Public defenders rely on in-person, confidential meetings with clients. They say COVID-19 makes their jobs nearly impossible.
Quattrone CenterIs it possible for someone currently incarcerated pre-trial to give a voluntary plea bargain during this pandemic, when we know that jails harbor the disease and treatment levels are low?
The Harris County District Attorney’s Office was ordered to pay a rare monetary sanction after a judge found that prosecutors acted in bad faith when they took eight months to turn over evidence that could have helped the defense in a misdemeanor...
Quattrone CenterHouston judge levies $$$ sanctions for Houston DA who fails to turn over relevant police disciplinary information in time, then asks for a protective order as a condition of disclosure. Potentially a tool for prosecutorial accountability going forward.
Travis County is in the home stretch in its yearslong effort to establish a public defender office for low-income adult defendants. The Texas Indigent
Quattrone CenterAustin, TX, formerly the largest city in the US w/o a public defender, gets one thanks in part to our former @pennlaw fellow Amanda Woog. The new office should improve the quality of defense representation for ~10,000 indigent defendants/year.
Harris County approved a historic settlement Tuesday fixing a bail system a federal judge found discriminatory against indigent misdemeanor defendants who sued over a two-tiered system that jailed people prior to trial if they couldn’t pay up front...
Quattrone CenterCongratulations to @rodneyellis and all the citizens of Harris County for changing a broken and counterproductive cash bail system.
The case of the Central Park Five shows how police interrogation methods put the innocent in prison—and let the guilty walk free.
Quattrone CenterWelcome to our newest member of the team, Marissa Bluestein, former ED of the PA Innocence Project! She will be helping us deal with false confessions - as she is quoted in this article!
After the First Step Act: What’s Next in Criminal Justice Reform. Online registration by Cvent
Quattrone CenterOur 2019 Spring Symposium, "After the First Step: What's Next in Criminal Justice Reform," Hear nat'l thought leaders discuss today's most pressing reform topics. Wed/Thurs May 8-9 @PennLaw 3501 Sansom St, Philadelphia. CLE credits available.
Given that all attorneys (except prosecutors) litigate effectively every day with the certainty that if they violate ethical principles or engage in improper conduct they will be subject to monetary and disciplinary penalties, we should continue to...
Quattrone CenterThe drumbeat is rising to end absolute prosecutorial immunity at both federal and state levels. There is no reason why prosecutors need absolute immunity, and many reasons why qualified immunity would be not just sufficient, but beneficial to the system.
A Duval County circuit judge on Thursday ruled that an uncle and nephew should be set free after sitting in prison for more than four decades for a murder
Quattrone CenterJacksonville CIU - the 1st in FL - has its 1st exoneration! Because FL post-conviction law is so strict, the prosecutors even had to go find an attorney for these wrongfully convicted men to file the motion seeking vacation of the sentence.
Hundreds have been released under the new policy, a staffer for DA Larry Krasner said. “Seeing people, having hearings, really does make a difference.”
Quattrone CenterPhiladelphia reduces its jail population with new rule - allow prisoners detained for probation violations to explain themselves, then deciding what to do. Seems pretty straightforward, doesn’t it?
The dismissals on Monday of 18 convictions linked to the former Chicago police Sgt. Ronald Watts bring to 42 the number of defendants who have had their cases vacated.
Quattrone CenterA key part of restoring public trust is admitting when mistakes are made. We tip our hat to our Advisory Board member @SAKimFoxx for not just dropping charges for 18 wrongfully convicted men in Chicago, but personally apologizing to the men one by one.
Wendell Lindsey is serving life in a Texas prison, but his conviction relied on dubious drowning science and a key witness with secrets of her own.
Quattrone CenterWill the science of drowning be like arson or shaken baby, where science evolves and we see lots of inaccurate convictions? TX uses its Junk Science Law to look at a medical examiner who wasn’t an expert in drowning, but testified like one.