First Federal Unit to Identify Wrongful Convictions

The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Washington D.C. is the first federal office to set up a unit to identify anyone wrongfully convicted of a crime.  The Conviction Integrity Unit will review cases where defendants offer new evidence that was not available at the original trial, such as DNA evidence, to prove their innocence.  Ronald Machen, Jr., the U.S. Attorney of the Washington office said in a statement, “As prosecutors, our goal is not to win convictions, but to do justice.”  Machen further said, “This new unit will work to uncover historical injustices and to make sure that we are doing everything in our power to prevent such tragedies in the future.”

The Conviction Integrity Unit follows similar ones established in state offices.  The modus for the creation of a separate unit to review these cases arises from five convictions that were vacated by the court, including that of Donald Gates, who was convicted in 1982 of rape and murder based on hair evidence.  DNA testing made available in 2009 proved that he was innocent.

The office is working with defense lawyers and the Mid-Atlantic Innocence Project, a non-profit organization which fights wrongful convictions.  Over the last four-years, more than 2,000 files involving hair or fiber evidence have been reviewed by the FBI.

Combat Sweatshops

Posted by Arben Bajrami.

Sweatshops, or a workplace with unacceptable working conditions, have remained a problem up until recent years in business and in our economy.  Companies such as Nike and Adidas have workers in foreign countries sewing and producing equipment, apparel, and footwear for very little pay.  It is said that these sweatshop workers receive something called “living wage,” which is only five hundred dollars a month, or just enough money to survive.

Laborers that work in sweatshops are considered highly unethical.  Also, these items cost very little money to make but sell at outrageously high prices in retail stores.  For example, if it costs Nike four dollars and eighty cents to make a shirt, retail stores often mark up the product for eighteen dollars.

At least certain companies, such as Knights Apparel, are making a conscious effort to raise awareness to the horrors of sweatshops. Knights Apparel works closely with a program called Worker Rights Consortium.  They work “‘to combat sweatshops and protect the rights of workers who sew apparel and make other products sold in the United States.’”

Arben is a marketing major at Montclair State University, Class of 2016.

“Trias Politica”

Posted by Arben Bajrami.

The United States’ government is divided into three branches – the legislative branch, the executive branch, and the judicial branch. The legislative branch is in charge of enacting the laws of the state and handling the money needed for our government to function. The executive branch is responsible for enforcing and implementing the laws and policies made by the legislative branch. Finally, the judicial branch is in charge of interpreting the constitution and handling the controversies that are brought before them.

Our democratic government cannot function with a complete separation of powers or an absolute lack of separation of powers. This is because the powers of the government are interrelated; they are too abstract to be completely separated from on another.

“The term ‘trias politica’ or ‘separation of powers’ was coined by Charles-Louis de Secondat . . . .” To properly promote liberty, these three powers must remain isolated and act independently. The purpose is to make sure there is no concentration of power and that checks and balances are executed properly.

Arben is a marketing major at Montclair State University, Class of 2016.

Remembering September 11, 2001 . . .

For all those who died in the terrorists attacks upon our soil:

Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord.  And let the perpetual light shine upon them.  May the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace.  Amen.


Requiem aeternam dona eis, Domine.  Et lux perpetua luceat eis.  Fidelium animae, per misericordiam Dei, requiescant in pace.  Amen.