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Prison Profiteers

Criminal Legal News: April, 2020

Issue PDF
Volume 3, Number 4

In this issue:

  1. The Rise of Smart Camera Networks, and Why We Should Ban Them (p 1)
  2. Iowa Supreme Court: Officer’s Delay of Traffic Stop to Investigate Other Matters Unconstitutional (p 6)
  3. Spirited (But Problematic?) Advocacy for Bernie Madoff to Receive Compassionate Relief (p 8)
  4. Connecticut Supreme Court Clarifies Standard of Review for Confrontation Clause Claims; Reverses and Remands for a New Trial (p 10)
  5. Sixth Circuit Adopts ‘Naked Eye Test’ for Altered Firearm Serial Number Enhancement (p 11)
  6. Seventh Circuit Vacates Guilty Pleas Based on Misinformation of Mandatory Minimum (p 12)
  7. More Trainings Are Not the Answer to Police Violence Against Disabled People (p 12)
  8. Utah District Court Finds First Step Act Gives Court Authority to Reduce Stacked 55-Year § 924(c) Sentence (p 14)
  9. Maine Supreme Court Declares Blood Draw Statute Unconstitutional, Overruling Cormier (p 16)
  10. Kansas Supreme Court: State Failed to Prove Building Was a Dwelling (p 17)
  11. Law Review Article Zeros in on Roadblocks to Plea Bargain Fairness and Effectiveness (p 18)
  12. New York’s SARA Requirements Force Sex-Offenders into Homelessness Then Hold Them in Prison Due to Their Homelessness (p 20)
  13. Expert’s Burn-Pattern Conclusions Flawed (p 22)
  14. Life Sentence for Murder Overturned by New DNA Technology (p 24)
  15. Seventh Circuit Holds Brain Injury May Allow Equitable Tolling to File Late Habeas Petition (p 25)
  16. Michigan Supreme Court: Defendant Entitled to Self-defense Jury Instruction (p 26)
  17. Ninth Circuit Orders Habeas Relief After California Concedes Conviction Should Be Overturned Due to Defense Counsel’s ‘Virulent Racism’ (p 26)
  18. Georgia Supreme Court Overrules 50 Years of Jurisprudence and Announces Courts Are to Consider Cumulative Prejudice of Trial Court and Counsel Errors (p 28)
  19. Third Circuit: Confrontation Clause Violated When Jury Is Told ‘Other Guy’ Referenced in Non-Testifying Codefendant’s Statement Is the Defendant (p 29)
  20. Louisiana Supreme Court: When an Identified Attorney Seeks to Assist a Person in Custody and Police Fail to Inform the Person, Inculpatory Statements Must Be Suppressed (p 30)
  21. D.C. Circuit: 18 U.S.C. § 1114 Does Not Apply Overseas But § 924(c) Does (p 30)
  22. Maryland Court of Appeals Announces, When Requested, Trial Courts Must Ask During Voir Dire Whether Jurors Will Follow Court’s Instructions on Presumption of Innocence, Burden of Proof, and Right Not to Testify (p 32)
  23. Sixth Circuit: Ohio’s Stringent Post-Conviction Filing Deadline Opens Window for Federal Review Under Trevino (p 33)
  24. The Faulty Science of Breathalyzers (p 34)
  25. Fact or Fiction, Television Crime Shows Ignore Racism and Reality (p 34)
  26. Third Circuit Holds ‘Bare’ Arrest Record Insufficient to Support Higher Sentence (p 35)
  27. Sex Offender Registries Grounded in False Notions (p 36)
  28. Pennsylvania Supreme Court Holds Retention of Defendant’s ID Card Constitutes ‘Seizure’ for Fourth Amendment Purposes (p 36)
  29. Kansas Supreme Court: Claim of Illegal Sentence Raised for First Time on Appeal Entitled to Merits Review (p 37)
  30. Reform-Minded Prosecutors Use Charging Discretion to Benefit Communities (p 38)
  31. Nevada Supreme Court: Duress Defense May be Used for Non-Death Penalty Charges, Even When Connected to Charges Punishable by Death (p 38)
  32. New Orleans Sheriff’s Office Tracked Cellphones Absent Warrants (p 39)
  33. Sex Offenders Go to W.A.R. (p 40)
  34. California Court of Appeal: Hunch That Proves Correct Is Not Reasonable Suspicion for Traffic Stop (p 40)
  35. Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court: Police Must Inform Arrested Driver That Passenger Can Assume Custody of Vehicle if Lawful and Practical as Alternative to Impoundment (p 41)
  36. Ohio Supreme Court: Ineffective Assistance of Counsel Analysis Applies to Failure to Seek Waiver of Court Costs (p 42)
  37. California Supreme Court: Positioning Computer Monitor to Obstruct Defendant’s View of Complaining Witness Violates Confrontation Clause (p 42)
  38. New Lie Detectors Are On the Way, But Are They Better Than the Old One? (p 43)
  39. Jury Nullification as a Cure for Prosecutorial Overreach (p 44)
  40. Louisiana Supreme Court: State Abused Charging Authority by Dismissing and Reinstituting Charges to Circumvent Adverse Court Ruling (p 44)
  41. NYC Drug Prosecutor Bucks Trend of Releasing List of Cops with Credibility Issues (p 45)
  42. Racial Disparity at Sentencing on the Rise (p 45)
  43. Colorado Supreme Court Announces Implied Bias the Same as Actual Juror Bias, Requiring Automatic Reversal (p 46)
  44. Rhode Island Supreme Court Reverses Conviction Due to Prosecutor’s Remarks and Jury Consideration of Inadmissible Evidence (p 46)
  45. Warrant Gives Police Access to DNA Database (p 47)
  46. New York to Seal Convictions for Small Amounts of Marijuana (p 48)
  47. Nevada Supreme Court: 26-Month Delay Between Charges and Arrest Constitutes Speedy Trial Violation (p 48)
  48. New Jersey Tightens Reins on Civil Asset Forfeiture (p 49)
  49. U.S. District Judge Blows Open ATF Fake Stash-House Stings, Wants to Know Why They Only Target Minorities (p 49)
  50. Cops Killed Nearly 13 Times More People Than Mass Shooters (p 50)
  51. News in Brief (p 50)

