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Articles by Derek Gilna

Curb False Confessions: Provide Suspects With Lawyers

by Derek Gilna

According to the nonprofit National Registry of Exonerations, Cook County, Illinois has a false confession rate three times higher than the national average. In November 2017, Cook County Prosecutor Kim Foxx dropped criminal cases against 15 men because of police misconduct, a development the Chicago Tribune referred ...

California Legalization of Marijuana Allows Convicted to Petition

by Derek Gilna

Proposition 64, which legalizes the sale of recreational marijuana in the state of California, also has a less publicized benefit for those with state marijuana felonies on their record. It allows them to petition to have their convictions reduced or dismissed.

This has the potential to be ...

$5.5 Million Verdict Against LAPD for Taser Death of Former Marine

by Derek Gilna

The City of Los Angeles has beenhit with a $5.5 million jury verdict in November of 2017 for the death of a former Marine who was Tased six times in a row by the Los Angeles Police Department (“LAPD”) while they were attempting to restrain him. Michael ...

$9.5M Settlement Approved by Chicago City Council for Yet Another Excessive Force Case

by Derek Gilna

The Chicago City Council approved yet another multi-million dollar settlement for excessive force on September 5, 2017, but this time, some members complained about the steep tab.  

Jose Lopez was rendered permanently disabled after being Tased by a Chicago Police Officer. After a two-week trial, the jury ...

Cryptocurrency Leveraged to Help People Make Bail

by Derek Gilna

"Money bail,” the process by which courts seek to guarantee a defendant’s appearance in court by forcing him or her to post money before release, has been under assault on several fronts. Prisoner rights advocates have proven in several lawsuits that the system is inherently discriminatory against ...

Deaths From Police Shootings Outstrip Deaths From Terrorists Attacks, Wars

by Derek Gilna

Frank Walton, a writer for the Daily Kos, asserts that data compiled and reported by The Guardian newspaper show that since 9/11, deaths from police shootings exceed deaths from terrorist attacks on Americans. According to Walton, “(w)ith an average of 1,900 people killed annually since 2001, that would be ...

Confronting the Myth in Police-Suspect Knife Confrontations

by Derek Gilna

Each year dozens of suspects armed with knives are needlessly shot and killed by police who feel that they are justified in using deadly force based upon the “21-Foot Rule” contained in many department training manuals. According to former San Jose police officer and criminologist, Dr. Ron ...

$44.7 Million Awarded to Man Shot by Intoxicated Chicago Police Officer With Troubled History

by Derek Gilna

On October 27, 2017, a federal jury awarded a record $44.7 million to a man, Michael LaPorta, who was shot by a drunken off-duty Chicago police officer named Michael Kelly. Kelly and LaPorta, who were friends at the time, were in Kelly’s home, and after a night ...

District Attorney in New York and Aide Indicted for Covering up Beating by Police Chief

by Derek Gilna

Residents in Suffolk County, N.Y. concerned about crime in their community did not need to look any further than the activities of their own district attorney, Thomas Spota, 76, who was federally indicted in October of 2017 for helping to cover up the 2012 beating of a ...

Have the Wars on Drugs and Terror Transformed the U.S. Into a Police State?

by Derek Gilna

"Security checkpoints with identification scanners guard the train station and roads in and out of town. Facial scanners track comings and goings at hotels, shopping malls and banks. Police use hand-held devices to search smartphones for encrypted chat apps, politically charged videos and other suspect content. To ...



The Habeas Citebook: Prosecutorial Misconduct Side
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