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Expectation of Privacy Dying a Slow Death and Our Rights Will Go With It

Social media; YouTube; “reality” television and digital imagery and video have all made for one of the most public and open societies in history.  When starlets want to boost their Google search trends, they just need to release a sex tape. A sex tape! (See, e.g., Kim Kardashian, Pamela Anderson, Kendra Wilkinson). Now I hate […]

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Elena Kagan Needs to Read Justice Souter’s Speech to Harvard Law

I know its a nice sunny summer afternoon and no one wants to work their brains too hard, but someone just sent me the text of a speech retired  Supreme Court Justice David Souter gave to the graduating class of Harvard Law a few days ago and while he didn’t mention Supreme Court nominee Elena […]

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Supremes Decide that Remaining Silent is Not Choosing to Remain Silent

Today in Berghuis v. Thompkins, a 5-4 court (of course) watered down the Miranda decision on its way no doubt to making it virtually ineffective.  Justice Anthony “Swing Vote” Kennedy (the most important person in American Jurisprudence right now) wrote the opinion for the Court. The Court for the first time decided two things about […]

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Teacher Fired For Using “Naughty Words” Wins First Round Against City

Those of us who have gone through raising middle schoolers or who teach for a living know that of all the classes in the world, teaching Middle School Health is as thankless a task as you can get assigned to.  Hormones raging, sexual experimentation occurring  regularly, cliques, mean girls, immature boys:  a recipe for disaster.  […]

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The Most Dangerous Lawyer in Texas

Monday, Adam Liptak, the NY Times’ legal reporter, published an article about Jerry Guerinot, a Texas lawyer who holds the distinction of having represented the  most people sentenced to death – 20. That’s more people than most states that have the death penalty have on Death Row.  He has not won one capital case.  Liptak, […]

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Supremes Rule Life Without Parole Unconstitutional for Juveniles

In a 6-3 decision today, the United States Supreme Court struck down laws in 37 states, including Florida and California, that allow a juvenile to be sentenced to life with no chance for parole for a crime that does not involve murder. The case of Graham v. Florida involved a 16 year old sentenced to […]

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Law Students Debate Prison Debate Team: Result- No Losers

Two years ago, I was asked by David McCallum, (whose innocence I am trying to prove as he serves his 24th year in prison for a murder he didn’t commit), whether I would consider bringing in a team of my law students to debate a prison debate team that had formed at Arthur Kill Correctional […]

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“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 […]

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Freedom Won for Innocent Man but Maybe at the Cost of Truth

Emel McDowell was 16 years old in 1990 when he was arrested for the murder of Jonathan Powell. From the moment of his arrest, he has maintained his innocence. Yesterday, in Brooklyn Supreme Court, before Judge John Ingram, I secured his release during a hearing where we were trying to establish his innocence. The Kings […]