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The Media and Ferguson: A Mixed Review

By David J. Krajicek

The evolution of breaking news coverage stood out like an appositional thumb during the turmoil in Ferguson, Mo.

Ferguson affirmed Twitter’s position as the piston that drives the engine of spot-news journalism. Hundreds of people, including reporters, citizens, law enforcers and representatives of “observer’ organizations like the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), were serial-tweeting from Ferguson during the most contentious mid-August nights in the St. Louis suburb.

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Fantasy v. Crime: Where’s the Line?

By Robin L. Barton

Have you ever have a really bad day at work and indulged yourself in a detailed daydream of how you’d torture and maybe even kill your awful boss á la the movie “Horrible Bosses”? Maybe you even shared this fantasy with a like-minded co-worker over drinks. Based on your daydream, should you be arrested for planning or conspiring to commit a crime? Or are such fantasies a harmless way to deal with job frustrations, sexual desires and other feelings?

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The Edward Snowden Case: More Than a Crime Story

By Timothy J. McNulty

The cat-and-mouse Edward Snowden/National Security Agency (NSA) scandal has fueled the summertime news cycle with a high tech—though drawn-out— version of a police chase. Reporters flocked to Moscow’s Sheremetyevo Airport   to search for the contractor who revealed secret NSA surveillance activities, and booked seats on flights to countries where Snowden might find refuge from the long arm of the United States government—only to discover he was a no-show. 

Meanwhile, the diplomatic posturing of Latin American officials who feel the U.S. is bullying them into refusing asylum to Snowden added a side drama to media coverage of the actual crime—assuming that the courts will judge his actions a crime.

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Do We Really Need More Criminal Code Offenses?

By Julie Stewart

A new bipartisan task force comprising members of the House Judiciary Committee held its first hearing this month  to examine the growing problem known as overcriminalization.

I was cautiously optimistic when I first learned of the task force’s creation, because I believe that the explosion of federal criminal laws—many of which are vague and carry lengthy mandatory minimum sentences – has done more harm than people realize.

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From ‘Boom’ to Bust: 10 Years of Criminal Justice Change

By Ted Gest

Ted Gest, president of Criminal Justice Journalists and Washington Bureau Chief of The Crime Report, looks back on a decade of providing the Internet's only daily digest of important developments in criminal justice. It continues to reflect not only the economic challenges facing the nation’s criminal justice system, but the similar challenges to journalism itself.

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