‘Seven Deadly Sins’ paintings: Blow-ups & Interpretations.

Deadly sins in some faiths today refer to behavior outside the norm, acts  that estrange  people from "being right with God." (Catholics also call these less serious transgressions "cardinal" or "capital" sins, the latter because they engender other sins or vices. "Mortal" sins, by contrast, are much more serious and include such acts as murder and other felony crimes.) Paintings —  Bad people, according to some Faiths. The Deadly Sins series. A Public Relations message about a recent … [Read more...]

McCain—Survivor, hero, villain, family man.

I've been thinking about Senator John McCain—survivor, hero, villain, family man? In mourning the passing of a one-of-a-kind U.S. senator, I've concluded he was a complex character, defying pigeon holes.   McCain—more than a survivor, hero, villain, family man. I get the impression that McCain was inventing himself as he went along. —1st. A rebel and later a poor student at Annapolis, frustrated that his family pigeon holed him as a Navy Man  given that his dad and grandfather were … [Read more...]

Am I privileged? Try these exercises.

I'm writing a book about how the American criminal justice system treats "privileged" murderers  different from others.  The murderers' privileges in my book (working title "Four Murders & a Funeral") start  with being white males and in some cases end with being privileged in yet other ways.) Because of my book topic, people often ask me what I mean by "privilege." Well, here's a definition from a white male who's also gay, and you wouldn't be alone thinking 'maybe he's not privileged if … [Read more...]

Throw the book at certain rapists in this #meToo era.

  Amber Rose Carlson wrote a piece about her rapist and his sentence for the New York Times recently. Besides dealing with rapists and sentencing, she covers many other timely topics in this #meToo era. Life without parole for rapists. These topics include  injustice, male privilege, life without parole, and several others. I've blogged and written about many of them  (for instance, in my forthcoming book,  Four Murders and a Funeral). I include Ms. Carlson's piece here in its entirety. … [Read more...]

To “Check your privilege,” watch Dominick Dunne on the Justice Network.

As I write my current book, I'm outraged at the light sentences given to several of the privileged murderers I've gotten to know over the years. (I'm a criminologist and embrace the "check your privilege" movement.) For these reasons I've developed an affinity for Dominick Dunne. He's the late American writer, investigative journalist, and producer who covered the trial of his  daughter's murderer. Like me, Dunne was incensed at the verdict (acquittal of  2nd-degree murder charge in favor of … [Read more...]

#MeToo blinding us to reverse discrimination in the justice system?

Women in the #MeToo movement calling out sexual assault is big news now. That's great. But is there reverse discrimination in the justice system that favors women? Clare Foges claims there is. She recently wrote about its presence in the crim justice system in Britain. Foges was a speechwriter for former PM David Cameron at 10 Downing Street. As a result, she earned the title  "The Prime Minister's larynx/voice." (Interesting factoid—After university studies, Foges drove an ice-cream truck . . … [Read more...]

Male privilege, sex, and the fall of a cleft icon.

An op ed piece in Friday's Washington Post helped make up my mind re former congressman Trent Franks (R-Ariz.). The op ed author described a classic case of male privilege in action. The writer Melissa Richmond* is currently vice president of Running Start, an organization that encourages women to run for political office.   Richmond wrote that she thought she'd lost out on a career in politics after an encounter with Rep. Franks eight years ago. In her own words: I’ve always been proud … [Read more...]