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Articles by Derek Gilna

$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 ...

Civil Libertarians Concerned About Undisclosed FBI Research into Tattoo Recognition Technology

by Derek Gilna

Yet another example of how the judicial and legislative branches are falling behind the curve in protecting American citizens from undisclosed forms of surveillance and classification was revealed in a report by the Electronic Frontier Foundation (“EFF”) published in April 2018. In EFF’s recent Freedom of Information ...

Federal Judge Rules Cullman County, Alabama, Money Bond System Unconstitutional

by Derek Gilna

U.S. District Court Judge Madeline Hughes Haikala issued a preliminary injunction on September 13, 2018, which effectively ends the money bond system of Cullman County, Alabama, finding that it violates the Eighth Amendment, which states: “Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel ...

$3 Million Federal Court Settlement: Philadelphia Agrees to End Civil Forfeiture

by Derek Gilna

A federal civil rights suit alleging massive abuse of Philadelphia’s civil asset forfeiture program was settled in September 2018 for $3 million, which will be distributed to individuals it victimized.

The settlement resolved a 2014 federal class-action court action filed by the Institute for Justice on behalf ...



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