California officials demand an end to the testing of rape kits outside of investigations. San Francisco’s district attorney said Monday that DNA collected from alleged rape victims—evidence known as a rape kit—has been used to check if they are also criminals. Chesa Boudin, the district attorney of San Francisco, said that police crime laboratory searched a database with DNA taken from sexual assault cases in an “attempt to identify criminal suspects.”
Boudin expressed concern that victims, who had the nerve to go under an invasive examination in order to find their perpetrators, are treated as criminals and not being supported as victims. “We should encourage survivors to come forward—not collect evidence to use against them in the future. This is a practice that treats victims as evidence and not people. This is illegal both legally and ethically.
According to Boudin, this practice led to at least one person—a woman whose DNA was collected years ago as part of a rape examination—being arrested for a property crime. Boudin indicated that the office of Boudin is looking into how frequently such types of arrests occur and also “demanding” that they stop this practice immediately. [and]Encourage local and state legislators in California to pass legislation that would end the practice.
Some lawmakers have already taken up this task.
“If survivors believe their DNA may end up being used against them in the future, they’ll have one more reason not to participate in the rape kit process,” said state Sen. Scott Wiener (D–District 11). “That is why I am working closely with the DA’s Office to solve this problem via state legislation, if required.”
Hillary Ronen, San Francisco District 9, is working also on the issue. Ronen said that any DNA evidence from victims of sexual assault must be kept strictly confidential and used only for the purpose of investigating the crime. “I have asked to the City Attorney to draft legislation to prevent DNA evidence—or any sort of evidence from a victim’s rape kit—to be used for anything other than investigating that rape.”
San Francisco Police Chief Bill Scott acknowledged that the practice is occurring, but he said that he was committed to ending it. Scott stated that he is committed to ending “disincentives” that discourage crime victims from cooperating with police. Scott also said that DNA taken from victims of rape and sexual assault has been used to determine and arrest suspects in other crimes by the SFPD.
Michael Risher, of the American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California, suggested that this practice could be considered unconstitutional in California because it breaches victim privacy.
Risher noted that the federal law forbids police from uploading this type of DNA into the national Combined DNA Index System. (CODIS) is used to match DNA taken from crime scene scenes with DNA collected from those convicted and in some cases, arrested for crimes. Local agencies should adhere to this rule in order for victims’ DNA not to be retained or used for non-related purposes. California law enforcement agencies such as SFPD should follow this rule, which is particularly important because unlike the federal Constitution it explicitly protects victims and privacy rights.
The reality is that the preferences for immigration policy are not consistent with reality.Unpublished polls reveal that perceptions, politics and media may have a greater impact on immigration sentiment than the reality. While immigration levels declined in 2021, those who desire less immigration from the U.S.A. were more optimistic. LessWith immigration levels higher than in recent years, Americans are more satisfied now with them. This jump was driven by Republican dissatisfaction. The findings suggest that people may simply believe—without evidence, or because of rhetoric coming from right-leaning press and politicians—that immigration is much higher under Joe Biden than it was under Donald Trump.
According to a new Census Bureau report, immigration into the United States plunged in 2021 due to a decrease in international travel and strict U.S. immigration policy. The InterceptThis report was published in January
The images of the migrants crossing the border were so consuming for the nation’s media and political classes that they didn’t see the reality. In fact, the country’s immigration level has collapsed since 2021.
According to a shocking Census Bureau report, net international migration in the United States rose by only 247,000 people between 2019 and 2020. This is the lowest level of any year since 2010. This is about half of the people who entered the United States between 2020 and 2019, when the net international migration was 477,000. It was far lower than the 1,049,000 people who arrived in the U.S. from 2015 to 2016, which is the highest number for that decade.
Overall, almost six of 10 Americans (58%) are not satisfied with U.S. immigration today. Only 34%, however, are happy. This marks an eight-percentage-point increase in dissatisfaction since last year and a return to the 2019-2020 range,” report the pollsters at Gallup. 35% want less immigration; 9% want more, while 14% said that they are dissatisfied at the current level but don’t wish to change.
Gallup says that the proportion who desire less immigration is nearly twice as high now than it was 2021 (19%) and well beyond where it stood in 2020 (25 %),”). The dissatisfaction with Republicans has risen from 55% up to 87% since last year. This is spanning from Trump’s to Biden’s administration. This figure stands three points higher than the 2015 high, when a Democrat occupied White House.
