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Article • April 3, 2017 • from PLN April, 2017
Exonerated Illinois Prisoner Wins $22 Million Verdict Against City of Chicago by Derek Gilna by Derek Gilna Nathson Fields, convicted of a 1984 double homicide in Chicago, served eighteen years in prison – including 11 on death row – before his convictions were overturned. He was released in 2003 after ...
Article • April 3, 2017 • from PLN April, 2017
Two Alabama State Court Judges Disciplined by David Reutter by David M. Reutter Almost 35 years after the U.S. Supreme Court outlawed “debtors’ prisons” – in which defendants are threatened with jail if they fail to pay fees and fines – courts continue to struggle to follow the ruling. The ...
Article • March 31, 2017 • from PLN April, 2017
Arkansas Judge Charged with Trading Leniency for Sexual Favors by Federal authorities have indicted an Arkansas judge on charges of – among other things – trading sexual favors for leniency in sentencing. Former Cross County District Court Judge Joseph Boeckmann, Jr. was indicted in October 2016 by federal prosecutors, following ...
Article • March 10, 2017 • from PLN March, 2017
New Jersey: Jail Time for Unpaid Littering Fine Results in Civil Suit by Anthony Kneisser flicked a cigarette butt out of his car window on the New Jersey Turnpike and found himself jailed when he appeared in court in 2014 for the littering offense, as he couldn’t pay the $200 ...
Article • March 10, 2017 • from PLN March, 2017
Arkansas Judge Resigns after Sexual Favors Allegations by On December 31, 2016, the Arkansas Judicial Discipline and Disability Commission (JDDC) issued a removal letter to Carroll County District Court Judge Timothy Parker after statements from more than a dozen women indicated he had “engaged in a pattern of personal relationships ...
Still No Answers by Jamycheal Mitchell’s death in a Virginia jail cell still hasn’t been explained. It should be a national scandal. by Dahlia Lithwick, Slate On August 19, 2015, 24-year-old Jamycheal Mitchell was found dead in his cell at the Hampton Roads Regional Jail in Virginia. New revelations in May 2016 about ...
Article • February 8, 2017 • from PLN February, 2017
Studies on Financing of Judicial Campaigns Indicate Need for Reform by Derek Gilna Several recent reports have examined the impact that skyrocketing campaign spending has on state court judicial elections, and whether the infusion of cash into such races is compromising judicial impartiality and integrity. One study, “Bankrolling the Bench: ...
Merits Ruling on Procedurally Flawed Grievance Satisfies PLRA by The Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals has held that district courts may not enforce a prison’s procedural rule to find a failure to exhaust administrative remedies after prison officials declined to enforce the rule themselves. The Court also found the district ...
Article • January 3, 2017
D.C. Circuit Orders Accidental Requirement for Sex Offender Registration Deleted from Sentence by In an October 27, 2015 decision, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals ordered the deletion of a requirement for sex offender registration a federal judge added to a sentence by accidentally checking the wrong box on a ...
Ferguson, Missouri Under Fire for Revenue-based Criminal Justice System by Christopher Zoukis Following 2014 protests in Ferguson, Missouri ignited by the killing of an unarmed black youth by a white police officer, some local law enforcement practices have been changed. The reforms were spurred, in large part, by a U.S. ...
Former Warden, Sheriff, Justice of the Peace Charged in Texas Corruption Scandal by Matthew Clarke Elberto Esquiel Bravo, 55, the former warden at the East Hidalgo County Detention Center, was arrested in January 2015 and charged with acting as an accessory after the fact in a conspiracy to bribe Hidalgo ...
Prominent Texas Capital Defense Attorney Suspended for a Year by David Dow has near-legendary status among death penalty attorneys in Texas. He works pro bono for clients whose lives literally depend on him; he takes their cases after they arrive on death row, often seeking to right the wrongs committed ...
Potential Class-action Suit over Domestic Violence “Victim Fees” in Georgia by The Atlanta-based Southern Center for Human Rights (SCHR) and Columbus, Georgia attorney Mark C. Post filed a federal lawsuit on October 5, 2016 on behalf of Cleopatra Harrison and a potential class of other women who were charged controversial ...
Arkansas Court of Appeals Upholds Civil Forfeiture Ruling by On May 4, 2016, the Arkansas Court of Appeals upheld a lower court’s order for the civil forfeiture of nearly $20,000 seized from Guillermo Espinoza during a July 2013 traffic stop. Espinoza was never charged with a crime and prosecutors eventually ...
Illinois: Exonerated Prisoner Calls $80,000 Award a Travesty, Retrial Ordered by Gary Hunter Nathson E. Fields spent 18 years in prison due to a conveniently “lost” file that would have cleared him. Fields was a member of the El Rukn street gang when he was convicted of a double homicide ...
More Lawyers, Same Injustice by By Oren Nimni & Nathan J. Robinson, Current Affairs A case in Georgia has become notorious for its profanity. But it also says something about our public defender system… Last month, in a Georgia courtroom, defendant Denver Fenton Allen appeared in front of Judge Bryant Durham, ...
Article • September 8, 2016
Virginia Supreme Courts Upholds Conviction of Man Forced to Stand Trial in Jail Clothes by Lonnie Burton On June 2, 2016, the seven judge Virginia Supreme Court affirmed a court of appeals decision to uphold the conviction of a defendant who had a jury trial while wearing jail-issued attire. The ...
Article • September 6, 2016
Supreme Court: Judges Who Were Significantly Involved in Cases as Prosecutors Must Recuse by There is a risk of bias that is impermissible under the Due Process Clause where the judge in a case previously had significant, personal involvement in a critical decision in the case while serving as prosecutor.  ...
Article • September 6, 2016
Man Detained in Dallas Jail without Trial Longer Than Maximum Sentence by Matthew Clarke A man who was arrested for criminal trespass spent 200 days in the Dallas County Jail awaiting a court date on a charge that carries a maximum of 180 days in jail. The 37-year-old unidentified man ...
Georgia Prosecutor Arrested for Political Ads; Had Previously Secured Indictment Against Judge by Northern Georgia Judicial Circuit District Attorney Parks White surrendered to the Hart County Sheriff’s Office to be booked and fingerprinted on June 20, 2016, before being released on a $1,000 signature bond. Senior Superior Court Judge Robert ...
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