June 2015

June 2015 Cover

Does use of a StingRay device amount to a Fourth Amendment search? How can defense lawyers challenge these searches?      

 

Articles in this Issue

  1. Affiliate News

    Affiliate News for June 2015 Champion

  2. Are Multiple Rib Fractures in Infants Always Due to Abuse?

    The story begins to unfold when a mother notices that her infant is flinching, wincing, and experiencing bouts of colic. She waits a week to see if it resolves itself. When she seeks medical care for her infant, doctors find multiple rib fractures, some healing and some new. “Fractures like these don’t occur on their own,” the hospital staff tells the mother. She can offer no account to explain how any of the fractures occurred. Everyone at the hospital looks at the mother with suspicion; they believe someone abused the infant. Suddenly prosecutors accuse the mother of a crime she did not commit. Unknown to the mother or doctors, the child is suffering from a metabolic bone disease. How is evidence of bone fractures commonly misused in wrongful child injury prosecutions?

  3. Book and DVD Reviews: 15 to Life: Kenneth’s Story

    The United States of America is the only country that condemns minors to life sentences without the possibility of parole. Not until 2005, in Roper v. Simmons, did the Supreme Court deem execution of a juvenile unconstitutional. Moreover, it was only in 2010 that the Supreme Court ruled that sentencing a juvenile to life without parole for a conviction of a nonhomicidal offense was unconstitutional. This momentous case, Graham v. Florida, had the potential to change the landscape of juvenile criminal justice. The Supreme Court’s decision affected 2,500 inmates sentenced to life as juveniles, 77 of whom are in Florida.

  4. Book and DVD Reviews: A Serious Mistake

    Frank Southers attempts a genre of mystery noir in A Serious Mistake. The reader is not persuaded, to paraphrase appellate courts.
    The plot: A tough ex-prosecutor, now a tough defense attorney, attends his first meeting as an administrative voluntary judge for bar complaints filed against San Antonio, Texas, lawyers.

  5. From the President: Exaggerated Evidence Yields New Opportunities for Cooperation and Collaboration

    NACDL is committed to alerting the defense bar to the errors made in statements by FBI examiners concerning microscopic hair analysis. It is crucial to identify cases and gather transcripts so that adversely affected defendants have an opportunity to complain and have the assistance of counsel.

  6. Getting Scholarship Into Court Project

    Getting Scholarship Into Court Project for June 2015 Champion

  7. Inside NACDL: Thousands of Prisoners Need Your Help

    President Obama’s clemency initiative presents a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for defense lawyers to reverse the ravages of harsh sentencing policies that have ruined the lives of defendants. Clemency Project 2014 needs volunteers to assist inmates in preparing clemency petitions.

  8. New Guidelines Establish a Standard Of Representation For Children Facing Life Sentences

    More than three dozen organizations have endorsed the “Trial Defense Guidelines: Representing a Child Client Facing a Possible Life Sentence.” The guidelines set forth the roles and responsibilities of the defense team for the duration of a trial proceeding and outline child-specific considerations relevant to pretrial, trial, and sentencing representation.

  9. Practice Points: Cross-Examination — It Is All About the Story!

    Cross-examination involves storytelling. It is the way counsel tells the true story about the case, the witness, or the event — one question at a time. The object of cross-examination is not simply to discredit the opposing witness, but also to advance the story of the defendant’s case through the opposing witness, and to test the truth of the opponent’s story against the defendant’s story. Jurors do not remember verbatim the answers given by witnesses. They do, however, remember stories.

  10. StingRay Devices Usher in a New Fourth Amendment Battleground

    No police technology is more commonly used — and more shrouded in mystery — than the cell site simulator. Commonly called a StingRay, the device mimics a cellphone tower and electronically forces all cellphones in an area to communicate with it. This communication can reveal critical information to police, including the phone number, the phone’s serial number, and the precise location of a phone inside a building (within an accuracy of six feet). Does the use of a StingRay device constitute a Fourth Amendment search?

  11. Trial Defense Guidelines: Representing a Child Client Facing a Possible Life Sentence

    The representation of children in adult court facing a life sentence is a highly specialized area of criminal defense. New trial defense guidelines concerning such representation, endorsed by more than three dozen organizations, are included in their entirety in this issue of The Champion. The guidelines outline child-specific considerations relevant to pretrial, trial, and sentencing representation.