Joe Arpaio is a wuss

Want law enforcement that’s really tough on Mexicans?  Try Mexico’s. Only seven years until accused there are presumed innocent, and meanwhile the cops aren’t afraid to do what’s needed to get the job done. Like lie under oath.

Roberto and Layda are students in my shop (Roberto is my PhD advisee), and I am over-the-top proud of them. They’re not afraid to do what’s needed either, they shoot cameras and handcuff criminal officials to the facts, and before we’ve even licensed them to be in the social change business, they’re getting their hands dirty making justice and speaking truth to some very comfortable sleazy power.  The Mexican criminal justice system is just figuring out what it’s up against, because their film is winning prizes and getting reviews, including the first prize at the Morelia festival. It’s out of control, and the courts will never be the same in Mexico.

It’s well known in academic circles that when one of your students does something really smashing, and you’re the only one of his profs present, you’re allowed to say “yup, taught him everything he knows!” I am dying to say that now, but the fact is, they’re teaching us.  Besides basking in this reflected glory, I especially like their enterprise because it extends a link between the arts and policy that goes back at least to Goya, maybe Cervantes, who impaled the toxic nonsense of chivalry with a quill pen.  Rivera’s murals were bigger than a movie screen, but Hernandez and Negrete are also painting on a million monitors and television sets.  And their outrage has the power of analysis and the hard thinking my colleagues and I are helping them learn.

This is another day I have no trouble cashing my paycheck.

Author: Michael O'Hare

Professor of Public Policy at the Goldman School of Public Policy, University of California, Berkeley, Michael O'Hare was raised in New York City and trained at Harvard as an architect and structural engineer. Diverted from an honest career designing buildings by the offer of a job in which he could think about anything he wanted to and spend his time with very smart and curious young people, he fell among economists and such like, and continues to benefit from their generosity with on-the-job social science training. He has followed the process and principles of design into "nonphysical environments" such as production processes in organizations, regulation, and information management and published a variety of research in environmental policy, government policy towards the arts, and management, with special interests in energy, facility siting, information and perceptions in public choice and work environments, and policy design. His current research is focused on transportation biofuels and their effects on global land use, food security, and international trade; regulatory policy in the face of scientific uncertainty; and, after a three-decade hiatus, on NIMBY conflicts afflicting high speed rail right-of-way and nuclear waste disposal sites. He is also a regular writer on pedagogy, especially teaching in professional education, and co-edited the "Curriculum and Case Notes" section of the Journal of Policy Analysis and Management. Between faculty appointments at the MIT Department of Urban Studies and Planning and the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard, he was director of policy analysis at the Massachusetts Executive Office of Environmental Affairs. He has had visiting appointments at Università Bocconi in Milan and the National University of Singapore and teaches regularly in the Goldman School's executive (mid-career) programs. At GSPP, O'Hare has taught a studio course in Program and Policy Design, Arts and Cultural Policy, Public Management, the pedagogy course for graduate student instructors, Quantitative Methods, Environmental Policy, and the introduction to public policy for its undergraduate minor, which he supervises. Generally, he considers himself the school's resident expert in any subject in which there is no such thing as real expertise (a recent project concerned the governance and design of California county fairs), but is secure in the distinction of being the only faculty member with a metal lathe in his basement and a 4×5 Ebony view camera. At the moment, he would rather be making something with his hands than writing this blurb.

4 thoughts on “Joe Arpaio is a wuss”

  1. The nativist sort who've given us Arpaio occasionally make a sober show of concern for good governance in Mexico. (Each of us seeks virtue in his own way; they perhaps don't look for it much in Arizona.) Is it too much to hope that they'll support the work of Hernández & Negrete?

  2. The article gives an h/t that could be repeated to the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, who helped fund the film.

    An even bigger h/t to the Angevin and Norman lawyers of Henri II Plantagenèt who introduced trial by jury in English law, replacing trial by ordeal. It's a fallible system as you could and still can be wrongly convicted and even executed out of community prejudice; but it's still much, much better than trial by unaccountable bureaucrats.

  3. I had no idea Mexico's CJS was that broken. You can't hope to control crime with the police and courts seen as another potential predator.

  4. For those who don't visit the link and read the story: the title of the film is "Presumed Guilty."

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