Monthly Archive for January, 2006

focus on my class

i’ve been keeping a journal on the wiki of my Evidence class and finding that the focus of my blogattention has shifted from here to there.

have to say

i just am coming into focus on the face in the picture of the law lord, see it’s mine, not bad, a smiling face with open arms, face in the wiki where my journal also lives.
 http://cyber.law.harvard.edu/cyberlaw200…

because i like the look of it

zingzing

So Wayne, i want to know how you do what you do. i want jamaica to take your course.

Okay, i’m proud. Thank you Scooby. You are welcome.


What you read and link to below is from the wiki for my class about Evidence, from a student in my class, Scooby, still just a name to me. As i read it here on this blog-edit page meta to what you see i see a flowering of links that could be there, grounding each reference to the foundation of our class. How do we make the wiki live?

Scooby
From CyberlawWiki

Since the first Jah Cure discussion, and particularly since the first Wendy Murphy visit, I’ve been contributing rather long-winded discourse to the Wiki in the following sections: Nuremberg, Wendy Murphy, the Confrontation Clause, etc. Typically these contributions occured at 12-2 am, whenever I had finished my reading for the next day. They contain my thoughts outside of class and not while my nose was in a book. Short of discussing a few telephone conversations or bills, that was my day, each day, during the weeks of Evidence: shower, class, retype notes, read, write the Wiki, watch 30 minutes of TV, sleep, rinse and repeat.

Weekends were somewhat different. The first weekend back, I had about 10 people over for a huge prime rib and premium wine. I really miss having gatherings like that from my previous life. I also miss having 10 funny but mature drunk people in my house. I batted about 50% that night: five HLS’ers, my closest friends, were awesome guests. Five decided to wrestle, break glasses, have newspaper fights, and generally act like 5-year olds. I thought it was the wine.

It wasn’t the wine. Speaking of whine…the first day of class, I walked in and there, under a calm, low light, with soft reggae playing, was Professor Nesson. As the class filled, he led us in stretching exercises which about half the class joined. The first week of class was incredible. Big picture stuff. Why we have a jury. And then…”why aren’t we learning “Evidence?” (Evidence without a jury isn’t Evidence)…turn up the lights, speak louder/softer/sing/dance…what about the exam…the Exam…the EXAM!” I suppose I could have gotten a few better grades had I focused on exam banks and mastering how others have issue spotted in concise prose. Having focused on the class at hand and actually enjoying myself, however, I couldn’t believe how anxiety tore this class to shreds. Within one week, the smiles and relaxation were turned to nervousness and bickering. I contributed, don’t get me wrong: part of growing up in this course was to try (and per this paragraph, not completely succeed) to stop bitching about people bitching. But come on! Maybe it’s my previous career, or maybe it’s the way I was raised, but the insulting tone of the class toward Professor Nesson was embarassing.

[nesson here: no insult seen intended, no insult taken. Anxiety is real, so deal with it.]

* I know I should…deal with it that is. I spent many years in an alternative universe that frowned upon revealing weakness or questioning the system. The last hurdle for me has been this “why isn’t everyone else where i am” arrogance. It occurs to me more and more that it’s not “them” but me that needs to adapt.

But back to the weekends, which, as I have said, were my “free time.” The rest of weekend one was spent nursing a hangover and watching movies. But as always, reading kicked in on Sunday afternoon, and we were off to the races again.

The second weekend was our three-day MLK weekend. I was getting excited. Finish notes and stuff Friday afternoon and then smooth sailing…four days to go re: reading. This class went too fast. Then, our Fearless Reader announced on that Friday, The Takehome….now, I know that he is a good hearted man. He was only trying to make things less stressful. A complete non-takehome would be: 1) focused question(s) and 2) discuss a dispute real to you and whether you think the law’s architecture can handle it…you have 3 hours. But no, Nesson’s being nice and letting us peck at question 2 in advance. But announcing it on a Friday before a long weekend? I mean, I’m not that mellow. I knew what was in store from the class with this one. The Wiki proved it: worry, worry, read into the question, negotiate…whine. I approached the question like it was on an exam with a three-hour limit. But the Friday announcement ruined the weekend for me. Sort of a guilt reaction, I suppose. As in, others are going to work on papers and I know I’m not, and thus…emotional meltdown. I finished my notes on Friday afternoon after eating a long lunch with Phil and his girlfriend, and then watched TV. On Saturday, I didn’t get out of bed until 2pm. What was I to do? Too early to start a paper, and the Little Bitter Boy remnant in me was thinking, “my classmates are going to hone their papers to a fine edge, and I miss my secretary.” So moping set in; all of Saturday was wasted. Sunday I caught up on some reading and football. Monday was a blur.

