Kharon Davis was 22 when he was charged with capital murder and jailed in Alabama. Ten years later, he is still there, awaiting a trial that began Monday. He has had two judges, four teams of lawyers and nine trial dates, the first of which was in 2008. It defies any understanding of the right to a speedy trial, says the New York Times.
Flawed forensic evidence is a key reason for many wrongful convictions in criminal cases. Setting rigorous standards for judges and prosecutors to follow in pretrial discovery would reduce its use, argues a study published in the Northwestern University Law Review.
A New York City experiment that used partially secured and unsecured bonds suggests that these are viable alternatives to a system that puts thousands of individuals behind bars awaiting trial because they can’t afford to make bail, according to report released September 15 by the Vera Institute of Justice.
The city dismissed the five-year-old case against Fred Watson, who was featured in a Justice Department report that criticized the city for targeting African Americans and making unconstitutional arrests.
“I think it’s more likely than not this was an accident and not criminal,” said the Philadelphia judge when he tossed the criminal case against Amtrak engineer Brandon Bostian. Bostian’s train was traveling 106 mph when it derailed in 2015, killing 8 people and injuring over 100.
Federal Judge Jed S. Rakoff says the use—and abuse—of plea bargaining gives prosecutors more power than judges to affect justice outcomes. In a forthcoming Northwestern University Law Journal essay, he proposes one way to “temper” their powers.
Illinois inmate Roosevelt Myles won an appeals court ruling in 2000 that he get a hearing on his charge that he had bad legal representation at his trial. The promised hearing has been delayed 70 times and still hasn’t been held.
Judge Joseph Bruzzese Jr. was shot by Nathaniel Richmond, the father of a teen who served 10 months behind bars for a well-reported rape. No immediate connection was drawn between the shooting and rape cases.