The Rise of Smart Camera Networks, and Why We Should Ban Them

by , The Intercept

This January 27, 2020 article is republished with permission from The Intercept, an award-winning nonprofit news organization dedicated to holding the powerful accountable through fearless, adversarial journalism. Sign up for The Intercept’s Newsletter.

There’s widespread concern that video cameras will use facial recognition software to track our every public move. Far less remarked upon — but every bit as alarming — is the exponential expansion of “smart” video surveillance networks.There’s widespread concern that video cameras will use facial recognition software to track our every public move. Far less remarked upon — but every bit as alarming — is the exponential expansion of “smart” video surveillance networks.

Private businesses and homes are starting to plug their cameras into police networks, and rapid advances in artificial intelligence are investing closed-circuit television, or CCTV, networks with the power for total public surveillance. In the not-so-distant future, police forces, stores, and city administrators hope to film your every move — and interpret it using video analytics.

The rise of all-seeing smart camera networks is an alarming development that threatens civil rights and liberties throughout the world. Law enforcement agencies have a long history of using surveillance against ...

Iowa Supreme Court: Officer’s Delay of Traffic Stop to Investigate Other Matters Unconstitutional

by David M. Reutter

The Supreme Court of Iowa reversed a motion court’s denial of a motion to suppress. The Court held a police officer failed to develop a reasonable suspicion of other criminal activity before unreasonably prolonging a traffic stop.

Johnson County Sheriff Office Deputy Cody O’Hare was responding ...

Spirited (But Problematic?) Advocacy for Bernie Madoff to Receive Compassionate Relief

by Professor Douglas A. Berman, Sentencing Law and Policy blog (sentencing.typepad.com)

The New York Times has this notable new opinion piece authored by headlined "Let Bernie Madoff, and Many More, Out of Prison: Compassionate release has to apply to unsympathetic prisoners, if we mean what we say about ending mass incarceration."  I think the spirit of this piece is quite sound, but I am not entirely sold on all of its particulars.  Here are excerpts (with a few lines emphasized for comments to follow):

“Recently, Mr. Madoff re-entered the news, as he filed for compassionate release from federal prison. He is entering the final stages of kidney disease and has less than 18 months to live. The Bureau of Prisons denied his petition, as it does to 94 percent of those filed by incarcerated people. But the reforms provided in the First Step Act of 2018 allow him to file an appeal with the sentencing court.

