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The other day I wrote a diary entry regarding the outrage from many about the "injustice" of the dismissal of criminal charges against Blackwater employees over the alleged massacre in Iraq.  In addition to my diary, teacherken at Blue Commonwealth and Daily Kos also wrote on the issue as well which is linked here Daily Kos diary from teacherken.  Both Ken and I share the belief that the judge decided correctly in this case and that we cannot sacrifice the Constitutional rights of anyone no matter how heinous the alleged offense is.  

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Since the brutal execution of four Lakewood Washington Police officers less than a week ago there has been a lot more information uncovered about exactly how violent an offender Maurice Clemmons was even after he was sentenced to 108 year in prison. As someone who works with prisoners who's offenses range from failure to pay child support to those charged with capital murder I know a little something about inmates and having seen this video I am even more bothered than Mike Huckabee made it possible for Maurice Clemmons to be released.

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Cross Posted on Blue Commonwealth and New Dominion Project

Since the Supreme Court’s decision in  Melendez-Diaz v. Massachusetts Virginia has become center stage in how courts and law enforcement will deal with this new landmark ruling.  The 5-4 decision authored by Justice Scalia held that it was unconstitutional to introduce certificates of analysis or lab sheets because it does not allow for a defendant to "confront" the witnesses against them.  In the face for Attorney General this has come front and center and mainly the first strike was does by Republican Ken Cuccinelli is calling for a special session to fix the problem courts are now experiencing.  Steve Shannon on the other hand called for a more measured and tempered approach to see how Commonwealth offices are handling it.  Yesterday, Governor Tim Kaine called for a special session of the General Session to be held on August 19th to specifically address the Melendez-Diaz decision.  While Ken Cuccinelli won the "press war" in immediately calling for a special session I believe that is all he really won given the fact that he was very limited regarding the impacts of Melendez-Diaz to both the courts and law enforcement.

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While this topic has been discussed I am writing from a somewhat different and hopefully "fresh" perspective that really relates to why this has struck a nerve in a very bad way for me.  This was originally posted on Blue Commonwealth and felt that I could provide a different perspective given the amount of attention it has received

The other day, while following Ben Tribbet's (Not Larry Sabato) tweet's regarding this video I was very curious to see who exactly would make a comment like this.  I'll be honest I haven't really followed that race much but given the comments she made I plan on doing so a great deal.  While I don't want to make this a partisan diary, I wanted to provide my thoughts on the matter from a different vantage point that my fellow readers may not have and the potential threats they pose.

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There has been substantial talk regarding the nomination of Justice Sonia Sotomayor and specifically her holding in Ricci that was recently overturned by the United States Supreme Court.  Obviously, this case will be a centerpiece of the confirmation debate with conservatives painting her from everything from a racist,  an affirmative action choice, lacking judicial independence or anything else illogical one can think of.  While issues of abortion, affirmative action, judicial independence and most importantly stare decisis. In reading a recent decision made by the Court with the majority opinion authored by Justice Scalia, I think the issue of stare decisis must be at the forefront of this confirmation process and why her "experience" in person and more importantly professional life should be viewed as a welcome asset to the Court.

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I received the most recent edition of Cuccinelli's Compass and in all honesty I'm just not sure where to begin but I guess I'll give my insights on his desire (along with the remainder of the Virginia GOP ticket) to make right-to-work/organized labor the forefront issue of this election cycle.

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