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Articles by Edward Lyon

Juror Bias Often Triggered by Severity of Crime Charged

by Ed Lyon

Duke University’s Institute of Brain Sciences recently partnered with the National Institutes of Health and National Science Foundation to study the effect of crime severity on jurors’ psyches prior to hearing evidence. The study’s full results were published in the October 29, 2018, issue of Nature Human ...

‘Texas Reneging on Deal’ With Draconian Sex Offender Registry, but Some Are Fighting Back

by Ed Lyon

During our nation’s formative years, Native Americans faced subjugation and betrayal by the U.S. government. They were torn away from their land and assigned tracts called reservations. Whenever a reservation became valuable because of mineral deposits or a new railroad route, the government would abrogate its treaty ...

Public Support for Militarized Policing Ebbs, Fails to Improve Safety

by Ed Lyon

The 1970s television show S.W.A.T., along with its resurrection in the movie and TV show by the same name, portrayed police officers in Special Weapons and Tactics (“SWAT”) units as top cops doing a difficult (yet occasionally required) necessary-but-evil job.

According to the conclusions of a recent ...

N.Y. Court of Appeals Announces When Trial Commences for Timeliness of Pro Se Requests

by Ed Lyon

As most jurisdictions do from time to time as need dictates, they change or even completely overhaul appellate procedures, evidentiary rules, and various codes. In 1971, New York state adopted a new Criminal Procedure Law (“CPL”) to replace its aged Code of Criminal Procedure (“CCP”).

In February ...

Very Few Have Taken Advantage of New York’s Program to Seal Criminal Records

by Ed Lyon

Some of the lines to one of late country music singer Merle Haggard’s famous hit songs were about a “branded man, out in the cold.” He was lamenting that no one would hire him because he had done time in prison.

This is all too familiar a ...

Junk Sciences and Scientists Strike Again in Texas

by Ed Lyon

It is an unfortunate byproduct in the age of mass incarceration in the United States that there are a great many wrongful convictions. Despite its negative reputation in the criminal justice area, Texas has been slowly reversing this disturbing trend. Dallas County was among the very first ...

Philadelphia Pays Out Millions to Settle Police Shootings

by Ed Lyon

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Supposedly the “city of brotherly love.” The sentiment expressed in the moniker is apparently not shared, observed, or even practiced by some members of the city’s police department.

During an August 2012 traffic stop, police officer Cyrus Mann shot 28-year-old Hassan Pratt to death. This ...

Crime Labs Falling Short

by Ed Lyon

Whenever most people hear about DNA testing in criminal cases, they invariably envision well-equipped, sterile labs like the ones depicted in television dramas such as CSI: Crime Scene Investigation or Bones. However, a study by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (“NIST”) that was finished in ...

Illinois: Chicago Police Misconduct Outed in Database 2.0 Version

by Ed Lyon

On August 16, 2018, a new era of transparency in Chicago police misconduct dawned. An updated version of a public database called the Citizens Police Data Project 2.0 (“CPDP”) makes available disciplinary records of Chicago police officers.

Similar to the nationwide Henry A. Wallace Police Crime Database ...

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 ...



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