Even some who claim to detest the ravages of mass incarceration argue that Mr. Madoff should be denied compassionate release. He is as close to the financial equivalent of a serial killer as one might encounter. Still, there is a good ...

Connecticut Supreme Court Clarifies Standard of Review for Confrontation Clause Claims; Reverses and Remands for a New Trial

by Douglas Ankney

The Supreme Court of Connecticut clarified the standard of review for claimed violations of the Sixth Amendment’s Confrontation Clause and reversed the judgment of the Appellate Court affirming the convictions of Horvil F. Lebrick.

Lebrick was charged with attempted robbery and felony murder, among other things, ...

Sixth Circuit Adopts ‘Naked Eye Test’ for Altered Firearm Serial Number Enhancement

by Dale Chappell

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit adopted a “naked eye test” in holding that a firearm’s serial number is not “altered or obliterated” for a sentencing enhancement if a person must “squint” to view the number, but it’s still readable, overturning a district court’s ...

Seventh Circuit Vacates Guilty Pleas Based on Misinformation of Mandatory Minimum

by David M. Reutter

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit vacated the sentences imposed via plea agreements of two defendants due to errors regarding the mandatory minimum sentences they would have faced. The Court held that their prior state convictions were not prior drug convictions under federal ...

More Trainings Are Not the Answer to Police Violence Against Disabled People

by , reprinted from Truthout

The Chicago Police Department (CPD) recently announced it would be hiring an Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliance officer. The ADA compliance officer will be brought on to monitor CPD’s accordance with federally mandated ADA regulations, implement new policies for CPD and provide ...

Utah District Court Finds First Step Act Gives Court Authority to Reduce Stacked 55-Year § 924(c) Sentence

by Chad Marks

Kepa Maumau was a 20 year old young man when he was arrested and charged with multiple 924(c) offenses. He was eventually sentenced to a total of 55 years in prison. That sentence was driven by the mandatory minimums required under 18 U.S.C. § 924(c).

After ...

Maine Supreme Court Declares Blood Draw Statute Unconstitutional, Overruling Cormier

by Douglas Ankney

The Supreme Court of Maine declared 29-A M.R.S. §§ 2522(2) and 2522(3) facially unconstitutional, overruling State v. Cormier, 928 A.2d 753 (Me. 2007).

Randall J. Weddle was pinned inside the cab of his tractor-trailer as the result of an accident that involved five vehicles. ...

Kansas Supreme Court: State Failed to Prove Building Was a Dwelling

by Douglas Ankney

In a case of first impression for the Supreme Court of Kansas, the Court affirmed the decision of the Court of Appeals that had reversed the burglary conviction of Charity Downing because the State failed to prove the building allegedly burgled was a “dwelling” as defined by ...

Law Review Article Zeros in on Roadblocks to Plea Bargain Fairness and Effectiveness

by David M. Reutter

More light must be shed on the plea-bargaining process, concludes a law review article published by Texas A&M University School of Law. 

Transparent data is needed to “promote negotiation effectiveness, competence in representation, and procedural justice.”

The article was written by Andrea Kupfer Schneider, law ...

New York’s SARA Requirements Force Sex-Offenders into Homelessness Then Hold Them in Prison Due to Their Homelessness

by Kevin Bliss

Allison Frankel of the Center for Appellate Litigation wrote an article in the Yale Law Journal discussing New York’s archaic sex-offender housing requirement laws and their inherent problems. She touched on the flawed metrics used to substantiate fear-based reactions to sexual assault, the varied potential violations of ...

Expert’s Burn-Pattern Conclusions Flawed

by David M. Reutter

The admission of expert opinion based on science is powerful evidence that is supposed to assist the jury in determining the truth surrounding an event. When a flawed opinion comes into play, the scales of justice become tilted.

Those scales were titled when Dr. Matthew Cox ...

Life Sentence for Murder Overturned by New DNA Technology

by Michael Fortino, Ph.D.

After nearly 10 years behind bars, Lydell Grant, now 42, is on his way to being exonerated after the highest criminal appellate court in Texas vacated his conviction following its review of revised DNA evidence analyzed through newly developed proprietary software known as “TrueAllele.” 

“I ...

