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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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Constitutional Law Criminal Law

Power of Persistence: “Jailhouse Lawyer” Takes Case to SCOTUS

Only two States in the country, Louisiana and Oregon, allow for non-unanimous verdicts in criminal cases. One man – Calvin Duncan – has been fighting it in his home State of Louisiana for over 20 years. Duncan does not have a law degree. In fact he only had a 10th grade education when he was […]

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Criminal Law Entertainment Law

Lawyering vs. Extortion

Lawyer Michael Avenatti has enjoyed some time in the spotlight. As the one-time lawyer for Stormy Daniels, one of President Trump’s mistresses, Avenatti quickly became the darling of the cable news circuit. Quick on his feet with a sharp wit, he would bounce from show to show and dominated the news cycle for months and […]

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Wrongful Convictions

SCOTUS Won’t Overturn $28MM Wrongful Conviction Verdict from Nebraska

The Supreme Court on Monday rejected a rural Nebraska county’s appeal of a $28 million court judgment rendered in 2016 compensating six people wrongfully convicted of a 1985 rape and slaying. Gage County had filed a writ of certiorari asking the Supreme Court to look at the verdict after a Federal appeals court upheld the […]

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Constitutional Law Criminal Law General

Time for NY to Pass Criminal Discovery Reform

Most people think of New York State as a bastion of liberalism and being “soft-on-crime.” In fact, New York has one of the worst sets of rules when it comes to providing discovery to people accused of crimes. An organization I am affiliated with called It Can Happen to You (ITCHY) which traditionally has supported […]

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Constitutional Law Criminal Law

NY Child Victims Act is Well-Intentioned but is Bad Criminal Justice Policy

OK I’m ready for the negative comments and hate e-mails. After all who could be against a law that gives more rights to victims of child sexual abuse? I mean besides the Catholic Church and the Boy Scouts of America for their obvious reasons of self-preservation. Well, how about someone who has seen how the […]

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Constitutional Law Criminal Law Wrongful Convictions

Three Sotomayor Dissents on Death Penalty Cases Are the Voice of Reason on the Issue

I am opposed to the death penalty. While my opposition principally comes from my work in wrongful conviction cases, my opposition is to the death penalty in all cases – even where the evidence of guilt is overwhelming or where the details of the crime are horrific and gruesome. I just feel it is a […]