Category Archives: Criminal law

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

Brooklyn DA prosecutes purse snatching as a hate crime

A recent press release from the Brooklyn DA’s Office announced that they’re charging a man with hate crimes for purse snatching and lifting a wallet from a handbag left in a shopping cart in T.J. Maxx Department Store. “We will work … Continue reading

Posted in Civil Liberties, Criminal law, Law & Parody | Tagged , | 2 Comments

What do legislators know about the Constitution?

     If you ever try to challenge the constitutionality of a statute, the predictable response from the courts is always, “deference to the Legislature.” Why should legislators know what’s constitutional? Based on the flyers we find in our mailbox among … Continue reading

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

Do prosecutors know the truth from a lie?

Word is that California plans to make it a felony for prosecutors to hide exculpatory evidence from the defense.  That’s harsh: to the prosecutor cerebellum, “exculpatory evidence” is a contradiction in terms. After all, the defendant is obviously guilty or they … Continue reading

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

Prez advisors warn: halt convictions based on pseudoscience

A mysterious Deep Throat, known only as Dr4ensic, has leaked a draft report from a Presidential commission warning that courts are falling down on their job of keeping out junk science offered by the prosecution.  That’s mighty public-spirited of Dr4ensic, … Continue reading

Posted in Criminal law, Forensic "science", Law & Parody | Tagged , , , , | 4 Comments

Ken Thompson, Brooklyn’s model DA

We barely know what’s going on in our own office, let alone over at Renaissance Plaza where the Brooklyn DA perches on the heavily guarded 19th floor. But thanks to “Down the Rabbit Hole” by the intrepid blogger ADA Fustian Orotund, … Continue reading

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

The NY Court of Appeals gets its comeuppance

When it comes to federal habeas petitions, never has so much been denied to so many by so few. To the prisoner, a habeas is the last bastion of hope. To the federal judish, it’s the occasion for assuring state … Continue reading

Posted in Criminal Defense Appeals, Criminal law, Judges, Law, Satirical cartoons | Tagged , , , | 7 Comments

Guest Post: Exoneration after 25 Years Is Great but Competent Appellate Review at the Time Would Have Been Better

When Andre Hatchett was exonerated after serving half his life in prison for a murder he didn’t commit, the deceptively mild-mannered Ursula Bentele, Professor Emerita of Brooklyn Law School, commented that the Appellate Division had every reason to know at … Continue reading

Posted in Criminal Defense Appeals, Criminal law, Law | Tagged , , , | 6 Comments

Court of Appeals to Squawk: Drop Dead

Sigh. Another drop-dead letter from the NY Court of Appeals, the second one this week.  The first denied leave to appeal where our client got 107 years after a trial that he spent mostly down in the courthouse pens because … Continue reading

Posted in Criminal Defense Appeals, Criminal law, Judges, Law, SORA | Tagged , | 1 Comment

Is a Parrot’s Statement Testimonial?

A  prosecutor is considering whether the words of a pet parrot could be used to try the woman accused of killing his owner. Bud, a 19-year-old African grey parrot, has been repeating the phrase “don’t fucking shoot” ever since his owner, … Continue reading

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

Time for courts to put their money where their mouth is about eyewitness misidentification

Courts make a lot of chin music about the perils of eyewitness misidentification.  But when it comes to scrutinizing the suggestiveness of lineup procedures. . . . . . everyone is expected to take the cops’ word for it that … Continue reading

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

Guest post: Proposed Additions to the NY Penal Code

From NYC-area due process enthusiast, Anna Pervukhin: Proposed Additions to the New York Penal Code  42.50 Homelessness A person is guilty of homelessness when he appears to be homeless AND either (a) emits sounds (including, but not limited to, speaking) or, … Continue reading

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

Sheldon Silver’s Life Matters: Part 2

Prosecutor Preet Bharara, come to save the day from Injustice and Corruption, howled for a 14-year sentence, saying, “There is no excuse or mitigating factor tempering the seriousness of Silver’s crimes.” A hundred letters to Judge Caproni pleading for a … Continue reading

Posted in Criminal law, Law | 3 Comments

Sheldon Silver’s Life Matters

It’s a bizarre society where a cop can choke a helpless man to death in front of a camera and not be indicted, while 72-year old former Speaker of the Assembly Sheldon Silver, who’s devoted his life to public service, … Continue reading

Posted in Criminal law, Judges, Law | Tagged , , | 3 Comments

We find no error “under the circumstances”

 Step right up folks, and guess which shell has the reversible error under it. Pick the right one and you get a reversal for your client’s case. How about you, sir? The one under my hand? Whupp! Nope, that’s harmless … Continue reading

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

A Matter of Gravity

The People proved the operability, within the meaning of the statute, of defendant’s gravity knife. The officer described how he opened the knife, and demonstrated its operability in court. The fact that the officer needed to make several attempts before the … Continue reading

Posted in Civil Liberties, Criminal law, Humor, Law & Parody, Satirical cartoons | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

More Client-Centered than Thou

 If you ever want to liven up a dull CLE, just ask your audience, “How do you deal with a client who wants you to do something that you know would sink their case?”  People who’ve been totally comatose until … Continue reading

Posted in Criminal Defense Appeals, Criminal law, Humor, Law & Parody, Satirical cartoons | Tagged , | 2 Comments

Judge Weinstein at the Brooklyn Historical Society

  We temporarily suspended our judge-panning policy the other night to go see Judge Jack Weinstein of the Eastern District (that’s Brooklyn and some minor surrounding territories). He was at the Brooklyn Historical Society, and not in a glass case either. … Continue reading

Posted in Criminal law, Judges, Law, Satirical cartoons | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments

Videotaping Interrogations: The Court of Appeals Blows It

  Ten years ago the Massachusetts high court, fed up with hearing “repeated pronouncements” about the fabulous benefits of recording police interrogations, decided to do something about it. Commonwealth v. DiGiambattista (2004).  Cops don’t record interrogations? Fine. But if the … Continue reading

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

Thank you for riding with the criminal justice system

The NYC Transit Authority is bedeviling its riders with yet another fussy campaign to improve our morals and posture. This one features a race of red, green and grey globe-headed amputees being exhorted, “Dude, stop the spread” or, “Offer your seat to … Continue reading

Posted in Criminal law, Humor, Law & Parody, Satirical cartoons | Tagged , , , | 6 Comments