Eugene Jarecki and David Simon Criticize New Drug Laws at London Panel

Appearing in London at a panel discussion hosted by the Observer, Eugene Jarecki and David Simon criticized the recent legalization of marijuana as an insufficient attempt to curb the war on drugs. The Forum recently hosted Jarecki at the 2012 Forum Film Festival for the screening of his drug-war documentary, The House I Live In. Simon, creator of the acclaimed HBO series The Wire, described the legislation passed in Colorado and Washington as ignorant of the war on drugs’ real victims: the urban poor, “the excess Americans.”  Here is an extended clip of an interview concerning the drug war and the London panel, via The Guardian:   – SD


Media And Moral Detachment From Atrocity: Why "Rising From Ashes" Is An Exception

by EC Movies, television, and other media outlets are a great escape. In modern society, when we are stressed and overwhelmed, we turn to media to get away from the world, dull our senses, and mute any pain and suffering that might be around us. Usually (not always), movies have happy endings. There is momentary discomfort, perhaps when a villain is victorious for a fleeting moment in a film, or when a death occurs. But in the end, many movies and other forms of media are intended to make us feel good. Because one goal of modern media is to promote this sense of “good-feeling,” even some documentaries that strive to feel realistic, do not do justice to atrocities that they may attempt to depict. Rather according to Ervin Staub, widespread portrayal of tragedy can sometimes cause desensitization to atrocity. Staub calls this is a “distancing of the moral mindset;”


…And Justice* For All

by Brandon J. Of the various factors which inevitably influence (and sometimes pervert) the fair administration of justice within the criminal court system, the Supreme Court’s landmark decision in Gideon v. Wainwright could optimistically be described as a step toward more equal footing in regard to representation by counsel for defendants. The Court held that right to the guarantee of counsel is ‘fundamental and essential to a fair trial’ and thereby obligatory upon States under the 14th Amendment. The Court specifically quoted a previous decision recognizing “the right to the aid of counsel is of this fundamental character.” (372 U.S. 335, 342-43 (1963), quoting Powell v. Alabama, 287 U.S. 45, 68 (1932). But what of the ‘character’ of counsel guaranteed under the 6th and 14th Amendments? The Court made no representations as to the quality of counsel due a criminal defendant, and rightfully so. Other safe guards exist for defendants,


Moral Judgments: A Growing Trend

by GJ Professor Thane Rosenbaum, in his book “The Myth of Moral Justice” criticizes the American legal system for its inability to truly make an injured party whole – to really find a remedy and solve the problems of victims. Why? The single-minded nature of our legal system fails to recognize the concept of moral justice. Presently, our system is seemingly limited in the damages it awards – damages typically characterized by incarceration or monetary compensation. “Legal Justice”, or the determination of what is deemed within the boundaries of the law, is the primary goal of our present system, yet that oftentimes fails to adequately meet what the victim actually needs – moral compensation. The mother of a drunk driving victim is not likely to find any amount of monetary compensation alone to be enough justice. Instead, an apology, a chance to tell the injurer about the life of her