Thursday night I attended the event featuring Courtney, Kevin and Hurricane. I have a picture of Hurrincane and me…I think of Solomon and the quarter in which hand: did he murder people or is he really innocent? The best way to look at it is does it really matter what the truth is, as long as his dispute has been resolved? I spoke with Kevin for 20 minutes after most had left. I wish I could work with him in Jamaica, or somewhere similar. These stories go beyond redemption but toward a deeper understanding and societal healing, and frankly, I’m tired of picking a side and fighting and insulting the other. Let’s try to figure all of this out, shall we?

I can’t help but wonder what I can do to change or redefine the law. It’s pretty clear that the Law Lord must fashion more of a friendship with the Media Lord. Right now, the two seem to be acquaintences but not friends. Law lets Media in, he trashes the joint, but he’s invited again and again because Law believes that turning on Media may destroy him. Maybe if Media could be convinced to help educate society about the resolution phase of disputes…what the final narrative is…rather than inflame things by taking sides. I think of Nancy Grace and how pissed off she looks, how sure she is of guilt, on Court TV. Nevermind the story, “those children are dead…D-E-A-D…dead!” Criminal cases would go much faster if Ms. Grace were allowed to roam the courthouses of America with her executioner’s axe. Who needs a trial when Ms. Grace has society pissed off and unable to see, unemotionally, both sides? I wonder if any of her audience regulars will serve on juries: God help that defendant.

The last week of class was sad. We finished Expertize and moved past the last reading hump: Privilege. It was downhill from there. This class was amazing. We were educated in history, policy, trial law, evidence rules, and strategy in three weeks. The only strain was reading (and I was going outside the box on that anyway). I looked forward to class every day. I will miss this class every day.

Yesterday I read through my notes. The course fits like a glove. I feel like Nesson has taken me behind the scenes and let me see why the law runs the way it does. From a traditional standpoint, the rules makes sense. Principled sense. Except for hearsay, which makes sense if you realize the principles are inconsistent and don’t always make sense(!). Oh, and except for 412, which should be relabeled 512…that’s where it belongs. And all hail Crawford and Blakely…say what you want about Scalia, but don’t knock my libertarian hero when it comes to the criminal justice system. I’ve watched two movies today: some ridiculous werewolf movie with Christina Ricci and Snow Falling on Cedars. I highly recommend the latter. I found myself thinking of Evidence while I watched the trial and presentation of evidence and testimony. I thought of Archie Cox and integrating narratives. It was painless, and it was beautiful. I’m not only ready for the exam, I’m ready to be a lawyer.

Internet tsunami coming – ride the wave

[Kevin is in Toronto, 6:30 a.m. EST, staying a few days with Rubin, planning today to visit Nart at CitizensLab where Jamaicaexpress.net is hosted. “Marguerite” is Marguerite Orane, Growth Facilitators. “Rodney” is Rodney Davis, CEO of Jamaica Cable and Wireless. “Jermain” is a teammate who knows a lot about low power fm radio transmission. “Aubrey” knows computers.]

