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Articles by David Reutter

Louisiana: Reform Results in Early Releases

by David Reutter

Laws aimed at reducing Louisiana's prison population resulted in the release of about 1,400 prisoners on November 1, 2017. While the population reduction from those laws will save taxpayers $262 million, those who benefit from free prisoner labor are against the change.

Louisiana is America's prison capital, ...

Man Arrested for Crime He Stopped Sues for $1.5 Million

by David Reutter

Typically an employee who intervenes to tackle a perpetrator to prevent a shoplifting is extolled as a hero. A Decatur police detective investigating the crime, however, arrested the employee and charged him with the crime. Now, the detective faces a $1.5 million lawsuit.

Omar Malcolm was working ...

ABA: Tennessee Court Violates Misdemeanants Right to Counsel

by David Reutter

At the request of the American Bar Association (ABA) Section of Civil Rights and Social Justice, Arch City Defenders of St. Louis conducted a court watching program of Tennessee's Davison County General Sessions Criminal Court in Nashville. The observers found an "extremely serious and pervasive problem that ...

Michigan’s License Suspension Scheme Traps the Poor

by David Reutter

The Michigan Department of State runs a “wealth-based driver’s license suspension scheme that traps some of the state’s poorest residents in a cycle of poverty,” a class action lawsuit filed by Equal Justice Under Law, a national civil rights organization. The scheme results in the automatic and ...

Driver’s License Required for Conviction as Florida Habitual Traffic Offender

by David Reutter

The Florida Supreme Court held that possession of a driver’s license is a prerequisite to a conviction as a habitual traffic offender under section 322.34(5), Florida Statutes.

Daryl Miller was charged with a third degree felony on May 21, 2014 for violating § 322.34(5) by driving with ...

Idaho Supreme Court: Suspicionless Fishing Expeditions Not Tolerated

by David Reutter

The Idaho Supreme Court reversed a district court’s denial of a motion to suppress evidence obtained in a suspicionless fishing expedition by the arresting officer.

Matthew Cohagan was on a street corner in Nampa, Idaho when Officers Curtis and Otto drove by. Curtis thought he resembled an ...

Public Records in Private Accounts Subject to PRA Disclosure

The Vermont Supreme Court held that “public records” under the Public Records Act (PRA) include any documents generated in the course of public agency business, even if the record is stored in a private account. The court held that failure to ask an employee to search a private account for ...

FOIL Exemption Applies to Civil and Criminal Law Enforcement

by David Reutters

A New York appellate court held that the New York State Education Department correctly redacted or exempted public records compiled for auditing special education costs because they were compiled for civil law enforcement purposes. The court also held that a request for award of attorney fees was ...

$25 Million Verdict for Shooting by NY Cop

by David Reutter

In 2015, a New York jury awarded $25.2 million in a lawsuit alleging a New York police officer’s excessive use of force in a false arrest. An officer using excessive force inflicted a gunshot wound that caused paraplegia. The amount awarded placed it into the top 10 jury verdict ...

Florida Sheriff Threatens Arrest of Refugees from Hurricane

by David Reutter

A looming disaster from Hurricane Irma, which was the strongest storm on record, would seem a time when everyone would bind together to assure the safety of all. Florida’s Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd used the crisis as an opportunity to exhibit the attitude that has led ...



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