Morning Links: Ohio debtors’ prisons, forensic science commission and hate-crime laws

February 14, 2014
File - In this Dec. 5, 2013 file photo, marijuana matures at the Medicine Man dispensary and grow operation in northeast Denver. Colorado voters still support the state law that legalized recreational marijuana, but most believe it is hurting the image of the state, according to a new poll released Monday, Feb. 10, 2014. The Quinnipiac University Poll found that 51 percent of voters overall believe the measure is bad for the state's reputation, while 38 percent see it as a net positive. (AP Photo/Ed Andrieski, file)
What does the Drug Enforcement Administration think of marijuana? (Ed Andrieski/Associated Press)

• An Indiana prosecutor drops dozens of cases after the police officer involved in those cases is arrested for domestic violence.

• In response to an American Civil Liberties Union report, the Ohio Supreme Court has set up a plan to end what have effectively become debtors’ prisons.

• The country’s first national commission on forensic science met for the first time this month. The commission was created after a National Academies of Science report found that the forensic evidence presented in courtrooms is often exaggerated, fabricated or not based on scientific evidence.

The Drug Enforcement Administration’s own hiring policy suggests the agency knows that marijuana is fairly harmless.

• James Kirchick on why hate-crime laws are the wrong way to fight hate.

• Not all criminal justice stories need to be soul-crushing: Here’s a nice story of redemption, thanks to the efforts of a determined defense attorney.

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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Radley Balko · February 13, 2014