Archive June 2020

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Barton v. Barr: Prior offense precluding cancellation of removal need not be the offense of removal

A prior offense that precludes cancellation of removal of a lawful permanent resident need not be the offense of removal, the U.S. Supreme Court held April 23 in Barton v. Barr

We're Not Satisfied: The Movement to Manifest Black Lives Matter Marches On

Yesterday, we got word that Santa Clara County District Attorney Jeff Rosen withdrew a whistleblower complaint against me over my blog posts where I highlighted the role of prosecutors in perpetuating police violence and dehumanizing black people through their use of the mass incarceration machine and demanded accountability of DA’s offices and system wide, sweeping criminal-justice reform.

Kansas v. Glover: Investigatory stop of car owned by person with revoked license does not violate 4th Amendment, absent information the driver is not the owner

The Fourth Amendment allows an investigative traffic stop when “factual and practical considerations of everyday life” and “common sense” give rise to reasonable suspicion of criminal activity, the Court said. The officer’s knowledge that the registered owner of the vehicle had a revoked license “provided more than reasonable suspicion to initiate the stop,” the Court said.

Max Mason Posthumously Pardoned

Now we need your help to come alongside our city and address one of the dark chapters still open from the 1920 lynchings. The hope for a better tomorrow compels us to recognize that Mr. Mason was convicted of sexual assault solely because he was Black. Today, Minnesota law gives this Board the authority to publicly rebuke one of the injustices that scar our State, and we urge you to take this powerful opportunity to do the right thing in the name of the future of every Minnesotan.

Ramos v. Louisiana: Sixth Amendment requires juries be unanimous, but real debate is over stare decisis

The Sixth Amendment right to jury trial requires that jurors be unanimous in their verdict, the U.S. Supreme Court held April 20, 2020, in Ramos v. Louisiana. The Court struck down procedures in Louisiana and Oregon that allowed conviction by non-unanimous juries.

Say and Manifest Black Lives Matter Every Day

On this day of Public Defender marches for Black Lives across our state & country, we commit to say and manifest #BlackLivesMatter everyday in our work as #PublicDefenders…when we visit our people at the jail, answer their phone calls, meet with their families, stand besides them in court, investigate and cultivate defenses, litigate suppression motions, seek equitable, humane sentences, battle in limines motions, meaningfully voir dire prospective jurors, cross examine witnesses, deliver closing arguments, listen to and tell their stories, say their names and restore their humanity in a system that robs them of it.

Black Lives Matter: NAPD’s Commitment to Transformational Change

NAPD commits itself to reflect anti-racist principles, policies, and practices and lead through a racial and ethnic justice lens.  We strive to be an explicitly anti-racist organization, as we build a bold vision for our organization and for the role of public defense in creating a more just and equitable future. 

Let's Talk About Your Experience as a Public Defender

I can never quite shake the feeling that our judges lack a perspective I'm not even confident they know they're missing. Despite the fact that a huge percentage of their cases are criminal – and a large percentage of those cases are litigated on behalf of indigent people – most of our judges come directly from either civil practice or a lower court bench.

Guerrero-Lasprilla v. Barr: Immigration Act allows courts to apply a legal standard to undisputed or established facts

The Immigration and Nationality Act does not prohibit federal courts from reviewing questions of law that involve applying a legal standard to undisputed or established facts, the U.S. Supreme Court held March 23 in Guerrero-Lasprilla v. Barr

Be mad at the police, but be even madder at the DA’s offices that perpetuate and protect them

In this moment, we appropriately unleash our anger and frustration at police departments across the country for their continued brutality, violence and harassment imposed upon black people.  But to best honor George Floyd, we should fire our very righteous outrage, fury and ire at District Attorney’s offices too.