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The Errors of Alarcon & Mitchell -- Introduction

Judge Arthur Alarcon and his career law clerk, Paula Mitchell, have a follow-up article in Loyola Law Review, titled "Cost of Capital Punishment in California: Will the Voters Choose Reform this November?"  Both the purpose of the article to influence the outcome of an election and the bias of the article are evident from the subtitle.  The initiative is not to reform but to repeal.  Characterizing Proposition 34 as "reform" is odd, to say the least.

While the article bears both names, I suspect from the shrill, partisan tone that it is mostly Mitchell and not much Alarcon.  Even so, Alarcon has lent his name to these articles, so I will refer to them for short as "A&M."  In the bioblurb, Mitchell is once again identified as an adjunct professor at Loyola without mentioning her main job as Alarcon's clerk.  Whether a sitting federal judge and a judicial law clerk should be engaged in the partisan enterprise of producing a campaign document for one side of controversial ballot question is an interesting ethics question, but I will put that to one side for now.

The errors in this article and the previous one are numerous.  In each case, some background is needed to see why they are errors.  I therefore plan a series of posts explaining them one by one.  

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