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Articles by Derek Gilna

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 ...

$6.7 Million to Cali. Mom After Police Broke Her Ankle During Warrantless Entry

by Derek Gilna

A San Jose woman, Danielle Burfine, won a settlement of $6.7 million for a federal civil rights lawsuit from the city of Santa Clara. Police body cam footage shows that on April 12, 2016 cops with the city’s police department, without a warrant, kicked open her locked ...

Urban Institute Releases Report Detailing the Effects of Criminal Background Checks on Employment

by Derek Gilna

The Justice Policy Center, part of the nonprofit Urban Institute, released a March 2017 report examining the impact criminal background checks have on employment and recidivism. According to a recent study, “72 percent of companies perform background checks, and 82 percent of those companies screen potential employees ...



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