Seventh Circuit Holds Brain Injury May Allow Equitable Tolling to File Late Habeas Petition

by Dale Chappell

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit held on February 12, 2020, that a brain injury resulting from a stroke may be an “extraordinary circumstance” that could allow “equitable tolling” of the one-year clock for filing a petition for habeas corpus.

DeWayne Perry filed a ...

Michigan Supreme Court: Defendant Entitled to Self-defense Jury Instruction

by David M. Reutter

The Supreme Court of Michigan held a trial court erred in denying a defendant’s request for a self-defense instruction on the basis that a defendant who claims another person committed the homicide is not entitled to a self-defense instruction. It also held it was improper ...

Ninth Circuit Orders Habeas Relief After California Concedes Conviction Should Be Overturned Due to Defense Counsel’s ‘Virulent Racism’

by Douglas Ankney

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit reversed the district court’s denial of Ezzard Charles Ellis’ petition for a writ of habeas corpus and remanded with instructions to issue a conditional writ after California conceded that Ellis’ conviction should be overturned due to his attorney’s ...

Georgia Supreme Court Overrules 50 Years of Jurisprudence and Announces Courts Are to Consider Cumulative Prejudice of Trial Court and Counsel Errors

by Douglas Ankney

On February 10, 2020, the Supreme Court of Georgia unanimously ruled that reviewing courts are to consider the cumulative effect of trial court and counsel errors, overturning 50 years of prior jurisprudence.

At Antiwan Lane’s murder trial, Kevin Stallworth testified that Lane hired him to kill Hector ...

Third Circuit: Confrontation Clause Violated When Jury Is Told ‘Other Guy’ Referenced in Non-Testifying Codefendant’s Statement Is the Defendant

by Douglas Ankney

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit ruled that Arthur Johnson’s right to confront his accusers was violated when his non-testifying codefendant’s statement identifying “the other guy” as the shooter was read to the jury, and the jury was told that “the other guy” referenced ...

Louisiana Supreme Court: When an Identified Attorney Seeks to Assist a Person in Custody and Police Fail to Inform the Person, Inculpatory Statements Must Be Suppressed

by Douglas Ankney

The Supreme Court of Louisiana reaffirmed that the law of Louisiana requires law enforcement to inform a person in custody whenever an identified attorney is seeking an opportunity to assist the person. If the police fail to inform the person in custody of the attorney, any ...

D.C. Circuit: 18 U.S.C. § 1114 Does Not Apply Overseas But § 924(c) Does

by Douglas Ankney

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit held that 18 U.S.C. § 1114 does not apply to territories outside the United States. However, the Court ruled that 18 U.S.C. § 924(c) does apply extraterritorially in specific circumstances.

While in Mexico, Jose Emanuel Garcia Sota and ...

Maryland Court of Appeals Announces, When Requested, Trial Courts Must Ask During Voir Dire Whether Jurors Will Follow Court’s Instructions on Presumption of Innocence, Burden of Proof, and Right Not to Testify

by Douglas Ankney

On January 24, 2020, the Court of Appeals of Maryland announced that henceforth trial courts, when requested, must ask potential jurors during voir dire if any of them are unwilling or unable to follow the court’s instructions on the presumption of innocence, the burden of proof, and ...

Sixth Circuit: Ohio’s Stringent Post-Conviction Filing Deadline Opens Window for Federal Review Under Trevino

by Anthony Accurso

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit held that Ohio’s strict application of its post-conviction challenge deadline deprived a defendant of meaningful review of his ineffective assistance of counsel claim. 

Vincent White was convicted in an Ohio court of several violent crimes, including six ...

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 ...

Fact or Fiction, Television Crime Shows Ignore Racism and Reality

by Michael Fortino, Ph.D.

Both fictional and non-fictional depictions of crime and justice abound on television, film, and throughout the media, yet nearly all exist in an alternate reality ignoring racism and balance. Americans have developed a boundless appetite for such fare in our society, yet they are being fed ...

Third Circuit Holds ‘Bare’ Arrest Record Insufficient to Support Higher Sentence

by Dale Chappell

In a case that reiterated the limits a federal sentencing judge may consider at sentencing, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit held that when a sentencing judge relies on “bare” arrest records in a defendant’s criminal history to justify imposing a higher sentence, it ...

Sex Offender Registries Grounded in False Notions

by Anthony Accurso

Nigeria is implementing a U.S.-style public registry for sex offenders. “Campaigners have hailed the launch of Nigeria’s first sex-offender registry as a vital step toward tackling reported cases of sexual abuse, which are rising across the county,” reports The Guardian. Despite a dearth of statistics, ...

