Criminal Defense Blog

Red Light Tickets

A new decision just came out regarding the admissibility of those pesky red light ticket photographs. In People v. Khaled, the court of appeals had held that an adequate foundation must be established about the accuracy and reliability of the system before the red light camera photos can be used against you in court. In […]

A huge win at the Supreme Court today. In a much awaited case, the Supreme Court held 9 to 0 that if the government installs a GPS tracking device on your car, and monitors the movements of your car for a significant period of time, without a warrant, it violates the Fourth Amendment. Welcome to […]

Martin Luther King’s Dream

As we commemorate the birthday of Martin Luther King, I think about how far we’ve come, and how far we still need to go. Nobel Prize winning economist Paul Krugman notes in his column today in the New York Times that the dream that men and women would be judged by the content of their […]

Domestic Violence, Even Sheriffs are Accused of It.

Have you heard the news? The person elected the Sheriff of San Francisco, Ross Mirkarimi, is under investigation for domestic violence. Mr. Mirkarimi was previously an investigator at the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office. He has been on the Board of Supervisors for seven years. According to the news reports, the police reported to the […]

Murder is Murder

With legislation pending that, if passed, would end the death penalty in California, and the growing chorus of people who question the efficacy of capital punishment now including the Chief Justice on the California Supreme Court, Tani Cantil-Skakauye, my thoughts turn to something that is almost forgotten, the moral argument against the death penalty. Even […]

Eyewitness Errors

According to data by the Innocence Project, eyewitness misidentification played a role in over 75% of criminal convictions that were eventually overturned due to DNA testing. As Supreme Court Justice William Brennan once wrote: “There is almost nothing more convincing than a live human being who takes the stand, points a finger at the defendant, […]

Prosecutor without a conscience

The criminal-justice system in Lake County, Illinois is coming under increasing scrutiny. It’s not just the DNA exonerations. It’s that even when post-conviction testing of DNA evidence disproves the prosecution’s case, the District Attorney, Mike Mermel, still believes that his team of prosecutors has gotten the right guy. Mr. Mermel appears to suffer from god […]

Pepper spraying peaceful protesters

The image of college students sitting with their arms locked on the campus green, while swaggering police officers dowsed them with pepper spray has been a repulsive wakeup call. If police officers can act with such disregard for safety in the middle of a college campus, then what do they in the inner city, at […]

Sending children to prison

MSNBC aired a documentary last night called “Young Kids, Hard Times” about children in an adult prison in Iowa. Children, because they had committed big boys’ offenses, were tried as adults and sentenced to prison for as long as 25 or 30 years. One boy was just twelve years old when he was incarcerated. It […]

The King of Pop Couldn’t Sleep

I lay awake last night thinking of the last days of Michael Jackson, who himself lay awake unable to sleep relying on heavily potent narcotics, including the anesthetic, propofol, which he called “milk.” I think the jury had plenty of evidence to support their guilty verdict against Conrad Murray for involuntary manslaughter. Under the law, […]