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Articles by Edward Lyon

New York City Cops Using Supposedly Sealed Arrest Records

by Ed Lyon

Since 1976, arrests in New York that do not result in convictions are supposed to be sealed. Sealed meaning inaccessible through any background checks or public records, anywhere. This is meant to ensure that citizens acquitted of a charged offense will not endure any future hardship simply ...

Oklahoma’s Railroading its Citizens into Prison

by Ed Lyon

Lynch mobs, vigilance committees, and necktie parties. These terms evoke what many stories refer to as frontier justice, where groups of people operated outside the established frameworks of law and order, sheriffs and courts, to wreak revenge on other people, making such groups outlaws.

In Oklahoma today, ...

Free at Last! California Modifies Its Felony Murder Law, Helping up to 800 Prisoners Currently Serving Life Sentences

by Ed Lyon

California’s felony murder statute, as originally enacted, is quite draconian in its inclusiveness. A person could be convicted and punished as severely as the primary participant in a felony murder even if the person was not present at the murder scene—they might have been a getaway driver, ...

ACLU Sues ‘Crooked’ Public Defender in Georgia

by Ed Lyon

Reid Zeh is Glynn County, Georgia’s public defender. As a lawyer, his personal conduct is far from the sterling standard expected from members of the Bar. In March 2018, he was jailed on a battery charge. He promptly made bail and hired a lawyer to represent him. ...

$1.275 million settlement awarded to sheriff whistleblower who testified in federal obstruction case

by Ed Lyon

 Tara Jan Adams was an exceptional deputy in the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department ("LASD"). Striving for a patrol officer’s slot, she began her career in the records division, where it also ended, due to her integrity and honesty.

During an FBI investigation into L.A. county jail ...

The power of sheriffs rooted in U.S. history

by Ed Lyon

Three of the most recognizable and well-known facets of U.S. society originated in England: the language, the writ of habeas corpus and the office of sheriff.

The first sheriff in the colonial United States was elected in Northampton County, Virginia.

There is a popularly elected sheriff in ...

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 ...



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