The Ship of Dreams Launches A Legal Nightmare

he treasure trove from the most famous sunken ship in the world is in the hands of a federal judge. Maritime Jurist Rebecca Beach Smith is expected to rule, within weeks, whether the largest collection of artifacts from the U.S.S. Titanic should remain accessible to the public. Ongoing legal disputes about the rightful owners began when the ship was exhumed in 1985 by an international team of oceanographers.

Oakland Tragedy Sparks Parole Controversy

Officer John Hege, the only surviving member of last Saturday’s Oakland murder spree, died Monday after being taken off life support. His heart, liver and kidneys were harvested for four patients in need. California Attorney General Jerry Brown is among many demanding an overhaul of the parole system. Experts speculate its deterioration began in 1977 when the state’s determinate sentencing law went into effect. Determinate sentencing means a prisoner must be released when given a parole date. The governing board is flooded with nuances regarding past offending behavior and whether someone is really suitable for parole. The result? A huge number of parolees whose offenses run the gamut are sorely unsupervised. A recent report from the University of California, Irvine stated “…more than a dozen reports published since 1980 have recommended changes in California’s parole revocation procedures” which are “so complex and involves decisions by so many parties, including the police, prosecutors, judges, parole agents and parole board commissioners, that understanding exactly what needs to be done to fix the problem is unclear.” I recently posted a piece describing in more detail the incident. Click here to read this post.