Last updateFri, 10 Dec 2021 9pm

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Anthony Ray Hinton Exonerated

After spending 28 years in prison, Anthony Ray Hinton has finally been freed! Anthony was  wrongfully convicted of killing two employees of a fast food restaurant. Anthony was given a new trial after his trial lawyer was ruled "constitutionally deficient". At his recent trial, ballistics tests showed the marking on bullets from the crime scene did not match the gun belonging to Hinton'e mother. 

For more on Anthony's story, click here.

Public Defender Arrested For Doing Job

San Francisco public attorney Jami Tillotson, was handcuffed and arrested in front of the Hall of Justice when she explained to her client his rights, denied police officers’ attempts to take photos of her client without explanation and raised questions about police intimidation and harassment. 

Click here to read more

Judge Accuses Prosecutor of Perjury

In late 2013, California Judge Alex Kozinski, a member of the 9th circuit court declared there was “an epidemic” of prosecutorial misconduct “abroad in the land,” and that, “Only judges can put a stop to it.”   Now Judge Kozinski and the 9th circuit panel have suggested a prosecutor be tried for perjury. Some of the allegations against the prosecutor are:

  • DDA Spira putting on the false testimony that the informant didn’t receive a deal during Baca’s first Riverside County trial.
  • Spira himself lying on the stand when confronted on this question in Baca’s second Riverside County trial.
  • DDA Vinegrad soliciting Spira’s false testimony
  • The California Attorney General’s Office vehement attempts to keep the transcript of the informant’s subsequent sentencing, which made the existence of the actual deal clear, secret and out of the hands of the State Court of Appeals
  • The California Attorney General’s Office complete failure to investigate, discipline, or bring charges against either Spira or Vinegrad for their conduct.


Click here to read more

Is Legal Reform Possible?

Reforming the legal system has brought together a coalition of people normally at odds with each other. Recently on Capitol Hill, Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) and Koch Industries general counsel Mark Holden, have made legal reform a priority. They hope to have a bipartisan agreement to change 5 key factors in the legal system. 

1. Earned time credits

2. Easing Mandatory Minimum Sentencing

3. Juvenile Justice Reform

4. Reducing recidivism

5. Sealing and expunging records


Click here to read more about the reforms. 

NY Police Reforms

The New York police commissioner, William Bratton has come out in opposition to criminalizing police chokeholds. A bill, sponsored by Council Member Rory Lancman (D-Queens), would make the use of chokeholds a misdemeanor crime punishable by up to a year in prison, a $2,500 fine, or both. Currently, chokeholds are only banned under NYPD guidelines. The bill would apply to all New Yorkers. 

To read more about the suggested reforms click here.



Wisconsin Changes Investigations In Officer Involved Shootings

The state of Wisconsin has decided the police cannot investigate one of their own in an officer involved shooting. To quote Gina Barton, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel's law enforcement reporter, "So if you know this officer, if you've worked with him before, can you really be objective in terms of evaluating that shooting? And is it really proper for the police to be policing themselves?" 

The law makes Wisconsin the first state to legislate "that if an officer was involved with a loss of life, that outside investigators must come in and collect the data and investigate that shooting".

Click here to read the article.

Children In Solitary Confinement

Most psychologists agree that the use of solitary confinement constitutes torture. Unfortunately, there are still many states that don't even have a maximum amount of time a child can be held in solitary confinement. Mother Jones has an excellent article detailing the history of this issue.


Click here to read the story.

Police Authoritarianism

In northwest Miami, a law student was pulled over when an officer heard him playing an anti-police song on his car radio. The officer cited a non-existing noise law to issue him a  ticket. Knowing the officer was wrong, Cesar Baldelmar questioned the legality of the ticket. That is when the officer wrote up a slew of other citations for him. The article goes on to question how much freedom do we really have when police and governments go too far in their use of authoritarianism.

Click here to read the story.

Hope For Legal Reform

President Obama thinks it may be time for sentencing reform. According to a top White House official, "It is on my list of things that are in the sphere of the possible. We are going to work hard at it ... Putting a bipartisan imprint on sentencing reform would be a big achievement." 

Click here to read The Huffington Post article.