In some cases, the prosecution won’t offer any kind of plea bargain without what they call a “mandatory debrief,” which means that they want the defendant to talk to the police before they will offer a deal. So far in my short experience, I have not had any prosecutor actually commit to what kind of deal they would give, or even to commit to what kinds of questions they would ask or areas they are interested in. When faced with such wishy-washy promises from people they absolutely can’t trust, most defendants are justifiably wary.
Some are not. The New York Times Magazine ran a piece on the life of Alex White, a professional snitch/informant in Atlanta who actually helped bring down his handlers after they wanted him to cover up their killing a 92-year-old woman in Atlanta. And it’s not a pretty picture. Continue reading
I have long been lucky to know John Karr, a great friend and a legendary DC trial lawyer. And now I will have the pleasure of working on some cases with him as well. John’s firm is Karr and Allison and you can find out more about him here.
I probably shouldn’t be writing this while I am still smarting from a particularly tough loss, but in one sense it just proves my point. My loss today resulted in a ten-day sentence, 170 days suspended, and a year probation. Before I got involved in defending criminal cases, I would have thought that was a small consequence, but I can assure you that it was not a small consequence to the person serving that sentence, and it is not small to me today. Continue reading
I don’t know how things are in other areas of the country, but here in DC we have a rash of police officers and security guards issuing barring notices to people, ostensibly on behalf of the property owners. The DC Police Department describes the barring notice fairly innocuously: Continue reading
So over the last few weeks, I have seen more and more Occupy DC protesters being brought in to DC Superior Court, arrested for this and that. DC has a system where most people charged with misdemeanors will be released on personal recognizance – allowed to go home as long as they check in with pretrial services, and follow any other orders the judge feels necessary. These orders are put in place at the time of arraignment.
All of the Occupy DC folks I saw come in have been ordered to stay away from the place where they were arrested, either McPherson Square or Freedom Plaza. I had not seen any of the defense attorneys object to this “stay away” order. It occurred to me that the stay away is an underhanded attempt by police and prosecution to stifle the protest – to deprive the movement of its leaders (if you accept that’s who the police target), or even of followers. If everyone has to stay away from the site of the protest, there is no protest.
Former Attorney General Mukasey’s last minute fuck you to the immigrant community is looking like it might be against the ropes. As discussed in a previous post, in Silva-Trevino, ex-Attorney General Mukasey attempted to drastically revise nearly a century of jurisprudence governing the analysis used to determine whether a particular conviction constitutes a crime involving moral turpitude (CIMT).
Today, the 4th Circuit becomes the fourth circuit court to reject Silva-Trevino. In Prudencio v. Holder, the 4th Circuit held that ex-AG Mukasey’s decision was not entitled to Chevron deference because there was no ambiguity in the statute, that indeed, any ambiguity was of Mukasey’s own making. The author of the opinion, Judge Keenan, a fairly recent Obama appointee, had some pretty choice words for Mukasey’s linguistic gymnastics.
Not that anyone is feeling a lack
To those 1 or 2 of you who may actually read this blog, I apologize for not posting for so long. I was recently appointed to the CJA Panel to take court-appointed criminal misdemeanors in DC Superior Court. At the same time, I was appointed to the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals CJA Panel for criminal appeals as well. I am trying to come to grips with how little I actually know. I am learning as fast as I can, though. I have been drinking from the fire hose, that’s for sure. I hope to post more as I learn more.
We are accustomed to blood, your Honor. It used to look mussy, and make us feel squeamish. But we have not only seen it shed in buckets full, we have seen it shed in rivers, lakes and oceans, and we have delighted in it; we have preached it, we have worked for it, we have advised it, we have taught it to the young, encouraged the old, until the world has been drenched in blood, and it has left its stains upon every human heart and upon every human mind, and has almost stifled the feelings of pity and charity that have their natural home in the human breast.
Clarence Darrow – Closing argument in Leopold and Loeb trial
Via the crImmigration blog:
The U.S. Department of Justice posted the following message on its Facebook page last week:”To report potential civil rights concerns related to the impact of Alabama’s immigration law H.B. 56, please contact 1-855-353-1010 or [email protected]”
As discussed in a previous post, in Silva-Trevino, ex-Attorney General Mukasey attempted to drastically revise nearly a century of jurisprudence governing the analysis used to determine whether a particular conviction constitutes a crime involving moral turpitude (CIMT). This post will attempt to answer the question – when are the Immigration Courts allowed to look beyond the record of conviction to determine whether a conviction for simple assault is a CIMT?
EDIT: After the Fourth Circuit’s recent decision rejecting Silva-Trevino in Prudencio v. Holder, this approach is looking more and more vulnerable to attack. Check to see whether Silva-Trevino is still good law in your circuit. I discuss the Fourth Circuit decision here.
Posted in Criminal Law, Immigration
Tagged BIA, Cancellation of Removal, Criminal Immigration, deportation, EOIR, Immigration, Immigration Court, removal, Removal Defence, Statutory Interpretation