Watch my recent Video Interview: " The American Greed Report: How to control your money, even after you die."
My investigative research has uncovered a major flaw in America’s court system. It has to do with how overburdened and underfunded courts deal with family disputes over what to do with an elderly Mom or Dad. A growing number of families, nationwide, have learned that once a family member turns to the courts for help their parent could be placed under an odious elder guardianship situation managed by total stranger. Families caught up in this system say it turned their aging parent’s final years into a nightmare. These are my findings about the system in one state.
(My Albuquerque Journal series was awarded the Institute for American Studies prestigious Clark Mollenhoff Award for Outstanding Investigative Journalism. Please read the sidebar stories in the left hand column under: More Info.) The series also won two major awards from the New Mexico Press Association including Best Investigative Public Service award.
Check out the cool trailer for my latest book. Just click in the box above.
Thinking Outside The Crime and Justice Box is a compilation of some of my favorite and most thought provoking columns – with updates and new text. The book discusses today’s headline crime cases as well as crime and justice issues readers may not realize even existed. Compelling human stories at the core of crime are often the centerpiece of my columns and reading about stranger’s struggles can help readers better understand the dynamics surrounding crime, law enforcement and justice. Look, there is good and evil in the world and I figure it is my job to point it out.
Welcome to my home base where you’ll find my weekly Creators Syndicate crime and justice newspaper columns re-posted. The paper of my childhood — The Albuquerque Journal — continues to be my column’s showcase spot for as long as they’ll have me.
My writings here are always different. Sometimes I’ll simply tell you a story. Sometimes I’ll share my opinions, praise or criticism. Other times I’ll hold a mirror up to our society and invite you to form your own opinion. I hope the columns will give you something new to think about each time you visit. It’s a complicated world out there, full of situations of good versus evil, right versus wrong. My job is point them out. - Diane
So, did you hear? Democrats and Republicans in Washington have promised to cooperate in finding solutions for the country’s lingering problems! After the mid-term elections they promised they would try really, really hard to work together. Color me skeptical. But there is one legislative area where there does seem to be honest bipartisan collaboration: criminal justice reform.
Phew. The midterm elections are over! You voted, right? Yes? Great.
For those who did not join the record-breaking throngs that either cast an early ballot or turned out on election day – you missed out. Voting is one of America’s greatest civil rights and it, gloriously, brings us all together – old, young, people of all races, classes and creeds. In a world where so many human beings have absolutely no control over who runs their country we regularly get the chance to make our voices heard.
Consider the fates of two prominent Americans, comedian Louis C.K. and former President Bill Clinton. Both have been accused of serious sexual misconduct. But unlike the comedian, whose recent tiptoe back into show business has been met with howls of protest, Mr. Clinton continues to enjoy public adulation.
In this #MeToo era of enlightenment how is it that one man (C.K.), who has admitted to exposing himself to women without their consent*, can be treated so differently from another man (Clinton) who has been accused of multiple acts of hands-on sexual assault and even rape?
You’ve probably seen a spunky witness or lawyer on a TV court drama spout out an unacceptable line and the judge cautions the jury to, “disregard the testimony you just heard.” This effort has been likened to trying to put toothpaste back in the tube. After all, you can’t unhear a comment, right? But it is the court’s way of trying to assure prejudicial content doesn’t play a part in the jury’s verdict.
Now, as we approach the midterm elections, I’m asking everyone to try to disregard all the prejudiced and politically soaked social media you’ve been exposed to. Let’s vote with our common sense and not with information absorbed from subliminal and destructive messages planted by enemies of this country.
For the first time in nearly 50 years a Chicago police officer has been convicted of murder after shooting to death a civilian while on duty. It took a while, but officer Jason Van Dyke was found guilty of second-degree murder and 16 counts of aggravated battery, one count for each of the 16 bullets he pumped into teenager Laquan McDonald back in 2014. Van Dyke is white, McDonald was black.
The shooting took place in an isolated area while several other Chicago PD officers watched. But the public was kept in the dark because the dash camera video of the incident was kept secret for more than a year. When a judge finally ordered it released everyone who saw the young man’s final moments were shocked. He seemed to be slowly dancing and twirling in the street holding a three-inch pocket knife and not, as cops claimed, lunging at armed officers who had him surrounded.
Call me crazy but I think if federal employees routinely waste millions of taxpayer dollars someone ought to be held accountable, criminally accountable if possible.
And anyone who signs off on obviously outrageous spending, like the person who approved buying coffee cups for the Air Force at $1,200 each or the one that okayed spending $3 million to study how shrimps perform on tiny treadmills, let them come before Congress and explain their actions. If their supervisor made them do it, I want to know that. Let’s figure out how high up the food chain these nutty expenditures are being approved.
I was raised in the great American Southwest by parents who stressed personal responsibility, integrity, compassion for others and the ability to tell a good story. Growing up in Albuquerque, New Mexico I absorbed the moral and ethical values I would carry with me throughout life and use daily as a journalist.
After a humble beginning in Albuquerque radio (covering the cops and courts beat) I moved east. First, radio in Washington, DC where politics was the name of the game and then to New York where I got my first taste of television. It was to be a long draw at the TV trough, from New York to Hollywood and back again. And always my most fulfilling work was done in the crime and justice genre. My long running syndicated column allows me to deep dive into the human stories behind the headlines on a weekly basis. Writing books about crime and how society reacts to it still fascinates me.
So, did you hear? Democrats and Republicans in Washington have promised to cooperate in finding ...
Phew. The midterm elections are over! You voted, right? Yes? Great. For those who did not ...
Consider the fates of two prominent Americans, comedian Louis C.K. and former President Bill Clinton. ...
You’ve probably seen a spunky witness or lawyer on a TV court drama spout out ...
For the first time in nearly 50 years a Chicago police officer has been convicted ...