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Why We Defend People

In 2009, I was a prosecutor in Orange County when I became a defendant in my own criminal case. I was falsely accused of domestic violence, and I was charged with two felony counts even though I was the one who called the police three times that night over my accuser’s behavior. It was surreal. Read More

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A Personal View of California’s Bail Reform

This problem of locking people up before trial is personal to me. Ten years ago, I was falsely accused of a crime, and I spent a night in jail based on one person’s word. I had committed no crime, but I was booked for and charged with felony domestic violence, and I had to take the Read More

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The Pros and Cons of Bail Reform

We’ll see how California’s new bail law plays out in practice. On one hand, it promises to treat rich and poor alike when it comes to keeping someone in jail until any trial. It says everyone will get out within twelve hours on a misdemeanor charge, with some exceptions. And if you’re accused of a Read More

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California to End Money Bail

On August 28, Governor Brown signed Senate Bill 10 into law. It becomes effective October 1, 2019, and as you may have heard, it changes everything. It completely repeals the chapter of the Penal Code that provided for cash bail and replaces it with an entirely new one. Here’s the gist of it. If you’re arrested for Read More

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Happy Birthday, 14th Amendment

Did you know? This summer marks the 150th anniversary of the ratification of the 14th Amendment. To commemorate the occasion, here is a look at the Ohio congressman who authored arguably the most important amendment after the first ten. If he’s forgotten today then it’s a shame because he’s responsible for these momentous words: “All persons born Read More

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The Trial Penalty

That’s the title of this new report by the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. It looks at the steep decline of jury trials in our system, explains why that matters, and examines how to preserve this important right to trial by jury. What is the trial penalty? It refers to the big difference in Read More

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Police Need a Warrant for Your Cell-Phone Location Records

You can thank the Supreme Court for that. Last week, the nation’s high court ruled that police need a warrant to get your phone’s location records and map out your every move over time. The case reflects a growing consensus to protect these records, and it builds on a prior decision that said police can’t rummage through your phone just because Read More

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Game On, Sports Gambling

No, the U.S. Supreme Court didn’t just legalize sports betting this week. But it did pave the way for your state to legalize it if it wants to. Before Monday, a federal law from 1992 barred any state from doing that. The only exceptions were Nevada, Oregon, Delaware, and Montana because their laws were grandfathered Read More

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You Can’t Rely on Prior Wages or Salary to Pay Women Less

One of the last cases of Judge Reinhardt’s life had to do with the Equal Pay Act of 1963. He wrote the decision, which was published last week, and it begins with these words: “The Equal Pay Act stands for a principle as simple as it is just: men and women should receive equal pay for equal work Read More

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The Truth About Facebook

Ask this expert on data science what Congress should have asked Mark Zuckerberg last week, and she’ll say, nothing. If that surprises you, please understand that these hearings are not designed to deliver the truth. They’re designed to tell the public that, if there’s a problem, the government is doing something about it. So you’re not gonna Read More

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