Blog Posts in September, 2011

  • The New Booker Era – Just Like the Old: Troubling Entrenchment in Federal Sentencing Habits

    Although somewhat idiosyncratic, and arguably esoteric, to those of us specializing in federal criminal defense, one of the more important decisions in the past decade regarding the rights of individuals convicted of federal crimes is United States v. Booker , 543 U.S. 220 (2005), wherein the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS), in essence, ruled that the United States Sentencing ...
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  • The A,B,C’s of jury selection include CSI?

    I’m not surprised by the Massachusetts SJC’s opinion today permitting the prosecutor in Commonwealth v. Perez , No. SJC-10208 (Sept. 23, 2011) to question prospective jurors about the so-called "CSI-effect". The reality is, jurors’ expectations that the government can and will prove an accused’s guilt to a scientific certainty, the apparent by-product of watching too many not necessarily-based in ...
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  • Sex, Lies, and Credibility – False Accusations and Cross-examinations Post Bohannon

    Sex crimes prosecutions have come a long way since the days at Common Law where an alleged victim’s accusation had to be accompanied by corroboration. Comprehensive Rape Shield Laws and Victims’ Rights Acts have certainly leveled the playing field since that time for purported sex crimes victims both locally and nationally. As a long time sex crimes defense attorney (and former sex crimes ...
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  • Eyeing Changes to Witness Identification Evidence

    In November, the U.S. Supreme Court is scheduled to hear arguments in Perry v. New Hampshire . That case will signal the first time in nearly thirty-four years when the High Court will have examined the issue of admissibility of eyewitness identifications, something last addressed in Manson v. Brathwaite , 432 U.S. 98 (1977). Clearly there have been numerous statutory and technological ...
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