Brian Turner via Flickr

When you get your primary ballot in hand, are there parts you just skip over, like maybe the races for judges? 

Both Oregon and California elect judges from statewide down to the local level, while other states feature many appointed judgeships. 

Is one system better than the other?  We put that question to the Brennan Center, which is committed to democracy and equal justice for all. 

Christian LInder/Wikimedia

  We try and try to be as fair as possible to our fellow humans, but darn it, our primitive brains continue to hold onto some biases. 

Law professor Erik Girvan at the University of Oregon says implicit biases are nothing to be ashamed of, but certainly to be aware of. 

He plans a pair of workshops this week on the role of implicit bias in decision making. 

ABA Publishing

The New Mexico state legislature once considered an amendment to a bill that would have required some expert witnesses in court cases to dress like wizards. 

It didn't become law, but many oddball approaches to the legal system DO get into the books. 

And a new book called The Emergency Sasquatch Ordinance runs down some of the highlights... including the "dress like a wizard bill." 

Penguin Books

People who did not commit crimes get sent to death row, unarmed people are shot by police, and guilty people go free. 

These things happen all the time in our criminal justice system... but not because the system is structured to be fundamentally unfair. 

In the book Unfair: The New Science of Criminal Injustice, law professor Adam Benforado argues that unconscious biases and processes hidden to our conscious minds lead us to poor decisions. 

Living Up To The Name At "Help Now!"

May 29, 2014

When the going gets tough but your basic needs are addressed, where do you turn? 

Plenty of agencies can feed, house, or clothe you... but trickier situations require a different kind of agency. 

Help Now! Advocacy Center in Medford helps people--often poor people--through crisis situations in their lives.  It often takes a single phone call.

Lawyers for Little Money

Sep 12, 2013

When we get stuck in a legal bind, we call a lawyer.  If we can afford one.

And if not?  The Center for NonProfit Legal Services is often the answer to that question in Jackson County.  The Center formed more than 40 years ago to help poorer residents with issues like housing, public benefits, and family dispute resolution.  You'll hear how the Center can afford to do its work... and how many people it can help.