Will OJ get parole tomorrow? Where and how to watch his hearing.

I mentioned in a prior blog that the ALCATRAZ EAST crime museum just opened an exhibit around a new acquisition. The item is the White Ford Bronco that carried a frantic and suicidal O.J. Simpson during one of the most famous televised car chases ever. For this reason alone, millions will be tuned in tomorrow to O.J.'s parole hearing. But, as you know, there are many other reasons to tune in.   I'm going to watch because, tho I'm a dispassionate criminologist regarding most topics, I have a … [Read more...]

July is National Cleft & Craniofacial Awareness month: Two special blogs coming soon.

In honor of  National Cleft & Craniofacial Disorders Month, I'm planning two special posts in the upcoming weeks from a guest blogger. Stay tuned and be ready to be surprised and informed.   Cleft and Craniofacial Disorders Month. Go here for information about the meaning of this July's commemoration and for info about the many organizations supporting it. Also, consider donating a copy of Cleft Heart: Chasing Normal to one of these organizations . . . or to your dentist or … [Read more...]

Cocaine, mental illness, trauma: What killed Carrie Fisher?

      I'm working on a memoir tentatively titled Four Murders and a Funeral.  In one of the murders, powdered cocaine plays a role. At least that's what the defendant and his attorney would like us to believe. Whether  the drug was to blame for the murder and whether addiction was involved is part of the story I tell. Cocaine  Carrie Fisher's use of cocaine never became much of a criminal justice issue. Some feel celebs get a pass for behavior that lands others of us  in … [Read more...]

Cleft lip dad adopts cleft lip baby.

This cleft lip news out of Atlanta made my Father's Day last Sunday. The day had been marred by the death of my best friend's wife the day before. However, I then noticed this news about cute-as-a-boot Hattie Pierce, pictured below. Like myself and so many others, Hattie was born with a cleft lip and palate, .     Hattie Pierce w cleft lip and palate. Cleft lip dad & daughter duo get surgery at same hospital. She  was adopted by Brian Pierce who'd had his lip surgically restored long … [Read more...]

Brock Turner, Oscar Pistorius: how white privilege works.

I sometimes examine white privilege in my crim justice writings, and I'm doing so in a memoir I'm currently working on.  What's interesting about Brock Turner, Oscar Pistorius is that they may've been given light sentences because they were white and outstanding athletes. They are athletes in cultures (America and South Africa) where athleticism is prized. In such cultures super athletes, for sure, are treated leniently by their justice systems because of it. I've written about Pistorius … [Read more...]

Criminologist Yablonsky carried switchblade before seeing the light.

Lewis Yablonsky honored me by writing the forward to my first book as a criminologist, Dealing with Violence back in the '70s. We taught together and enjoyed one another's company. He died in 2014.As part of a series on great colleagues and teachers, I offer this obit of  Yablonsky by William Yardley.  Lewis Yablonsky, teaching at California State University, Northridge, in 1984. His books include “The Violent Gang.” CreditGary Friedman/Los Angeles TimesSociologist and criminolgist."Lewis … [Read more...]

Crim Justice takes a hit with regard to older celebs.

What happens when crim justice, lookism, and celebrity meet face to face? Lady Justice peaks from under her blindfold and renders "modified" justice. Some would call it "in" justice. Crim justice takes a hit. We've explored attractiveness and sentencing in recent posts.  Recently we looked at younger troubled stars. Here are a couple of examples of older troubled stars. That is, attractive people who've used their celebrity and wealth to game the justice system. The crim justice system pretty … [Read more...]