prosecutors are "the most powerful actors in the criminal justice system," pfaff writes, yet they are largely unregulated. police, by contrast, operate mostly in public, and they are constrained by the fourth and fifth amendments and regular judicial oversight. judges must explain their decisions in writing, which are then subject to appellate review. legislators are accountable to the people for their actions, which are duly recorded and easily tracked. but prosecutors act behind a veil of secrecy. we know almost nothing about how they decide whether to charge a defendant. there is no requirement that they offer any explanation for their decisions
the most important reforms are likely to be cultural
walked in breezy mid-march while the city still hovers near perfect weather. dude had a grill and some chicken [poulet] so i gave him $1.80 and he asked me some questions i could not understand. "je nau parle pa la francessa. je suis americain" more [unintelligible, french] then flame on. i've known ulisse since the twilight of the bush administration. his brother ayo saw me on the street, came up to say hello, mostly with laughter. laughricans. knowing a local earned street cred with grillmaster, he was happy to cook me some chicken [poulet] because i belonged on that dusty sideroad at that sunset. dakarois, nous etions. charcoals finished their work, chicken [poulet] vendor started iterating through the condiments. "pimant?" [pepper] "oui, boku" "mayonnaise?" [mayonnaise] "no, merci." took my pouch of onion-marinated chicken [poulet] half a block to watch the kids playing soccer, sat down to pick out of the aluminum foil with my hands. poulet vous couchez avec moi ce soir and then gelato for dessert.
the overall unemployment rate, which is a fairly good proxy for how hard it is to find work, was almost twice as high in 2009 as in 1996. yet the number of families getting tanf in 2009 was less than half the number getting afdc in 1996
at the height of the war the american ambassador to the court of st. james's was sleeping with the prime minister's daughter, and the president's special envoy was sleeping with the prime minister's daughter-in-law. special relationships indeed
a sharp dissonance emerges between churchill as the jovial bulldog of popular american imagination and the somber reality of a life scarred by bitterness and tragedy: in all, suicides close to churchill included a brother-in-law, a former stepfather, a daughter's estranged lover, a former daughter-in-law, a son-in-law, and a daughter