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Medical Board Metes Out Discipline Based on a Police Report

If you’re a doctor or other licensed healthcare professional in California, remember. Your board or agency can discipline you for alleged conduct in a police report even if you’re never charged with or convicted of anything. Just this week, the California Court of Appeal ruled that the medical board could discipline a doctor based on a police Read More

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California’s New Law of Fair Shakes

Whether you’re an employer or an employee, take note. Earlier this month, California enacted the Fair Chance Act. This means that, beginning next year, many employers can no longer ask about or look into criminal convictions until they’ve decided a person is right for the job. That means they can’t ask about convictions anymore on a job application. Read More

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Lifetime Sex-Offender Registration for Kids

Do you think sex-offender registration is punishment? What if it’s for life? What if it’s for a 12-year-old boy? Last week, the California Court of Appeal ruled that it’s not punishment to call a kid a sex offender for life because of something he did when he was twelve years old. According to the court, the boy’s early years Read More

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The Restoration of Rights Project

Have you ever been arrested? Do you have a prior conviction? Do you wonder whether you can clean up your record and how that affects you, if at all? Start here. It’s called the Restoration of Rights Project, and it looks at the law in every state for restoring your rights and status after an Read More

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The Modern Public Square

This week brought us another unanimous U.S. Supreme Court case that’s arguably more important because it concerned the First Amendment. The issue was a North Carolina law that made it a felony for registered sex offenders to use any social-networking site that let minors join. So, to be clear: that’s any social-media site, period, that let minors join. That Read More

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Judge Not, Lest We Be Judged

If you’re still not sold on the power of redemption, I may not be able to sway you. But consider this guy. He committed a carjacking at 16 and spent eight years in prison for it. Today, at 35, he has a wife, two bouncy sons, and now, a law degree from Yale. He just graduated last month. I Read More

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A Model Penal Code for the 21st Century

Charging decisions, which we wrote about last week, matter for many reasons. They drive plea bargains, and they affect sentencing. You file a felony, for example, so that the guy will plead to a misdemeanor without giving you much trouble. It happens all the time. Bad charging decisions, though, don’t just cause wrongful convictions or unjust sentences. They cause other consequences that Read More

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The Enduring Collateral Consequences of a Criminal Conviction

“The United States is not a nation of criminals, and most collateral consequences do not advance public safety.” Most of them, the paragraph goes on to say, undermine it. That’s from the conclusion of a report by the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers regarding the so-called “collateral consequences” of convictions, which are the kinds of things Read More

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How a Criminal Record Can Keep You Unemployed for Life

Imagine a 44-year-old man who lives with his wife and three kids in East Harlem, New York. Trying to make ends meet, the man puts in for as many part-time gigs as possible until he can land a steady, full-time job to support him and his family. In one of his part-time jobs, he’s a porter and Read More

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