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Articles by Dale Chappell

L.A. County Wipes Out Almost $90 Million in Debt for Juvenile Detention Fees

by Dale Chappell

It has been illegal for Los Angeles County to charge juveniles and their families the cost of their incarceration since 2009. But, until recently, the county kept trying to collect nearly $90 million from 52,000 accounts that still owed the $24.00 per day charge for time spent ...

Federal Judge Rules Massachusetts Law Banning Secretly Recording Police in Public Is Unconstitutional

by Dale Chappell

The U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts ruled that secretly recording the police in public is protected by the First Amendment and that a Massachusetts law forbidding such activity is unconstitutional. 

When Boston police arrested Simon Glik for filming the police while they beat ...

New Jersey Board Finds Suspending Drivers’ Licenses Because of Failure to Pay Court Fines Doesn’t Work

by Dale Chappell

Reaching a conclusion that most people already knew, the New Jersey Judicial Commission issued a report finding that suspending someone’s driver’s license when they fail to pay a court fine does not work, and it makes it even harder to pay the fine.

The report faults the ...

Cops Seize Almost $150,000 from Black Musician for Not Using His Turn Signal

by Dale Chappell

How much does a ticket for not using your turn signal “a full 100 feet” before making a lane change cost in Oklahoma County? Apparently, all the cash you have in your car, if you’re a wealthy black entertainer who is mistaken for a drug dealer ...

Facial Recognition Gives Police Easier Access to Cellphones

by Dale Chappell

Facial recognition might make a cellphone more secure than a simple password, but it also gives the police less work to do if they want to search that phone. 

By switching from a password to facial recognition or other biometric security gateway, people are unwittingly shifting ...

Federal Judge Denies Qualified Immunity for Cops Who Detained Motorist for Giving Them the Finger

by Dale Chappell

Can police conduct a traffic stop simply because someone in the car gave them the finger? The U.S. District Court for the Western District of Virginia held that they cannot, allowing a lawsuit to move forward in just such a case. 

When Brian Clark and some ...

Expert Report Urges Changes to Forensic Analysis in Courtrooms

by Dale Chappell

Instead of subjective personal experiences, a new report by experts urges prosecutors and forensic experts to rely more on hard data and statistics to back evidence in a criminal case. A defendant’s life might rely on it. Literally. 

“If you’re overstating or understating the value of ...

Q&A: Ineffective Assistance of Counsel: Which Errors Are Worth Pursuing?

by Brandon Sample, Esq., and Dale Chappell

Question: I think my lawyer represented me poorly. How do I know if I have a claim of ineffective assistance of counsel?

Perhaps the most common question after a person’s conviction and sentence sinks in is whether their lawyer did all ...

FBI Reviewing Four Incidents of Excessive Force at Mesa, Arizona, PD in Just Four Months

by Dale Chappell

The FBI is reviewing four incidents of excessive force by Mesa, Arizona, police officers in the span of just four months, some after an “independent” investigation cleared the involved officers of any wrongdoing.

In one incident that occurred May 23, 2018, Mesa police were investigating a domestic ...

First Circuit: Sentencing Courts May Consider New Career Offender Guideline Amendment 798, Even Though Not Retroactive

by Dale Chappell

In a case where a defendant was sentenced when the career offender guideline still contained the so-called residual clause, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit held that a sentencing court has the discretion to ignore the career offender penalty in light of the ...



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