Nominations Are Open For the 2016 Best Criminal Law Blawg Post

As is the SJ end of year tradition, nominations are open for the most prestigious award in all of the criminal law blawgosphere, the 8th Annual Jdog Prize for the best blawg post in criminal law.

The prize recognizes and honors the effort and thoughtfulness of criminal law blawgers with our annual Best Criminal Law Blawg Post, which has been dedicated to the memory of our dear friend, Joel Rosenberg.

Unlike the other Beauty Pageants in the blawgosphere, the idea here is to provide a platform to revisit the excellent work done over the past year.  Past winners of the JDog prize are luminaries of the blawgosphere, Ohio’s Jeff Gamso, Connecticut’s Gideon Strumpet, Texas’ Mark Bennett, Arizona’s Matt Brown, Fishtown’s Leo Mulvihill and Texas’ Murray Newman, Brooklyn’s Ken Womble.

Here’s the deal:

  • Anybody can nominate a post for the honor, including their own.  SJ posts are off limits.  You can nominate them anonymously, with great fanfare, just by name or with a detailed explanation of why you think a post is the best.  It can be a post from a criminal defense lawyer, a prosecutor or a non-lawyer, provided its subject is criminal law.  It can even be a post by a lawprof. You can nominate up to five posts.
  • Nominations can only be made in the comments here. No emails, phone calls, twits, text messages, fruit baskets or lovely cards with deeply personal messages.
  • For this contest, and for this contest only, I will allow links to be included in comments to the posts (not the blawgs, but the actual posts) nominated.  Spam links will be treated harshly.
  • This is a chance to think back over the past year and give everyone some great posts to read, to ponder, to discuss and maybe even change some minds. Bear in mind, if you try to game this by posting crap just to get some visibility, there is a good chance that others might express some disagreement and the result could be humiliating.

I invite anyone and everyone to offer the best the blawgosphere has in criminal law.  Spread the word, and let others know that this is their opportunity to show their stuff, get a backlink, and let the rest of the blawgosphere know what they’re doing.  If nothing else, this is an opportunity for you to let others know you exist, you’re writing about criminal law, and maybe catch some eyeballs. If your stuff is good, then people will read you. Go for it.

Nothing here at Simple Justice is eligible, so don’t waste time with it.

The winner will be announced on January 1st, 2017.

Judging will be entirely on my shoulders, and I will be as arbitrary and capricious as I please, so there’s no complaining about the choice.  That said, I will do my best to select the blawg post that best reflects our finest work, our highest tradition, our deepest thoughts and our best purpose in putting words on a computer screen.  For anyone who doesn’t trust me to be fair, find a better offer elsewhere.

One important point: It’s up to you, the readers of criminal law blawg posts, to show me that you are willing to put in the effort to give a damn about the blawgosphere by nominating the best posts. If you can’t be bothered, then I can’t be bothered.  You enjoy reading some great stuff about criminal law, so this is the opportunity to let the writers know. And if it’s too much effort to nominate anyone, then it tells me that we’re wasting our time here. See how that works?

Finally, to address the perpetual issue, efforts to bribe me with barbecue or baked goods will not assure a win. However, it can’t hurt and is definitely worth a try.

20 thoughts on “Nominations Are Open For the 2016 Best Criminal Law Blawg Post

  1. CLS

    I’d like to nominate Jeff Gamso’s Fault Lines post “Remembering the Girl with the Blue Dot Over Her Face.”

    Fault Lines has done some amazing work this year reminding the world those accused of crimes aren’t always heinous people destined for the gallows the moment a grand jury hands down an indictment. Jeff’s post, however, was the one that hit home and hit hard. I’ve returned to it several times and it was written in January.

    The last line alone is a great reminder of how laws designed to “protect” some punish others too.

  2. Andrew Fleischman

    Matt Brown for his excellent article about the Arizona Supreme Court’s dangerously unprincipled opinion, holding that all parents must prove they lack sexual intent to avoid prison time when charged.

    It was an important issue, poorly covered by the media, and he shined a bright light on it.

  3. John Barleycorn

    Go figure? Somebody actually started the rough draft!

    Even if Randall is former Assistant United States Attorney turned professor, I give him my 2016 nomination for the most coveted award in the universe.

    Here is his three part attempt to do some ‘splashing around in the grand jury splainin’ pool.

    Seems to me he may even stand alone in 2016 on this front and for that he should get extra cheese.

    Who knows one of your readers or heavens forbid, even yourself might read these three posts Randall has bravely put forth and say to yourself, “I am going to write me a fifteen part “next level” grand jury series of posts in 2017, just because I can and I can’t’ let Randall get away with glossing over all the bloody parts.”

    It probably won’t be a professor who cures trench foot but someday, somebody, sooner or later is gonna write the grand jury masterpiece that will at long last put the spunk back into the step of all you guilded pussies and get the cheap seats talking about the Magna Carta again in the beer line as they ponder their fate.

    So without further ado, I present Randall’s three-for attempt to do some grand jury splainin’. He leaves plenty of nuggets in here to play around with and what’s not to like about undigested strands of grass exiting the colon?

    Enjoy…and with all sincerity tip of the hat to  Professor Eliason for being one of the few, if not the only one, to go splashing around the grand jury splainin’ pool in 2016.

  4. Gregg

    Ken White’s post about Brock Turner’s sentencing: It’s thoughtful (even if one doesn’t agree with his ultimate conclusion) and well-written enough that anybody—lawyer or not—can read and understand it.

    Alternatively, Andrew King deserves some love for bringing balance to Fault Lines. Three posts of his that stand out:

    First, his counterargument to Ken White’s post above:

    Second, his argument in the great “trial tax vs. plea discount” debate:

    Third, his call for greater oversight of prosecutors:

    Finally, your instructions leave a few things unclear. To begin with, the instructions do not define or place limits on the term “post.” Thus, I have to turn to Merriam Webster, which defines “post” as “something . . . that is published online.” Additionally, the instructions say that “SJ posts are off limits.” However, that could mean that any post *appearing* on SJ is off limits, or it could mean that only posts *by* SJ are off limits. I choose to believe the second, less restrictive interpretation is the proper one. With that in mind, my fifth nomination is this “post” by Judge Kopf:

    1. Evan Greenberg

      Damn. Musick.

      [Ed. Note: I could have just corrected your original comment, but liked this so much better than I let it go.]

  5. Andrew King

    Already a number of good ones, but here’s five more: Winning an award based on Mark’s extensive knowledge of porn and prostitution would make his mother even prouder. I enjoyed lots of Andrew’s posts and this was one that touched a lot of bases. I found myself linking back and referring to this post several times, so it was a keeper. Interesting take from a sitting judge. It fooled Judge Bennett and made the point elegantly.

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