January 13th 1898: ‘J’accuse’ letter

On this day in 1898, French writer Émile Zola’s ‘J’accuse’ letter was printed, exposing the miscarriage of the justice in the Dreyfus affair. Zola was a prominent author, well-known for his short stories and novels, and his letter sparked national outrage. Published as a newspaper editorial in L’Aurore, the letter exposed the unlawful conviction of French army captain Alfred Dreyfus for espionage and treason. Dreyfus, of Jewish descent, was found guilty of selling military secrets to the Germans by a military court and sentenced to life imprisonment on a South American penal colony. However, subsequent evidence proving his innocence and implicating officer Ferdinand Walsin Esterhazy was covered up by the military, with Walsin Esterhazy exonerated. The case had exposed the virulence of French anti-Semitism, as military officials and members of the public readily accepted Dreyfus’s guilt, considering his alleged crime indicative of Jews’ disloyalty. Zola’s letter, a response to Walsin Esterhazy’s acquittal, led to his arrest for libel, though he fled France to avoid a prison sentence. The debate came to embody divergent visions of France’s national identity, with those against Dreyfus arguing his defenders sought to undermine France. On the other hand, Dreyfus’s supporters raised the pertinent question of the extent personal freedoms can be subordinated in the interests of national security. Steadily, Dreyfus’s supporters gained traction, as evidence came to light that key evidence had been forged. Desperate to restore order, the French president pardoned Dreyfus in September 1899, though he was not legally exonerated until 1906. The French military only conceded Dreyfus’s innocence in 1995. Zola’s ‘j’accuse’ has entered the popular lexicon, and the Dreyfus affair has become synonymous with anti-Semitism and the miscarriage of justice. The crisis also had the practical effect of leading to a radical ascendancy in the French government, which shaped French politics for decades to come.


Donald Trump said women should be punished for having an abortion. Here’s what that looks like.

Making a Murderer nephew Brendan Dassey freed by judge

A US judge has ordered the immediate prison release of Brendan Dassey, whose case featured in Netflix’s Making a Murderer documentary.

The Wisconsin man’s murder conviction was overturned this summer, however, prosecutors are appealing.

The 27-year-old, who has learning difficulties, and his uncle Steven Avery were convicted of murdering a young woman, Teresa Halbach, in 2005.

Avery and Dassey, who was 16 at the time, were sentenced to life in prison.

Judge William Duffin ordered that Dassey be freed from prison under supervision until the next steps in the case become clear, reports the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

Under his release conditions, he must submit to the probation and parole office by midday on Tuesday the address where he plans to reside.

Dassey also must not have any contact with Ms Halbach’s family, or co-defendant Avery, whose legal team hopes DNA evidence will clear him.

Dassey’s lawyer, Steve Drizin, told the Associated Press he hoped he would be free in time to spend Thanksgiving with his family on 24 November.

“That’s what I’m focused on right now, getting him home, getting him with his family and then helping him to re-integrate back into society while his appeal plays out,” Mr Drizin said.

The city of Sao Paulo, in Brazil, was shocked when on August 5th, 2013, a whole family was murdered in their home. Husband and wife Luis and Andreia Pesseghini, Andreia’s mother Benedita and Benedita’s sister Bernardete had been killed with clean shots to the head. The final victim was 13 year old Marcelo Pesseghini, the son of Luis and Andreia, who had apparently died from a self inflicted gun shot to the head. Investigation determined that it was this kid who killed his whole family before ending his own life.

According to the police’s timeline, Marcelo shot his family around midnight of August 4th, that was a Sunday, then drove his mother’s car to school and waited there several hours. He spent that Monday like a normal day in class, before going back home and killing himself.

But there were strange things about the case from the start, and evidence that points in a very different direction. Soon after the crime was made public, a coronel with the local police came forward and said he believed young Marcelo was being framed. Both of his parents were police officers and Andreia had been working on turning in crooked cops, which made her a potential target of the death squads inside the famously corrupt police force of Brazil.

He’s not the only one who believes police is behind the crimes. There was nothing in Marcelo’s profile that suggested he’d do something like that, and he had no experience with guns, yet he had managed to gun down his whole family without missing one shot. A family that included two trained police officers. His suicide is also peculiar. There was no gunpowder in his hands and his body had fallen forward, instead to the right as you would expect from a shot to the left temple.

Still, Sao Paulo’s justice closed the case stating that Marcelo was the killer. The rest of the Pesseghini family is until now trying to get the case reopened.

