Week Eight: Birthday Weekend

Hello all!

Oh the scandal, I am writing this blog on a Monday instead of my usual Friday. Good thing I got my free Starbucks birthday drink this morning and I am alert enough to write your favorite installment of the summer blogs. Also, in case you didn't catch on, it was my birthday yesterday! If you didn't congratulate me, now is the time.

In regards to work, last week I forgot to mention my field trip. I visited the DC Superior Court to see Judge Mize (NCSC consultant) while he was in chambers. We observed for the day, and saw many temporary restraining order requests, an appointment of a guardian ad litem for a hospital patient, and witnessed  warrant requests from police officers. In addition, we also observed a portion of a homicide trial where the defense was cross-examining a witness. Evan and I only sat through about an hour of a two-week trial so were a bit confused, but it was still interesting to see a different type of case in court. According to a friend who was working the case for the DOJ, the jury came back with a guilty verdict after a short deliberation.

This past week I was also working on some shorter assignments for various supervisors. First, Evan and I researched ethics and compliance violations involving contract solicitation and execution. We primarily focused on USAID and the Department of State; for example, one case involved mismanagement of funds and false reporting which resulted in retraction of funding from USAID and the dissolution of the aid organization.

In addition, we also worked on a NCSC technical proposal for a continuation of Barbados. The proposed project focuses on training for Goodyear hearings and workshops for judges on sentencing. We also created bios for key personnel who would be working the project in Barbados.

Finally, we worked with judges in Washington (state) about a bench booklet for sentencing guidelines in the Bahamas. One point of interest from the research is that there is no clear definition on the use of corporal punishment. The Official Penal Code abolishes all forms of corporal punishment, however, the Criminal Law (Measures Act) and Prisons Act permits corporal punishment and describes how it would be used. From what I could tell, judges in the Bahamas are aware of the discrepancy but there has not been a movement to clarify the kerfuffle.

This past week has been pretty busy socially for me! My family came one weekend to visit and we went up to New Jersey to see some cousins that we haven't seen in close to ten years. Then this weekend it was self-titled Bryony's Super-Fun-Birthday-Bash. We went many of the classic D.C. tourist sites, including (but not limited to) Arlington National Cemetary, Iwo Jima Memorial, and the White House. Like I said, it has been a busy few weeks but I am having lots of fun. It is very strange I will be leaving D.C. in such a short time but it'll be relaxing to be home for a few weeks before classes begin.


Arlington National Cemetary

Iwo Jima Memorial

Can you tell we are related?