Constitutional Law

Client: “I’m Not Guilty!” – Lawyer: “Yes, You Are!” SCOTUS to Rule on Who Decides in Louisiana Death Penalty Case

Louisiana man Robert McCoy was accused of killing Christine Colston Young, Willie Young and Gregory Colston, who were the mother, stepfather and son of Mr. McCoy’s estranged wife. There was substantial evidence that he had done so. The actual shooting was caught on tape as the victim had called 911 upon the shooter’s arrival and […]

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Constitutional Law

If You’re A Criminal Be Careful Who Your Friends Are (Or Don’t Be An Idiot and Post About Your Crimes on FB!)

Social media’s insertion into the courtroom continues as a NY Federal Judge ruled that a criminal defendant’s Facebook posts about his criminal activity could form the bass for a search warrant into his home. Federal prosecutors got a look at Melvin Colon’s Facebook profile through the account of one of Colon’s friends, who was a […]

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Constitutional Law

Prosecutorial Misconduct Causes US Supreme Court to Overturn Murder Conviction -But Justice Thomas Just Doesn’t Get It.

In another blow to New Orleans DA Harry Connick (Father of the singer Harry Connick Jr) the US Supreme Court once again found that his office withheld exculpatory evidence from a defendant in a capital murder trial. There is a long history of problems in Connick’s office. In 1995, Esquire photographed him, for a piece […]

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General

Testing the Limits of the First Amendment

The new Supreme Court term started yesterday and while the docket is once again heavily laden with corporate issues, one of the earliest cases to be argued will be the one involving the Westboro Baptist Church’s practice of protesting at military funerals.  It is a case that is certain to add to the line of […]

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General

In Defense of Thurgood Marshall

Happy Fourth of July! I was lying in  my pool enjoying this fine hot summer day, reading the Times , when I came upon an article about how Thurgood Marshall’s name is being thrown about during the Kagan confirmation hearings.  I was in total disbelief that there could be serious debate about whether Marshall was […]

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General

“Taking the Fifth”

What does it mean when a person invokes his rights under the Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution or “takes the Fifth” or  “pleads the Fifth”  or “lawyers up” as they say in the vernacular.  Of course, you could actually teach an entire law school semester on the various nuances involved, so this is […]