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Blog Scan

Pay-If-You-Go Prisons:  On Monday, Freakonomics Blog featured a quick post discussing the possibility of "Pay-If-You-Go" prisons.  According to an article in The Economist, New York State Assemblyman Jim Tedisco has proposed a bill to establish a "pay-if-you-go" model for prisons, whereby wealthy inmates pay their own incarceration costs.  Tedisco's intent is to ease taxpayer burden.  As Freakonomics points out, Daniel Freedman proposed a similar idea on Forbes.com back in March.  According to Freedman's estimates, a bill asking criminals to pay for their incarceration could save New York $2.6 billion.  He also pointed out that in 2007 California spent $8.795 billion locking up prisoners.  And, according to an article in today's Economist (h/tp Sentencing Law and Policy), "California spends $49,000 a year on each prisoner, almost twice the national average."  So how much could a bill like Tedisco's save us here?

Texan Named President of National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers:
  David Ingram reports on Blog of Legal Times that Cynthia Orr, an associate at Goldstein, Goldstein & Hilley in San Antonio, Texas has taken over as the new NACDL president.  She is a co-founder of the Texas Innocence Network and a longtime member of the Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association.  We've been up against the NACDL before. It has filed briefs in several of our cases, including Bell v. Kelly, Maryland v. Shatzer and Kansas v. Ventris.

Virginia Gubernatorial Candidate Makes Crime Proposals:
  At Sentencing Law and Policy, Doug Berman opines that Virginia's Gubernatorial race could mean "serious political discussion of certain alternatives to prison for dealing with crime and punishment."  Berman's thought stems from Anita Kumar's article in today's Washington Post.  In the article, Kumar reports that Republican candidate Robert F. McDonnell has released a proposal "designed to curb crime in Virginia, including lifetime monitoring for sexual predators through the Global Positioning System and other technology."  He also proposed opening more drug courts in Virginia, something he had opposed before, after recent studies showed that the courts had been successful.  Yesterday's proposal is part of a three part series outlining McDonnell's stance on public safety. His Democratic opponent, state Senator R. Creigh Deeds is expected to release a public safety plan in the coming weeks.

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