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Archive | 7. Post-Trial RSS feed for this section

Where does addiction reside?

March 31, 2012

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I’m just writing here.  No discussion of the law, or at least not too much of it.  It’s just that something struck me the other day. I met with a guy in jail.  Simple enough underlying event – would go into an abandoned house to smoke some weed away from peering eyes and noses.  A […]

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What it means to practice criminal-defense law

March 7, 2012

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There’s an unsurprising change in attitudes when crime leaves abstraction behind.  A person condemns the government for putting people to death until their daughter is dismembered.  Someone is pro-Death Penalty until they watch up close the trial of an acquaintance and see that “truth” and “justice” are concepts foreign in the courtroom.  I chuckled silently when I […]

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Medical Care in Prisons

February 29, 2012

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People can get as cranky as they please over the cost of housing prison inmates, but it doesn’t change the fact that inmates need proper medical care – physical, mental, and dental.  Pennsylvania prisons have outsourced care to Prison Health Services, apparently a division of Corizon Health (run out of Tennessee). Providing adequate care falls […]

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Steel Wheels: Amish can tear up roads, and that’s a good thing

February 20, 2012

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Steel Wheels: Amish can tear up roads, and that’s a good thing

I think this case, Mitchell County v. Zimmerman, is telling us on page 2 that the entire Amish gig rests upon Romans 12:2, in particular, the opening phrase:  And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and […]

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Smoking weed and doing time

February 16, 2012

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Smoking weed and doing time

First, don’t apply the “non-violent” label to stoners too quickly.  See here.  But let’s assume that we have a true non-violent offender.  The dude just smokes weed and wears pajamas in public. How does Pennsylvania law address him?  We’re gonna use a “small amount” of weed – that’s 30 grams.  Dude, if you’re carrying more […]

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Trolling Research Papers – February 2012

February 13, 2012

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Trolling Research Papers – February 2012

Back to the Social Science Research Network … Remember the movie Green Card?  I recalled it yesterday because I got the baseline facts on a new case – a simple divorce following kinda-sorta-not-sure-I-need-to-get-into-this-aspect-to-get-a-decree-but-it-could-be-interesting a marriage rooted in trying to get citizenship.  The dude, I guess, didn’t fit into America, and he’s back to his home […]

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Extending Graham v Florida: Is death foreseeable through a juvenile’s eyes?

February 9, 2012

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Extending Graham v Florida: Is death foreseeable through a juvenile’s eyes?

I’m working through my thoughts on an appeal.  Juvenile got life without parole.  He was an accessory to a robbery.  The principal shot and killed a store clerk.  Client went down on Felony-Murder as an accessory to an enumerated felony.  Interestingly, the shooter got Murder 1 based on planning the murder.  It’s interesting because my […]

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PCRA Nunc Pro Tunc

February 8, 2012

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PCRA Nunc Pro Tunc

So you got toasted at trial, and now you have all the time in the world on your hands as you sit in prison either for a couple of decades before your first parole hearing or the rest of your natural life.  The direct appeals have washed away.  Your conviction is sealed as surely as […]

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Further Issues in Mens Rea: Implied Malice

February 2, 2012

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Further Issues in Mens Rea:  Implied Malice

An actor’s mental state is central to determining whether or not a crime was committed.  We discussed mens rea here and here.  One person shooting another could have been an accident or in self-defense … or, of course, intentional murder.  It’s all determined by mental state.  But, importantly, many times we need to infer mental state […]

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The danger of not being first: When prosecutors learn off co-defendants

January 23, 2012

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The danger of not being first: When prosecutors learn off co-defendants

You’re going to trial.  Would you rather a top-end sentence of 40 years or Life?  As an outsider, which crime do you think would be harder to prove – the 40-year max or Life? I was researching a possible appeal this week.  A person was wrongfully killed about 20 years ago by three men.  The […]

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