Pennsylvania Supreme Court Holds Retention of Defendant’s ID Card Constitutes ‘Seizure’ for Fourth Amendment Purposes

by Dale Chappell

The Supreme Court of Pennsylvania held on January 22, 2020, that the retention of a person’s identification card by law enforcement constituted a “seizure” under the U.S. Constitution, triggering the protections of the Fourth Amendment’s prohibition on unreasonable seizures.

The case came before the Court after Harold ...

Kansas Supreme Court: Claim of Illegal Sentence Raised for First Time on Appeal Entitled to Merits Review

by Michael Berk

The Supreme Court of Kansas held that a court of appeals must consider a claim that a criminal defendant’s sentence is illegal even when raised for the first time in the appellate court.

In 1995, Billy Sartin was convicted of several crimes in Kansas. His sentence was ...

Reform-Minded Prosecutors Use Charging Discretion to Benefit Communities

by Anthony Accurso 

Now that the nation is evolving from “tough on crime” to “smart on crime” tactics, reform-minded prosecutors are making big changes by exercising their discretion on how and when to prosecute low-level offenders. 

At the highest levels of government, politicians in both parties have been ...

Nevada Supreme Court: Duress Defense May be Used for Non-Death Penalty Charges, Even When Connected to Charges Punishable by Death

by Dale Chappell

The Supreme Court of Nevada held on December 26, 2019, that the defense of duress — as codified in NRS 194.010(8) but is not available in connection with any crime that’s punishable by death — can be asserted as a defense to a crime that is ...

New Orleans Sheriff’s Office Tracked Cellphones Absent Warrants

by Chad Marks

Securus Technologies, one of the leading providers of phone-messaging services for correctional facilities, reportedly captured thousands of coordinates showing cellphone locations for clients absent a warrant. Through Securus, both Jefferson and Orleans Parish sheriff’s offices were able to capture data used for criminal investigations, The Appeal reports. ...

Sex Offenders Go to W.A.R.

by Ed Lyon 

Seventy-two-year-old grandmother Vicki Henry has a mission in life. Because of what she perceives as injustices affecting her son, who is serving a 25-year sentence on child pornography convictions, she aims to do away with all public sex-offender registries. She heads a small group of like-minded ...

California Court of Appeal: Hunch That Proves Correct Is Not Reasonable Suspicion for Traffic Stop

by Douglas Ankney

Division Two of the Fourth Appellate District for the California Court of Appeal ruled that an officer must have reasonable suspicion based on articulable facts to initiate a traffic stop, and a hunch, even when it proves correct, is insufficient.

After a jury convicted Blanca ...

Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court: Police Must Inform Arrested Driver That Passenger Can Assume Custody of Vehicle if Lawful and Practical as Alternative to Impoundment

by Douglas Ankney

The Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts ruled that, where officers are aware that a passenger could lawfully assume control of a vehicle, it is improper to impound the vehicle upon the arrest of the driver without first offering the option to the driver.

Two Boston police officers ...

Ohio Supreme Court: Ineffective Assistance of Counsel Analysis Applies to Failure to Seek Waiver of Court Costs

by David M. Reutter

The Supreme Court of Ohio held that when trial counsel fails to request a waiver of costs on behalf of a defendant who has previously been found indigent, the reviewing court must make a prejudice determination under the ineffective assistance of counsel analysis.

The Court’s decision ...

California Supreme Court: Positioning Computer Monitor to Obstruct Defendant’s View of Complaining Witness Violates Confrontation Clause

by Douglas Ankney

The Supreme Court of California ruled that repositioning a computer monitor so that it blocked the defendant’s view of the witness testifying against him violated the Confrontation Clause.

Jason Arron Arredondo was tried by a jury on several sexual offense charges against F.R., Ar.R, An.R, and M.C. ...

New Lie Detectors Are On the Way, But Are They Better Than the Old One?

by Anthony Accurso 

New “lie detectors” are being marketed as viable replacements for the aging, debunked polygraph and are being tested in environments where the polygraph never penetrated. But questions remain whether such devices are any improvement on the old one. 

Many people are familiar with the classic ...

