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… Continue reading Bad Forensics: A Main Cause of Wrongful Convictions
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… Continue reading Secret Proceedings in Holtzclaw Case Raise Serious Issues
Louisiana man Robert McCoy was accused of killing Christine Colston Young, Willie Young and Gregory Colston, who were the mother, stepfather and son of Mr. McCoy’s estranged wife. There was substantial evidence that he had done so. The actual shooting was caught on tape as the victim had called 911 upon the shooter’s arrival and… Continue reading Client: “I’m Not Guilty!” – Lawyer: “Yes, You Are!” SCOTUS to Rule on Who Decides in Louisiana Death Penalty Case
Against the advice of a federal judge, accused South Carolina church shooter Dylann Storm Roof will represent himself in a federal death penalty trial that began Monday. Roof filed a motion under seal Sunday to represent himself having also been found competent to stand trial. Federal District Court Judge Richard Gergel granted the motion moments… Continue reading South Carolina Church Shooting Case Raises Question of Whether a Defendant Should Be Allowed to Represent Himself in a Death Penalty Case?
With the arrest of Ahmad Khan Rahami, Donald Trump was quick to lament that Rahami would get medical care and due process. His assertion was that our nation had gone soft and was not willing to deal with terrorism harshly enough. In prior elections, it would be shocking for a Presidential candidate to express being… Continue reading Pirate Trials Offer Insight Into Today’s Crimes
Yesterday a South Carolina court vacated the conviction of George Stinney, an African -American child convicted in 1944 of the murder of two white pre-teen girls. The reversal comes a little late and more than a dollar short since Stinney was executed by electric chair for the crime over 70 years ago. He was 14… Continue reading Who Is George Stinney?
I have represented David McCallum pro bono for over nine years in an effort to overturn his wrongful conviction. Our team in this effort is comprised of Dr. Rubin “Hurricane” Carter, Ken Klonsky and Gary Dolin of Innocence International in Canada; Professor Steven A. Drizin, Director of Northwestern University’s prestigious Center on Wrongful Conviction; and… Continue reading Time to Right a Wrong in Brooklyn
A sharply divided Supreme Court ruled that a person who is being interrogated by the police cannot just remain silent in order to invoke his Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination, he must actually invoke the privilege before he can obtain its benefits. In Salinas v. Texas the court, split 5-4 along the traditional ideological lines… Continue reading Supremes Rule You Must Speak in Order to Remain Silent
Several states around the country, most notably California, Florida and Texas, permit a person charged with a crime to enter a plea of “NoLo Contendre” which is Latin for “I Do Not Contest The Matter.” This allows the accused to resolve his criminal matter by a plea bargain without admitting guilt of the crime. Its… Continue reading Time for NY to Allow “NoLo Contendre” Pleas