Concern about potential COVID-19 vaccine side effects and their consequences may be contributing to Americans' reluctance to get vaccinated. Policymakers and the public should carefully consider what types and levels of compensation for any adverse effects of vaccination are truly fair and appropriate.
For 40 years, the RAND Institute for Civil Justice (ICJ) has supplied government and private decisionmakers and the public with the results of objective, empirically based, analytic research. In this era of the diminishing role of facts and analysis in public life, or Truth Decay, the mission and research of the ICJ have never been more important.
Most of the 41 terror suspects who remain confined at Guantanamo Bay are unlikely to be released from custody any time soon. But the possibility that new detainees may soon be sent to the facility argues for early action to accelerate the legal proceedings against those already being held.
The International Criminal Court may be the most ideal institution to try accused terrorists. The court would take into account the legal status of terrorists, the nationalities of their victims, and the location of the crimes — while upholding the core values of Western democracies.
Discussions of U.S. immigration are dominated by arguments that pit “rule of law” proponents — focused on apprehension, detention, and deportation — against “humanitarian” supporters seeking a pardon or amnesty that will allow immigrants to stay in the country. Minor changes to the statute known as “Cancellation of Removal” could offer a compromise.
Data collection, and our reliance on it, have evolved extremely rapidly. The resulting algorithms have proved invaluable for organizing, evaluating and utilizing information. How do individuals' rights come in to play, when data about their lives is compiled to create algorithms, and the resulting tools are applied to judge them?
Californians have a lot to consider when it comes to decriminalizing possession. But now is the time for a rigorous discussion about removing criminal penalties for drug possession, rather than rushing to judgment in the heat of a future election season.
Budget cuts at the state court level can mean courthouse closures, hiring freezes and layoffs, leading to longer wait times for the public. Educating the public about the role and importance of the state courts is key to preventing more budget cuts in the future.
Electronically stored information from smart appliances, fitness trackers, and other devices is making its way into the U.S. court system. Judges and lawyers need to better understand this evidence so they can challenge it or rule on its admissibility in court.
Data and computer models are becoming more and more important for making policy decisions on everything from prison sentences to tax bills. But citizens should be able to “check the math” on decisions that affect them.
The new administration has options to deal with the detention facility at Guantánamo Bay. It could maintain the status quo, make improvements to speed the trials, close the facility and relocate the remaining inmates, or accept new detainees.
Drug dependence imposes significant costs to society and traditional criminal justice responses like imprisonment do not reduce crime. More quality research on alternative sanctions could help police, prosecutors, and judges expand their options while helping users get treatment.
Evidence presented by the FBI in the case of U.S. v. Jay Michaud was excluded because the agency was unwilling to reveal the software exploit used to collect it. If the FBI exposes its capabilities, other criminals can patch their computers, but concealing its techniques risks the ability to prosecute cyber criminals.