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Federal Judge Says Plea Bargaining System Is Broken

Many criminal law practitioners believe the criminal justice system is broken. Most believe the reason it is broken is because the plea-bargaining system is broken. Federal Judge Jed Rakoff offered his own insight in a New York Daily News piece that was released today. Judge…

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How does self-defense work in New York?

Self Defense Laws NYC The State of New York adheres to the “Duty to Retreat” & “Castle Doctrine” clauses. In public many have the limited responsibility to retreat when possible as NY is not a “Stand Your Ground” state. However, if a threat occurs in…

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Occupy Wall Street Protestor Found Guilty

Last week, a Manhattan jury found an Occupy Wall Street protestor guilty of Assault in the Second Degree. Cecilly McMillan now faces up to 7 years in prison for elbowing a police officer during a protest. Ms. McMillan’s defense was that the officer grabbed her…

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The Impossibility Of The Insanity Defense- Part 2

These developments make it almost impossible to prevail in an insanity defense. In New York, the insanity defense is listed in Penal Code Section 40.15. In the section, the law states “[i]n any prosecution for an offense, it is an affirmative defense that when the…

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The Impossibility Of The Insanity Defense- Part 1

On March 28, 2014, David Tarloff was found guilty of murdering a psychologist in a botched robbery. This was the third time Mr. Tarloff was put on trial for the crime. In 2010, Mr. Tarloff was declared unfit to proceed to trial during jury selection.…

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Should New York Revamp The Discovery Statute- Part 2

So those are the arguments made by defense attorneys and prosecutors on this topic. Then there’s the argument made by the journalist and the non-lawyer. That “open-file” discovery will force prosecutors to turn over exculpatory information to the defense, which will lead to fewer false…

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Should New York Revamp The Discovery Statute- Part 1

Several convictions have recently been overturned in New York. This has lead to a movement aimed at liberalizing New York’s strict discovery laws. The movement hopes to create what is commonly referred to as “open-file discovery.” As it stands today, the discovery law in New…

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Parachuting Off The Freedom Tower And Burglary Overcharging?

On September 30, 2013, three individuals climbed up the Freedom Tower in New York City and jumped off of it. They landed safely to the ground. After a longterm investigation, they were arrested a few weeks ago. They were arraigned on March 24, 2014. What…

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Congress Mulls Major Prison Sentence Reform

The United States has as a population of approximately 300 million people. The world is comprised of approximately 6 billion people. That means that if you’re a human on planet earth, there is a 5% chance that you are an American. However, if you are…

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