Morning Links: SOTU, long jail stays, bad cops cops in the news

From left, Graham Yost, executive producer, Michael Dinner, executive producer and actors Timothy Olyphant and Walton Goggins of "Justified" at the FX portion of the 2014 Television Critics Association Press Tour on Jan. 14 in Pasadena, California. (Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)
From left, Graham Yost, executive producer, Michael Dinner, executive producer and actors Timothy Olyphant and Walton Goggins of “Justified” at the FX portion of the 2014 Television Critics Association Press Tour on Jan. 14 in Pasadena, California. (Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)

• Obligatory State of the Union post: As predicted, Obama said nothing about marijuana, prisons or criminal justice reform. So I watched the new episode of Justified instead. It was excellent.

•  In the “tea party” response, Utah Sen. Mike Lee did advocate “creating opportunities for reformed, non-violent offenders to return to the families and neighborhoods that so desperately need them.”

•  What does it take for a police officer to get fired? Beating a man over a parking dispute, then lying about the incident in a police report: Not fired. Lying about vacation days to cover up an extramarital affair: Fired.

In Indiana: A woman sentenced to two days in jail by a drug court ended up serving five months. And a man sentenced by the same court to 30 days wasn’t released until day 215. Court officials haven’t explained why.

A Tennessee police officer who was found passed out drunk behind the wheel of his private car, with the engine running, was not arrested by his fellow officers. Instead, they took him home. One officer actually said in the police report, “If this was any other citizen they would have been arrested.” Bonus: He taught DUI classes.

The U.S. Supreme Court halted last night’s planned execution of Herbert Smulls in Missouri. Smulls was to be executed by lethal injection. The state has refused to divulge what drugs it was planning to use to kill him.

Radley Balko blogs about criminal justice, the drug war and civil liberties for The Washington Post. He is the author of the book "Rise of the Warrior Cop: The Militarization of America's Police Forces."
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Tom Toles · January 29