Think about the fact that Darren Wilson murdered a black boy in the street….will NOT even be indicted let alone convicted of this crime..was given paid leave and will NOT lose his job…had a nice wedding to his fellow cop girlfriend…..and made about HALF A MILLION DOLLARS  from donations in the process. he was quite literally paid, in part by the government…to kill a black boy


In the opening of the film, to explain why what happened to her was an injustice, Amanda Knox says “Either I am a psychopath in sheep’s clothing or I am you” and again, I found myself wondering who this “you” is. Because this narrative only works if the “you” is meant to be white and of a certain class and education. The only way that this film can cause identification with Amanda Knox is if the “you” is a fellow white person terrified by the miscarriage of justice because “omg it can happen to “us” as well!”. There is not a single mention of how miscarriages of justice disproportionately affect people of color, not even when Ms. Knox mentions that she now works as an advocate for the wrongly convicted. Instead, we are treated to an hour and a half of “white fear”. Injustice, the documentary seems to imply, is not just for “those people”. And of course, the glaring omission of the (white) elephant in the room: when the she was under severe pressure, she deflected by pointing to the person that in Western imaginations already carries the stigma of the stereotypical over sexualized other: the Black man. Needless to say, this action is not coded as a miscarriage of justice by itself. The filmmakers, instead, stress on how afraid she was, how she was pressured by the Italian authorities to confess to a crime she did not commit, etc. There isn’t a single interrogation of why she might point to a Black man or the already precarious situation of Black migrants in Italy, often targets of racist violence. Instead, and this is the “slip” that gives away the racist mechanism in the film, she says “she was under so much pressure that she imagined, perhaps even dreamed of Lumumba at the scene of the crime”. For centuries, white imagination has always placed the Other at the scene of the crime.


ED’s special legal system strikes again!

Poor Joanie. All the repeat offenders get suspended sentences for stabbings and arson and violent crimes but you end up in custody for a month… for minor assault. No suspended sentence for you, Joanie. Go rot in a cell you criminal!

Imagine having a heated argument with Barba

Imagine having a heated argument with Barba 

“Y/N! Don’t walk away from me!” Rafael called from inside his office which you had just stormed out of. He rushed out after and stood by the doorway, “Y/N!” 

“No! I’m tried of you not doing your job! So you see this. This is me not dealing with your bullshit anymore! And this also me walking away from you.” you yelled only turning round momentarily before continuing. 

You were fuming as you stomped your way out of the DA’s office. Everyone moved out of your way not wanting to be the next target. The whole office probably heard your knockout drag out with Barba but you didn’t care. They were all probably whispering to each other. Gossiping their heads off.

Not prosecuting this case was the biggest miscarriage of justice you’d have ever seen. That boy was going to die if you didn’t get that bitch of mother away from him. And it would be on all of your heads. 

When you got to your car in the parking lot you smashed your fist into it, crossed your arms and leaned against the car. 

“Y/N?” a voice from behind said.

You turned to see Barba a few feet away Barba staring at you. 

“What is it now Barba? What case can’t  you prosecute now.” you spat spitefully. 

You saw his face turn from concern to anger.

“The victim is unreliable, Y/N. The case is weak and circumstantial. If we take this to trail the defence will tear that boy to pieces for changing his story.” Rafael explained his voice raising. 

“That’s because his abuser is his own Mother. He was petrified! The person who he went home to everyday did that to him and probably has for a long time! That is why he changed his story. He didn’t know what to say after the school called us! He was scared Rafael, who wouldn’t be?” You shouted stepping forward. 

“He was alone during the interview he could have easily implicated his mother but he blamed innocent man instead. Not to mention the fact that their is as more evidence that the school bully beat him than his mother.” Rafael suggested. 

“And when that boy dies Rafael it will be on your head. But you’ll never understand. You don’t know and you’ll never know what it’s like.” You retorted.

“And you do Y/N? Why are you taking this so personally?” He prompted.

“Don’t make this about me.” you glared.

“You’re making this about you by getting so angry with me. So it is about you isn’t it?” Barba accused taking a step forward. 

“No it’s not. It’s about a boy who you are going to let right back into the arms of his abuser. And don’t you dare ask me questions that you know you wouldn’t ask anyone else on the squad.” You shouted fiercely.

His face fell because he knew he wouldn’t ask anyone else. 

“I knew it! I can handle myself. I’m not a over-emotional damsel in distress that needs you to save me. I’m tired of you treating me like a fragile freaking doll! ” You shouted. 

“I’m not … well not right at this second. Alright, I’ll admit I treat you differently but that’s because…” he began.

“Because what? I’m young? I’m not a good enough detective for you? Go on tell me.” you demanded. 

“No I… it doesn’t matter. Do you seriously think that we can put that boy on the stand?” Barba questioned finally caving slightly.

“Yes, he’ll just need some help.” You stated

“Fine.Arrest the mother. I’m giving you twenty-four hours to find some more evidence and then I’ll consider charging her with attempted murder and if that fails child endangerment.” Barba sighed still looking concerned and putting his hand to his forehead.

