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Articles by Derek Gilna

SCOTUS’ Unanimous Death-Penalty Jury Verdict Decision Affecting Florida Cases

by Derek Gilna

The effects of the January 2016 United States Supreme Court decision in Hurst v. Florida, 136 S. Ct. 6161 (2016), which overturned Florida’s prior law permitting non-unanimous jury verdicts in death penalty cases, continues to reverberate through the Broward County, Florida, criminal justice system. The previous statute ...

Georgia Defense Attorney Wins Another ‘Jury-Nullification’ Case

by Derek Gilna

Catherine Bernard, a former public defender in Laurens County, Georgia, who now practices criminal defense, won yet another “not-guilty” jury verdict in a marijuana possession trial on July 12, 2018, by utilizing a modified “jury nullification” approach. The term “jury nullification” refers to a refusal by juries ...

New York City Decriminalizes Some Public Smoking of Marijuana in Policy Shift

by Derek Gilna

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that as of September 1, 2018, the New York Police Department will no longer arrest individuals for the public smoking of marijuana in some circumstances and instead will issue tickets. However, those with arrest records, convictions, or open warrants ...

Trial Lawyer Advocates ‘Jury Nullification’ To Acquit the Unjustly Accused

by Derek Gilna

Mark Bennett, a 22-year criminal trial lawyer, argues that responsible citizens have a duty to serve on a criminal jury as a reasoned observer of the trial process — and not as a pawn of a system meant to over-awe them into an emotionally driven conviction.

He ...

New York City Gang Database Increases 70 Percent Since 2014

by Derek Gilna

Concerns are being raised about a 70 percent increase in the New York City Police Department (“NYPD”) gang database revealed in a recent public records request by CUNY School of Law professor Babe Howell. Since Mayor Bill de Blasio took office in 2014, the NYPD has added ...

Suburban Boston Town Backpedals on Steep Police Official Raises

Methuen, Massachusetts, a modest town of 50,000 people near Boston, has backpedaled on a contract formula that would have paid police captains over $432,000, making them the highest-paid police officers in the states, and more than twice as pricey as Governor Charlie Baker’s paycheck, who makes a relatively modest ...

Denver Under Fire For Law That Critics Describe as Legalized ‘Car Stealing’

by Derek Gilna

Civil forfeiture, under fire at the state and federal levels the past two years, has faced the spotlight in the city of Denver, Colorado, where a particularly burdensome civil ordinance has resulted in millions of dollars of revenue flowing to the city from largely underserved people.

Based ...

Daily Caller Investigation Lays Opiate Crisis at Feet of DEA

by Derek Gilna

The federal Drug Enforcement Agency (“DEA”) has contributed to the opioid crisis by more than tripling the number of individuals and organizations licensed to distribute controlled substances in the past 12 years, according an investigation by The Daily Caller News Foundation’s Daily Caller website. In 2006, the ...

$10 Million Award for California Man Wrongfully Imprisoned

by Derek Gilna

A man who was wrongfully accused, convicted, and imprisoned because of the alleged misconduct of four San Francisco police officers who fabricated and withheld evidence to frame him for a 2007 murder, has been awarded $10 million by a federal jury.

Jamal Trulove had been accused of ...

Web-Based Database Exposes Depth and Breadth of Police Criminality

by Derek Gilna

The launch of the Henry A. Wallace Police Crime Database in September of 2017 puts at the public’s disposal, through a simple web search, all crimes committed by non-federal sworn police officers. The database contains information on the 8,006 criminal arrests of 6,596 officers from 2005 to ...



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