Author: Jessica Victoria Hidalgo 
Mr. and Mrs. Dursley, of number four, Privet Drive, were proud to say that they were perfectly normal, thank you very much.
Twenty years ago, those few, surprisingly un-magical, first words of the first Harry Potter novel sparked a global phenomenon as a generation of children and young adults fell in love with author J.K. Rowling’s magical world. The phenomenal success of the Harry Potter series is indisputable. Rowling’s seven-book series about a British boy-wizard has sold 400 million copies worldwide, and the Harry Potter franchise includes dozens of short stories, eight Oscar-nominated movies, a sequel Broadway and West End play, four theme parks, toys and merchandise, video games, and, most recently, a prequel film series starting with Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. Continue Reading
Author: Sarah M. Lambert*
Fewer people are being sentenced to death in Louisiana. Of those who are sentenced to death, even fewer are being executed. In the past fifteen years, only one person has been executed in Louisiana. The decline in capital punishment reflects a broader trend throughout the United States and around the world. Public support for the death penalty is the lowest it has been in forty years, with less than half of Americans now supporting the practice. Bipartisan support for repealing capital punishment is on the rise across the nation, including in Louisiana. During the 2017 Regular Legislative Session, Democratic Representative Terry Landry introduced House Bill 101 in Louisiana’s House of Representatives, and Republican Senator Dan Claitor introduced a companion, Bill 142, in the Louisiana Senate. The overarching goal of both bills was to repeal capital punishment in Louisiana. Continue Reading
Author: Reagan Charleston
Smart devices have become an extension of ourselves. Take a walk, sit in the park, ride the subway, go to a restaurant, look around you while you sit in traffic; you will likely find that nearly everyone walks, sits, and drives with their phone in their hand. Your smartphone likely sits near you as you read this piece. Even our sleep is effected by our smart phone use. Today, hand injuries from excessive cell phone use have become commonplace. We are fixated on our phones, and we do not “unplug” when we get home. According to a 2014 Civic Science report, the average American spends over twelve hours a day engaged in smart phone use. We know what it means for our eyes, but what does it mean for our constitutional rights? Continue Reading
Author: Sarah Lambert
[Prosecutor] Jim Williams tortured me and tried to kill me. By plain definition, I am a victim of torture and attempted murder. My mother, my sons, my grandmother were all victims of that torture. They hurt every day that I was locked in a cell on death row and the State was trying to kill me. Now everyone acts as if nothing happened to us. Is it because our lives don’t matter? No-one has been brought to justice for what happened to me, to the scores of others in Louisiana like me and to the thousands of people around the country who have been exonerated. We are victims, we want the perpetrators held to account and no one is doing it.
Author: Patrick Murphree
Until August 2015, Louisiana landlords could make the summoning of the police or acts of domestic violence on the premises cause for eviction. Domestic violence victims were thus forced to choose between summoning help and losing their homes. In a laudable attempt to remedy this situation, the Louisiana legislature passed a law restricting the ability of landlords to evict victims as a result of their abusers’ actions. Nevertheless, the final act abandoned the promise of the original bill, leaving too many Louisianans without adequate protection of their housing rights in the aftermath of domestic violence. By prioritizing the needs of landlords over those of domestic violence survivors, the legislature values the economic interests of property holders more than the safety of victims.