Category Archives: crime and punishment

Charles Manson died

Charles Manson, the most hated and feared criminal of our time, who, curiously, attracted many followers, died yesterday of “natural causes” at age 83. If you’ve followed the news, this was almost inevitable, for he’d been hospitalized since November 15 and reported on the brink of death. He died at Mercy Hospital in Bakersfield, California […]

The Hollywood scandals: should we convict someone on hearsay alone?

The increasing number of accusations of sexual harassment or assault by famous actors and producers in Hollywood—the latest is Kevin Spacey—carries two lessons: the practice is far more prevalent than many believed (and I’m one of those who had no idea), and if a powerful man does it once, they’ve probably done it before (viz., […]

At least six dead in truck attack in Manhattan

Not again! It happened when a Home Depot truck drove along the bike path that was the West Side Highway, hitting people and then the driver exited, brandishing what is described as an “imitation firearm”. The suspect was shot by police but is apparently not dead. According to CNN, police haven’t ruled out terrorism, and […]

Clarification: Weinstein post

I wrote my post on Harvey Weinstein typing as fast as I could as we were getting ready to board our plane, and would have made it more concise (and hopefully more thoughtful) if I was able to brain faster. The point I was trying to make was simply this: regardless of whether someone commits […]

Harvey Weinstein, creep or psychopath?

As always, when I write this kind of column about determinism, and in particular about the behavior of Harvey Weinstein, I must begin by saying that his behavior was reprehensible, immensely harmful, and warrants severe punishment, judicially so if the courts find him guilty of rape or sexual assault. I weep for the women who […]

Weinstein expelled by Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences

Harvey Weinstein, who, given the weight and number of accusations against him, is certainly a serial sexual predator, was just ousted by the group that gives the Oscars—the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. This is a rare and stinging rebuke. As CNN reports: In a statement, the academy said the action, which is effective […]

California downgrades the act of knowingly exposing someone to HIV from a felony to a misdemeanor

Suppose you’re infected with a sexually transmitted disease that, unless treated, is deadly. When treated, you have a good chance of living a normal life, so you’re getting treated. But you want to have sex with other people, and if they know you’re infected, they might not want to engage. So you don’t tell them […]

US votes against UN resolution banning the capricious and discriminatory use of the death penalty; vote widely misinterpreted by the Left

I’m seeing all kinds of “memes”, like this one on Facebook, about the U.S.’s vote (see also here) against a UN Human Rights Council measure that called for ending the capricious application of the death penalty and its use on juveniles, gays, blasphemers, adulterers, and those who are mentally handicapped: In fact, while the measure (which […]

Results of our Title IX poll: take accusations of sexual assault to the courts

A few days ago I wrote a piece about the Title IX mess: the confusion and lawsuits that resulted when the Office of Civil Rights (OCR) wrote to colleges “asking” them to adjudicate accusations of sexual assault or harassment according to the lowest possible standard: “preponderance of the evidence”—the accused more likely than not to […]

Harvard behaves badly—twice

I’ll try to make this post short, as I’m resting in my hotel in Warsaw and want to catch up on the news from London. But I couldn’t resist, thanks to several readers (special h/t to Scott), calling attention to two questionable acts that my Ph.D. alma mater has committed. The first involves the New […]