You beamed, “Thank you.”

You climbed into your car and quickly drove off. Momentarily wondering why he treats you differently and silently wishing you’d made him answer.

but legitimately this is such an odd story to tell because i think most viewers hate l*chlan and see him as an irredeemable monster but emmerdale has basically put him in a situation where him being sent down would be a ‘miscarriage of justice’ because attempting to kill lawrence is not one of the many crimes he has committed and i just don’t really get what they are trying to do with his character ever at all just let him die 

so i’m reading part of Gulliver’s Travels for class and like

what did lawyers do to Swift. did he have a bad breakup with one or what. because like

“I have known some [judges] to refuse a large bribe from the side where justice lay, rather than injure the faculty by doing anything unbecoming their nature or office.”

in short he seems to think that literally all lawyers and judges are bent on miscarriages of justice. all of them. well tbh i don’t know much about elizabethan law but im kinda offended on behalf of lawyers anyway.

I feel bad for Hae Min Lee, though. Like, you’re this mildly rebellious 18 year old girl who works hard and wants to be an eye doctor and your only problem (is it even a problem?) is that you’re a pushy, confident type A personality who told your over-bearing ex-boyfriend to fuck off for good when he started getting annoying. Then he killed you for it.

And now, 15 years later, even in the face of a witness, overwhelming circumstantial evidence, your own diary where you complained about his odd, stalkerish behavior, cell phone records, too many contradictory statements from the accused to count and…people still act like this is the biggest miscarriage of justice since the Memphis Three.

Because, you know, a podcast said so

Social Justice Issues That The Houses Will Rant About and Why

Ravenclaws: Antivaccinators

The movement of Antivaccinators is fueled by ignorance and absolute disregard for scientific evidence and clear trends in disease. Ravenclaws will see this as a lack of education, and take it upon themselves to educate them. Any refusal to change position by the other person will be seen as thick-headedness. Ravenclaws despise ignorance and closed-mindedness, and the idea of endangering the lives of others due to ignorance disgusts them.

Gryffindors: Police Brutality

Gryffindors are very hero-oriented. They are the kinds of people who make good cops and firefighters. The police are meant to be a force of protection and justice for the people, not the ones who harm them. This miscarriage of justice would be especially despicable to Gryffindors. If you claim to protect and serve, you have to keep that promise.

Slytherins: Corruption in the System

Success is very important to Slytherins. However, they want to earn their success. They want to reach the top, knowing that it is because they worked harder and were better at what they did than their opponents. The idea that there are people at the top who used unethical and unfair means to achieve their position, as well as hard workers who deserve to succeed being held back unethically because of something they can’t control such as their race, gender, or sexuality, disgusts them.

Hufflepuff: LGBTQ Rights

Hufflepuffs are very family-oriented and are loving and do their best to be accepting and loving of others. They are passionate about people and equality. The idea that someone should not be able to love freely, marry who they want, or have a family of their own because of gender apalls them. Any movement fueled by hate will disgust Hufflepuffs

Disclaimer: This is not a post saying, “This is what you care about, and the others don’t matter to you.” These are simply issues that really rub wrong against the Ravenclaw or the Hufflepuff etc in you. For example: I am a Ravenclaw, and I feel very strongly about all of these issues. However, it was the anti-vaccination movement that made me break my “don’t get into arguments on facebook about political stuff” rule with vehemence.

Indonesia goes against every fundamental pillar of justice there is, sending a message to thousands of its incarcerated youth that their efforts of rehabilitation are futile. This miscarriage of justice serves as nothing but court sanctioned murder. Indonesia’s drug problem still stands, yet two rehabilitated internationals do not.

Rest in Peace Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran.

Milbank: Grand Jury in Mike Brown shooting being rigged

(Washington Post) What happened in Ferguson, Mo., last month was a tragedy. What’s on course to happen there next month will be a farce.

October is when a grand jury is expected to decide whether to indict the white police officer, Darren Wilson, who killed an unarmed black teenager by firing at least six bullets into him. It’s a good bet the grand jurors won’t charge him, because all signs indicate that the St. Louis County prosecutor, Robert McCulloch, doesn’t want them to.


A prominent legal expert eviscerates the Darren Wilson prosecution, in 8 tweets

Following the grand jury decision in Ferguson, Missouri, prominent lawyer and MSNBC legal analyst Lisa Bloom argued on Twitter that St. Louis County prosecutors did a bad job questioning Ferguson Police officer Darren Wilson about the shooting of Michael Brown. She argued the questioning was basically a “tea party,” far from the “grueling session” it should have been.

(with video and story cards at story)