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Constitutional Law

Oklahoma turns woman’s miscarriage into a miscarriage of justice

Two weeks ago Brittney Poolaw, a 20-year-old Native American woman from Comanche County in Oklahoma, was convicted of manslaughter in the first degree for experiencing a miscarriage at 17 weeks. Her trial lasted one day after which she was sentenced to 4 years in state prison. In January of last year, Ms. Poolaw experienced a miscarriage and […]

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Constitutional Law Criminal Law

Fed Ct: Officer Immune for Arresting Florida Man with “I Eat Ass” Bumper Sticker on His Truck

In a funny-not-funny example of the wide berth given to police officers under the qualified immunity doctrine, a Federal Court in Florida dismissed a wrongful arrest suit brought by Dillon Webb after he was arrested for displaying an “I Eat Ass” bumper sticker on his truck. Dillon Shane Webb, 23, was stopped on a highway […]

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Constitutional Law Criminal Law

Can a Judge Require a Defendant to Get Vaccinated? Some are.

The NY Times reported yesterday that a State judge and a Federal Judge made getting a vaccine a requirement to a deal with criminally accused person appearing before them. In the Bronx, State Supreme Court Judge Jeffrey Zimmerman was taking the guilty plea of a man accused of drug crimes, trespass, criminal contempt, and shoplifting. […]

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Constitutional Law Criminal Law

SCOTUS Decision on Juveniles is Harsh and Wrong on Many Levels

Where to begin with a discussion on SCOTUS’ 6-3 decision in Jones v. Mississippi that effectively reinstated Juvenile Life Without Parole (JLWOP or LWOP hereafter)? Do I point out that its author Brett Kavanaugh wept crocodile tears before Congress about how mean they were to hold him accountable for actions and indiscretions he did as […]

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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 […]