Rap on Trial: Do Violent Lyrics Prove a Crime?

Rap music isn’t the only musical genre that employs violent or misogynist lyrics, but it’s uniquely presented as evidence for criminal intent or confession in trials. The co-author of a study on the practice warns that it invariably—and unfairly—creates jury bias.

When New Research Proves Courtroom ‘Experts’ Wrong

Many wrongful convictions are based on forensic testimony and science later exposed as flawed. A California statute this year laid out the terms for granting relief to defendants challenging ‘expert’ evidence—but striking the right balance between evolving scientific research and trial pressures remains a challenge, says a UC law professor.

FL, KY to Pay Legal Fees in Gun, Gay Marriage Fights

Florida has agreed to pay $1.1 million in legal fees for the failed 2011 “Docs vs. Glocks” law, which barred doctors from talking to patients about gun ownership. And a federal judge in Kentucky has awarded $223,000 in fees to attorneys for same-sex couples who were denied marriage licenses in 2015 by Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis.

Poland Mulls Proposal to Wipe Out Supreme Court

A contentious bill that is racing through the legislative process would dismiss the country’s current Supreme Court judges and let President Andrzej Duda appoint new ones. There were mass protests against the proposal in Warsaw and other cities, and the European Union has voiced stern opposition.

How Concealing Key Evidence Convicts the Innocent

A June 22 Supreme Court ruling that evidence which might prove a defendant’s innocence does not necessarily have to be presented by prosecutors represents a major setback to constitutional guarantees of a fair trial, argues the founder of the National Registration of Exonerations.

Appeals Court Lifts Injunction Against MS Anti-Gay Law

The 2016 Mississippi law, the Protecting Freedom of Conscience from Government Discrimination Act, is considered the most aggressive of several state-level conservative responses to the U.S. Supreme Court’s legalization of same-sex marriage in 2015. The law likely will remain blocked for the time being during the appeals process.