Jury Nullification as a Cure for Prosecutorial Overreach

by Anthony Accurso

An article published by ProsecutorialAccountability.com seeks to educate the public about the history of jury nullification and how reversing statutes and case law that prevent juries from knowing a defendant’s possible sentence could help curb prosecutorial overreach. 

Jury nullification is the term applied when a jury ...

Louisiana Supreme Court: State Abused Charging Authority by Dismissing and Reinstituting Charges to Circumvent Adverse Court Ruling

by Anthony Accurso 

The Supreme Court of Louisiana held that the district attorney’s office abused its charging authority when it dismissed, then immediately refiled, charges against a defendant to circumvent the trial court’s decision to exclude the State’s expert witness. 

In December 2016, Fred Reimonenq was indicted ...

NYC Drug Prosecutor Bucks Trend of Releasing List of Cops with Credibility Issues

by Douglas Ankney

Through the Freedom of Information Law, communications, memos, and correspondence were obtained that reveal the Office of the Special Narcotics Prosecutor’s (“OSNP”) database has information flagging police officers with potential credibility issues.

The database purportedly contains judges’ assessments of officers’ testimony, NYPD disciplinary records, and notes ...

Racial Disparity at Sentencing on the Rise

by Anthony Accurso 

A new Council on Criminal Justice report shows disturbing trends in worsening sentencing disparities for black and Latinx people, even as the U.S. softens its stance on non-violent and drug crimes, The Appeal reports.

The report aggregated data from the years 2000 and 2016 and compared ...

Colorado Supreme Court Announces Implied Bias the Same as Actual Juror Bias, Requiring Automatic Reversal

by Anthony Accurso 

The Colorado Supreme Court announced a rule, which holds that when a defendant raises a for-cause challenge to an impliedly biased juror under 16-10-103(1), C.R.S., a structural error arises when that juror serves on the jury. The Court instructed that “a juror who is presumed by ...

Rhode Island Supreme Court Reverses Conviction Due to Prosecutor’s Remarks and Jury Consideration of Inadmissible Evidence

by Douglas Ankney

The Supreme Court of Rhode Island vacated the first-degree child molestation sexual assault conviction against Henry G. Bozzo due to a remark made by the prosecutor during closing argument together with the trial court’s abuse of discretion in admitting evidence of prior bad acts.

Seven-year-old Veronica told ...

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 ...

New York to Seal Convictions for Small Amounts of Marijuana

The state of New York is abuzz about a new law that eases penalties for low-level marijuana possession and expunges thousands of low-level cannabis convictions. The new law gives fines instead of jail time of up to 90 days for those carrying small amounts of pot in public. 

“The ...

Nevada Supreme Court: 26-Month Delay Between Charges and Arrest Constitutes Speedy Trial Violation

by Anthony Accurso 

The Supreme Court of Nevada held that a district court did not abuse its discretion after the State’s “gross negligence” caused a 26-month delay between charges filed and arrest.

Rigoberto Inzunza was living with 9-year-old E.J.’s mother in Las Vegas in 2008. During this time, Inzunza ...

New Jersey Tightens Reins on Civil Asset Forfeiture

by Douglas Ankney

In following a trend among the states, New Jersey has passed legislation designed to rein in the abuse of civil asset forfeiture.

On January 13, 2020, the Democratic-controlled Senate passed a bill requiring a criminal conviction in certain cases before police and prosecutors may take private ...

U.S. District Judge Blows Open ATF Fake Stash-House Stings, Wants to Know Why They Only Target Minorities

by Dale Chappell

“Psst ... Wanna make some easy money? I got this drug dealer who owes me big time. You help me rob him, and I’ll split it all with you — drugs, money, everything. You in? Good. Meet me at the High School at 10. Oh, and bring ...

Cops Killed Nearly 13 Times More People Than Mass Shooters

by Bill Barton

Mass shootings in the U.S. “have claimed the lives of 339 people since 2015,” which, while certainly egregious, is a mere drop in the bucket compared to the 4,355 citizens killed by police during the same timeframe, according to thefreethoughtproject.com.

There is no question that some ...

News in Brief

Alabama: Blake Duke, a former Mobile police officer of the month, was placed on desk duty after video taken by a bystander and posted online showed him choking a handcuffed Howard Green Jr. and slamming him into a squad car during an arrest, thefreethoughtproject.com and WWMT.com reported in February ...

 

 

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