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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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Do People Really Confess To Crimes They Didn’t Commit? Yes

For the better part of the past year, the New York media has been obsessing over retired Brooklyn Homicide Detective Louis Scarcella and his alleged role in procuring numerous confessions from murder suspects. I have no personal knowledge regarding any of these cases. Everything I…

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Thoughts on Stop and Frisk- Part 2

In 1968, the U.S. Supreme Court gave us the answer to this very question in a case called “Terry v. Ohio.” The facts in “Terry” are similar to the ones listed in the previous post. In that case, the police ultimately detained the individuals whom…

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Thoughts on Stop and Frisk- Part 1

I was a prosecutor in the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office during the height of the “Stop and Frisk” era. I routinely interviewed police officers shortly after they made arrests that lead from their “stops” of individuals and I have even tried a few of the…

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