August 2020

August 2020 Cover

This month, discover an argument for suppressing the “DNA information” extracted from the “analysis” of surreptitiously obtained DNA rather than suppression of the DNA itself.


Articles in this Issue

  1. Affiliate News

    What events are NACDL affiliates hosting this month? Find out here.

  2. Book Review: Homeward by Bruce Western

    This month Jeffrey M. Gamso reviews Homeward: Life in the Year after Prison by Bruce Western.

  3. DWI: D.W.I. Means ‘Don’t Wing It’

    Before addressing each Field Sobriety Test individually, defense counsel can create doubt in the minds of jurors in a DWI case by suggesting that the tests generally are unfair and unreliable. Defense attorney Daniel Bertolino provides a sample cross-examination.

  4. From the President: The People We Fight For

    Plexiglass retrofitting of courtrooms does not protect jurors, litigants, or court personnel from the potentially lethal coronavirus. Plexiglass will, however, interfere with a lawyer’s ability to communicate confidentially with clients.

  5. Inside NACDL: NACDL Installs New Leaders Amid Pandemic

    When NACDL convened its Annual Meeting on August 15, 2020, it was the first time that an Annual Meeting was livestreamed, thus making it possible for members every­where to view the proceedings. What they saw was an incredible infusion of new talent into the leadership ranks.

  6. Suppressing Surreptitious DNA Samples in a Criminal Case

    “Surreptitious DNA sample” refers to the collection and analysis of DNA from a person without the person’s knowledge and without coercion. For example, the police may swab a suspect’s DNA from a discarded cigarette. Oded Oren outlines an argument for suppressing the DNA information extracted from the analysis of surreptitiously obtained DNA rather than suppression of the DNA itself or the physical object from which it was obtained.

  7. The Faulty Science of the Floating Lung Test: More Pseudo Forensic Science

    Proof of live birth is often necessary to prove that a woman killed her newborn child. The floating lung test requires that medical examiners take pieces of an infant’s lung and place them in water. The theory is that if the lungs float, demonstrating oxygen was in the lungs, the child was born alive. If the lungs sink, the conclusion is that the infant died in utero, thereby clearing a formerly pregnant women from liability for the death. Is the floating lung test a valid test?

  8. The Immigration Monkey Wrench

    Successful Presentation of Compassionate Release Actions in Light of COVID-19, Including for the Foreign-Born Client with an Immigration Detainer

    Representation of detained clients who are at high risk for serious health consequences if they contract COVID-19 involves a progression of actions. The authors provide an overview of how to seek compassionate release from both prison wardens and dis­trict courts. This discussion includes strategies for nav­igating an ICE detainer and other immigration law issues when clients are not United States citizens.