Monthly Archives: March 2017

18 USC 1001

Nice exposition of the elements of an 18 USC 1001 violation – lying to a federal agent, or in this case, Congress, in this article in the Washington Post. Did Jeff Sessions violate the law in his confirmation hearing by denying contact with the Russians? As the article explains, prosecutors have brought charges in cases involving far more trivial misstatements and situations far less consequential than whether a nominee to be the nation’s chief law enforcement officer misled fellow senators during his confirmation hearings.


#cut50  is a national bipartisan effort to reduce America’s incarcerated population by 50 percent over the next 10 years. More than two million people are behind bars in the United States, which is close to 1 out of every 100 Americans, at a cost of $80 billion every year. Reliance on overly long sentences and tough on crime policies is both morally indefensible and economically unjustifiable. The statistical reality:

More than 70 million people living with some type of criminal record.
23 million bear the label “convicted felon”
5 million children have at least one incarcerated parent
2.2 million people in prisons and jails
$80 billion per year spent on prisons

The idea behind #cut50 is to foster connections between the expertise of criminal justice reform organizations and the media – and other influencers:

“By humanizing the narrative and pursuing transformative legislation, #cut50 is uniting the political machine of Washington DC, the financial reach of Wall Street, the innovation of Silicon Valley, and the cultural dominance of Hollywood to roll back the incarceration industry.”

Disenfranchisement Update

From the Sentencing Project:

Florida: there is a new House bill to amend the state Constitution that would and automatically restore voting rights to Floridians with felony convictions three years after they have completed their sentence. If passed, the constitutional amendment would be placed on the next general election ballot. This is at the same time as a proposed constitutional amendment by Floridians for a Fair Democracy that would automatically restore voting rights on completion of an individual’s sentence, which is up for hearing this month in the Florida Supreme Court.

Florida is one of only four states in the nation – along with Virginia, Iowa and

Kentucky – there has been a 68% increase in disenfranchised Kentuckians since 2006
Over 300,000 Kentuckians are barred from voting due to a felony conviction, according to a recent report by the League of Women Voters (LWV).

Kentucky has the third highest felony disenfranchisement rate in the country, with one of every 11 adults disenfranchised. And the state has the highest rate for African Americans (26.2%—more than triple the national rate), with one in four disenfranchised. More than 92% of Kentucky’s disenfranchised population is not incarcerated, including 78% who have fully completed their sentence.
Virginia:  A Senate bill to limit governor’s power to restore voting rights has been blocked in the House
Mississippi:  A Bill to study changes to state disenfranchisement laws unanimously passes House but dies in Senate.
Nebraska: Half of state counties give misinformation on how people regain voting rights.