Entries from August 2009
August 26th, 2009 · Comments
It was an event that shocked the American conscience, bruised and weary though it was from the horror and destruction of the Vietnam War. In 1968, a platoon of U.S. Army soldiers led by Lt. William Calley opened fire on the unarmed citizens of the village of My Lai, killing well over 500 men, women, and children. The only officer convicted for his role in the massacre, Lt. Calley was found guilty of premeditated murder and sentenced to life in prison, although he served only a few months in the stockade and three years under house arrest, thanks to the intervention of President Richard Nixon.
The Calley trial is credited with helping accelerate the American withdrawal from Vietnam, but perhaps more importantly; it opened a window onto the process of military justice and the important work of military lawyers. Lt. Calley recently spoke for the very first time about the events of 1968, expressing his remorse for those killed, their families, and the American soldiers he led that day.
Host Pam Hardy looks back at the lessons of My Lai with California Western Professor Michal Belknap, author of "The Vietnam War on Trial: the My Lai Massacre and the Court-Martial of Lieutenant Calley."
August 19th, 2009 · Comments
Over the past five years, more than 1,500 local high school students have participated in California Western's Street Law San Diego program, which teaches young people about the aspects of law that affect them as they transition from children to adults. The 14-week program highlights concepts such as the First Amendment, criminal procedure, and juvenile justice; and includes second and third-year law students as mentors and instructors.
Host Pam Hardy discusses the program with Alex Simpson, a California Western graduate, Litigation Coordinator for the California Innocence Project, and Director of Street Law San Diego.
August 12th, 2009 · Comments
State prison officials continue to respond to the fallout from a riot that broke out over the weekend at the California Institution for Men in Chino. The violent uprising left 250 inmates injured, a dormitory destroyed, and required the transfer of more than 1000 inmates to other facilities.
Shortcomings in the state’s prison system are well-known and well-documented, and the Chino facility seems to have been especially troublesome. At more than twice its intended capacity, the prison was determined two years ago to be old, poorly maintained, and understaffed.
Host Pam Hardy speaks with Justin Brooks, Executive Director of the Institute for Criminal Defense Advocacy and Co-Director of the California Innocence Project, about last weekend's riot, what it says about the California correctional system, and how the state should address longstanding problems.
August 5th, 2009 · Comments
It's a question nearly as old as the building itself: does San Diego need a new City Hall? For years, mayors have promoted-and then quietly withdrawn-plans for a larger and more state-of-the-art facility, in the face of public opposition.
The city's downtown redevelopment agency currently plans to build a 21-story, environmentally sustainable icon, housing many disparate city offices in one building and featuring public plazas and meeting spaces. Sporting a price tag of more than $200 million, the project is, not surprisingly, controversial.
Host Pam Hardy explores the plan with real estate attorney and California Western adjunct professor Todd Bulich.