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Mitigating Collateral Consequences

What Are Collateral Consequences Collateral consequences are sometimes referred to as unintended consequences. These are the consequences a person receives from a conviction that are not part of their sentence. Senior District Judge Fredrick Block¬† stated there are over 50,000 statutes and regulations across the country that impose penalties, disabilities, or disadvantages.[1] Can Collateral Consequences […]

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Mass Incarceration: A Lack of Substantive Rights

MASS INCARCERATION AND THE LACK OF SUBSTANTIVE¬†RIGHTS People are always saying how we have a problem with mass incarceration, and that we need more rights. However the usual response to this is argument is we have more rights then virtually any other nation on earth. It is true that defendants do have a lot of […]

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Preserving The Issue For Appeal In A Criminal Case

WHAT IS PRESERVING THE ISSUE In a criminal case a defendant has the right to an appeal. This means the defendant has a right to have a higher court review his/her case for error. There are two types of error the appellate court will look at: 1) fundamental/plain error; and 2) preserved error. Fundamental/plain error […]

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The Supreme Court & Trump

Will the Supreme Court Treat Trump as President The policies during the Trump administration are some of the most controversial policies this country has seen in a long time. However many of his policies are similar to past presidents. Many of these policies will also go before the United States Supreme Court. The question they […]

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Advocating Early

THE ADVANTAGE OF ADVOCATING EARLY Once people make up their mind it is extremely hard to change it. Studies have shown that upwards of 80% of jurors make up their mind after opening statements. Similarly, appellate judges routinely admit that they rarely change their minds after oral arguments. Therefore, whoever can persuade the judge/jury first […]

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The Anchor Effect at Sentencing

The anchor effect occurs when someone uses a reference (often arbitrary) to gage someone opinion on something. And while the person might not agree with the anchor, research shows these anchors clearly influences peoples opinions. The power anchors have in influencing people’s opinions was first brought to my attention by Daniel Kahneman in his book […]

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Misidentification & Wrongful Convictions According to the Innocence Project misidentification is the leading cause of wrongful convictions. There have been claims that misidentifcation accounts for 60% of the wrongful convictions. Other claims say misidentification accounts for up to 75% of the wrongful conviction. These numbers are probably so high because in many of the serious […]

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The Einstein Theory of Advocacy

The Genius Is In The Simplicity Probably one of the most overlooked skill in advocacy is the value of simplicity. This is especially true of new lawyers. Many new lawyers come out of law school looking for every legal argument they can make, which is not a bad idea. However some of these legal arguments […]

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Attorney General Sessions Demands Max Sentences

During the years of Attorney General John Ashcroft the Department of Justice (DOJ) had a policy to charge defendants with the highest possible charges. They took a tough on crime approach to lock up criminal, and deter crime. However this policy did very little to deter crime, and most criminal charges were minor charges. However […]

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Eye Witness Identification Law

For years criminal defense attorneys, and the innocence project have been advocating that photo lineups should be administered by someone who does not know who the suspect is. This is because by knowing who the suspect is law enforcement officers might suggest which person is the suspect, even if it is not intentional. On June […]

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