Failures of Law

A brief word: I’m no legal scholar, and I invite DUFL readers and contributors with legal backgrounds to weigh in on this post, but it is a sad state of affairs when a law degree is needed to understand or discuss this country’s legislation.

On September 22, 2010, Tyler Clementi, a student at Rutgers University, committed suicide by jumping from the George Washington Bridge. His roommate, Dharun Ravi, was accused of setting up a “viewing party” to spy on Clementi’s intimate encounter with an older gay lover the evening prior. Last Friday, Ravi was found guilty of multiple counts of invasion of privacy, witness tampering, evidence tampering, and bias intimidation. For his homophobic actions, Ravi faces up to 10 years in prison.

On February 26, 2012, George Zimmerman, a crime watch volunteer from Sanford, Florida, confronted, shot, and killed a “suspicious” black male in a hooded sweatshirt in his neighborhood. The victim was a 17-year-old high schooler named Trayvon Martin. Martin was armed with a bottle of ice tea and a bag of Skittles. For his racist actions, Zimmerman cited self-defense and has faced no consequences.
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Dispatches from Yap: Shakespeare on Law and Development

Shakespeare on Law and Development

I moved to the island of Yap in Micronesia about a year ago to work as a law clerk for the state court. The job’s laid-back island setting affords me ample time to read and think about things that I would be too distracted or “busy”–most likely addressing the urgent task of evaluating some new bar’s Old Fashioned while helping my friends fail with women–to tackle if I were still in the City. When I first got here, the atmosphere and my background bred a fanatical appetite for “law and development” literature. The more I read, though, the more I found that much of it was hard to take too seriously.
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