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Constitutional Law Criminal Law

New Study Shows Bail Reform Did Not Spike Crime

NY’s Bail Reform Law had one purpose: to make sure that folks awaiting trial were not being held in custody simply because they could not pay the amount of bail set on them. And it worked since it was enacted over 19,000 accused individuals were given their freedom. Here’s an example of why it went […]

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Criminal Law

Adnan Syed Whose Case Launched 1,000 Podcasts Gets a New Trial

Adnan Syed, whose case was the subject of the immensely popular and influential podcast “Serial,” has had his conviction reversed by Baltimore prosecutors. 23 years ago, when Mr. Syed was 17, he convicted of first-degree murder, robbery, kidnapping and false imprisonment in the death of Ms. Lee, who had been strangled and whose body was […]

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Constitutional Law Criminal Law

SCOTUS Just Made it Easier to Execute the Innocent

It should be clear by now that we are dealing with a SCOTUS bench that does not place great weight on individual rights and especially on the rights of the accused. Today in Shinn v. Martinez, a 6-3 (guess who) SCOTUS decision made it even harder for an incarcerated individual claiming innocence to be heard […]

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Constitutional Law Criminal Law

Attack on Public Defenders as Judges Is not Just Wrong Its Unamerican

Today is GIDEON DAY. I know most people don’t celebrate it but On March 18, 1963, the United States Supreme Court ruled that the 6th Amendment to the Constitution guaranteed that Mr. Gideon and all others facing serious criminal charges have the right to a lawyer, whether or not they can afford to hire one. Clarence […]

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Constitutional Law Criminal Law

Will SCOTUS Hear Case Of Texas Man Who’s Spent 27 Years in Solitary? Probably Not.

When Robert Dennis Wayne Hope was 22 years old, in 1980, he went on a robbery spree. Using a handgun he robbed five stores. No one was injured. He was sentenced to 80 years to life. After a few years in a maximum security Texas prison, he and another inmate slipped through a hole in […]

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Constitutional Law Criminal Law

SCOTUS Today To Hear Arguments On Issue Important to Wrongfully Convicted – Literally on a Life or Death Issue

Oral arguments are scheduled today before the US Supreme Court in the case of Shinn v. Ramirez and Jones, a case out of Arizona involving whether defendants who were convicted and sentenced to death could argue in Federal Court that their post-conviction lawyers were ineffective if they did not first make that argument in State […]

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Criminal Law

Behind the Charges Against Michigan Shooter’s Parents

The parents of the suspect in a shooting at Oxford High School in Michigan that left four students dead this week are facing involuntary manslaughter charges in those deaths. For a long time, gun control advocates have been calling for criminal charges to be brought against people who illegally provided guns to mass shooters. But this case […]

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Criminal Law

Today in White Privilege News: Judge Gives No Jail to “Rich-Kid Rapist”

Let me start this blog post by saying that I do not necessarily oppose the non-jail sentence given to Christopher Belter, the now 20-year-old scion of a wealthy Lockport NY family who pled guilty to four violent sexual assaults he perpetrated in his family’s mansion when he was 16 and 17. Niagara County Judge Michael […]

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Constitutional Law Criminal Law

Fed Ct: Officer Immune for Arresting Florida Man with “I Eat Ass” Bumper Sticker on His Truck

In a funny-not-funny example of the wide berth given to police officers under the qualified immunity doctrine, a Federal Court in Florida dismissed a wrongful arrest suit brought by Dillon Webb after he was arrested for displaying an “I Eat Ass” bumper sticker on his truck. Dillon Shane Webb, 23, was stopped on a highway […]