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California Court’s Wire Tapping Orders Raise Questions of Legality

The DEA has constructed a massive wiretapping operation in the Los Angeles suburbs, which secretly intercepts tens of thousands of Americans’ phone calls and texts in order to monitor drug traffickers across the U.S. This goes on despite the objections of the Justice Department’s attorneys who think the practice may not be legal. This could […]

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Connecticut Governor Wants to Move those Offenders under 25 to Juvenile Court

Connecticut Governor Dannel P. Malloy recently announced in a proposed policy on bail reform and juvenile justice that he would divert thousands of people aged 18 to 20 from the adult to that juvenile corrections system. He said he wants to consider other options to handle those under 25 who commit less-serious offenses. Roughly 11,000 […]

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The Fight over Who Gets to View Police Body Cam Footage

The situation is all too familiar: the police race to a home in response to a 911 call. It’s a domestic disturbance, another fight. Autumn Steele and her husband were once again fighting again, and he makes the emergency phone call. Things happen fast and the officer arrives, pulls out his gun and then — […]

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What to do About Cops who are “Testilying”

The spread of amateur video footage recording police arrests and sometimes the deaths of civilians has the public concerned not only about the use of force by the police, but also about officer credibility. Footage from bystanders’ cellphones and from security cameras has shown the police version of incidents is in some cases inaccurate at […]

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No Change in Solitary Confinement Practices in U.S. Prisons for 200 Years

Long before United States Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy denounced the “human toll” of solitary confinement in U.S. prisons in his concurring opinion in Davis v. Ayala this past June (see “Eight Principles for Reforming Solitary Confinement” in the Fall 2015 issue of the American Prospect), Dickens reached the same conclusion. Dickens found that our […]

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America’s Opioid Epidemic

Here’s a startling statistic: someone dies of a drug overdose every 12 minutes in the United States. An addiction to a prescription drug such as like Vicodin, OxyContin, or Percocet can lead to heroin abuse or the possession of a controlled substance—and the increasing number of deaths and injuries this causes is alarming. So much […]

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Undisclosed Secret Code Unjust to Criminal Defendants

It seems like technology is everywhere we turn. Sometimes this is a good thing, and other times it can have serious negative effects. There is secret code in our criminal justice system. But courts are refusing to publish the source code for forensic software, making it impossible for third parties to inspect—even when that code […]

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Debtor’s Prison in the United States? Is this the 1800’s?

Citizens in Louisiana couldn’t believe there was still a debtor’s prison in the U.S. They were abolished almost 200 years ago. As the name implies, those without money who failed to pay their debts were sent to prison. This was, in effect, still happening in New Orleans where the court system funded itself through an […]

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Newburgh Violent Crime Rates Dropped in 2015

Although violent crime has been an issue in the city of Newburgh, New York for some time, a number of initiatives and additional funding have helped the Newburgh police department reduce crime through mid-year 2015. The city of Newburgh, New York has had an issue with violent crime for some time.  In partnership with various […]

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Juvenile Offenders Need Protections and Rehabilitative Benefits

Juvenile offenders in our country have had their own criminal justice system for more than 100 years. Since that time, 18 years of age has been the threshold for moving a person from that system to the adult system. Of course, we read of unique circumstances in which a child under age 18 is tried as an adult, but 18 has been the cut-off as a general rule in our country. While 18 may have seemed like an appropriate age way back then, we know much more today than we did 100 years ago. Because of this knowledge, we need to expand the protections and programs of family court to young adults.

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