Classic WhoWhatWhy: Police State Gears Up

On May 18, 2015, President Obama made a surprising announcement: he ordered the federal government to reverse its standing practice of providing American police departments with surplus weapons and vehicles from the battlefields of Afghanistan and Iraq. Given declining confidence in police after a seemingly constant recent stream of fatalities involving black suspects, this newfound caution with heavy provisioning is understandable. But questions about the wisdom of militarizing police are not new. WhoWhatWhy first wrote about the issue in February, 2014.

Tsarnaev Loses Bid to Move Trial; Dissenting Judge Excoriates Majority

Accused Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev unsurprisingly lost his second appellate bid to move his trial by a vote of 2-1. But dissenting Judge Juan R. Torruella issued a scathing opinion, arguing that the refusal by both the trial and appeals courts to move the case were abuses of discretion. Further, he argued that if Tsarnaev’s case couldn’t prove overwhelming pretrial prejudice, no case could. Read on for more highlights from the 1st Circuit Court of Appeals opinion.