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News Scan

Fort Dix Conspiracy Convictions Upheld:  UPI reports that the Third Circuit upheld the convictions of five Muslims who had conspired to attack military bases in Pennsylvania, Delaware, and particularly Fort Dix, New Jersey.  The unanimous decision , authored by Circuit Judge Marjorie Rendell, rejected the defendant's claim that evidence gathered during the government's 16-month investigation, with tools authorized by the Patriot Act, was obtained in violation of their constitutional rights. 

Racial Bias in DC Student Suspensions?:  A Washington Post story by Donna St. George suggests that a disparity in the number of black DC area students suspended from school compared to white students, may be the result of racial bias.  The story reports that the disparity in DC and some other school districts across the country has sparked a joint effort by the Justice and Education departments to identify reforms.  Experts say that while a disproportionate number of black students come from impoverished, single parent homes, which can effect disciplinary patterns, this does not fully explain the suspension disparity.  These experts suggest that unconscious bias and an unequal access to better teachers may influence who gets suspended.  While it is was not mentioned in the Post story, it should be noted that most teachers in the DC school district are black.  

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