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Articles by Edward Lyon

Chicago Tries to Reduce Deficit at its Poorer Citizens’ Expense

by Ed Lyon

Chicago may be Frank Sinatra’s kind of town, but not for many of the city’s poorer citizens. They would probably move, if only they did not owe the city so much money and either were, or are now, too poor to do so.

Chicago has a decades-long ...

What Some Prison Sentence Lengths Actually Reflect

by Ed Lyon

When a criminal convictee is sentenced, the number of months or years assessed does not always mean the convictee will remain in prison for that entire time.

Nearly all states and most other jurisdictions in the world have a parole system where prisoners are conditionally released into ...

Georgia Prisoner Loses Mandamus Appeal Seeking Trial Records

by Ed Lyon

Georgia prisoner James Brock was convicted of several crimes in 2011, two of which were murder. He could have faced a death penalty. Available information did not state his actual sentence(s).

Brock filed a mandamus petition in a lower court to obtain records to support his post-conviction ...

Kansas Supreme Court Nixes Probation After Full Sentence of Confinement Served

by Edward B. Lyon

The Kansas Supreme Court held that under the Kansas Sentencing Guidelines Act (“KSGA”) probation cannot be imposed after the full sentence of confinement has already been served.

James Kinder served as the caretaker for Joyce Wilson. He failed to obtain necessary medical treatment for her, and ...

Oregon Police Illegally Enter, Search, Issue Bogus Citation

by Edward B. Lyon

At 2:30 a.m. on November 26, 2002,  Eugene, Oregon policemen Roger Maganana and Melvin Thompson attempted to enter Phillip Piper's apartment by subterfuge. Not allowed in/ they obtained police sergeant William Harris' permission to enter the residence for a welfare check. They obtained a key from the apartment complex maintenance ...

Arrested, Held Incommunicado, Oregon Man Sues

by Edward B. Lyon

John Haga of Florence, Oregon was arrested based on a probable cause statement--not a warrant--on January 14, 2000. The offense was a misdemeanor assault. A complainant and a witness told a state police officer, who otherwise had no personal knowledge of the alleged assault.

Haga was held incommunicado without being ...

$13,500 to Oregon Woman for Wrongful Arrest, Unlawful Search

by Edward B. Lyon

Eugene, Oregon, police officers entered the home of a local woman without a warrant. Following an illegal search of the residence, they reportedly discovered a small amount of marijuana and placed her under arrest when she arrived home. She was initially cited for possession, but the ...

California Supreme: “Beyond a Reasonable Doubt” Standard for Second Strike

by Edward B. Lyon

California is well known for its harsh Three Strikes law, which enhances prison terms for certain repeat offenders. Under that law, defendants whose first felony was “serious or violent” are classified as a “second strike defendant.” Their punishment range isdoubled. Defendants with two or more ...

Forfeiture Funds Fancy Food for Officials

by Edward B. Lyon

Federal laws allow state and local police agencies to seize private property and keep it whether or not its rightful owner is charged with or convicted of a crime. States participating in the equitable sharing forfeiture program keep up to 80 percent of the proceeds. Equitable ...

Texas Asked Citizens to Fund Rape Kits

by Edward B. Lyon

In August 2011, Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) officials told the legislature about the state's backlog of 20,000 untested rape kits. A law was enacted requiring police agencies to submit newly gathered kits for testing within 30 days. In 2013, $11 million was appropriated to ...



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