Category Archives: Criminal Law

Research Suggests “In Court, Your Face Could Determine Your Fate”

NPR picks up on recent research about the relationship between facial appearance and sentencing. (Full study here.) Individuals who are deemed to have untrustworthy faces are significantly more likely to be on death row compared with other people convicted of … Continue reading

Posted in Criminal Law, Public Defender, Research and Evalation | 5 Comments

DOJ ATJ Initiative Director Lisa Foster Keynotes at Equal Justice Conference

As Department of Justice Access to to Justice Director Foster pointed out at her keynote at the Equal Justice Conference, yesterday (see below for full text), there have been sixteen of these Conferences.  What she did not point out was … Continue reading

Posted in Court Fees and Costs, Criminal Law, Dept. of Justice, Funding, Research and Evalation, Self-Help Services, Systematic Change | Comments Off on DOJ ATJ Initiative Director Lisa Foster Keynotes at Equal Justice Conference

Univ of DC Law School Encourages Student Engagement with Baltimore Protests and “Legal Observer and Other Assistance” / “Legal Support”

Here, as reported by the Washington Post, is the letter from the Dean to the student body.  For those who worry about how this is organized, I bold the relevant paragraph and some other text, which includes the carefully limited … Continue reading

Posted in Criminal Law, Law Schools | Comments Off on Univ of DC Law School Encourages Student Engagement with Baltimore Protests and “Legal Observer and Other Assistance” / “Legal Support”

Broader Lessons From NYT Highlighted Brennan Center Book Featuring Presidential Candidates (and others) on Criminal Justice Reform

The Times rightly highlights the astonishing fact of how many of the presidential candidates, regardless of party, agree on the need for often similar reforms of the criminal justice system, in this new book released today by the Brennan Center.  … Continue reading

Posted in Access to Justice Generally, Criminal Law, Funding | Comments Off on Broader Lessons From NYT Highlighted Brennan Center Book Featuring Presidential Candidates (and others) on Criminal Justice Reform

Updated Post with Recent Stats: Will NYC Cops Prove that Most Arrests — and Indeed Most Cops — are unnecessary? Taking Advantage of a Natural Experiment

More careful reading of the NYT leads me to update the post of a few minutes ago to include recent bolded police stats that would appear to support the contrarian hypothesis below. The news that arrests in NYC have fallen … Continue reading

Posted in Criminal Law, Policing | 1 Comment

Will NYC Cops Prove that Most Arrests — and Indeed Most Cops — are unnecessary? Taking Advantage of a Natural Experiment

An updated version of this post is here.  

Posted in Criminal Law, Policing | Comments Off on Will NYC Cops Prove that Most Arrests — and Indeed Most Cops — are unnecessary? Taking Advantage of a Natural Experiment

What Might a National Expungement Strategy Look Like?

There is now pretty wide bi-partisan and multi-regional agreement that we have to make the re-entry of the convicted into society much easier, and that expunging prior criminal records will be an important part of this initiative. While lots of … Continue reading

Posted in Access to Justice Boards, Criminal Law, Defender Programs, Dept. of Justice, expungement, Legal Aid, LEP | Comments Off on What Might a National Expungement Strategy Look Like?

If Pilots Have to Pass Simulator Tests, Why Not Cops

There are now probably more people killed by police shootings than die in air crashes each year, and we insist that pilots get all kinds of simulator tests before they get to fly what can be killing machines.  Why not … Continue reading

Posted in Criminal Law | 2 Comments

NY Quality of Counsel Settlment May be Template for National Reform

This blog has been following the New York quality of defense counsel case.  Last week, perhaps in part because of the filing of a statement of interest by US DOJ, the parties, just before trial, have come to a proposed … Continue reading

Posted in Access to Counsel, Criminal Law, Defender Programs, Dept. of Justice | 1 Comment

What Does it Mean that DOJ Has Filed a Statement of Interest in NY Right to Quality Counsel Case?

As folks should know by now, the US DOJ has filed a “Statement of Interest” in the ongoing New York State case about the quality of indigent defense services. While taking no formal position on the merits of the case, … Continue reading

Posted in Access to Justice Generally, Criminal Law, Dept. of Justice, Public Defender | Comments Off on What Does it Mean that DOJ Has Filed a Statement of Interest in NY Right to Quality Counsel Case?

That Deborah Leff is to Run the Pardon Office and The Expanded Clemency Program Highlights Importance of ATJ in Federal Government

The DOJ plan to expand access to clemency to “nonviolent felons who have served at least 10 years in prison and who would have received significantly lower prison terms if convicted under today’s more lenient sentencing laws” as the Times … Continue reading

Posted in Criminal Law, Dept. of Justice, White House | Comments Off on That Deborah Leff is to Run the Pardon Office and The Expanded Clemency Program Highlights Importance of ATJ in Federal Government

National Coalition on Civil Right to Counsel Listing of Gideon Events

The National Counsel on Civil Right to Counsel has put up a nice website on the events organized around the Gideon anniversary. Upcoming events include those in San Fransciso, DC, Durham NC, and Boston (Harvard – I will be speaking). … Continue reading

Posted in Access to Counsel, Criminal Law, Defender Programs | Comments Off on National Coalition on Civil Right to Counsel Listing of Gideon Events

Memories of a Mentor, and Honoring a Prosecutor

On the 50th anniversary of Gideon v. Wainright, I keep thinking about one of my mentors, Brownlow (Browny) Speer, who died a few weeks ago. Browny was Chief Appellate Attorney of first the Massachusetts Defenders Committee, and then its successor, … Continue reading

Posted in Access to Justice Generally, Criminal Law, Legal Ethics, Public Defender, Vocation | Comments Off on Memories of a Mentor, and Honoring a Prosecutor

Thoughts After the Gideon Fifty Year Anniversay Gathering at DOJ

I was privileged to be invited to be at the gathering yesterday at the Dept of Justice to mark the 50th anniversay of Gideon v. Wainright.  The gathering was organized by the Access to Justice Initiative of DOJ.  Among those … Continue reading

Posted in Access to Justice Generally, Criminal Law, Defender Programs, Dept. of Justice, Supreme Court | Comments Off on Thoughts After the Gideon Fifty Year Anniversay Gathering at DOJ

Will Hornsby Reports on Year’s Key Events

Each year, Will Hornsby, as staffer for the ABA Standing Committee on the Delivery of Legal Services, puts out a summary of key events.  It is all worth a read, but particularly useful is this summary of rule and ethics … Continue reading

Posted in Criminal Law, Legal Ethics, Unbundling | Tagged | 3 Comments