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Articles by Jayson Hawkins

No Consequences for Prosecutors’ Bad Behavior

It is not unheard of that the quest for justice occasionally ends in a mistrial.

That the defendant would then be retried six times for the same crime, however, is less of a misfire than it is a miscarriage of justice—especially when four of the verdicts were ...

‘No-Knock Raids’ an Increasing Danger to Public Safety

Julian Betton was in his home minding his own business when the police crashed through his front door. The cops entered without knocking or identifying themselves as law enforcement, and Betton reacted as any citizen would to masked individuals shouting threats and brandishing weapons: He confronted the ...

Prosecutors Overrepresented Among Federal Judges

Imagine your alma mater was about to play its rival in the season’s biggest game. Imagine also that, the day before the game, it was revealed that the majority of the referees were alumni of the other school. Even though these individuals were sworn by their profession ...

FBI ‘Assessing’ Black Americans

Fingerprint Analysis: High Stakes, Low Qualifications

Forensic science was long considered a foolproof means of analyzing evidence to determine the identity of individuals involved in a crime or their methods of committing it. If the people in the lab applied their technical expertise to a case and the results pointed toward a certain ...

Wrongfully Convicted NY Man Freed After 24 Years

There were many times Pablo Fernandez could have given up. Yet after spending over half his life behind bars, he never wavered in maintaining his innocence.

‘‘It was so difficult for me to be in prison for so many years when I knew the case against me ...

Warrant Gives Police Access to DNA Database

by Jayson Hawkins 

Advances in DNA technology over recent years have enabled people to discover genetic predispositions, reconstruct family trees, and track down lost relatives. Nearly 30 million users have uploaded their profiles to DNA sites in hopes of reconnecting with their past or catching a glimpse of future ...

The Faulty Science of Breathalyzers

by Jayson Hawkins 

The forensic sciences, once believed to offer infallible evidence against a wide spectrum of crimes, have in many instances been exposed as little more than smoke and mirrors. 

To the growing list of faulty, misleading, or disproven methods can be added alcohol breath-testing.

A recent ...

Federal Rules Limit Searches of Private DNA Databases

by Jayson Hawkins

A new policy instituted by the U.S. Department of Justice (“DOJ”), effective November 1, 2019, is the first federal rule governing the use of family-tree DNA databases by law enforcement.

Services that allow individuals to trace their ancestry through DNA technology have grown increasingly popular in recent ...

Freedom or Restitution for the Wrongfully Convicted

by Jayson Hawkins

"I’m sitting here a semblance, trying to get back to me,” Jimmy Dennis admitted from the relative safety of his living room, afraid to venture beyond his doorstep.

Dennis exhibited the symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder, including menacing nightmares and acute paranoia, which are often associated with ...

 

 

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