Tagged: criminal justice

Training and Experience

This has been another one of those years with a heightened awareness of police violence against unarmed black men. Awareness is a good thing. Understanding, however, is better. You can’t solve a problem until you know what the problem is. The problem isn’t really racism, though. The problem is fear. These shootings...

What Would Plato Do?

Wanda: What would an intellectual do?  What would… Plato do? Otto: Apol- Wanda: Pardon me? Otto: Apollgzz. Wanda: What? Otto: Apologize! Well, no.  He probably wouldn’t.  Not Plato. And certainly not in the case of Troy Davis, whose final clemency request was denied this morning, and who now faces execution...

“Collars for Dollars”

“Nathan, when you become mayor, I’m gonna be the first volunteer for your security detail.”  This was a detective speaking, back when we were an ADA in the Manhattan DA’s office.  My office, as usual, had about five cops in it.  I liked this detective, and asked how come he...

Why Conservatives and Defense Lawyers Should LOVE the New Hate Crimes Law

On Wednesday, President Barack Obama signed into law the 2010 National Defense Authorization Act. As usual, the Act included provisions that had nothing whatsoever to do with National Defense Authorization. And one of the tacked-on provisions was the much-debated Hate Crimes Prevention Act. We wrote about this back on May...

Yet More Prosecutorial Misconduct by the Feds

We’ve asked it before, but what the heck is going on with some of these federal prosecutors nowadays? There was the whole Ted Stevens fiasco over the winter, when the feds actively withheld exculpatory evidence and witnesses in their rush to convict the former Senator. Then the 7th Circuit directed...

Massive Rise in Hung Juries? Deal With It.

Although juries have existed in one form or another since ancient times, the jury as we now know it originated in 12th-century England. At first an accusatory formality, the jury evolved into a check on governmental power. Nowadays, an accused’s right to have the evidence against him judged by members...

Assigned Counsel are Not Government Actors? This is News?

The Supreme Court ruled today that defense attorneys assigned by the state are not government actors, merely because the government assigns and pays them. They are attorneys for the defendant, and their actions are actions of the defense, not the government. This seems like a no-brainer. Every defense attorney knows...