New York Becomes First State to Require Trial Judges to Remind Prosecutors of Brady Obligations During All Criminal Trials

By Christopher Zoukis New York Chief Administrative Judge Lawrence K. Marks issued a bold (and much-needed) new rule on November 7, 2017. Intended to remind prosecutors of their duty to disclose exculpatory material to the defense, the rule requires that all trial judges in the state issue a “Brady” order…

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Fifth Circuit Vacates Child Pornography Sentence

By Christopher Zoukis The United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit has vacated and remanded the sentence of a convicted child pornographer. Jason Daniel Scott pleaded guilty to one count of possessing child pornography and was sentenced to 108 months of imprisonment and lifetime supervised release. As part…

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Seventh Circuit Passes on Opportunity to Weigh in on Police Use of Cell-Site Simulators

By Christopher Zoukis The United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit has refused to remand a case for further fact-finding about the government’s use of cell-site simulators during investigations. Damian Patrick was wanted for violating parole. In an effort to locate him, Milwaukee police obtained a search warrant…

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Justice Department Maps New Course on Forensic Science Review

By Christopher Zoukis Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced April 10 the Department of Justice (DOJ) will not renew an Obama-created advisory panel which has been studying ways to improve forensic science for four years. Instead, DOJ says it plans a series of different steps to bring responsibility for policymaking inside…

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To Boost Health of Aging Inmates, BOP Seeks Better Data Analysis

By Christopher Zoukis With the general population of federal prisons growing older, the Bureau of Prisons (BOP) is looking for ways of analyzing its healthcare data in order to improve healthcare services for aging prisoners. Last month, BOP published a document, known as a “request for information,” seeking data and…

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Can BOP Care for Inmate with Leukemia? Appeals Court Splits

By Christopher Zoukis Jeffrey Rothbard was already on probation for a state conviction for felony forgery. He had used check design software to create two checks, together worth under $8,000, supposedly written by his employer and payable to his wife, when he came up with a new scheme. He created…

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Atlanta Federal Prison Inmates Freely Come and Go

By Christopher Zoukis In the late ’60s and early ’70s, late-night talk show host and comedian Dick Cavett used to tell stories about his none-too-bright cousin Norman. How dumb was Norman? Well, in one of a long series of failures, Norman set out to become a zookeeper, but couldn’t make…

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AG Sessions Says Private Prisons Are Back in Business with BOP

By Christopher Zoukis Well, that didn’t last long. You’ll remember the fanfare with which the Obama administration last Aug. 18 announced its plan to phase out all use of private-run prisons by the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP). The campaign was kicked off a week earlier with the unveiling of…

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