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Criminal Law

Adnan Syed Whose Case Launched 1,000 Podcasts Gets a New Trial

Adnan Syed, whose case was the subject of the immensely popular and influential podcast “Serial,” has had his conviction reversed by Baltimore prosecutors. 23 years ago, when Mr. Syed was 17, he convicted of first-degree murder, robbery, kidnapping and false imprisonment in the death of Ms. Lee, who had been strangled and whose body was […]

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Constitutional Law Criminal Law

SCOTUS Just Made it Easier to Execute the Innocent

It should be clear by now that we are dealing with a SCOTUS bench that does not place great weight on individual rights and especially on the rights of the accused. Today in Shinn v. Martinez, a 6-3 (guess who) SCOTUS decision made it even harder for an incarcerated individual claiming innocence to be heard […]

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Constitutional Law Criminal Law

Will SCOTUS Hear Case Of Texas Man Who’s Spent 27 Years in Solitary? Probably Not.

When Robert Dennis Wayne Hope was 22 years old, in 1980, he went on a robbery spree. Using a handgun he robbed five stores. No one was injured. He was sentenced to 80 years to life. After a few years in a maximum security Texas prison, he and another inmate slipped through a hole in […]

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Constitutional Law Criminal Law

SCOTUS Today To Hear Arguments On Issue Important to Wrongfully Convicted – Literally on a Life or Death Issue

Oral arguments are scheduled today before the US Supreme Court in the case of Shinn v. Ramirez and Jones, a case out of Arizona involving whether defendants who were convicted and sentenced to death could argue in Federal Court that their post-conviction lawyers were ineffective if they did not first make that argument in State […]

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Criminal Law

Behind the Charges Against Michigan Shooter’s Parents

The parents of the suspect in a shooting at Oxford High School in Michigan that left four students dead this week are facing involuntary manslaughter charges in those deaths. For a long time, gun control advocates have been calling for criminal charges to be brought against people who illegally provided guns to mass shooters. But this case […]

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Criminal Law

Today in White Privilege News: Judge Gives No Jail to “Rich-Kid Rapist”

Let me start this blog post by saying that I do not necessarily oppose the non-jail sentence given to Christopher Belter, the now 20-year-old scion of a wealthy Lockport NY family who pled guilty to four violent sexual assaults he perpetrated in his family’s mansion when he was 16 and 17. Niagara County Judge Michael […]

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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. […]