9-Apr-21 Escalation mentality

On Monday, I was listening to Eric Nelson, defence attorney for Derek Chauvin, the Minneapolis police officer who faces three charges of second and third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter for the killing of George Floyd.  Nelson was questioning prosecution witness and Chief of the Minneapolis Police Department Medaria Arradondo, who had fired all four policeContinue reading “9-Apr-21 Escalation mentality”

31-Dec-20 Criminal Conduct Authorisations

On 24 September 2020, the Government introduced the Covert Human Intelligence Sources (Criminal Conduct) Bill 2019-21. The Government explained the Bill rationale as follows: Undercover operatives and agents play a crucial role in preventing and safeguarding victims from the most serious crimes, including terrorism and child sexual abuse. In order to gain the trust ofContinue reading “31-Dec-20 Criminal Conduct Authorisations”

05-Oct-20 The Outsiders and Youth Justice

“When I stepped out into the bright sunlight from the darkness of the movie house, I had only two things on my mind: Paul Newman and a ride home” (Hinton, p.1) This opening line will resonate for many who read The Outsiders (London: Penguin Books, 2016; originally USA: Viking Penguin, 1967) as a teenager andContinue reading “05-Oct-20 The Outsiders and Youth Justice”

27-Sept-20 Marshals and Police

Like all significant social events, COVID-19 has its own lexicon of words and phrases that we find ourselves hearing and using – ‘test, track and trace’, ‘a V-shaped recovery’, ‘asymptomatic’, ‘lockdown’, ‘second spike’, and so on. One word doing the rounds currently is ‘marshal’. To ensure that the public are following social distancing rules, BorisContinue reading “27-Sept-20 Marshals and Police”

10-Aug-20 Abuse in Religious Organisations

On 5 August 2020, the BBC reported leaked excerpts from a forthcoming report by independent investigator Vicky Lawson-Brown into abuse of women and children within the ‘Jesus Army’ or ‘Jesus Fellowship’. Established in 1969 at a chapel in Northamptonshire, the Jesus Army grew quickly, drawing in the homeless and substance misusers, among others, to liveContinue reading “10-Aug-20 Abuse in Religious Organisations”

24-July-20 Achebe and retributive justice

My current read is Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe (first published by William Heinemann, 1958 though my copy is Penguin, 2001). Born in 1930 in Nigeria, Achebe studied in London and worked for the BBC, later becoming Emeritus Professor of English at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. The book has a great back story.Continue reading “24-July-20 Achebe and retributive justice”

14-July-20 COVID-19 and Accountability

Initially there was scepticism from the UK Chief Medical Officer and his colleagues about the value of wearing face masks.  People might not wear them correctly, may become complacent and forget to prioritise handwashing and social distancing.  In the US, Trump said in April 2020 that he would not wear a mask and mocked hisContinue reading “14-July-20 COVID-19 and Accountability”

13-July-20 Capital Punishment and Victims

The BBC website reports this morning on the case of Daniel Lewis Lee who will be subject to the first federal execution in the United States in more than 17 years.  Lee and an accomplice were convicted of murdering three members of the same family. Two details stand out in the report.  First, the murdersContinue reading “13-July-20 Capital Punishment and Victims”

26-June-20 Lady Macbeth and Double Deviance

Lady Macbeth. […] Come, you spiritsThat tend on mortal thoughts, unsex me here,And fill me from the crown to the toe top-fullOf direst cruelty! make thick my blood;Stop up the access and passage to remorse,That no compunctious visitings of natureShake my fell purpose, nor keep peace betweenThe effect and it! Come to my woman’s breasts,AndContinue reading “26-June-20 Lady Macbeth and Double Deviance”

22-June-20 Alfred Fagon, Policing and Race

Alfred Fagon was a Jamaican-born playwright who came to England in 1955 at the age of 18.  He worked on the railways and joined the army, where he became a boxing champion.  Leaving the army in 1962 to travel and sing calypso, Alfred settled in Bristol, learning the welding trade and starting to act part-timeContinue reading “22-June-20 Alfred Fagon, Policing and Race”