A federal judge in New York did an interview with the New York Daily News in which he said that tens of thousands of innocent people have pleaded guilty to crimes they didn’t commit because the criminal justice system gives prosecutors enormous power to coerce such pleas.
Category Archive: Criminal Justice
May 29 2014
May 25 2014
In a huge and very important policy change, the Department of Justice has announced that all federal law enforcement agencies will now record their interrogations of suspects. This is a move that is crucial to making our criminal justice system more just and fair.
May 01 2014
There has long been a debate over just how high a percentage of convicted criminals, especially those on death row, are wrongfully convicted. It’s very difficult to properly measure, of course. But a new study that applies a new methodology concludes that at least 4% of those put to death are innocent.
Apr 29 2014
Here’s a bit of good news. Three major investment funds have announced that they are divesting their holdings — about $60 million — from the two largest private prison companies in the country, GEO Group and Corrections Corporation of America.
Apr 27 2014
While Dinesh D’Souza makes the rounds of the right wing media spinning a tale of persecution, the New York Times reports that the government has pretty much definitive proof that he knew that he was breaking the law when he paid others to make campaign contributions to a Senate candidate in 2012. And it also …
Apr 21 2014
For several years I had the privilege of being the editor for reporter Todd Heywood with the Michigan Messenger. He’s now broken a potentially huge story about Frazier Glenn Miller, the former KKK leader who allegedly killed three people at a pair of Jewish centers in Kansas last weekend. Turns out he may have played …
Apr 15 2014
In an age where it has become absolutely routine to have video evidence that shows police officers to be lying in their reports and testimony, the Indiana Supreme Court is coming down firmly on the side of “who are you gonna believe, the cop or your lying eyes?”
Apr 10 2014
Here’s an entirely unsurprising but appalling story. LAPD officers that are assigned to inner city neighborhoods have been disabling the antennae that allow their conversations to be monitored by their superiors and to be recorded for future use in tracking their actions.
Apr 04 2014
Christopher Smith is a white law professor with a black son who goes to Harvard. When his son was doing an internship on Wall Street for a summer he was stopped repeatedly by the police as part of their Stop and Frisk program. His father writes a powerful essay about it.
Apr 03 2014
Sheriff Chip Harding of Albemarle County, Virginia wants the state to set up an innocence commission to help prevent wrongful convictions. If established, it would be the second one that I’m aware of, the first being in Dallas, Texas, where District Attorney Craig Watkins set it up. And what Harding wrote to his fellow law …
Apr 01 2014
The police in Durham, North Carolina have been paying confidential informants not only for their testimony but giving them an extra bonus payment if the person they testify against is convicted. This is a rather blatant violation of the rules under Supreme Court precedent.
Apr 01 2014
In a situation reminiscent of the situation here in Michigan with the Hutaree militia (the subject of my second appearance on the Rachel Maddow show), a Texas man has been arrested by the FBI for an alleged plot to start a new revolutionary war with a bombing campaign.
Mar 30 2014
Hey, remember all that Republican fury over the idea that terrorists could be tried in civilian courts and convicted without the world coming to an end and dogs and cats living together? Turns out, not so much. Osama Bin Laden’s son-in-law was convicted in civilian court in New York, just like hundreds of others have …
Mar 26 2014
Glenn Reynolds, law professor and the infamous Instapundit, has a good op-ed in USA Today wherein he declares, correctly, that our criminal justice system is a crime in and of itself. He points out how prosecutors vastly overcharge to force plea bargains:
Mar 20 2014
I’ve written many times about the thousands of rape kits that were found in a Detroit police crime lab, kits that had never been analyzed at all. Some progress is being made on getting through that backlog and it is producing important results, identifying more than 100 rapists.