This blog has a criminal defense focus, featuring the commentary of a public defender identified only as Gideon (a pseudonym adopted in honor of the landmark Supreme Court case Gideon v. Wainwright). Though Gideon’s posts vary in style – one may be offering analysis of a current news story, the next providing a link roundup or insights on the latest from a fellow blogger – all tie back to the main theme of criminal law, and paint a well-rounded picture of how this author views the American justice system.
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So claims one Connecticut lawyer, James O. Ruane, son of the famous DUI attorney James J. Ruane. In this most recent DUI case, the younger Ruane filed a motion to suppress the results of the breathalyzer, arguing inter alia: the lung capacity of a black man is 3 percent smaller than a white man...
Prosecutors are special. They have their own little section [pdf - Rule 3.8] in the rules of professional conduct. For the most part, they’re people like you and me, trying to do their job, abiding by their special duties and responsibilities. Then you come across prosecutors like Ben Field...
Tomorrow SCOTUS will hear argument in Fox v. FCC, “the F word case”. This has nothing to do with criminal law and everything to do with stupidity on part of the FCC. It stems from three uses of fuck and shit. One was by Bono, who said his award was “really, really, fucking...
To be, or not to be: that is the question: Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, Or to take arms against a sea of troubles, And by opposing end them? So muses Hamlet in Act 3, Scene 1 of Shakespeare’s play of the same name. So…To...
On Monday, Hubert Thompson walked out of Hartford Superior Court a free man. He felt the sun hit his face, breathed fresh air and went where the hell he damn pleased. He had just been granted a new trial after serving well over half a decade in prison for a rape he didn’t commit....
The judiciary committee’s public hearing on the repeal of the death penalty in Connecticut lasted well over 14 hours yesterday, with both sides making impassioned pleas for their respective positions. All the usual arguments were bandied about: it’s not a deterrent, yes it is; it costs...
In 1994, Connecticut joined the vast majority of states in enacting the ‘Truth in Sentencing’ law, which did away with good time and other early release opportunities for inmates. It established a three-tiered system for parole: non-violent offenders are eligible for parole upon serving...
“We should just put everything on the trial list. That’ll learn ‘em” is an idea that every young, wide-eyed, idealistic criminal defense lawyer has when she is beginning the slow descent into disillusion. I first heard it when I was interviewing for a job in my third year of...
“They treat me like an animal, so I’m going to act like one”, a client once said to me at the end of a two hour meeting in which we had discussed his life and the host of disciplinary problems he was experiencing in jail. “I’m not an animal”, he continued,...
Just before he left office in January 2012, Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour pardoned a whopping 198 people at once. Despite the fact that only 10 of them were still incarcerated, the pardons set off a firestorm and gave birth to a lawsuit seeking to invalidate the pardons, not because they...