming us back by subscribing to the podcast and rating us five stars on iTunes!

1. The government isn’t psyched about the whole PRISM leaking and is responding in-kind by requesting $9 million from the government for next year to fund its “insider threat” program. This program would allow it to monitor employees with secret clearance (or above) on or off the job. The monitoring wouldn’t end at the job — the program seeks to leverage off-site social media behavior to assess risk (as well as potentially polygraphs to extirpate would be whistleblowers).

2. Check out this truly awesome piece of journalism by Brad Hearth at USA Today titled, “The ones that get away.” This is a really interesting theory about hard and fast rules in many counties across the US against extradition. Sometimes, certain cities will forego pursuing over 90% of potential felons for monetary reasons. Philadelphia in particular was called out pretty hard in the article. Interestingly, I’ve participated in quite a few teleconference motions arguments in PA where the defendant was incarcerated in a prison in another state and present by video — seems like at least a partial solution?

3. We’re linking to a sad but legally intriguing case of a Texas man who recently died of skin cancer allegedly caused by burns he received at eight years old when a then-13-year-old boy doused him with gasoline and set him on fire. 99 percent of the boy’s body was covered in burns and he died in 2011 at age 23. The attacker is now being charged with murder in adult court. Interestingly, when the crime was committed, a juvenile had to be at least 14 for a capitol murder case to be transferred into adult court, but that age was changed to 14 in 1999. It’s an interesting policy question we’ve seen show up on the podcast a few times before: do we apply the law as it existed when the act was committed, or do we use the date of the victim’s actual death to determine which law governs?

4. Dean Chemerinsky recently wrote an op/ed calling for Justices Ginsburg and Breyer to retire. And soon. According to Chemerinsky, the Justices are 81 and 79 respectively and this summer could be the last viable time a democratic president could push new Justices in for confirmation. Depending on your ideology I suspect this could either be good or bad news, but Dean Chemerinsky points to some precedent, including Roe v. Wade, that could legitimately change with another conservative Supreme Court Justice.

As always, please take note of our subreddit at reddit.com/r/thelawreview. Feel free to submit stories there or vote on the stories you’d like to hear us discuss that day. You can also email us at podcast /at fastcase /dot com.

Thanks for listening!

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