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Articles by Dale Chappell

BOP Finally Implements First Step Act, Officially Releases 3,100 Prisoners Under ‘Good Conduct Time’

by Dale Chappell

The long-awaited extra seven days of good conduct time (“GCT”) is finally being applied by the Bureau of Prisons (“BOP”), which will result in the official release of 3,100 prisoners from BOP custody, according to a July 2019 Department of Justice press release on behalf of the ...

NYU Study Shows ‘Predictive Policing Systems’ Promote Bad Data, Bad Policing

by Dale Chappell

A New York University study shows that “predictive policing” does nothing to prevent crime but actually increases bad policing in cities already struggling with corrupt police forces.

This means that in at least 13 cities, predictive policing is helping to propagate more bad police work where cops ...

Column: Obtaining Relief Under 'Davis' in the Wake of 'Johnson'

by Dale Chappell

The good news is that the Supreme Court of the United States has declared yet another residual clause unconstitutional. The not-so-good news is that the last time the Court did this, the lower courts created all sorts of roadblocks to stop prisoners from taking advantage of the ...

Scientific Experts Urge Forensic Experts to Be More Objective

by Dale Chappell

Scientific experts have long relied on objectivity to reach conclusions—the ability to prove repeatedly the outcome of an analysis no matter who’s doing the analysis. Forensics experts, on the other hand, have long relied on subjective analysis to reach conclusions, basing the outcome on personal experience and ...

Court Extends McQuiggin Actual Innocence Exception to Defaulted Legal Claim, Vacates § 924(c) Conviction

by Dale Chappell

The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California held in a collateral proceeding on January 2, 2019, that McQuiggin’s actual innocence exception applies to a legal claim that was procedurally defaulted, vacating a conviction under 18 U.S.C. § 924(c) that carries a mandatory 30-year ...

Pennsylvania Supreme Court Holds Consent to Search Does Not Include K-9 Sniff When No K-9 Present When Consent Given and Wait 40 Minutes for Its Arrival

by Dale Chappell

In a case of first impression, the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania held that a search in connection with a traffic stop that was performed 40 minutes after consent was given, because there was no K-9 unit on scene so police made the motorist wait until its ...

Taxpayers Foot Bill After Man Beaten by Cops and Ignored by CMC Loses Leg

by Dale Chappell

Green Island, New York, taxpayers will pay $375,000 to settle a federal lawsuit after police there beat a man so badly his leg had to be amputated when jail medical staff ignored his injury.

According to the lawsuit, Kevin Kavanaugh surrendered to police after a high-speed chase ...

Study Questions the Reliance on Comparison Testimony at Trial

by Dale Chappell

 The FBI admitted that its hair-sample analysts were wrong 95 percent of the time when comparing hair samples in approximately 3,000 cases. This included 32 death penalty cases.

A 2012 study by the Pennsylvania Innocence Project and the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers found that analysts ...

Federal Court Upholds Antiquated Virginia Law Allowing Jail Time for Being Near Alcohol

by Dale Chappell

 An antiquated Virginia law that allows courts to label someone a “habitual drunkard,” permitting police to throw someone in jail for simply being near alcohol, was upheld by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit as constitutional, though not without criticism from the court, saying ...

Over a Year After Cook County Bail Reform, Jails Are Still Full

by Dale Chappell

When Cook County, Illinois, Chief Judge Timothy C. Evans issued an administrative order in July 2017 telling judges they had to seriously consider whether someone could afford bail, things got better. A lot better. The number of individuals held in jail who couldn’t afford bail dropped by ...



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