Kevin: hello charley
Kevin: are you there
eon: yes
eon: hi
Kevin: just sent you an email
Kevin: sitting in a coffee shop
eon: cool
Kevin: by the airport
eon: with wireless?
Kevin: yes sir
eon: not bad
eon: pretty amazing
Kevin: i have now become a internet junky
Kevin: can’t live without it
eon: reading your email
eon: do you need the address of citizen lab?
Kevin: yes
eon: looking for it
Kevin: what is the name of the project and do you have the address or website for it
eon:  http://catchdaflava.com/
eon:  http://focus.civiblog.org/blog
eon:  http://www.citizenlab.org/
Kevin: ok
Kevin: is it still possible for nart to come to jamaica and work out of the office and help us to get things in order
eon: yes
Kevin: i think i would love to train jermain and have him do what we wanted aubrey to do\
Kevin: might work out cheaper in the long run
Kevin: as well it would be us using our guys
eon: good
eon: is aubrey now out of the picture?
Kevin: have not been able too get intouch with him in a while
Kevin: dont know why just have not beeen able too reach him on his phone
eon: people have busy lives
Kevin: ah
Kevin: that is why we have to be sure of our approach
Kevin: because life has a way of getting in the way sometimes
Kevin: with the crew that we have we should be ok
eon: ok
eon: start thinking about a board for SSET
Kevin: what do you have in mind
eon: marguerite could assemble a terrific crew, starting with rodney
Kevin: yes
Kevin: that is sure right
eon: an organization like yours needs the backing of a powerful board who are fans of the project
Kevin: rubin wants to be the director of public relations
eon: what’s his vision of the job?
Kevin: taking the SET message out into the world
eon: sounds great
Kevin: and raising funds for the organization
eon: we have the talent now, just need the event promoter
eon: you must know a lot about that from your motivational speaking days
Kevin: thats sounds right
Kevin: have some ideas
Kevin: need a project coordinator though
eon: C&W could be a big help
Kevin: that is exactly right
Kevin: i think it is coming to me what our approach should be to them
eon: come
Kevin: the idea of marketing a series of talks to jamaicans around the world
Kevin: not something they have to attend in person but something they can tune into on the web
eon: but built on a solid base at home with real programs working for students and staff
Kevin: driven by c&w technology
eon: yes yes
Kevin: sure you’re right
eon: with travelling stimuli to the major diaspora cities
Kevin: we need only to make sure that SET is
Kevin: producing products that can be seen on the web
eon: prophet for broadband to the developing world
Kevin: sounds exactly right to me
eon: lesson in how the developing world can use internet to heal itself and grow
Kevin: wow you are a champion this morning
eon: you are a prophet
Kevin: looks like some one got some good rest
Kevin: wow
eon: gotta go
eon: still finishing up my exam questions
Kevin: see ya
Kevin: i’ll look for you later

Hurricane Came

News

Carter Storms Law School

Former boxing champion bashes abuses

Published On 1/20/2006 1:20:26 AM
By PARAS D. BHAYANI
Crimson Staff Writer

Rubin Carter, know to many simply as “The Hurricane,” delivered a stirring speech to a crowd of 150 yesterday at Harvard Law School in which he lambasted the criminal justice systems in the U.S., Canada, and Jamaica for what he claimed was a high incidence of wrongful convictions and a system that is based more often on prejudice and “tunnel vision” than on evidence.

“Wake up!” he implored the crowd. “And learn that liberty and the pursuit of happiness are actually the same thing.”

Carter recounted the details of his conviction for triple murder in 1966 when he was at the height of his middleweight boxing career. He spoke of how he was saved from the electric chair only because of the quality of his legal representation, and how he still spent nearly twenty years in prison, ten of which were in the pitch dark of solitary confinement.

Carter also said that when a court granted his 1985 petition for a writ of habeas corpus—one of only three granted that year out of 8,500 filed nationwide—it effectively gave him back his freedom. In overturning Carter’s conviction, the court wrote that “the trial had been based completely on racism and not on legal evidence.” Carter, who still carries the original writ in his breast pocket, repeatedly referred to habeas corpus as “the great writ” and said that without it he would have “languished and died behind bars.”

Carter also lashed out at the criminal justice system, saying that capital punishment had turned the system into “assembly lines of death,” and pointing to the large numbers of incarcerated minorities—blacks in the U.S., Muslims in France, and Aborigines in Australia—as evidence of its shortcomings.

Carter ended with a plea for his new group, Innocence International, which he said will expose abuses and wrongful convictions in justice systems across the world.

