What We’re Reading: a daily round-up of quick hits, clips, and opinion pieces touching on key issues of democracy, justice, liberty and national security.
The AP quotes Justin Levitt, formerly of the Brennan Center, on voter ID laws: “I’ve compared this to the snake oil salesman. You got a cold? I got snake oil. Your foot aches? I got snake oil… It doesn’t seem to matter what the problem is, (voter) ID is being sold as the solution to a whole bunch of things it can’t possibly solve.”
Growing prosecutorial power, mandatory minimum sentences, and underfinanced public defender systems have led to a rise in plea bargains and a decline in trials for individuals charged with criminal offenses, the New York Times reports.
William Stuntz, professor of law at Harvard University, outlines the unraveling of the US justice system at Salon.com.
Matt Miner, a former Republican staff director for the Senate Judiciary Committee, writes, “it’s time to fix our sentencing laws.” (National Law Journal).
NPR: smaller budgets for state election offices may mean slower lines and fewer voting options for voters in 2012.
Are class action lawsuits on their last leg?