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Articles by Derek Gilna

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 ...

Police Misconduct Threatens Over 20,000 New Jersey Drunk Driving Convictions

by Derek Gilna

The New Jersey Supreme Court has issued a report and order that could result in the invalidation of at least 20,667 drunk driving convictions in the state, after a state police officer was charged with criminal misconduct that cast serious doubt on the accuracy of blood-alcohol testing ...

$384 Million Paid Out by New York City in Last Five Years for Police Misconduct

by Derek Gilna

New York City police misconduct continues to cost New York taxpayers a lot of money. In the past five years, New York City has paid out $384 million in judgments and settlements to resolve scores of lawsuits, including sums as small as $1,500 and as large as ...

ACLU Report: A Tale of Two NYCs When It Comes to Policing

by Derek Gilna

A September 2018 report by the New York American Civil Liberties Union (“ACLU”) argues that the New York City Police Department (“NYPD”) continues to target minority communities by following a broken-windows theory of policing.

The theory “posits that if minor crimes are allowed to happen in a ...

Exonerated Waukegan, Illinois, Man Receives $9 Million for Wrongful Conviction

by Derek Gilna

Jason Strong, a former Waukegan, Illinois, resident, settled a wrongful conviction lawsuit against that city and numerous surrounding suburbs for $9 million.

Strong was arrested, tried, convicted, and sentenced to 46 years for the 1999 murder of Mary Kate Sunderlin of Carpentersville, in a Wadsworth motel. Her ...

Texas Woman Receives Five Years in Prison for Illegal Voting After Criminal Conviction

by Derek Gilna

Crystal Mason, who had previously been convicted of tax fraud in 2011, will now serve a five-year sentence after being convicted in March 2018 of illegally voting in the 2016 presidential election. The 43-year-old Tarrant County, Texas, woman was on supervised release for that tax charge when ...

Brooklyn, New York’s Top Prosecutor Opens Door for Expungement of Pot Convictions

by Derek Gilna

Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez has announced that he will accept applications from thousands of individuals to erase their low-level marijuana convictions in a program unveiled in September 2018. He said his office has already ceased prosecuting people accused of possessing small amounts of pot. Prosecutors indicated ...

West Virginia Legislature Impeaches State Supreme Court Justices for Alleged Misconduct

by Derek Gilna

The West Virginia legislature on August 13, 2018, approved 11 articles of impeachment against all West Virginia Supreme Court justices for alleged “wasteful spending, maladministration, incompetency, neglect of duty, and potential criminal behavior,” according to CNN.  

The impeachment vote generally broke along party lines, with most Republicans ...

Federal Judge Orders New Orleans Municipal Court System to Reform Money Bail

by Derek Gilna

On August 6, 2018, Judge Eldon E. Fallon of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana ordered the New Orleans Municipal Court system to reform its money bond system, stating in his opinion in a case filed by defendants that, “[p]laintiffs have been deprived ...

 

 

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