Browsing All Posts filed under »Courts«

Yes! SCOTUS Lets Maryland Return to Arrestee DNA Testing

August 2, 2012 by

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Apparently, the Supreme Court has some sense when it comes to DNA testing. Maybe. We hope. Because, no foolin’, super serial you guys, DNA is the future of criminal justice. We can absolutely transform our entire criminal justice system with some policy changes on DNA. Chief Justice Roberts issued an opinion on Monday that effectively […]

Full Faith and Credit: Orders of Protection Across State Lines

June 27, 2012 by

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Many crime victims, especially those who have been abused, stalked, or sexually assaulted, seek restraining orders. These orders are sometimes difficult to obtain, but may be easier to get than, say, a criminal conviction. But what happens when the victim crosses state lines? Does the order still hold up? In most cases, yes. If that […]

4 Reasons Victims Are Testifying in the Sandusky Case

June 14, 2012 by

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The news accounts of victim testimony in the Sandusky case are graphic and upsetting. Reports of victims sobbing and breaking down on the stand beg the question: why are victims being required to testify? Here are four reasons that may provide some explanation. They have to. The right to face one’s accuser is a fundamental […]

Part III: Marissa Alexander Isn’t Really About Stand Your Ground

June 1, 2012 by

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Marissa Alexander is just another case file that gets shoved in the heap of unintended consequences. She thought she was innocent, she thought it worth the fight. In the end, it wasn't. Like all gamblers, the players in the criminal justice system have to remember that the house always wins.

Part II: Marissa Alexander Isn’t Really About Stand Your Ground

May 30, 2012 by

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Marissa Alexander’s case is not so much about Florida’s stand your ground law as it is about the connections between interrelated facets of her case including gender, domestic violence, and mandatory minimums. In Part I of this series, we explored the role of gender. Today’s post looks at the double standards applied to evaluating violence […]

4 Reasons A Lot of Forensic Science is Total Crap

May 17, 2012 by

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Alright, I admit, that headline is a bit sensational. The science itself isn’t all bad, it’s how it gets used and the failure of the criminal justice system to be sensible about science that leads to science being misused. So what’s gone wrong? Stated conclusions far exceed the reasonable limits of the science. If you […]

Maryland’s Court of Appeals DNA Collection Ruling = [Face-palm]

May 15, 2012 by

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On April 24th, the Maryland Court of Appeals held that the Maryland DNA Collection Act, which authorizes the collection of DNA from individuals charged with violent crimes or burglaries, violates the Fourth Amendment. The ruling overturned the conviction of Alonzo Jay King, Jr. for a 2003 rape based on a DNA sample taken upon his […]