Volume 4, Fall 2007, Issue 3

  • Christine Catalfamo

    In October 2005, Florida, a notoriously violent state, codified its castle doctrine and doctrine of self-defense into a group of statutes known as the “Stand Your Ground” law. This new statutory scheme abrogates the duty to retreat before using deadly force and is built upon hard, bright-line rules and presumptions that appear to do away with some of the traditional considerations of necessity and proportionality. Florida has “all the ingredients for . . . disaster” with laws involving deadly force: it is a “high-crime state with heavy urbanization, a massively overcrowded prison system, and an extremely diverse (and often tense) racial population.” Critics of the law fear that it goes too far and will turn the state into a modern Wild West, rather than simply secure a person’s right to protect himself, his family, and his fortress against wrongful attack and intrusion. View More


  • Orly Jashinsky

    Imagine the scene: you are sitting in your living room at 11:05 pm on a Wednesday night peacefully reading a magazine. Suddenly, you hear police sirens blaze and a voice muffled through a megaphone shout, “you two . . . stop right there, don’t move!” You toss down the magazine, run to the window, pull back the shades, and intently look outside. You see two young men being placed into a police car, but you do not see anything to indicate what they have done. The next morning you tear the local newspaper apart, eagerly searching to find out what these boys had done. You find nothing. View More


  • Jonathan C. Pentzien

    Imagine for a moment that you are three years old again. Your biological mother has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder and your biological father left before you were born. As a result of your mother’s inability to maintain a job, her dramatic, often frightening mood swings, and lastly, a verbalized threat of potential harm, the local child protective services enters your home to remove you from the dangerous situation and places you in the custody of the family court. Over the course of the next year, the court makes “reasonable efforts” to reunite you with your biological mother. View More


  • Jen Purnell

    The Borgata Hotel, Casino and Spa in Atlantic City, New Jersey recently came under attack for the strict weight policy that is imposed on its beverage servers. The weight requirement provides sanctions for any employee whose weight increases by more than seven percent from the time at which a baseline weight was established. Critics of the policy argue that there is no business reason to require cocktail servers to undergo mandatory weigh-ins, and that a beverage server’s size has no bearing on his or her ability to mix or serve a drink. According to management, the policy was implemented as a means of ensuring that the staff maintains an appearance that is equivalent to their appearance as of the date on which they were hired. View More