Guilt, Afghanistan, LGBTQ+ Unemployment, Cannabis Banking, Schools
In this edition: (1) Anonymous juries. (2) Afghanistan exit. (3) LGBTQ+ unemployment. (4) SAFE Banking Act. (5) Schools in South Sudan to reopen.
The Derek Chauvin conviction elbowed most other stories from the headlines, which makes perfect sense. It flagged, interestingly, the use of anonymous juries, raising questions about voir dire and the Sixth Amendment, as well as the presumption of innocence (Here’s a 1999 Fordham Law Review note that summarizes some of the arguments; that note favors to anonymous juries, for what it’s worth).
The trial also raised the question of court interference with multiple high-level public officials demanding Chauvin’s conviction, including Biden who said he was “praying” for the conviction in the lead-up to the verdict. Regardless of whether we think, as I do, the right verdict was rendered, there’s reason for hesitation with this.
Since the conviction, we’ve seen several stories about police shootings which is also a healthy reminder that the problem is endemic to American policing, not the result of singular racists like Chauvin.
The Afghanistan exit has also begun.
I have a new piece in Investopedia investigating what the data says about LGBTQ+ income and unemployment. There are some surprising findings in there.
I got to do significant updates on Nathan Reiff's 2019 Investopedia piece to reflect last week’s House vote on the SAFE Banking Act and to freshen it generally. If you're curious about the SAFE Banking Act, look here. The act seeks to smooth out the ironies between federal laws and state-legal cannabis businesses, which has kept those businesses from accessing payment services or banking for fear of federal reprisal against the banks. This has led to equity issues, as I wrote for CBD-Intel last month, as well as violence, including a death that sparked some press coverage in Oregon. Although this is not the first time the act was reintroduced, experts are optimistic that it has a chance to pass this round, though there are some roadblocks it has to pass.
Schools in Rumbek, South Sudan, where Abukloi (the secondary school on whose board I serve) operates, will re-open in May. They got the go-ahead from the Ministry of Education and the Task Force on COVID-19. We also had graduation for our senior class this weekend. Apparently, it was well-attended, flush with important types, the public, and other secondary schools.