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From the Editor

by Richard Resch

Welcome to Criminal Legal News (“CLN”). We’ve been publishing CLN now for a little over a year, and the response has been tremendous. The number of people who’ve subscribed and provided positive feedback have exceeded our most optimistic projections when we first launched CLN. It’s truly gratifying to know that our content is of value to readers and is helping them with their personal situation. 

This issue of CLN is being provided as a sample copy to all current Prison Legal News (“PLN”) subscribers, so many recipients may not be familiar with CLN. As such, I’d like to provide a brief overview for the uninitiated.

CLN is a monthly print and online publication focusing on individuals’ legal and constitutional rights as they pertain to the criminal justice system. Specifically, CLN’s coverage includes all interactions with the criminal justice system from initial contact with law enforcement up to sentencing. Our sister publication, PLN, takes over from there and covers the period of confinement. Then, CLN picks up again upon release, covering the issues associated with post-release conditions and restrictions. Between CLN and PLN, every possible interaction with the criminal justice system is reported, analyzed, and exposed.

Our mission at CLN is to provide readers with practical legal information that can be used to challenge convictions, sentences, and conditions of release where warranted. The primary means of educating and informing readers is through coverage of state and federal appellate court decisions dealing with criminal law, procedure, and associated constitutional rights. We’re confident that the case law information we provide is of great value to anyone with an interest in the most recent developments in state and federal substantive criminal law and criminal procedure.

We believe that the breadth of our coverage is unique, in that we review every opinion issued by the highest appellate court in all 50 states, as well as from the 13 U.S. Courts of Appeals and the U.S. Supreme Court. CLN reports on every decision that implicates any of the issues we cover and meets our criteria for reporting, as follows: CLN reports on a decision if it (1) constitutes a win, in whole or in part, for the defendant; (2) announces a new rule of law; (3) expands, limits, modifies, or otherwise clarifies an existing rule of law; (4) involves a relevant issue of first impression; (5) provides usable information or guidance for our readers; or (6) is issued by the U.S. Supreme Court regardless of disposition. Finally, we also report on notable decisions from intermediate level state courts of appeal.    

For each decision, we provide the (1) essential facts; (2) applicable rules of law; (3) application and reasoning; and (4) court’s holding. We do our best to distill decisions down to these four essential elements for practical use by our readers. However, given the sheer number of cases upon which we report, please understand that we cover them within fairly rigid word count parameters, ranging from about 350 to 800 words, and we are summarizing appellate court decisions that often run several dozen pages in length. Consequently, while we have the utmost confidence in our coverage and treatment of each decision upon which we report, our summaries are, nevertheless, no substitute for reading the actual decisions themselves if they apply to your situation. 

To those of you who haven’t already done so, “Stop resisting!” and subscribe to CLN today. 

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