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Category Archives: Courts

National Initiative for Building Community Trust and Justice

“The National Initiative for Building Community Trust and Justice is designed to improve relationships and increase trust between communities and the criminal justice system. It also aims to advance the public and scholarly understandings of the issues contributing to those relationships. In September 2014, Attorney General Eric Holder announced that the Department of Justice has awarded the National Network for Safe Communities, through John Jay College of Criminal Justice, a three-year, $4.75 million grant to launch a National Initiative for Building Community Trust and Justice.  The National Initiative is led by Professor David Kennedy, with Dr. Tracie Keesee as project manager, and John Jay College President Jeremy Travis, Professor Tracey Meares and Dr. Tom Tyler of Yale Law School, Dr. Phillip Atiba Goff of UCLA, and Dr. Nancy La Vigne and Dr. Jocelyn Fontaine of the Urban Institute are principal partners. The National Initiative will highlight three areas that hold great promise for concrete, rapid progress:

  • Reconciliation facilitates frank conversations between communities and law enforcement that allow them to address historic tensions, grievances, and misconceptions between them and reset relationships.
  • Procedural justice focuses on how the characteristics of law enforcement interactions with the public shape the public’s views of the police, their willingness to obey the law, and actual crime rates.
  • Implicit bias focuses on how largely unconscious psychological processes can shape authorities’ actions and lead to racially disparate outcomes even where actual racism is not present.”

Indictment of former House speaker Dennis Hastert

Washington Post – Federal prosecutors on Thursday indicted former House speaker J. Dennis Hastert on bank-related charges. Find out more about the case.

National Journal – Mapping Gay Marriage Since 1996

From No States to All of Them: Mapping Gay Marriage Since 1996 How same-sex marriage became legal in the United States, by National Journal Graphics Staff: “A day ago, same-sex marriage was legal in 36 states and the District of Columbia. Now, it’s legal in all 50. The Supreme Court said in a 5-4 rulingContinue Reading

Supreme Court rejects latest challenge to Affordable Health Care Act

United States Supreme Court – KING ET AL. v. BURWELL, SECRETARY OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES, ET AL., (2015) No. 14-114. Argued: March 4, 2015  Decided: June 25, 201 “The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act grew out of a long history of failed health insurance reform. In the 1990s, several States sought to expandContinue Reading

Only 29 Convictions in Federal Hate Crime Cases Since FY 2010

“During the first eight months of fiscal year 2015, the federal government reported the convictions of eight individuals who had been charged with federal hate crimes under Title 8 Section 249 of the U.S. Code, according to the latest available data from the Justice Department. If this activity continues at the same pace, the annualContinue Reading

Drexel Law Librarian John Cannan Cited by U.S. Supreme Court in King v. Burwell

Via Peter J. Egler Research & Instructional Services Librarian, Thomas R. Kline School of Law Drexel University: “I am proud to report that our colleague John Cannan has been cited by the U.S. Supreme Court in its decision in King v. Burwell, issued today. The court cites John’s article from the Law Library Journal: “AContinue Reading

GAO Report – Justice Could Better Measure Progress Addressing Incarceration Challenges

Federal Prison System: Justice Could Better Measure Progress Addressing Incarceration Challenges, GAO-15-454: Published: Jun 19, 2015. Publicly Released: Jun 19, 2015. “The Department of Justice (DOJ) has implemented three key initiatives to address the federal incarceration challenges of overcrowding, rising costs, and offender recidivism, which includes the return of offenders to prison after release. TheContinue Reading

Commentary – Reasonable Doubts About the Jury System

Trial consultants allow the affluent to manipulate the biases of those who judge them, putting justice up for sale – Adam Benforado: “..As amazing as our minds actually are, our legal rules, regula­tions, interpretations, and instructions make them out to be many times as impressive. To hear the law tell it, we are supermen andContinue Reading

Faces of Death Row – Texas

Jolie McCullough and Ben Hasson, The Texas Tribune:  “Here is a look at the 261 inmates currently on Texas’ death row. Texas, which reinstated the death penalty in 1976, has the most active execution chamber in the nation. On average, these inmates have spent 13 years, 6 months on death row. Though 12 percent ofContinue Reading

Confidence in U.S. Institutions Still Below Historical Norms

Gallup: “Americans’ confidence in most major U.S. institutions remains below the historical average for each one. Only the military (72%) and small business (67%) — the highest-rated institutions in this year’s poll — are currently rated higher than their historical norms, based on the percentage expressing “a great deal” or “quite a lot” of confidenceContinue Reading

EPIC Joins Open Government Groups in Support of FOIA Reform

“EPIC and a coalition of open government advocates has urged Congress to pass FOIA reform legislation. In response to a request from the Chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, the coalition expressed support for the FOIA Act of 2015, specifically praising a provision limiting the use of Exemption 5, which has enabledContinue Reading

Rules of Evidence for Your First Federal or New York Trial

Lebovits, Gerald and Milonas, Katerina, Rules of Evidence for Your First Federal or New York Trial (2015). Richmond County Bar Journal, 2015, Forthcoming. Available for download at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2616575 “You took evidence in law school. You studied evidence for the bar exam. But as you prepare for your first trial, you quickly realize that youContinue Reading