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Articles by Derek Gilna

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 ...

Scottish Psychologist’s Study Focuses On Why the Innocent May Confess to Crimes

by Derek Gilna

Dr. Faye Skelton of Napier University in Edinburgh, Scotland, has published a report detailing the tendency of some individuals to confess to crimes they did not commit. She noted that research from the United States shows that, “over 25% of people later exonerated by DNA evidence made ...

Harris County, Texas Prosecutors Review DWI Cases Impacted by Discredited Expert

by Derek Gilna

The testimony of county scientist Fessessework Guale, who was employed by the Harris County medical examiner’s office for 10 years, has been called into question by the very criminal justice offices who relied on that testimony to obtain convictions in criminal DWI prosecutions.

The Texas Forensic Science ...



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