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
See if you can find the logic in this. A local government issues traffic fines to residents for infractions like not wearing a seat belt, expired registration tags or a broken taillight. If the fine isn’t promptly paid then interest and penalties pile up and soon a $50 or $100 ticket can quickly balloon to many thousands of dollars.
If a person cannot afford to promptly pay the full ticket what sense does it make to keep piling on extra monetary demands?
Seventy-five years ago, tens of thousands of brave and selfless young men from the United States, Canada and Great Britain took part in the largest seaborne invasion history has ever seen. It was carried out on the beaches of Normandy, France and propelled by the ideal that no one man should dominate others, no foreign power should be allowed to conquer another.
In coordination with young people from the French Resistance who staged elaborate pre-invasion sabotages against Hitler’s invaders we ousted the dreaded Nazis from their unlawful occupation of France. Even after much blood was shed on that beach surviving warriors would go on to rescue western Europe from German domination as well. The Nazi regime was crushed. Democracy emerged alive and well.
How is it that someone accused of dozens of criminal acts can throw millions of dollars at a problem and pay his way out of trouble?
That is what’s happening with Horrible Harvey Weinstein, except if all goes as planned he won’t be paying out anything. His insurance companies will handle the payoffs to the tune of at least $44 million.
Guess how much our nation’s system of mass incarceration costs each year? I’m talking about the taxpayer funded budgets of prisons, jails, probation departments and the public employees who staff them. Add in the cost of running the criminal justice system; the amount spent on health care, food and incidentals for inmates and the financial burden on families that have a person in the system.
Put all that together and guess how much we, collectively, spend on our system of imprisonment in the United States?
So democratic presidential candidate Senator Bernie Sanders wants to give all prisoners the right to vote. He said so during a recent campaign speech, much to the surprise of many. I was among them.
Sanders believes “the right to vote is inherent to our democracy” and even “terrible people” like the Boston Marathon bomber should be allowed to participate. No other democratic candidate has gotten behind this idea, although several have said they support returning the right to vote to convicts after their release.
This is not one of my typical crime and justice columns. This one comes from a personal place.
I love the television show Jeopardy. I adore host Alex Trebek and I watch the program whenever I can. . So, when the contestant, James Holzhauer, recently started racking up hundreds of thousands of dollars, and then reached more than $1.6 million before a two-week hiatus, I was spellbound! Holzhauer is on his way to, perhaps, beating the all-time Jeopardy champ, Ken Jennings, who took home more than $2.5 million in 2004. I can’t wait to see if that record is broken.
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.
See if you can find the logic in this. A local government issues traffic fines ...
Seventy-five years ago, tens of thousands of brave and selfless young men from the United ...
How is it that someone accused of dozens of criminal acts can throw millions of ...
Guess how much our nation’s system of mass incarceration costs each year? I’m talking about ...
So democratic presidential candidate Senator Bernie Sanders wants to give all prisoners the right to ...