Derrick Etheridge

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Are Innocent People Pleading Guilty? A New Report Says Yes

Defendants in federal cases face life changing choices once they have been charged, plead guilty and take a less severe penalty, or exercise their right to a trial and risk years (decades) in prison. It is no wonder that some have pondered whether innocent people are pleading guilty to crimes they …

Sentencing Guidelines

Michigan Indigent Defense Commission work continues, its support increased

<b>The Michigan Indigent Defense Commission meeting in January 2018</b><p>LEGAL NEWS FILE PHOTO BY CYNTHIA PRICE<p><b>by Cynthia Price</b><br>Legal News<p>As the hard-working …

Treatment of sex offenders depends on whether they've challenged rules

WASHINGTON – Eight months after the U.S. Supreme Court effectively upheld a decision saying parts of Michigan's sex offender registry law — one of …

Would Michigan Legislature give $87M to defend poor people accused of a crime?

LANSING – Michigan counties currently spend at least $108 million more on prosecuting people accused of a crime than they do on the constitutionally …

Improving court-appointed attorney system will cost $7.8M, Greater Lansing counties say

LANSING – It will take a combined $7.8 million, five times more than current spending, for Ingham, Eaton and Clinton counties to meet new state …

America Is Waking Up to the Injustice of Cash Bail

On any given morning, some 20 people in orange jumpsuits sit in a pen in a courtroom at the Orleans Parish Criminal District Court in New Orleans, …

Watch John Oliver Call Out ‘Bullshit’ Forensic Science

Forensic evidence may appear foolproof on flashy TV crime dramas, but as John Oliver detailed on Sunday’s <i>Last Week Tonight</i>, these techniques often …

When a Mental Health Emergency Lands You in Jail

Filed 10:00 p.m.<p>09.20.2017<p>News<p>Colorado just outlawed jail for people in a psychiatric crisis, but plenty of states still do it.<p>Early last year, two …

Court: Charges OK if drunken driver busted in own driveway

Trending StoriesTrending StoriesMore>><p>Updated:Tuesday, July 24 2018 3:23 PM EDT2018-07-24 19:23:18 GMT<p>She has been battling cancer for years and now …

Crime

Conservative Political Blogger Confirmed For Seat On Federal Appeals Court

On a party-line vote, the U.S. Senate voted Thursday to confirm President Trump's most controversial judicial nominee to date.<p>He is John Bush, a Kentucky lawyer and political blogger whose posts disparaged gay rights and compared the Supreme Court's abortion decision in <i>Roe</i> <i>v. Wade</i> to its pro-slavery …

Michigan Supreme Court unanimously rules in favor of Kent Co. deputies in pot butter case

LANSING, Mich. -- Justices of the Michigan Supreme Court unanimously ruled the "knock-and-talks" used against two former Kent County deputies to …

Standards | Michigan Indigent Defense Commission

Standard 1<p><b>Education and Training of Defense Counsel</b><p>The MIDC Act requires adherence to the principle that “[d]efense counsel is required to attend …

Locked Up for Being Poor

Maranda Lynn ODonnell, a 22-year-old single mother in Harris County, Tex., was arrested last year for driving without a valid license. The judge set her bail at $2,500. She couldn’t afford anything close to that, so she spent three days in jail — even though she posed no risk of skipping town or …

‘Rap on Trial’: Why Lyrics Should Be Off-Limits

On the afternoon of March 16th, 2017, aspiring rapper Anthony Murillo stood to hear the jury’s verdict – the culmination of a weeklong trial in which …

Court fees and restitution should be returned when criminal convictions are overturned, SCOTUS rules

When a criminal conviction is invalidated on appeal, the state is obligated to refund fees, court costs and restitution paid by the defendant, the …

U.S. Supreme Court

Michigan Senate passes legislation legalizing switchblade knives

LANSING, MI -- Switchblade knives would no longer be illegal in Michigan under a bill passed by the state Senate on Thursday.<p>The bill was introduced …

Inside NOLA public defenders' decision to refuse felony cases

• How do 50 lawyers handle 22,000 cases? They can’t. New Orleans public defenders say the criminal justice system needs urgent reform.<br>• New Orleans …

Michigan centralizes medical marijuana regulation under new bureau

LANSING, MI -- Michigan has created the Bureau of Medical Marihuana Regulation to centralize all aspects of medical marijuana regulation, the …

Jeff Sessions Is Keeping Junk Science in America’s Courts

Much of the “forensic science” used to convict people of crimes in the United States turns out not to be science at all. After a number of scandals …

Supreme Court strikes down Texas mental disability standards for death-penalty eligibility

The U.S. Supreme Court has struck down the standards used by the state of Texas to determine whether an inmate has a mental disability that…

Supreme Court rules cell phones cannot be searched without a warrant

Police need a warrant to search the cell phone of a person who has been arrested, absent special circumstances, a unanimous Supreme Court ruled …

Clarence Thomas Questions Legality Of Letting Cops Take Innocent People's Stuff

The Supreme Court justice's skepticism of civil asset forfeiture may signal the court would be receptive to a review.<p>WASHINGTON ― Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas sent a strong signal on Monday about his feelings toward civil asset forfeiture, a controversial law enforcement tool that allows …

Court-appointed attorneys paid little, do little, records show

LANSING – When criminal defendants who face life in prison can't afford their own attorney, they'll get about three days of work from the lawyer the …

A wake-up call on the junk science infesting our courtrooms

By Harry T. Edwards<p>Jennifer L. Mnookin<p><i>Harry T. Edwards is a senior judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. Jennifer L. Mnookin is dean of the UCLA School of Law. They serve as co-chairs of the Senior Advisors to the PCAST Working Group.</i><p>On the popular television show “CSI,” forensic …

Forensics

Gov. Snyder signs medical marijuana bills clarifying dispensaries, edibles

LANSING, MI -- Gov. Rick Snyder on Tuesday signed bills legalizing and regulating medical marijuana edibles and dispensaries.<p>"This new law will help …

Militarization of police has had a profound effect on American law enforcement

• Home<br>• Daily News<br>• Militarization of police has had a profound…<p>ABA Annual Meeting<p>At the beginning of the ABA Annual Meeting event “Peace Officer: How …

US police mistake icing from Krispy Kreme doughnuts for crystal meth

Daniel Rushing had been eating the snack in his car when pulled over by Orlando officers who believed icing from the doughnuts were drugs<p>Daniel Rushing probably won’t be eating Krispy Kreme doughnuts in his car any more.<p>The 64-year-old was arrested on drug charges when Orlando police officers …

Our Bail System Is Leaving Innocent People To Die In Jail Because They're Poor

When freedom is only available to those who can afford it, many end up paying with their lives.<p>Jail deaths disproportionately impact poor defendants, according to a months-long investigation published by The Huffington Post this week, which documents more than 800 fatalities in the past year across …