The National Pulse

410 ABA Journal The National Pulse articles.

Oregon and Louisiana grapple with past criminal convictions made with split verdicts

In April, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Ramos v. Louisiana that split verdicts in state trials for serious criminal offenses violated the Sixth Amendment right to a fair trial, overturning a high court ruling in 1972 that upheld them. The effect of the court’s ruling in Ramos is that state courts will now vacate cases with split verdicts on direct appeal. Prosecutors will next decide whether to retry them. What is unclear is whether the ruling will apply retroactively.

Racial disparities in maternal mortality are exacerbated by COVID-19

New concerns about maternal risks in pregnancy emerged as COVID-19 plowed its way across the country this year. Maternal mortality across the spectrum shows stunning increases in the United States. The number of deaths has risen while declining in almost every other nation.

High-profile killings of unarmed Black people spark calls for reform

The seeds that inflamed America’s intense national debate over race and criminal justice were planted months before George Floyd was killed by police on a Minneapolis street in late May. The buildup to the country’s summer of civil unrest began in a quiet subdivision just outside of Brunswick, Georgia, where an unarmed Black man out jogging was shot and killed on Feb. 23 by two armed white men.

Can plaintiffs from other countries hold China legally accountable for the coronavirus pandemic in their respective courts?
New study looks at the prison system’s failure to address women’s health and safety behind bars
Do police drones foster trust or threaten civil rights and privacy?

Police say unmanned aerial systems can build trust in the community by deescalating incidents. Critics warn, however, that drones sow fear and distrust.

Fairness is an issue in clearing low-level marijuana convictions
Class actions and pending rules could change colleges’ sex assault procedures
States help trafficking survivors overcome criminal records

In recent years, Hawaii, Nebraska and Nevada introduced laws to help trafficking survivors clear their records and overcome obstacles to employment, housing and education. Other states, including Connecticut, Kansas, New Jersey and New York, are moving forward with more proposed legislation.

State laws provide for civil actions and other creative remedies for trafficking survivors

States are implementing or updating their own laws to better protect and support survivors. While criminal protections may permit survivors to seal, vacate or expunge records or provide them with immunity, civil remedies can help them restore lost income and pay off significant debts.

The Bail Project pays defendants’ bail as part of a plan to end money bail entirely

Modeled after a fund started by public defenders more than a decade ago, the Bail Project not only pays defendants’ bail but connects them to social services and makes sure they show up to court.

Commercial landlords increasingly found liable for actions of rogue tenants who sell counterfeit goods

Counterfeits are big business, estimated at $509 billion worldwide in 2016. Increasingly since the 1990s, brands are finding a strategy in going after commercial landlords, who often have deeper pockets than the sellers.

Supreme Court taking on big issues that have been percolating for a while

The U.S. Supreme Court will tackle some pretty big issues in its next term, including cases on LGBT rights, immigration and its first major case on gun rights in nearly a decade. And that’s with only about half of its docket filled for the term that begins Oct. 7.

Pelvic exams performed without patients’ permission spur new legislation
How to make a website accessible

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