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Articles by Edward Lyon

Jurors Showing More and More Savvy Toward Trial Evidence

by Ed Lyon 

For many decades, prosecutors have been the true kings of U.S. courtrooms. Longtime Dallas, Texas, prosecutor Henry Wade attained infamy for stating, “Guilty ones are easy to convict. It takes real effort to convict the innocent.”

His Houston, Texas, counterpart John Holmes gained a like measure ...

‘Ban the Box’ Movement Expands in New Direction

by Ed Lyon 

For many people, the negative effects of being in jail or prison follow them throughout their lives after they re-enter society. Probably one of the most pervasive of these effects is obtaining employment they are qualified for in all aspects, save for their carceral ...

Forensic Entomology Helps Nevada Murder Convictee Get Exonerated After 17 Years in Prison

by Ed Lyon 

In June 2001, 18-year-old Kirstin Blaise Lobato narrowly escaped being raped in Las Vegas, Nevada. With her small pocket knife, she wounded her attacker’s genitals. He was left intact but did sustain enough of an injury to make him cry. 

On July 8, 2001, ...

Sexual Assaults and Harassment by Members of Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Costing Taxpayers Millions

by Ed Lyon 

The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department (“LASD”) is the largest of its kind in the U.S. According to recent figures, it tops another list—it’s apparently the most feloniously libidinous as well.

Considering the cost of the resulting lawsuits and the price tag to defend against them, ...

Report: Wisconsin Crime Labs Face Multitude of Problems

by Ed Lyon

Wisconsin has crime labs in Madison, Milwaukee, and Wausau. The Madison and Milwaukee labs are classified as full service because each is responsible for eight forensic-science fields, including DNA analysis. The Wausau lab covers only four forensic science fields. All three conduct Crime Scene Response (“CSR”) service, ...

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 ...



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