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News@Law, 10/25/2016

News@Law is a selection of the day's news clips regarding Harvard Law School.
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Today's News

The New York Times
The Death Penalty, Nearing Its End
Although the death penalty is still considered constitutional by the Supreme Court, Americans’ appetite for this barbaric practice diminishes with each passing year. The signs of capital punishment’s impending demise are all around...Since there were about 14,000 murders around the country last year, it’s easy to imagine that the small number of newly condemned people shows that the justice system is focusing on the “worst of the worst.” But that’s wrong. In fact the crimes of the people sentenced to death are no worse than those of many others who escape that fate. Rather, nearly all of last year’s death sentences came from a tiny fraction of counties with three common features: overzealous prosecutors; inadequate public defenders; and a pattern of racial bias and exclusion. This was the key finding of a two-part report recently issued by the Fair Punishment Project at Harvard Law School.
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The Guardian
Justice is long overdue for the widows of South African mineworkers
An op-ed by Dean Peacock and Emily Nagisa Keehn. For decades, women in rural South Africa have shouldered the burden of caring for mineworkers who return home with silicosis contracted in South Africa’s gold mines. These women do the back-breaking and emotionally taxing work of caring for men who are dying slow and painful deaths, their lungs irreparably scarred by the silica dust they breathe in underground...These conditions are the predictable outcome of deliberate mining policies.
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Science
Could Google influence the presidential election?
...With the presidential election around the corner, Science asked experts in computer science, business, and law to weigh in on how companies like Google and Facebook, which function as the primary gateway to online information for millions of voters, could influence the outcome...Jonathan Zittrain, a professor of law and computer science at Harvard University, has written about Facebook’s unique ability to mobilize voters by placing reminders in their newsfeeds. If it wanted to, Facebook could mobilize users likely to vote in line with the company’s interests (as it tried to do in India) based on their demographic group and geographic location—a sort of digital gerrymandering capable of garnering hundreds of thousands of additional votes.
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Bloomberg
International Criminal Court Is Too Focused on Africa
An op-ed by Noah Feldman. The new South Africa has been a bastion of respect for human rights, and its decision to withdraw from the International Criminal Court is a sign that something is terribly wrong with the tribunal. And it’s no secret: Since 2005, when it first issued arrest warrants, the court has indicted 39 people, every one of them African. There are various explanations for this, some of them defensible. But the bottom line is that it was an inexcusable mistake for the court not to pursue other cases. It wouldn’t have been tokenism, because there are, unfortunately, plenty of non-African war criminals. Yet even if it were, the tokenism would have been justified to show that the court is more than the imperialist agent of regime change that many Africans consider it.
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New Vision
Five questions on the ICC
Once a champion of the International Criminal Court (ICC), South Africa dealt a blow to the world tribunal Friday by announcing its intention to withdraw, a move that came on the heels of a similar move by Burundi. Here are five key questions following Pretoria's announcement: Is this the end of the ICC? Not according to Harvard law professor Alex Whiting. "International criminal justice has always had its ups and downs and setbacks in the past. This is another setback, but the court is not going to disappear," he told AFP.
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Billboard
Royalties, Rap And Race: The Top 10 Law Schools That Teach Real-Life Music Issues
...At which law schools do the top music lawyers gain that expertise? These 10 stand out as the alma maters of the majority of the music ­industry's most accomplished attorneys...For the past two decades, aspiring attorneys at Harvard Law School have offered pro bono legal advice to young musicians, producers and other music professionals through the student-run Recording Artists Project. RAP has an affiliation with Boston's Berklee College of Music and offers its students guidance on matters from contracts to copyrights. Among those who have benefited is Berklee alumna Esperanza Spalding.
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The Harvard Crimson
Is the American University Ready for Donald Trump?
An op-ed by Winston Shi `19. In a year of the unexpected, one thing surprises me more than anything else: Cosmopolitan America is trying to take the white working class seriously. The white working class has spoken. It spoke for Bernie Sanders and it spoke for Donald Trump. And so in the run-up to Election Day, the media’s been churning out feature after feature on “forgotten middle America.” Even Foreign Affairs is getting in on the action! But at Harvard, cosmopolitan America’s most famous training ground, while there are plenty of Sanders voters to be found, there are almost no Trump supporters at all.
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MSNBC
Lawyers offer Trump accusers free legal help (video)
Lawrence talks to Harvard law professor Laurence Tribe, one of the nation's leading constitutional scholars and lawyers, about his offer to provide free legal help to any of Donald Trump's accusers.
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Vox
Lawyers are offering to defend Trump’s sexual assault accusers for free
In what was supposed to be a major policy speech on his first 100 days as president, Donald Trump’s only new proposal was vowing to sue the women who have accused him of sexual assault. But in response, some prominent First Amendment attorneys are vowing to defend Trump’s accusers pro bono, or free of charge. Ted Boutrous of the law firm Gibson Dunn and Harvard law professor Laurence Tribe have thrown their hats into the ring on social media, and Boutrous says there are others willing to follow suit.
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KUSI
Notable Harvard professor speaks to San Diegans about Alzheimer’s (video)
Professor Charles Ogletree was diagnosed with Alzheimer's several months ago and he and his family want to stress the importance of education and of early diagnosis. Professor Ogletree has been a professor at Harvard Law School for the past 30 years. He's an advocate for continued education and empowers children to chase their dreams. His work has been recognized all over the world and dozens of schools have been named after him.
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