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Articles by Derek Gilna

2015 Deportations Dropped to Lowest Since 2006

by Derek Gilna

A 2016 report issued by the Department of Homeland Security said that deportations carried out in 2015 by the agency's Immigration and Customs and Enforcement (ICE) had dropped to the lowest level since 2006. According to DHS, deportations peaked in fiscal year 2009 at 409,849, but dropped ...

Supreme Court Sets Aside Complicated Pennsylvania Death Penalty Case

by Derek Gilna

The U.S. Supreme Court on June 9, 2016 overturned the action of relief by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, that vacated the decision of a post conviction court that found the death penalty conviction  of Terrence Williams was tainted by Brady violations by state prosecutors. Williams, who testified ...

Report Finds States’ Suspension of Driver’s Licenses for Unpaid Fines Counterproductive

by Derek Gilna

The Legal Aid Justice Center released a report on September 26, 2017 that makes the argument the laws of 43 states that provide for the suspension of driver’s licenses for non-payment of traffic tickets or other court debt, which bear no relation to driving, creates a cycle ...

What Do You Get for Kicking Handcuffed Suspects? Promoted and $130,000 Annual Pension for Life

by Derek Gilna

In most jobs, if you kick a defenseless person multiple times and attempt to cover it up, you will not only get fired, but will probably also get arrested and sent to jail.  Not so in Hartford, Conn., where cops, Steven Barone and Christopher Mastroianni, kicked and ...

Suffolk County District Attorney and Aide Indicted for Beating and Coverup

by Derek Gilna

Suffolk County, New York residents concerned about crime in their community apparently did not need to look any further than the activities of their own district attorney, Thomas Spota, 76. He and his aide, Christopher McPartland, were federally indicted in October of 2017 for helping to cover ...

Baltimore Police Department’s Misconduct Scandals Result in Hundreds of Dismissals and Indictment of Eight Officers

by Derek Gilna

A federal racketeering investigation into Baltimore Police Department misconduct has resulted in the dismissal of approximately 300 pending prosecutions and investigations into an additional 850, including some that were already closed. News reports revealed that body camera footage from three separate incidents during the summer of 2017 ...

New York City Quietly Assembling Massive Unregulated DNA Database

by Derek Gilna

Add overly aggressive collection of DNA samples from often unwitting individuals to the list of questionable police tactics in New York City with which criminal defense attorneys and the general public must now deal. Operating under the radar until recently, the city has been quietly building “a ...

Petition Asks Massachusetts High Court to Dismiss 18,000 Drug Convictions Tainted by Chemist Who Falsified Results

by Derek Gilna

The Committee for Public Counsel Services, Hampden County Lawyers for Justice, Inc., American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts (“ACLUM”), and two individuals who were convicted in cases that now-discredited state drug lab chemist Sonja Farak worked on filed a petition with the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court. The ...

Congress Exempts from Taxation Awards to Wrongfully Convicted

by Derek Gilna

Congress has passed the wrongful Conviction Tax Act of 2015 with votes from both sides of the aisle, exempting the damage awarded granted the wrongfully convicted from federal tax liability.   According to the Innocence Project, a prisoner-rights organization who has contributed to the exoneration of dozens of ...

Study’s Data Show Racial Disparity in Plea Bargaining Outcomes

by Derek Gilna

The Spring 2017 issue of Justice Quarterly published a report titled “Race, Plea, and Charge Reduction: An Assessment of Racial Disparities in the Plea Process,” which explores the perceived discrepancy in the outcomes for criminal defendants in the plea bargaining process. According to the report, the “findings ...

 

 

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