Why gun control policies are not effective in stopping violent crime Philadelphia’s new report examines more than 2000 shootings in the period 1999-2019 and the policies that were put in place to prevent them. According to the report, “It is not possible for gun violence to be stopped by focusing too much resources on the removal of guns from streets while there are always new guns in stock.”
To SlateJon Pfaff analyzes the results of the report and compares them with the New York City Mayor Eric Adams’ gun policy proposals.
Adams called for an “9/11-type” response to gun violence in New York City during Biden’s visit. The thrust of his plan—besides exhorting the state legislature to roll back recent reforms on bail and discovery—is to aggressively go after guns by increasing detection efforts at state entry points, expanding funding for the New York Police Department’s Gun Violence Suppression Division, working more closely with the FBI and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to trace guns, and investing in new surveillance technology to detect illegal firearms. Most consequentially, Adams promises to revive the NYPD’s undercover “anti-crime units”—disbanded in 2020 amid concerns about unconstitutional stops and excessive violence—and rechristen them “Neighborhood Safety Teams,” deploying 400 to 500 officers on the streets to focus on “gun removals.”
The Philadelphia report—written by a wide range of sometimes contentious stakeholders, including the Philadelphia Police Department, the district attorney’s office under reformer Larry Krasner, the Department of Public Health, and the Defender Association of Philadelphia—suggests that such interdiction is likely futile. These authors offered policy suggestions and analyses for the city that will suffer from 559 homicides by 2021. The Philadelphia Police proposal is broadly in line with Adams Plan, but the suggestions of other stakeholders (including the city’s District Attorney) caution against any approach that focuses on gun interdiction. …
Krasner worries about gun enforcement not solving gun violence. He points out that most law enforcement officers support gun possession cases in order to stop gun violence. However, there is very little research backing this approach.
Following comments made about ice fishing by the mayor, the mayor has to resign. National mockery was directed at Hudson’s mayor for prostitution and ice fishing comments. Craig Shubert, the mayor of Hudson insists that it was just dry humor we didn’t understand. He resigned, however. Shubert wrote in resignation that he tried to use a little humor in order to point out the issue in February.
Sarah Palin case dismissed We covered earlier this month the case against Sarah Palin, former governor of Alaska and Republican vice presidential candidate. The New York Times, noting that she faced an uphill battle in proving her defamation claims since—as a public figure—she had to show the TimesPalin was acting in malice when he published an editorial suggesting a connection between Palin’s political action committee (and a mass shooting). The case was dismissed by a judge, who ruled that Palin’s team had failed to prove that Palin is the victim. TimesYou had knowingly given false information, or were reckless about doing so.
U.S. District Court Judge Jed Rakoff didn’t believe they had shown that the paper had acted in actual malice. The judge stated that the standard was intended to allow robust public discussion on public issues. But, he stated that it was not his job to revisit the rule.” Politico. “Rakoff stated that he will continue to let the jury decide to a verdict. He argued that an appeal seems to be inevitable, and that the verdict of the jury could prove useful for the appeals court.
Canada uses emergency power to end the crisis Trucker protest.“Prime minister Justin Trudeau claims he invokes the Emergencies Act, for the first-time in Canada’s historical history, to grant the federal government temporary powers in order to manage ongoing blockades. Trudeau stated Monday that it was no longer legal to protest against a government policy disagreement. This is an illegal occupation. “It’s now time to get home.”
Trudeau has frighteningly wide latitude to attack individual protesters through the act. Reports the Associated Press that the Prime Minister said he wouldn’t send in military personnel but threatened instead to remove vehicles from essential services, freeze bank accounts of truckers and to suspend their insurance.
It’s not clear what is going on, but that’s okay. https://t.co/8zJulBAoLy
— Gregory Conley (@GregTHR) February 14, 2022
• Why does America make it so hard to become a doctor?
• Airlines are pushing for a national no-fly list.
• “Elon Musk donated roughly $5.7 billion worth of Tesla Inc. shares to charity last year,” reports the Wall Street Journal. This revelation is based on a security filing that “does not name the recipients of the 5,044,000 Tesla Shares Mr. Musk reported giving over the span of more than one week in November.”
• “There’s growing consensus among policing leaders that the risks of [no-knock warrants]CNN notes that the potential benefits of a slang term, which was popularized during drug wars’ peak in the 1990s and 2000s, outweigh the risks.
• Is Republican centrism a fantasy?