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Category Archives: the law

History of PPD

History of The PPD Exhibit At City Hall

Look at that face. Check out the new exhibit — “Protecting Providence: Three Centuries of Policing in Rhode Island’s Capital City” — Providence City Hall, second floor. Great old photos, documents, and artifacts like old handcuffs and billy clubs. Lots of fun gangster names and

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Keep Talking Wayne, You’ve Really Gauged The Mood Of The Nation

“The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.” So said NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre today in a news conference, urging Congress to put an armed law enforcement agent in every American school. Put

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State Rep Edith Ajello To Proceed With Further Marijuana Reform

I love this woman!  According to the Marijuana Policy Project, Rhode Island State Representative and Chairwoman of the House Judiciary Committee, Edith Ajello, will re-introduce legislation for the regulation and taxation of marijuana at the next legislative session. On Election Day, voters in the states

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Free Legal Workshop For Visual Artists

(11.8) In the course of their career, visual artists often confront a number of legal issues — and types of contracts — involving copyrights, trademarks, and the rights of privacy and publicity. Join Attorney David Spatt for a workshop focusing on these issues including  a

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Attention Doherty — It’s Called The Bill Of Rights

Specifically the Sixth Amendment, enacted way back in 1791 by those Founding Fathers you Republicans are always talking about. “In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial . . . and to have the Assistance of Counsel

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Action Speaks — Live Forum

(10.3) Action Speaks kicks off its new season Wednesday. This year Action Speaks looks at moments when the rights of the individual have clashed with the needs or beliefs of the public and where the line between private and public has been defined or blurred.

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This Is The Year For Marijuana Reform In Rhode Island

Testimony in front of the House and Senate Judiciary Committees in support of reforming our marijuana laws has concluded. There are actually two separate initiatives under consideration: decriminalization and legalization. Last week the house committee heard testimony on H7092 — the decriminalization bill introduced by

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‘Hot Coffee’ And The Myth Of Frivolous Lawsuits

Remember the lady who scalded herself you-know-where with a cup of McDonald’s coffee? Were you sympathetic to her complaint or was a lame joke immediately forthcoming? Yes, even some enlightened progressive thinkers (well, me) heard about this one and went “Oh come on!” But whose

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Nothing New Under The Sun

Part one of “Prohibition” a film by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick premieres tonight, Sunday October 2nd, on PBS at 8pm (repeats at 10pm). Parts two and three air Monday and Tuesday nights. Without specifically mentioning our failed “war on drugs”, Burns suggests in a

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Ixnay On The Decrim Bill

You’d think with someone named Weed at the helm . . . oh well, maybe next year. Big big thanks to Representative John Edwards (D-Tiverton) for sponsoring the ‘Marijuana Decriminalization’ bill which, despite having 40 cosponsors, apparently lost momentum in the final days/hours of this

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ProJo Supports Marijuana Decriminalization Bill

The editorial board of the Providence Journal has come out in favor of bill H-5031/S-270 so that we may join the 14 other states that have eliminated jail time for possession of small amounts of marijuana. (ProJo 6.23.11) . . . we strongly support a

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But Do They Make Good Pillows?

Eleven years ago, my old-school editor Joe and I presented our hottest item to our production team: an “interactive edition” textbook that included a CD-ROM with both audio and video content.  [To get what a big deal this was at the time, note that my

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All We Are Saying Is Give Bees A Chance

Here’s a fantastic article and video about the White House honeybees. Yet a blurb last year about a White House bee swarm prompted one commenter to accuse Michelle Obama of breaking a D.C. ordinance stating that hives can’t be kept within 500 feet of a

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‘Conviction’ — The Betty Anne Waters Movie

The story of Betty Anne Waters, Roger Williams University School of Law ’98, just had to be a movie. Hilary Swank snagged the lead and heads an amazing cast in the upcoming movie ‘Conviction’. Ms. Waters is featured in the Summer 2010 Amicus, the magazine

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Probation Violation Reform Is Now Law

Often referred to by defendants (without irony) as “getting violated” the old hair-trigger violation threshold of the Rhode Island criminal justice system is now a thing of the past. According to R.I.’s Future, as of last Saturday a law sponsored in the Senate by Senators

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Providence Journal — End Prohibition

I did not see this coming. The editorial board of The Providence Journal has come out in favor of ending our government’s futile war on drugs by legalizing, regulating and taxing all illicit drugs and placing addiction in the public health realm where it belongs.