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So.  Should he testify? Follow the link.  It’s a good case study in standard arguments about defendants testifying when they are on trial.  But there’s one quote from the “expert” they trot out, right at the end, that at least hints at the truth of the matter: “I tell my clients once you take the stand you have lost your shield, which is me, and you are on your own,” said McMonagle, who was…
But it turns out the charges were fabricated by the then District Attorney for political and personal gain. What are these beautiful Californians supposed to do now?  Their attorney realizes what the problem is: “I don’t want to be overly dramatic or hyperbolic, but the mere filing of this case has destroyed irreparably two lives,” defense lawyer Philip Cohen told reporters. “He has become persona non grata with an entire city, an entire state—and I…
It’s a sign of interest at the SCOTUS.  The Petitioner files his petition.  The Respondent doesn’t have to respond.  He has a right to respond.  But he doesn’t have to. The Respondent can also explicitly waive his right to respond.  He’s supposed to do that within 30 days after the petition is filed.  The quicker he does that, the quicker the petition will be “distributed” for consideration at a conference of the SCOTUS, where the…
From Pyle v. Kansas: These documents elaborate the general charges of the application, and specifically allege that “one Truman Reynolds was coerced and threatened by the State to testify falsely against the petitioner and that said testimony did harm to the petitioner’s defense”; that “one Lacy Cunningham who had been previously committed to a mental institution was threatened with prosecution if he did not testify for the State”; that the testimony of one Roy…
When you “reason” only so as to reach a desired result, there is trouble down the line.  You’ll wind up living with your reasoning, that this time produces the wrong result. So Cole v. Carson has been kicking around for years now.  Up to the SCOTUS, back to the 5th circuit, to a three judge panel, to an en banc rehearing, and now up to the SCOTUS again.  Where it doesn’t seem to be…
We don’t know whether this falls under the category of incurably obtuse, transcendently sad, or both. We recently came across the case of Williams v. Pennsylvania that got taken up and decided by the SCOTUS in 2016.  The issue in the case is when due process requires the recusal of a judge.  The issue for LoS this morning is the factual background, and maybe the distortion of our courts and their reasoning by anti-death penalty…
In theory, when you’re a criminal defendant you get the “presumption of innocence”.  When you’re the prosecuting government, you get the presumption of regularity. Everyone knows what the presumption of innocence is.  Nobody believes it, but everyone knows what it is and pays lip service to it. But what about the presumption of regularity? Here’s a little discussion from some law professor or other.  The case referenced for the most recent and extensive SCOTUS discussion…
This is really disgraceful, but revealing. We have only recently in our own life come to understand the tendency of egocentric and domineering types to project their personalities – indeed, their warped view of the world – onto others.  Thus when police union officials describe allegations that a cop has lied, or fabricated, or cheated as “…a commonly used strategy employed by defense attorneys…” they are inadvertently revealing their own opinions about how the…
This is a very long article.  That everyone in the United States should read closely. The journalistic focus, of course, is on the snitch himself, and his victims.  To a lesser extent, it’s on the appalling behavior of prosecutors who one day vouch for the snitch’s veracity to obtain a conviction, and the next call him a liar because he is now exposing them. In the article the judges get a pass.  They shouldn’t.…
How has it come to pass, we wonder, that someone feels the need to actually say this in a law review article? Well, we don’t really wonder. We already know. The legal profession is fractured from an absurd stratification.  “Trial lawyers” are an endangered species confined, at this point, primarily to criminal defense and prosecuting.  The former being the most important and necessary work and also held in the lowest regard by the rest…