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.
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.
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.
Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner tried to remake the culture of his agency in his first year in office. He has turned over 30 percent of his staff and is stirring controversy. A police union official said he is seeking to “destroy criminal justice.”
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.
Matthew Charles of Tennessee made national headlines last year after he was resentenced and ordered back to prison two years after his release. Now he may be the first to be freed under a change in crack sentencing in the new First Step Act.