Man Exonerated for Rape That Never Happened

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I once sat on a jury where over half of my fellow jurors would have convicted the accused (a hispanic male) on the testimony of a single female accuser. There was no physical evidence presented. Not even photos of the alleged crime scene where property was allegedly damaged. “Beyond a reasonable doubt” is supposed to be the standard of evidence required to call someone a criminal in our society. But when I asked my fellow jurors why they would convict a man based on the testimony of a single individual, the seven of them that would have convicted, mostly female, replied “Why would she lie?”

You don’t have to know why people lie, to know that they do.

The Innocence Project

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The Top 20 Most Dangerous Drugs

What is the most dangerous recreational drug? According to a study in The Lancet, it’s heroin— no surprise there. But according to their top 20 ranked by level of harm, alcohol and tobacco are still far more dangerous than a number of illegal substances.

As a person who has never used anything on a regular basis stronger than caffeine, and who drinks about one beer a year, I have no desire to use these drugs. But despite the danger inherent inherent in every drug, I believe the collective harm the illegal drugs on this list cause to both the users and society in general is vastly compounded as a result of their illegality. Moreover, the likely medicinal use of some of these substances is unfairly stigmatized and potentially valuable research on them is hampered. Society can only mitigate these harms effectively by legalizing, regulating, and taxing these substances. I’ve discussed these issues before here.

Documentary: Britain’s Most Dangerous Drug

The Top 20 Most Dangerous Drugs According to The Lancet

(most to least dangerous)

  1. Heroin
  2. Cocaine
  3. Barbiturates
  4. Street methadone
  5. Alcohol
  6. Ketamine
  7. Benzodiazepines
  8. Amphetamine
  9. Tobacco
  10. Buprenorphine
  11. Cannabis
  12. Solvents
  13. 4-MTA
  14. LSD
  15. Methylphenidate
  16. Anabolic steroids
  17. GHB
  18. Ecstasy
  19. Alkyl nitrates
  20. Khat

See Also

The Drug Policy Alliance.

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I can’t respond to everything, but I do read everything!

Good Citizens Know Their Rights During Law Enforcement Encounters

Busted: The Citizen’s Guide to Surviving Police Encounters is an amazing, well-produced video (45 minutes) that should be required viewing for all U.S. citizens above the age of about 14. During routine traffic stops and other encounters, police often ask questions that amount to “idiot tests,” and which can easily lead citizens to unknowingly waive their Constitutional rights. By knowing your rights, you can help keep otherwise honest law officers from overstepping their rightful authority.

One other note: This video does depict people being caught breaking the law. As a blog entry at points out:

If we’d tried to teach the 4th Amendment without depicting petty criminality, BUSTED would be more boring than a romantic evening with abstinence enthusiast Jay Stephenson.

Whether or not you break the law, you should know your rights.

If you attend Burning Man, it is also important to review the specific guidance provide by the Burning Man Organization.

The entire video is available on YouTube (embedded below) and can also be downloaded via BitTorrent. Also, make sure you read the FAQ.

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Comments? Send a tweet to @ironwolf or use the response form.
I can’t respond to everything, but I do read everything!