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The Lakeville Journal Opinion/Viewpoint

Convictions are too easy to justify with false confessions

The Chris Powell Column

Nobody who looks impartially at the case of Richard Lapointe today is likely to be much persuaded of his guilt in the rape and murder of his wife’s grandmother, Bernice Martin, in Manchester in 1987.
Lapointe’s prosecution and conviction were based entirely on three contradictory and even absurd confessions sweated out of him by Manchester police two years later during an interrogation lasting more than nine hours, in which he participated voluntarily and without a lawyer.

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Do Not Tax The Rich

Editorial Cartoon

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Words of wisdom from an old working-class “philosopher”

The Long View

Eric Hoffer, the “longshoreman philosopher.” Just a mention of him produces immediate reactions from those over 55 to whom I say that I am writing his biography — and puzzled looks from those who are younger.
His books, especially “The True Believer,” were enormously popular in the 1950s and 1960s, but by his death in 1983 they were no longer in the canon of what young people read if they were interested in how the world worked.

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Remember where you were ... ?

If You Ask Me

It was a good day for America, said President Obama, as he announced that Osama bin Laden had been finally brought to justice. So good, that years from now, people will say they remember where they were when they first heard the news.
Having been around for a while, I can quickly recall where I was on several great, historic days, not all of them good days for America. Think about how many “I remember where I was” events in your lifetime and you’ll see what I mean.

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Turning Back The Pages May 5

Turning Back The Pages

75 years ago — May 1936
Reflections of the Season (editorial): Over in Europe peace treaties become mere scraps of paper, and the dictators seem to go on the plan that one good scrap deserves another.

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Osama bin Laden

The Lakeville Journal Editorial

Every citizen of the United States took the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, personally, for good reason. They were attacks on the very core of our civilization, with the intent of destroying not only the more than 3,000 lives they took, but also the fabric of our society. But in the aftermath of the death of Osama bin Laden as the result of a U.S. military operation this week, it became clear that for those who were children and teens at the time, the attacks were very personal and a defining moment in their young lives.

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Dump Trump

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The songs of spring birds

Nature's Notebook

The birds are coming back. We see and hear new birds every day as those long-distance migrants return from their journey. How amazing it is that birds weighing no more than a 25-cent piece can find their way back from their wintering grounds in Central and South America. So accurate is their timing and navigation that they can return to the same acre to breed.
Audubon Sharon has been helping monitor populations of migratory songbirds at bird banding stations throughout Litchfield and eastern Dutchess counties for almost 15 years.

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Hospitals should be good for your health, shouldn’t they?

Body Politic

The last time our nation assessed the risks of hospitals was in 1999. The Institute of Medicine found that between 44,000 and 98,000 patients died each year from medical mistakes. Around a million others suffered injuries. Nonetheless, if you were sick, where else were you going to go?

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A warning shot across our bow

The Independent Investor

Last Monday’s surprise announcement that the outlook for U.S. debt has been downgraded reverberated around the world. Global markets shuddered. Investors rubbed their eyes as they reread the announcement and then hit the “sell” button. Markets declined by 1 to 2 percent.
Yet, by the end of the week, stocks and bonds recovered. Was this some kind of false alarm?

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