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Archive for February 2016

Body Cameras For Courts Too

The talk about body cameras for police officers is good. It’s good for officer safety, good to document the interaction between officers and the policed. We often know too little about these interactions. Police have a version, the policed have a version, and bystanders have their versions. Confusion can lead to false convictions and unchecked…

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Antonin Scalia: Good for Defendants?

Antonin Scalia was either loved or reviled as an associate justice. Liberals loathed his seemingly callous disregard for minority rights and social progress. Conservatives loved his embrace of tradition. I’m here to say, he wasn’t so bad, and in some very specific areas that matter to me (and matter to criminal defendants), Antonin Scalia was…

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Let’s talk about Narron… and Simmons

Earlier this week I wrote about a particularly silly attempt to shift the burden of proof in a driving under the influence trial. To briefly recap: a prosecutor argued that once the .08 had come into evidence in a DWI bench trial, the state had “discharged its burden,” and that in order for the Defense…

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Don’t Let the State Burden Shift in a DWI

It is a foundational rule of American jurisprudence that the Defendant never has an obligation to put on evidence, and that the burden of proving a case beyond a reasonable doubt always rests with the State. This is true in dealing with general crimes. It is also true in Driving While Impaired offenses, where the…

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