QUESTION: Sanctuary/Religious activism in Dallas, TX

question / pregunta: 

I am currently researching Quaker culture in Dallas, TX. I discovered that in 1983 the Dallas Quaker Meeting House agreed to provide sanctuary to Central American Immigrants in need. I am wondering if there is any record of an immigrant taking sanctuary through the meeting house, or any conflict with local law enforcement regarding a claim of sanctuary.

QUESTION: Radical Unionism/ Debtors Unionism

question / pregunta: 

Does anyone know of any articles written about Debtor's Unionism? What I mean by a Debtor's Union are people getting together to collectively resist paying similar or different types of debt. I'm interested because there seems to be some validity in this structure and Google is not much help on this topic. Thanks:)

precedent for charges against mothers who use drugs while pregnant


Hi Susie,

From what I could find, Massachusetts isn’t among the states that classify drug use by pregnant women as child abuse. You can find a summary of state’s policies here:

And here:

However, this Masachusetts case addresses the issue:

"Commonwealth v. Pellegrini, No. 87970, slip op. (Plymouth Super. Ct., October 15,1990).Josephine Pellegrini, a twenty-three year-old white woman, from Brockton, was the first woman in Massachusetts to be charged under the state's drug trafficking statute for "distributing" cocaine to her fetus after her infant tested positive for cocaine. Her family and friends describe Pellegrmni as" a battered woman who was terrified of her live-in boyfriend, the father of her three children." In October of 1990, the judge dismissed the drug charges as violating the right to privacy, principles of statutory construction, due process of law, and separation of powers."

The above info is from this website: which may be of interest to you.

I did find several court cases in other states in which women have been prosecuted for their drug use during pregnancy:

Reyes v. Superior Court
- Reyes, a California woman gave birth to heroin addicted twins was prosecuted by the under the criminal child endangerment statute.

State v. Black – Black was charged by the state of Florida with delivery of cocaine to a minor.

Whitner v. State
- Whitner was charged by the state of South Carolina with child endangerment after cocaine was detected in her newborn’s urine.

Related Question

QUESTION: More anti-rioting questions

question / pregunta: 

Thanks for answering the first question about the 1968 Federal anti-rioting law USC Title 18, Chapter 102 18USC102. The question is How many unduplicated prosecutions and/or investigations have the FBI done using this code. I was told by a lawyer the information maybe available in the Library of Congress or through some data on crime statistics that the FBI keeps.

ANSWER: MA Cori Check (the problem of "Legal and Medical Questions")


Legal and medical questions pose a real hazard for librarians, because we have to avoid "Unauthorized practice of law" in most states. But we can suggest places for folks to look, such as the state law and other Massachusetts sites noted in the earlier answers to this CORI question. Though they are no doubt heavily burdened by the present economic situation, it still might be worth looking into the Office of Labor and Workforce Development to find websites or local offices that could help advise you how to deal with these records.

Related Question

Homeless Law Blog

A law librarian/attorney has created a Homeless Law Blog to share legal expertise for the homeless (and presumably those who wish to help them).

American law specifying that a man can beat his wife with a stick no thicker than his thumb?


Overall, there doesn't seem to be one concrete answer on this that everyone agrees on, but the following references might shed some light on it for you...

Freyd, J. & Johnson J.Q. (1998). Commentary: Domestic Violence, Folk Etymologies, & "Rule of Thumb". Retrieved May 8, 2008, from

  • This essay discusses the differences in opinion on the legal history of the term "rule of thumb".

According to:
Service, N. N. (1994, July 26). Word experts overrule; feminists on 'rule of thumb'. Plain Dealer (Cleveland, Ohio), pp. 9E.

  • "But the phrase 'rule of thumb,' as it turns out, has more to do with carpentry and beer-making than domestic violence.
    Those who attributed the phrase to an old rule of law that supposedly condoned wife-beating are having second thoughts. The latest capitulation came a few days ago, when Rep. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., who often invoked the phrase when talking about domestic violence, started to use it again during a news conference outside the Capitol, then stopped midsentence. He explained that Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., had told him the background of the phrase was 'apocryphal.' Which is a politician's way of saying something is not true."

Feminists' facts challenge questionable, amount to a backlash.(1994, June 20). The Oregonian (Portland, Oregon), pp. B06.

Related Question

QUESTION: Dangerous prisoners

question / pregunta: 

I am taking a class in Criminal Justice and Christian Theology, and it has raised a question for me. As we discussed the question of reforming the current prison system vs. abolishing it and starting over, several class members asked "if we shut down the prisons, what would we do with all the Charles Mansons?" I am wondering how many prisoners we are really talking about. I have heard their are about 2,300,000 people in prison in the US (as of 2005). Is there any list that tells how many of those would fall into that category of prisoner that even the most liberal persons would not want out wandering the streets?

QUESTION: State "hate crime" statutes and verbal aggression.

question / pregunta: 

[Note: I'm submitting this question on behalf of an attendee of the Mid Atlantic Radical Bookfair. I have ideas about how to answer it but it's been a while since I've done legal searching and I know there are experts out there! Contact me with questions and I'll forward them to the asker.]

How many states presently have "hate crime" statutes? Of these, how many cover verbal forms of aggression (e.g., name calling)?

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