Category Archives: Criminal law

Is it a crime to sleep it off in your car?

It was a great party, but when you get into your car, you realize you drank more than you thought. No worries. You switch on the heat or the AC, crank up your favorite radio station, close your eyes and … Continue reading

Posted in Criminal law, Satirical cartoons | Tagged | 8 Comments

Putting the brakes on “victims’ rights”

“The Young Savages,” a 1961 movie about teenage gangs (Italo-Americans vs. Puerto Ricans), filmed on the streets of pre-gentrified New York, opens with three Italo teens killing a Puerto Rican youth who’s not only unarmed but blind. “New York is … Continue reading

Posted in Civil Liberties, Criminal law | 3 Comments

Squawk gets kicked off jury duty, is astonished.

A few years ago we briefed an appeal from probably the worst trial since Sacco and Vanzetti. When Judge “This-is-MY-courtroom” Napaloni wasn’t screaming at the defendant and his lawyer, he was encouraging the prosecutor to put in outrageously prejudicial-not-remotely-probative evidence. … Continue reading

Posted in Criminal law, Law & Parody | Tagged | 3 Comments

Is it legal to threaten to behead the Chief Clerk of the Court?

Have you ever had the Clerk of the Court reject a brief that you’ve labored over for months just because you signed in black ink instead of blue? Refuse to accept your brilliantly insightful case-of-first-impression masterpiece because you wrote “Printing … Continue reading

Posted in Criminal law, First Amendment, Law & Parody | 4 Comments

Is a trial a search for the truth?

Every now and then, a judge will declare that a trial is “a search for the truth,” or, in one drunk driving case, a sober search for the truth.  The judge continued, “In the search for truth, no man has yet … Continue reading

Posted in Criminal law, Law & Parody | 5 Comments

Ineffective Assistance of Counsel, Aussie Style

One of our worst moments as an appellate squawk was sitting in an Alabama courtroom watching a lawyer hand over his former client’s entire file to the prosecutor.  The idea being that if a defendant argues on appeal that his … Continue reading

Posted in Criminal Defense Appeals, Criminal law | Tagged | 1 Comment

Linda Fairstein: Central Park Five guilty as charged

The videotapes show that “the questioning [of the Central Park Five] was respectful, dignified, carried out according to the letter of the law and with sensitivity to the young age of the men. . . . If you spot the first sign of … Continue reading

Posted in Criminal law, False confessions | Tagged , , | 11 Comments

Sentencing Sheldon Silver

“The Government got up and said. . . we want other people to see his sentence and to think twice about committing a crime. And I remember Judge Glasser looked at the assistant and said, what you’re suggesting is that … Continue reading

Posted in Criminal law | Tagged , | 1 Comment

Judge Bludgeon rules on cyberbullying

Back in the days of the Roman Empire, the mad Emperor Caligula had the penal code placed at the top of a tall column in the Forum.  Judges soon got tired of shinnying up and down whenever they had to … Continue reading

Posted in Criminal law, Law & Parody | 3 Comments

Bronx judge finds solution to trial delays: eliminate attorneys

A Bronx judge, fed up with the prosecution’s shilly-shallying while the accused waited in jail for three years, threatened to conduct the trial sans attorneys, according to In Justice Today. Not since Columbus and the egg has there been such a brilliantly obvious solution … Continue reading

Posted in Criminal law, Law & Parody | Tagged , | 5 Comments

“Hands up, motherf*cker! This is a request for information!”

“The fact that defendant may have been the only person in the photographic lineup wearing white sneakers does not render the lineup unduly prejudicial  – even though the victims’ description of the perpetrator included white sneakers – as the clothing … Continue reading

Posted in Criminal law, eyewitness identification, Law & Parody, Satirical cartoons | Tagged , | 2 Comments

“Give me a lawyer, dawg.”

The Louisiana Supreme Court recently decided that a suspect in custody had failed to unequivocally invoke his right to counsel, based on his statement transcribed as, “If y’all think I did it, I know that I didn’t do it so … Continue reading

Posted in Criminal law, Law & Parody | 9 Comments

Privacy for me but not for thee

 Here we see NYPD Police Officer James Frascatore using the “straight arm bar takedown” on Mr. James Blake whom he mistook for a suspect in a credit card scam. Not only did he have the wrong man, Mr. Blake was … Continue reading

Posted in Civil Liberties, Criminal law | Tagged , | 1 Comment

Thoughtfully prosecuting your client

Recently received from our employer (we’re not making this up): “[Public Defender] urges and expects employees to report harassing and discriminatory behavior of third parties, including clients. . . . Rest assured that the response of [Public Defender] to clients who engage in … Continue reading

Posted in Criminal law, Humor, Law & Parody | 3 Comments

Powerpoint for the defense

Prosecutors see nothing wrong with summing up with Powerpoint like this: Well, two can play this game. Here are some handy graphics for defense summations:    

Posted in Criminal law, Humor, Law & Parody, Satirical cartoons | Tagged | 1 Comment

Prosecutor Powerpoint and Wigmore’s horse

Since prosecutors’ summations are basically commercials to sell the jury on a guilty verdict, it was only a matter of time before they started using advertising graphics. In People v. Santiago (2014), New York’s top court saw nothing wrong with the People’s … Continue reading

Posted in Criminal law, Law & Parody, Satirical cartoons | Tagged | 1 Comment

When is a trial not a trial? When there’s no jury.

We recently briefed a case where the judge took the bench after the lunch break and announced, “The Court has arrived at a verdict.  The verdict is –,” until the parties frantically stopped her. The trial hadn’t finished yet!  She … Continue reading

Posted in Criminal law, Judges, Law & Parody, Satirical cartoons | Tagged | 2 Comments

DOJ recommends new photo array procedures: no hints allowed.

The U.S. Department of Justice has issued new recommendations  for photo arrays – when cops show a witness the suspect’s photo along with photos of five other guys and ask which one is the perp.  The DOJ thinks it would look … Continue reading

Posted in Criminal law, eyewitness identification, Humor, Law & Parody, Satirical cartoons | Tagged | 2 Comments

Santa Claus is Level 3

Scene: SORA hearing in front of Judge Dudgeon Bludgeon. ADA Tightskirt: Judge, Mr. Claus should be adjudicated a Level 3 maximum risk sex offender. He’s a recidivist sexually motivated burglar. Santa Claus: (appearing pro se) Nonsense! I’ve never had any trouble … Continue reading

Posted in Criminal law, Humor, Law & Parody, Satirical cartoons, SORA | Tagged | 4 Comments

Vwar deer or vor dire? A guest post from the Public Defender of Harris Co., Texas

Alex Bunin founded the first and only public defender’s office in Houston, Texas, replacing the traditional folk custom of appointment-by-donation-to-the-judge’s-campaign. Asked in an interview with Simple Justice how he was received by the Jumbo State’s legal establishment, Alex said, “The biggest obstacle … Continue reading

Posted in Criminal law, Humor, Law, Satirical cartoons | Tagged , | 2 Comments