Friday, August 05, 2005

Meth mouth, false memories, the utility of Latin and other stuff

Here's some interesting stuff I've been reading around the web:

Injustice Anywhere
drew complaints for a photo of "meth mouth," linking to this Newsweek story calling meth "America's most dangerous drug." Dental care for meth users is a big cost driver for jail healthcare these days. As I understand it, BTW, meth mouth mostly stems from the impurities in the ingredients used to cook the stuff up at home, a direct result of the laws restricting sale of the chemical "precursors" for meth enacted a few years ago that limited addicts' access to safer ingredients. Another result of security tradeoffs made in the name of the drug war. UPDATE: See Slate editor Jack Shafer's rebuttal to the Newsweek article.

Crimprof blog, another study finds that people under police interrogation sometimes admit to crimes they didn't commit, reports MSNBC, either to end the interrogation or because they become convinced they did it. Additionally, it turns out it's easy to create false memories in people. According to a book on brain science I read on vacation, Mind Wide Open, that makes perfect sense: memories aren't stored whole somewhere in your brain; they're recreated anew each time you recall them, changing slightly according to your brain chemistry at the time you're thinking about it.

Doc Berman
links to several posts in a good discussion of sex offender residency restrictions, notes coverage from an important speech by 11th Circuit Judge William Pryor calling state prison sentences "unfair" and indefensible, and poses a question: Is it "blogsphere" or "blogosphere"?

David Elliot gives a run down of
blogs focused on the death penalty.

Snitches called a "
necessary evil."

Even though Texas' legislation to strengthen the probation system was vetoed,
Solutions for Texas notes that new money for probation services comes with strings attached: probation departments must have in place a "progressive sanctions" model in order to receive new diversion program funds. For a good example of what such a progressive sanctions model might look like, look at the "special sanctions court" in Fort Bend County.

Adina's right that "citizen journalism" is more fun to do than to talk about. She was relieved at the lack of identity politics evident at the Blogher conference.

Ken Lammers has a fun piece showing why lawyers still find
Latin useful in court.

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