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Prisoner Education Guide

Articles by Steve Horn

Cautionary Tale: Visible Fingertips in Cellphone Pictures Can Get You Arrested

by Steve Horn

For those in the U.S. who enjoy taking photos on their cellphones, particularly of illicit activities or potentially illegal ones, the South Wales Police force has sent a warning shot across the Atlantic to beware. Or else.

In March in South Wales, U.K., a kingpin of a cannabis and ecstasy trafficking ring was arrested after photos of ecstacy which he took on his cellphone and sent in a text message on WhatsApp were traced back to him via his fingerprint marks that could be seen on enlarged images of that photo. In total, 11 people were arrested as members of the ring.

In South Wales, law enforcement officials there said it was the first time this particular technique had been used to support an arrest. It is an investigation which began with neighbors calling to say it appeared that suspicious activity was occurring at a house with more-than-normal foot traffic coming into and out of it. And the arrest phase of it has ended with the tracking down of the 28-year-old leader of the pack, Elliot Morris.

Dave Thomas, forensic operations manager at the Scientific Support Unit, said in a press release put out by the South ...

New Report: 60 Percent of Exonerations Stem from Official Misconduct

by Steve Horn

The newly released 2017 edition of the National Registry of Exonerations report delivers big findings about the work done by conviction integrity units (“CIUs”), innocence projects, and what some legal experts refer to as the “two-tiered” criminal justice system.

Put together by the University of Michigan Law School, the Michigan State University College of Law, and the University of California-Irvine, the report has concluded that the work done by CIUs and innocence projects across the country has helped move the meter in the area of wrongful convictions.

But the report also points to a number which, to some, is troubling. That is, a record-high 84 official misconduct exonerations – or exonerations given because of official misconduct committed by those vested with the power of the law, such as police officers, prosecutors, and governmental officials – were given in 2017 nationwide. That’s 84 out of the 139 total exonerations, or about 60 percent, recorded by the Registry of Exonerations in 2017.

“Official misconduct encompasses a wide range of behavior — from police officers threatening witnesses, to forensic analysts falsifying test results, to child welfare workers pressuring children to claim sexual abuse where none occurred,” details the report. “But ...

Prosecutors’ Offices Taking Thousands in Grant Money, Fueling Crackdown on Sex Buyers

By Steve Horn

Investigative articles published on March 24 by the Seattle-based alt-weekly The Stranger and the online publication The Intercept reveal that prosecutors’ offices in King County, Washington and nationwide have taken hundreds of thousands of dollars in private grant money which legal critics and defense attorneys have argued ...

Congressional Spending Bill Provision ‘Clouds’ Constitutional Rights in Criminal Probes

by Steve Horn

Civil liberties advocates have decried a provision tucked into the budget bill recently passed by Congress and signed into law by President Donald Trump, as an end-run around constitutional protections guaranteed under the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

That provision was originally the stand-alone CLOUD (Clarifying ...


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