ABA Journal

Sentencing/Post Conviction

4336 ABA Journal Sentencing/Post Conviction articles.

Meddling clerk ‘betrayed her oath of office’ in Alex Murdaugh murder case, new-trial motion alleges

The elected court clerk in the murder trial of disbarred South Carolina lawyer Alex Murdaugh warned jurors about defense testimony, met privately with a jury foreperson, and “invented a story” about a Facebook post that got a juror removed, according to allegations in a motion for a new trial.

Lawyer sentenced for using unaware plaintiffs to file hundreds of disability suits

A lawyer accused of filing nearly 300 lawsuits on behalf of two people who weren’t clients has been sentenced to four years in prison.

Florida’s governor suspends another elected prosecutor, citing neglect of duty to prosecute

Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed an executive order Wednesday that suspends a second elected prosecutor from office, citing actions that she took to avoid triggering mandatory minimum sentences.

Famous forensic scientist says he had ‘no motive nor reason’ to fabricate evidence

A forensic scientist who became famous after his testimony in the O.J. Simpson murder trial is defending his earlier work after a federal judge found him liable in a wrongful conviction lawsuit by two men who spent 30 years in prison before their exoneration.

Judge who hugged prosecutors after Parkland, Florida, shooter’s trial is reprimanded

The Florida Supreme Court on Monday publicly reprimanded a judge who hugged prosecutors after presiding in the penalty phase of the trial of Parkland, Florida, school shooter Nikolas Cruz.

Death row prisoner treated as ‘guinea pig,’ Sotomayor dissent says

Justice Sonia Sotomayor complained in a dissent early Friday that the U.S. Supreme Court should not allow Alabama to treat a death row inmate as a “guinea pig” to test its lethal injection process.

Federal judge’s ‘people like you’ comments don’t require sentence reversal, 7th Circuit says

A federal judge’s comments about “people like you” weren’t the kind of inflammatory remarks that would require resentencing of a man who pleaded guilty to unlawful gun possession by a felon, a federal appeals court has ruled.

Lawyer sentenced for hiding brother’s bankruptcy assets in attorney trust account

A suspended Chicago-area lawyer was sentenced Tuesday to 37 months in prison for using her attorney trust account to help her brother conceal more than $357,000 from creditors in bankruptcy.

SCOTUS overturns ‘true threats’ conviction, working in reference to New York Times v. Sullivan

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled 7-2 on Tuesday that the First Amendment does not protect statements made by a defendant if they “consciously disregarded a substantial risk that his communications would be viewed as threatening violence.”

Supreme Court leaves prisoner without recourse on his statutory innocence claim

A U.S. Supreme Court decision Thursday leaves some defendants without recourse to assert that they are actually innocent of a crime because of a change in statutory interpretation.

Weekly Briefs: $10.3B ‘forever chemicals’ deal announced; data-breach suit against Cadwalader dropped

3M agrees to settle ‘forever chemicals’ cases for $10.3B

3M, a multinational conglomerate corporation and a maker of chemicals, has agreed to pay $10.3 billion to settle claims by municipalities…

Expert can’t offer ‘unqualified opinion’ that crime scene bullets match suspect’s gun, top state court says

A ballistics expert can testify that bullets at a crime scene are consistent with patterns on bullets fired from a suspect’s gun but can’t offer an “unqualified opinion” of a match, the Maryland Supreme Court ruled Tuesday.

Lawyer’s racist and anti-Muslim rants on social media entitle defendant to new trial, court rules

The top court in Massachusetts has granted a new trial to a Black, Muslim defendant whose appointed lawyer expressed “vitriolic hatred” and racism in social media posts.

The Massachusetts Supreme…

Judge who once prosecuted murder defendant fails to get colleague kicked off the case

Judge Patrick Connolly of Los Angeles County won’t be able to disqualify a colleague from considering the resentencing of a defendant Connolly once prosecuted.

The ABA works to help formerly incarcerated people reenter society

For those incarcerated, the ABA supports appropriate treatment consistent with the Eighth Amendment that offers resources and opportunities shown to reduce recidivism and increase public safety.

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