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Do Not Put This Man Back In Prison

The man, Richard Midkiff, was 19 when he was sentenced to 38 years in prison for a murder he didn’t commit. After serving 23 of them, he was released in June of last year. He works full-time and then some, starting his days at 5am. He just got engaged last month. Now the state wants to Read More

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Drinking From a Fire Hose

Effective December 1, federal prosecutors and defense lawyers must follow a new rule of procedure that aims to ease the burden of modern discovery. It’s a simple rule with two parts. First, no later than fourteen days after arraignment, the two sides must talk about the evidence in the case and try to agree on how Read More

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The Long Odds in Criminal Cases

They are not for the faint of heart. The fact is very few cases go to trial, and of those that do, most people go down swinging. But according to the latest data, we are seeing even fewer trials than ever. The analysis comes from a nonprofit, nonpartisan think tank, and the underlying data comes from Read More

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When in Doubt, File the Appeal

Last week it was the Eighth Amendment; this week, it’s the Sixth. The Sixth Amendment says, “In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to … have the Assistance of Counsel for his defence.” On Wednesday, the U.S. Supreme Court said the right to counsel means you decide whether to appeal, not your lawyer. If Read More

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USDOJ Revisits Its Approach to Corporate Cases

On November 29, the Justice Department announced changes to its policy toward corporate prosecutions. These changes pivot from the ones announced three years ago that emphasized the prosecution of people, not just organizations. Among other things, they had required an organization that sought to cooperate with the government to identify all individuals involved before it would receive any 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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A New Day in the City of Brotherly Love

If you haven’t heard, the new district attorney of Philadelphia is a lifelong defense lawyer who used to sue the government for violating people’s civil rights. He even ran on a campaign against overcriminalization. It’s a pretty amazing thing. Now the city’s top prosecutor has put his money where his mouth was during the campaign. Read More

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New California Criminal Laws: Part Deux

To conclude the series, here’s the fab five we promised last week. Kids age 15 or younger must talk to a lawyer before the police interrogate them. This is Senate Bill 395. It amended the Welfare and Institutions Code to require that kids consult a lawyer before they waive their Miranda rights. They can do the Read More

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New California Criminal Laws in 2018

We’ve already touched on four of them: Recreational pot. A ban-the-box law for employers. An overhauled sex-offender registry beginning in 2021. New rules for picking juries in civil and criminal cases. Here are five more this week, with five more to come next week. Lawyers can advise clients on cannabis. This is Assembly Bill 1159. It amended the Read More

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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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