The City of Pittsburgh made national news by passing gun control legislation that's all but certain to trigger lawsuits under a state law that bars municipalities from regulating firearm ownership locally. Will it hold up in court?Read More
Two very different views on how and when to prosecute financial fraudsters and corporate criminals: Former U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara says plausible deniability makes it all but impossible to go after high-level executives like those who caused the 2008 housing collapse and ensuing crises. Others, like journalist Jesse Eisinger and Bharara’s own SDNY predecessor (one James Comey), say effective deterrence means taking on tough cases even when there’s a risk of losing.Read More
Reaction was swift and intense when news broke that special counsel Robert Mueller had concluded his investigation into alleged Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. While Donald Trump takes a victory lap, both his opponents and his supporters are leaping to conclusions based on a four-page summary issued by AG William Barr. But until Mueller's full report is released, there's simply not enough information to properly characterize the investigation's outcome.Read More
As discussed recently on Criminal Injustice, California may soon revisit the "reasonable objective officer" standard for use of force by police. The story caught the attention of NPR's Martin Kaste, who called Dave up to ask how that would work. Their conversation turned into a March 12 story on All Things Considered. Hear their full, unedited interview here.Read More
Michael Rosfeld, the former East Pittsburgh police officer seen on video shooting 17-year-old Antwon Rose in the back as he runs away, has been found not guilty of the unarmed teen's murder. While Friday's verdict angered many and surprised some, it's only the latest in a long string of cases demonstrating the near-impossibility, under current statute and case law, of successfully prosecuting police officers for homicide.
Far from the most sordid detail of the R. Kelly case, but pretty messed up: Kelly's (apparently terminally ill) former defense attorney now says the singer was "guilty as hell" on child porn charges.Read More
When deciding whether to charge a police officer with murder, prosecutors are bound to a stricter standard than applies in other murder cases. But that could change under a bill advancing in California's state legislature.Read More
An Illinois police officer gets probation after shooting his own son.Read More
As reported by WBEZ, there's been a rash of suicides in Chicago's police department, including officers who shot themselves while in uniform and on duty.Read More
Civil asset forfeiture takes a hit in the Supreme Court: per this week's 9-0 decision, the constitutional prohibition against excessive fines applies to states under 12th amendment due process protections.Read More
Following up last week's Jamie Kalven interview (recorded late 2018), an update on major recent developments in the Laquan McDonald case.Read More
An algorithm can't be racist, right? As it turns out, facial recognition software trained and tested mostly on white people is really good at identifying race and gender... as long as you're white and male.Read More
The Supreme Court delivers decisions on two criminal justice hot buttons: civil asset forfeiture and double jeopardy.Read More
If Donald Trump goes on Fox News to issue what sounds like a veiled threat against Michael Cohen's family, isn't that obstruction? Or witness tampering, at the least? One school of thought holds that Trump's thinking is too disorganized, and his rhetoric too incoherent, to hold him accountable for much of anything he says.
President Trump’s former lawyer and fixer will serve three years in prison for campaign finance violations and other crimes, despite (sorta, kinda) cooperating with special counsel Robert Mueller's team. What did Michael Cohen tell them, and what did he leave out?Read More
Some district attorneys' offices keep secret lists of police officers who are not to be called to testify because their credibility is in question. How widespread is the practice?Read More