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Articles by Derek Gilna

Tennessee Legislature’s Investigation Finds Inadequate Supervision of Private Probation

by Derek Gilna

A December 2018 report by the Tennessee Comptroller of the Treasury after its audit of the state’s Private Probation Services Council found that it “did not adequately oversee private probation entities, putting probationers at risk.” The period was for July 1, 2013, through October 31, 2018.

The ...

California Supreme Court Rules That Defense Counsel Can’t 
Agree to Stipulation That’s Tantamount to Guilty Plea Without Voluntary and Intelligent Waiver by Defendant

by Derek Gilna

The bedrock principle of criminal defense is to force the prosecution to prove its case against his client, but in the case of Randolph Farwell, his attorney agreed to a stipulation of facts that was tantamount to a guilty plea because it admitted each element of the ...

Indiana Supreme Court Announces Trial Court Must Resentence on All Underlying Felonies After Gang Enhancement Sentence Reversed on Appeal

by Derek Gilna

The Supreme Court of Indiana ruled that following the reversal of a gang enhancement sentence under Ind. Code § 35-50-2-15 the trial court on remand is required to resentence the defendant on all remaining underlying convictions.  

Marquell M. Jackson had been convicted of several criminal offenses ...

Video Simulators Part of Push to Train Police to Shoot Fewer Dogs, Limit Lawsuits

by Derek Gilna

Video simulators are now used by some police departments to train their officers in the use of non-lethal force. A 2005 decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit that dogs are property, whose killing constitutes an unreasonable seizure and a violation of the ...

Minnesota Sees Rising Tide of Payouts for Epidemic of Police Misconduct

by Derek Gilna

Although bigger cities and states have gotten most of the negative publicity regarding police misconduct, Minnesota and its biggest city, Minneapolis, are drawing unwanted national attention for over $60 million in payouts the past 11 years. Minneapolis’ share of that figure was almost $21 million, or 35 ...

$225,000 Settlement by Detroit for Unjustified Shooting of Dogs in Drug Case

by Derek Gilna

The city of Detroit, Michigan, has settled a Section 1983 federal civil rights suit filed by Kenneth Savage and Ashley Franklin after police unnecessarily shot three dogs while confiscating potted marijuana plants from the owners’ enclosed yard.

The $225,000 settlement was the most recent payout by the ...

Investigation and Arrest of Mail Bomb Suspect Rips Cover Off Postal Surveillance

by Derek Gilna

The recent investigation and arrest of the suspect in the 2018 mail bomb incidents targeting Democratic and liberal figures have focused attention on a virtually unknown federal government surveillance program that has caught the attention of privacy experts.

The so-called “mail cover” program carried out by the ...

U.S. Senator Sounds Alarm on Privacy, Public Safety Concerns of Cell-Site Simulators

by Derek Gilna

A U.S. senator has added his voice to those of privacy experts who have expressed concern about the use of cell-site simulators (“CSSs”) also known as “Stingrays.” According to a letter written by U.S. Senator Ron Wyden of Oregon to then-U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, “I write ...

DEA Agents Trap Cocaine-Trafficking Suspects with Doctored Blackberrys

by Derek Gilna

Drug Enforcement Administration (“DEA”) agents apparently supplied suspected cocaine-traffickers with smartphones that the users thought were encrypted but instead were modified with eavesdropping technology.

According to Human Rights Watch (“HRW”), it is unknown how often the DEA or other federal agencies have utilized this technique. However, the ...

Montana Supreme Court: City May Not Impose Local Surcharge Not Authorized by State Law for Violation of State Criminal Statute

by Derek Gilna

Corrine Franklin, who pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct in Missoula, Montana, Municipal Court, was assessed a $25 surcharge by the City of Missoula, earmarked for a fund for the City Attorney’s Office. She objected to that surcharge, and on September 11, 2018, the Montana Supreme Court agreed ...



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