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Articles by David Reutter

Tennessee Supreme Court Clarifies Split Confinement Sentence Procedures

by David Reutter

In response to a federal district court’scertified questions of law, the Tennessee Supreme Court held that when imposing split confinement sentences under the Tennessee Sentencing Reform Act of 1989, a trial judge is authorized to fix a percentage that the defendant must serve in actual confinement before ...

U.S. Supreme Court Decision Temporarily Throws Florida’s Death Machine Into Disarray and Prompts Change to State’s Death Penalty

by David M. Reutter

Following the 2016 U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Hurst v. Florida, 136 S. Ct. 616 (2016), which concluded that Florida’s death penalty sentencing scheme violated the Sixth Amendment and was thus unconstitutional, the state’s death machine came to a screeching halt and was in complete disarray ...

Efforts to End “Scourge of Money Bail” Meeting with Success

By David M. Reutter

The initiative by Equal Justice Under Law to end the incarceration pending trial of persons too poor to post bail is reaping positive outcomes.  Each day, there are about 500,00 human beings who languish in an American jail due to their inability to post a money ...

Expert Opinions Sufficient to Dispute Material Facts for Denial of Summary Judgment

By David Reutter

A Michigan federal district court held that an Eaton County, Michigan Sheriff's sergeant had "arguable probable cause" to stop and detain a motorist for flashing his high beams at him as they passed. The court also held the officer had reasonable grounds to arrest the motorist when ...

Qualified Immunity for Parole Commissioner Accused of Biased Decision Making

by David Reutter

District of Columbia Court of Appeals held the former chairman of the United States Parole Commission was entitled to qualified immunity in a prisoner's lawsuit alleging that his denials of parole were infected by unconstitutional decision making.

Prisoner Jesse R. Redmond, Jr., was convicted in 1996 of ...

Alabama Prisoner Convicted of Kidnapping Minor Can be Labeled Sex Offender

The Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals held that an Alabama prisoner failed to state a claim against the Alabama Department of Corrections (ADOC), when he alleged that its application of a 2011 sex offender (S.O.) statute to his 2005 conviction violated his procedural and substantive due process rights and his ...

Unlawful Ban on Trooper's Speech Outside His Official Duties Not Entitled to Qualified Immunity

by David Reutter

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeal held that a Nevada Highway Patrol (NHP) policy prohibiting all of its K9 handlers and line employees from discussing its K9 program with any non-departmental entity violated NHP troopers' rights to freedom of speech. The violation involved a well-established constitutional right, ...

Michigan Court Forced to End “Pay or Stay” Policy

by David Reutter

A Michigan state district court judge was ordered to end a “pay or stay” policy that he used to toss poor defendants in jail for their inability to pay fines, fees and court costs.

The ACLU of Michigan assigned interns and fellows to watch the court proceedings ...

Reform of Florida’s Criminal Justice Laws Urged

by David M. Reutter

Florida taxpayers spend around $2.3 billion annually on the state’s Department of Corrections--twice what they spend on Florida’s 28 public colleges combined. At least five other states also led by Republican governors and GOP legislative majorities--Alabama, Idaho, Mississippi, Nebraska and Utah--have enacted criminal justice reform measures ...

Study Indicates Racial Bias Skews Criminality Risk Assessment Tool

by David Reutter

The use of software to predict future criminality is increasing in popularity. However, a study by ProPublica, an independent, nonprofit news agency that produces investigative journalism, found that prediction programs are racially skewed.

Risk assessments are gaining traction in courtrooms across the United States; some jurisdictions use ...

 

 

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