Julia Edwards: U.S. Justice Department To Collect, Study Arrest Data For Racial Bias
The U.S. Justice Department on Monday said it will begin collecting data on stops, searches and arrests made in five U.S. cities to weed out possible racial biases within the criminal justice system. Later this year, a $4.75 million federal grant will be awarded to recipients who compete for the funds to work with their local law enforcement to analyze arrest data and find ways to reduce any biases they find, particularly toward young minority men.
Black men were six times more likely, and Latino men were 2.5 times more likely, to be imprisoned than white men in 2012, according to Justice Department data. Attorney General Eric Holder said the data collection effort is in response to President Barack Obama’s call for better relations between law enforcement and young men of color following the “not guilty” verdict in the shooting death of black Florida teen Trayvon Martin.
BBC: The International Criminal Court has issued an arrest warrant for Libyan leader Col Muammar Gaddafi. The court had accused him of crimes against humanity and of ordering attacks on civilians after an uprising against him began in mid-February. The Hague-based court also issued warrants for two of Col Gaddafi’s top aides – his son Saif al-Islam and intelligence chief Abdullah al-Sanussi.
Steve Benen: … it looked as if JoAnne Kloppenburg had pulled off a miracle in the the state Supreme Court election in Wisconsin, narrowly defeating conservative Justice David Prosser. Yesterday, an expected discovery of thousands of votes quickly tilted the race in the other direction:
“The tally of a close Wisconsin Supreme Court election, which had come to be a referendum on Republican leadership in the state, turned upside down on Thursday evening: the incumbent justice, viewed as a conservative, took a lead of more than 7,000 votes after a clerk in one Republican-leaning county announced she had initially failed to report some 14,000 votes.”
The discovered votes came from Waukesha County, a suburban GOP stronghold, where county clerk Kathy Nickolaus cited a computer mishap for the error.
… it’s worth noting that Kathy Nickolaus is a Republican donor who’s been involved in a series of controversial elections, including a ballot mix-up in 2004, sample ballots in 2005 that accidentally told voters who to vote for, a 2007 incident involving touch-screen voting, and perhaps most importantly, a 2002 controversy in which Nickolaus was granted immunity as part of a criminal investigation into Republican misdeeds in the State Assembly.
This is the same Nickolaus who yesterday uncovered a net gain of 7,000 votes for the Republican candidate who was trailing in a closely-watched judicial race … Hmm.
Now, before anyone jumps to conclusions, Nate Silver noted that it’s likely nothing nefarious has transpired .. But just for the sake of conversation, I’d love to know what the reaction would be – from Republicans, on Fox News, etc. – if the situation were reversed…