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

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

Letters, I get letters

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

Prosecutor Overreach and Actual Facts Led to Kate Steinle Case Acquittal

Some cases take on a bigger life. Some cases get caught up in a political firestorm. Sacco and Vanzetti, The Scopes trial, The Rosenbergs, Willie Horton, Rodney King to name a few. They end up being not about what actually happened but about some larger societal issue that is reflected in the case. Anarchists, Evolution,… Continue reading Prosecutor Overreach and Actual Facts Led to Kate Steinle Case Acquittal

SCOTUS Changes Face of Criminal Trials With New Decision About Jurors and Race

Photo courtesy of NBC news

The Supreme Court threw open the normally tightly-sealed doors of the jury room in overturning the conviction of Miguel Pena-Rodriguez in the case of Pena-Rodriguez v. Colorado. In a 5-3 decision written by Justice Kennedy, the Court ruled that a juror’s racial basis in the jury room – which was only revealed to the public… Continue reading SCOTUS Changes Face of Criminal Trials With New Decision About Jurors and Race

Colorado Theater Shooting Victims Stuck with $700,000 in Defendants’ Legal Fees

In 2012, James Holmes killed twelve people and injured seventy others in a ten-minute rampage at a screening of “The Dark Knight Rises.” Forty-one victims filed lawsuits some in Federal court and others in State court. According to the state lawsuit, the theater companies failed to hire sufficient security personnel in light of a previous… Continue reading Colorado Theater Shooting Victims Stuck with $700,000 in Defendants’ Legal Fees

Ay Caramba! Fed Judge Rules Trump Must Stand Trial Over “Trump U” Fraud Case

It’s not what The Donald waned to hear I’m sure. Federal Judge Gonzalo Curiel — the same judge who Trump accused of being biased against him due to the Indiana native’s Mexican ancestry and Trump’s controversial positions on border security — is ordering Trump to stand trial in a Federal civil case field against him… Continue reading Ay Caramba! Fed Judge Rules Trump Must Stand Trial Over “Trump U” Fraud Case

Let’s Use Lessons Learned To Not Pre-Judge Brooklyn Rape Case

A horrible story appears in the NY Press. An 18 year old woman is reportedly raped in a Brooklyn park by 5 men – their ages ranging from 14 to 18. The woman’s father was reportedly threatened with a gun and chased away when he tried to protect her and stop the crime from occurring.… Continue reading Let’s Use Lessons Learned To Not Pre-Judge Brooklyn Rape Case

Making Jurors Understand the Bill of Rights

On this the 224th Anniversary of the ratification of the Bill of Rights, I was thinking about what to write about the document that defines our country as much as the Constitution does. It such a grand document covering so many broad issues I was thinking about to narrow my focus. Originally I thought about… Continue reading Making Jurors Understand the Bill of Rights

Silver Verdict Shows Risks of “Right to Remain Silent”

The recent “Guilty” verdict in the criminal trial of powerful NY politician Sheldon Silver sent a lot of loud and clear messages. Many in power in Albany use their positions for personal gain. Politicians who stay too long get to feel invincible and untouchable. When the Feds come after you, you’re in trouble. But it… Continue reading Silver Verdict Shows Risks of “Right to Remain Silent”