Categories
Constitutional Law Criminal Law

Quirky Minn. Law Comes Back to Bite Officer Chauvin’s Defense

It’s an old legal adage and one of my favorites in law that “Bad Cases Make Bad Law.” While the phrase has been interpreted a variety of ways for me its meant that cases that arise out of extreme examples or unique situations often end up creating a law either from judicial decisions or by […]

Categories
Constitutional Law

Dustin Higgs’ Execution Was Wrong and What Sotomayor Had to Say About it is Right.

The Supreme Court allowed the execution of  Dustin Higgs late Friday, making Higgs the thirteenth person to be killed by the federal government since July. Since July. And after seventeen years without a single federal execution. Higgs’ execution was a miscarriage of justice for a number of issues. First of all, he was suffering from covid-19 […]

Categories
Criminal Law

Ex Suffolk ADA Glenn Kutzrock Suspended from Law for Two Years Due to Brady Violation

Its so rare when a prosecutor faces sanctions for withholding Brady and Rosario material that I felt it was worth reporting on as way to kick off what hopefully will be a better year for the wrongfully convicted languishing in prisons. For the non-lawyers who read/follow my blog, Brady is a legal term for evidence […]

Categories
Criminal Law

Did Missouri Just Execute an Innocent Man? Very Likely.

One death in the large daily death toll from yesterday stands out because it did not come as result of the covid-19 virus. Instead, Walter Barton’s death came shortly after 6 p.m. when the State of Missouri injected him with a lethal dose of the drug pentobarbital at the Missouri Eastern Reception, Diagnostic and Correctional […]

Categories
Wrongful Convictions

Ohio Man Spent 45 Years in Jail for Murder While Proof of True Killer Sat in Police Files

Isiah Andrews is probably the only 82 year old in Ohio who is happy to be outside and does not care that there is a pandemic going on. That’s because, thanks to the work of the Ohio Innocence Project (OIP) at the University of Cincinnati, he was just freed after spending 45 years in jail […]

Categories
Constitutional Law Criminal Law

SCOTUS Overrules Non-Unanimous Jury Verdicts But Were Stare Decisis and Abortion Also on Trial?

Back in August 2019 I wrote about Calvin Duncan, a jailhouse lawyer with only a 10th grade education who got the Supreme Court of the United States to look at the issue of non-unanimous jury verdicts in criminal cases, a procedure permitted in only two states: Louisiana and Oregon. (see https://courtroomstrategy.com/2019/08/power-of-persistence-jailhouse-lawyer-takes-case-to-scotus/ ) Well in October […]

Categories
Wrongful Convictions

Progressive New Law in Virginia Removes Barriers to Proving Actual Innocence

Gov. Ralph Northam chose this Easter weekend to sign into laws sweeping progressive reforms including (1) making Virginia the first state in the South to enact comprehensive protections for the LGBTQ community against discrimination in housing, employment, public spaces, and credit applications; (2) repealing “medically-unnecessary restrictions on women’s healthcare,” including ultrasound requirements and 24-hour waiting periods […]

Categories
Criminal Law

How to Fix a Drug Scandal? Netflix Answers: Good Lawyering

The four-episode Netflix series, How to Fix a Drug Scandal (HFDS) was released on Netflix on Wednesday. It comes from filmmaker Erin Lee Carr (also known for HBO’s 2019 amazing documentary At the Heart of Gold: Inside the USA Gymnastics Scandal, as well as other compelling documentaries like I Love You Now Die and Mommie Dead […]

Categories
Wrongful Convictions

Its Wrong to Make Wrongly Convicted Drop Legal Claims In Exchange for Freedom

Stephanie Clifford of the New York Times last Tuesday wrote a piece on a growing trend among prosecutors facing motions to vacate wrongful convictions: They will consent to the motion if the defendant agrees to waive his right to seek money damages for his wrongful conviction. The story focuses on the Philadelphia case of Jimmy […]