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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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Constitutional Law

What Young Lawyers Can Learn From Watching “Making A Murderer 2”

As my law school semester winds down, I usually like to send a message to my outgoing students who are all 3Ls who will be graduating this May. This semester, there has been a lot of buzz about Netflix’s true crime documentary “Making a Murderer 2” and I can see that it has inspired many […]

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Constitutional Law Criminal Law

Bad Forensics: A Main Cause of Wrongful Convictions

TV viewers are addicted to forensic cop shows – CSI, NCIS, etc etc. The shows make it look like every crime can be solved by forensics and that forensic science is unassailable. In fact, bad forensics is one of the leading causes of wrongful convictions across the country. When I talk about “bad forensics” I […]

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Wrongful Convictions

Want to Help Fight Wrongful Convictions? Sit on a Jury!

Not a month goes by that I don’t receive a phone call from some family member, friend, or friend of a family member, or family member of a friend, asking “What’s the best way to get out of jury service?” With about the same or similar frequency I get asked “I see that you are […]

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Constitutional Law Criminal Law

Secret Proceedings in Holtzclaw Case Raise Serious Issues

I was recently made aware of the case of Daniel Holtzclaw, an Oklahoma City police officer currently serving a 263-year sentence for 18 sex-related felonies, arising out of alleged crimes committed during traffic stops. Journalist Michelle Malkin invited me to join a panel discussion on wrongful convictions after the screening of her documentary Railroaded at […]

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Constitutional Law Criminal Law

Pennsylvania Federal Judge Rules 37 Years of Solitary Confinement are Unconstitutional; State Settles Lawsuit

Arthur Johnson was 18 years old when he was convicted of murder following a street fight that occurred in 1970. He was sentenced to life without parole and committed to the custody of the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections. He was a troubled inmate in his early years of incarceration, taking part in two violent escape […]

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Constitutional Law Criminal Law

Judge Texts with Prosecutor Over Strategy on Trial: Same Old Song with New Twist

Suffolk County, NY judge Janine Barbera Dalli sent text messages to Suffolk County prosecutors this week, guiding them on how to charge and try a case against a defendant, in clear violation of judicial ethics that bar judges from communicating privately with one side in a case. To their credit, prosecutors immediately disclosed the texts […]