Carter was joined at the event by Courtney Kazembe and Kevin Wallen, both of whom work in Jamaican prisons to promote “restorative justice,” and Charles R. Nesson, the Weld professor of law and the co-director of the Berkman Center for Internet and Society.

Kazembe and Wallen first spoke of their work in rehabilitating Jamaican prison inmates, and how after six years in operation, their program, Students Expressing Truth, has kept every one of its participants from becoming repeat offenders. Kazembe, who addressed the crowd first, outlined the theoretical contours of their program and how “transformation” can be used to reduce redicivism and to give people a “reason to live.”

“Our program makes people ask, ‘Why am I getting the results I’m getting in my life?,’” Kazembe said. “It’s a powerful realization where you cause people to step outside of themselves [and] take and accept responsibility.”

Immediately after Kazembe, Wallen began to fill in the details, starting with an extended anecdote about his path to becoming a teacher and motivational speaker. He told of his first meeting with Carter and how the two were invited to visit a Jamaican prison after inmates attended one of their events.

“The prison that was designed to hold 600 inmates was holding 1,800,” Wallen said. “The prisoners were in 8.5 by 5.5 by 11 foot cells, and there were a minimum of four and a maximum of nine people in each one. The inmates were locked down in their cells at 3 p.m. each day and not released until 9 a.m. the next morning.”

Wallen also spoke of the rampant homophobia in Jamaican prisons, saying that the prisons have sections labeled “Boy’s Towns” where homosexuals are isolated from the other inmates.

“If someone calls you gay and you don’t deny it, you have to go to ‘Boy’s Town,’” Wallen said. “If a cup hits the floor and you drink from it again, you’re gay. It sounds stupid and it is, but [it’s] something they have to live with.”

Of his own prison sentence, Carter said, “I sat in that cell feasting on hatred for ten years.”

—Staff writer Paras D. Bhayani can be reached at  pbhayani at fas.harvard.edu.

RESTORATIVE JUSTICE — Hurricane Coming

Kevin Wallen, Rubin “Hurricane” Carter, Courtney Kazembe
RESTORATIVE JUSTICE in JAMAICA

7:30 p.m. Thursday Evening
January 19, 2006
Ames Courtroom and on the Web
Harvard Law School
Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA

All Invited — Admission Free

Come to the Ames Courtroom if you can. If not, watch and participate in the event through the Net. Email friends and family. Tune them in, where ever they may be.

The link for the webcast is here.

Here’s an email one of our students wrote friends in the Yukon.

Hello All,

On Thursday, January 19, Kevin Wallen, Rueben “Hurricane” Carter and Courtney Kazembe will be speaking at Harvard Law School about a restorative justice initiative in the prisons in Jamaica. They are working with the government of Jamaica to create a program of restorative justice that addresses the problems that often arises when inmates are paroled. Where old enmities are unresolved, new violence often breaks out when the parolee gets home. The program seeks to constructively bring unresolved enmities to the surface and deal with them before parole. Kevin Wallen heads this project and Courtney Kazembe represents a very controversial inmate who is their test case. Kevin Wallen also works with inmates on a program of personal restoration and rehabilitation for inmates that has seen some remarkable success, even with individuals who will never be paroled. Much of this process started when “Hurricane” Carter visited Jamaica and asked to visit the prisons to speak to inmates.

The talk is being sponsored by the Berkman Center for Internet and Society, which was founded by my evidence professor, Charles Nesson. Prof. Nesson wanted us to think about how we could use the Internet to communicate this message and involve people outside of the room at Harvard Law School where the talk will happen. Prof. Nesson was very enthusiastic about my idea of webcasting the talk to a group of you in the Yukon. I will have my laptop with a wireless Internet connection and will be able to take questions from you by IM to put to the panel.

The talk will be at 7:30 (EST)/4:30 (PST).

[snip]

Yours truly,
Kimberly Eldred

Thank you Kimberly.

