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Constitutional Rights

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“Another Nuts-and-Bolts Primer on Batson Challenges”

Batson v. Kentucky is again front and center in the United States Supreme Court. On May 26, 2015 the Court granted certiorari in Foster v. Chatman, (No. 14-8349, 2015 Term). The case is currently set for argument on November 2, 2015. In Foster, Georgia prosecutors struck all four African-American prospective jurors from the death penalty [...]

“Ignorance of the Law is Now an Excuse”

Here's my take on another inauspicious decision by the United States Supreme Court. It's Heien v. North Carolina, 574 U.S. __, 135 S.Ct. 530, 190 L.Ed.2d 475 (2014). If you've been under a rock recently and missed the action, the upshot of the case is police officers can now rely upon a reasonable mistake of [...]

By | February 12th, 2015|"Off The Back", Criminal Law Developments|Comments Off on “Ignorance of the Law is Now an Excuse”

“Who Should Polygraph Our Clients?”

For young criminal defense attorneys learning the ropes, "who should polygraph my client" is a familiar question. There are limited exceptions to this rule but, generally, defense attorneys should not permit their client to submit to a polygraph examination administered by the police. The best reason is results of the police administered polygraph, including pre- [...]

By | October 2nd, 2014|"Off The Back", Police Encounters|Comments Off on “Who Should Polygraph Our Clients?”
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