Purse Snatching Can Be Violent, High Court Rules

Purse snatching and pickpocketing can amount to violent felonies for purposes of the federal Armed Career Criminal Act, which requires mandatory 15-year sentences for people convicted of possessing firearms if they have been found guilty of three violent felonies or serious drug charges. The justices divided 5-4 on the issue.

gavel

TX Court Stops Execution Over Bite Mark Evidence

Blaine Milam, who was convicted of killing a 13-month-old girl in a brutally botched exorcism, was granted a last-minute stay Monday over concerns about the bite mark evidence used to convict him and the possibility he might be too intellectually disabled to execute. It would have been Texas’ first execution of 2019.

public defenders

Can Public Defenders be Reformers?

Defense attorneys spend more time with criminal defendants than anyone else in the justice system. So if they care about better outcomes, they need to go beyond their traditional roles, says the head of the Milwaukee Public Defender’s Office.

Rachael Rollins

Beware of the Backlash Against Reform Prosecutors

Not everyone welcomed the election of reform-minded prosecutors around the country last fall. The case of new Suffolk County. Ma., DA Rachael Rollins is an example of pushback from tough-on-crime advocates, warns a reform advocate.