Kevin says: nesson says:

Kevin: hay
nesson: hi
Kevin: tried callling rubin not home at the moment
nesson: ok
Kevin: will try him later
nesson: ok
Kevin: i have not heard from c&w about the machine
Kevin: or anything else for that matter
nesson: they certainly don’t seem very eager to help
Kevin: we don’t seem to be c&w top priority
Kevin: are you there
nesson: yes, thinking
nesson: you are right
nesson: what does it take for them to see us as a priority?
nesson: it has to be a story that has some media muscle
nesson: so far we haven’t done an event that will bring us to notice
Kevin: we should organize a conference that takes place in the prison
nesson: you’ve done the event, the radio transcript of jah cure. you could announce that you will use your Unchained program to play it out in serial, with commentary.
Kevin: that they would sponsor?????
nesson: and do a press conference to announce it, with rubin
nesson: get the attention first
Kevin: that could work
nesson: once you have the audience the sponsors come
Kevin: yes
Kevin: i agree
Kevin: we need to do something that has not been done
Kevin: dialogue between men and women behind bars would work
nesson: start playing rubin’s book in serial as well
Kevin: that sounds good
Kevin: however there will be a lot of beeps
nesson: yes, but bleeps are great
nesson: they make radio exciting and stimulate interest in hearing the original, which you have to offer
Kevin: ah
nesson: we could also start talking about specific post prison employment projects that we want to start up, like the landscape business, which we could get going with a pledgebank of prospective customers who say they would use the landscape/lawn service when SET sets it up
Kevin: that would definitely work
nesson: we could do the same thing with the plan to invite AFRIKA UNITED and employ SET in setting up the tour, which could be linked with the work you will be doing in partnership with Bert.
Kevin: yes
nesson: The pledgebank is an idea you can really use. You have access to a potentially huge radio audience twice a week. You can be the guy who is urging Jamaica to go broadband, extolling its virtues with demonstration of how it can help a grass roots inmate driven program like SET, and help a nation. Make yourself irresistible to C&W as a spokesperson for broadband, and if not to them then to one of their competitors.
Kevin: that sounds good
Kevin: if they see something that looks to have national appeal then perhaps they will get excited about it
nesson: Yes, and it would surely be a great thing for Jamaica if the island and its Diaspora connected with broadband. This could be the primary goal of the Diaspora effort Douglas Orane is chairing.
Kevin: i think however that if we get a conversation with the ministry of national security to meet with the men of set and have discussions on crime and violence that will have the kind of national and international appeal tha will gram the nations attention
nesson: you have the invitational power to call that meeting and put it on the air
Kevin: it was only yesterday we discussed it with the men at SET
nesson: gotta go
Kevin: cool
***

To: IVY


hi ivy
fern was a star in my class yesterday, quiet, cool, friendly, wise, just the example i wanted my students to see, a model of how to think constructively about the adversary process. don’t miss the forrest for the trees. we are talking first law, then trial, then truth, then rape. fern starts at the top, looking from the viewpoint that sees the rhetorical space as the set of beliefs each side holds; two necker mountains.

ivy, link to eon, my sister, my child. The mountain of male belief, the mountain of female belief. You are our sons and daughters. Read your feedback memos. Sort and mix and cut and paste.

What did fern say was the function of trial?

robinradio
now is the time

eon

email with me may show up on my blog
unless privacy requested http://cyber.law.harvard.edu/eon

Saturday Jamaica Night

Thanks Bec. Beautiful job.

how was class

Kevin says:
hay
 nesson at law.harvard.edu says:
hey
Kevin says:
how was the class
 nesson at law.harvard.edu says:
class was good
 nesson at law.harvard.edu says:
maybe even very good
 nesson at law.harvard.edu says:
so what am i doing? i’m blogging, laying down track, i’ve got a classroom of eager students organizing into groups with productive ethos, posting to a wiki, http://hcs.harvard.edu/evidence
Kevin says:
just had to run for a quick minute
Kevin says:
there is a lot that i need to do
Kevin says:
the lines from c and w seems to be a problem
Kevin says:
and quite costly too
Kevin says:
on the telephone with them at the moment

That’s Jamaica Cable and Wireless Kevin is referring to. He’s trying to get his broadband upped to a bigger pipe in order to feed media to those individuals and institutions interested in consuming or retransmitting the SSET Restorative Justice program he is organizing and hosting. He wants to be ready to connect with my class on Thursday morning.