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Prisoner Education Guide

Articles by Steve Horn

U.S. Government Lab Withheld Groundbreaking Study for 5 Years That Can Help Defendants Question the Reliability of Certain DNA Evidence

by Steve Horn

A study that called into question the reliability of DNA as a piece of smoking-gun evidence due to its propensity to be easily transferred and detected by modern DNA-detection technology was big news. However, a U.S. government lab sat on the laboratory-based and peer-reviewed study results ...

Why Defining a ‘Credible Witness’ in Criminal Trials Is a Slippery Slope

by Steve Horn

In the aftermath of her testimony before the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee, Dr. Christine Blasey Ford was hailed by legal scholars, legal practitioners, and laypeople alike as a “credible witness.”

Blasey Ford, a psychology professor at Palo Alto University, testified at a hearing September 27 ...

How Defense Lawyers Break Attorney-Client Privilege to Defend Ineffective Assistance of Counsel Claims

by Steve Horn

A cardinal rule of defense lawyering – or any lawyering, for that matter – is to zealously advocate on behalf of your client. Yet in many states, incentive systems exist for criminal defense attorneys to do the opposite and collaborate directly with prosecutors.

These dynamics are spelled ...

Civil Rights Groups Urge Ending Use of Pretrial Bail Risk Assessment Tools

by Steve Horn

More than 100 civil rights organizations have signed a statement to denounce the use of pretrial bail risk assessment algorithm tools meant to determine conditions of bail and, in many cases, jail.

The 10-page document titled, “The Use of Pretrial ‘Risk Assessment’ Instruments: A Shared Statement of ...

Article Calls for Courts to Implement ‘Brady Violation Disclosure Letter’ System

by Steve Horn

A draft copy of an academic article set to be published in 2019 in the Vanderbilt Law Review calls for a novel approach to chipping away at the nagging issue of Brady violations that occur during criminal cases.

That paper, titled “Disclosing Prosecutorial Misconduct” by University of ...

Report: Right to Trial Exists in Name. In Reality, Only 3% of Cases Go to Trial

by Steve Horn

The Sixth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution guarantees a right to trial by jury, but a new report documents that in the U.S. criminal justice system, trials have become the rare exception — not the rule.

The Trial Penalty: The Sixth Amendment Right to ...

Conviction Integrity Units, Innocence Commissions Tackle Wrongful Convictions, Prosecutorial Misconduct

by Steve Horn

Conviction integrity units, known as CIUs and sometimes referred to as conviction review units or CRUs, have in recent years become increasingly widespread in county prosecutors’ offices throughout the U.S. They sit alongside actual innocence commissions, which exist in several states and review claims of innocence ...

Documents Reveal How Law Enforcement Partners with Private Companies to Surveil Schools

by Steve Horn

Unbeknownst to college students across the country, their school may be surveilling their social media activity. What may be even more surprising to learn is that even individuals who have no affiliation with a school that’s engaged in this type of surveillance may nevertheless have their social ...

Eric Schneiderman Pushed Laws Opposing Abuse of Women as He Stands Accused of Abusing Them Himself

by Steve Horn

Eric Schneiderman, who resigned as New York’s Attorney General May 8, had a record of supporting legislation and criminal law enforcement to protect women from sexual abuse. However, allegations surfaced that he did not practice what he preached. A former state senator prior to his election as attorney general in 2010, Schneiderman’s rising-star political career came crashing down after The New Yorker magazine revealed a pattern of both physical and emotional abuse toward at least four romantic partners in New York City. Schneiderman, who resigned just hours after the article went public, might potentially face criminal charges and is under investigation by a special prosecutor, Nassau County District Attorney Madeline Singas. In a conversation with The New Yorker, one of his accusers revealed that Schneiderman told her, “I am the law.” In contrast to his personal behavior, Schneiderman’s work showed a history of advocacy on women’s issues and law enforcement.

Strangulation Prevention Act

As a state senator in 2010, for example, Schneiderman introduced and sponsored the Strangulation Prevention Act (S.6987), which became law. But two women told The New Yorker that, in fact, Schneiderman had physically abused them by slapping and choking them.

“They did ...

Academic Paper Highlights Need to Tighten Rules for Fingerprint Evidence in Light of False-Positive Error Rate

by Steve Horn

A new study published in the UCLA Law Review reveals a potential for rule tightening on the use of fingerprint evidence in the U.S. judiciary.

The Reliable Application of Fingerprint Evidence,” written by University of Virginia School of Law professor Brandon Garrett, focuses on ...




 

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