Blog Posts in 2010

  • Melendez-Diaz Confronts the 6th Amendment

    Prospective clients frequently call to ask whether it’s possible to appeal their convictions based on the Supreme Court’s ruling in Melendez-Diaz. In Luis E. Melendez-Diaz v. Massachusetts, 557 U.S. ___ (2009) [No. 07-591. Argued November 10, 2008-Decided June 25, 2009], the Court held that a defendant has a due process right, under the Confrontation Clause of the Sixth Amendment, to confront and ...
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  • Turner Trial Testimony

    As a television commentator, and when interviewed by print reporters, I have been asked whether I think the defendant made a mistake in testifying at his trial in United States v. Charles Turner, [No. 08-cr-10345]. Of course, as with so many things, hind-sight is 20/20 and the defendant’s conviction on all counts, including making false statements, may well suggest the jury didn’t believe his ...
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  • Could Philip Markoff’s Suicide Have Been Prevented?

    I have been asked , as a former Sheriff, whether anything could have been done to prevent the apparent suicide of accused murderer Philip Markoff. Hindsight is always 20/20 in situations such as these and without knowing all the relevant facts, any related comments should issue with caution. Still, the general answer is "yes" there are certain security measures/options available to corrections ...
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  • Peer to Peer (P2P) Networks and Child Pornography

    One of the more disturbing recent prosecutorial trends is the government’s increasing focus on Peer to Peer (P2P) file sharing networks as a basis for bringing charges of disseminating/distributing child pornography against subscriber/users whose only act to view shared files. In most states, such charges carry significantly enhanced penalties, including mandatory minimum terms in state prison. ...
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  • Commonwealth v. Adjutant – Careful What You Wish For

    One of the more helpful SJC decisions in the past few years for the defense bar is Commonwealth v. Adjutant, 443 Mass 649 (2005), which allows the defendant to present evidence of the alleged victim’s propensity to violence as a way to establish who was the initial aggressor in cases involving acts of violence, including murder. It is particularly helpful in self-defense cases because the ...
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