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Being poor isn’t a crime. Or is it? Americans living in poverty are more likely to be involved in the justice system than those from other economic groups. It’s partly because they have little to no access to employment and the means by which to keep themselves and their families fed with a roof over […]

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Elizabeth Renter is a freelance writer and editor who writes about criminal justice issues.

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Supreme Court Rules on DUI Blood Draws

by Elizabeth on April 24, 2013

in Criminal Justice

Score a victory for civil liberties and protections. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled last week that police generally must seek a warrant before drawing blood in a suspected drunk driving case. In a section of criminal law that often turns due process on its head, this ruling is a positive one indeed. About Elizabeth Renter […]

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Elizabeth Renter is a freelance writer and editor who writes about criminal justice issues.

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The average person knows a little about having a “right to remain silent”. Even if you’ve never personally been arrested, you’ve heard that line before on television. But if remaining silent in the face of criminal charges is a right, how could it be used as evidence of our guilt in court? The Supreme Court […]

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When you have a conviction on your record, it can have untold consequences for the rest of your life. In particular, a conviction can make it difficult to find a good job. Fortunately, there are programs out there specifically targeted at ex-offenders and that assist people in getting back into the workforce after a period […]

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If you were to witness a crime, would you remember what the suspect looked like, how they were dressed, or what they said? Many people believe they could be trusted to “finger” the bad guy. But, many would be wrong. Eyewitness identification is the leading contributing factor to wrongful convictions in the United States. More […]

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The U.S. Supreme Court sent a message this week when they declined to hear an appeal overturning  an Illinois law that made it a felony to record police officers. The appeals  court decision against the law will stand, therefore your right to record police officers in Illinois is safe, for now. Prosecutors in the state were hoping […]

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An inquest has been ordered in the death of Derek Williams after the medical examiner ruled his death while in Milwaukee police custody was a homicide. But, as this Journal Sentinel report reveals, inquests are rarely productive and wrought with problems. So, is the inquest just a symbolic effort to save face? About Connect with […]

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Why The U.S. Should End Cash Bail

by dave on September 17, 2012

in General

On any given day, 60 percent of the people housed in jails across the United States aren’t there because they have been found guilty of a crime, but because they are awaiting their day in court. You know the whole “innocent until proven guilty” thing—the premise that our “just” society won’t penalize anyone unless their […]

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Can the police collect your DNA and store it in a national database without any due process?  In twenty-five states they can, if you are even a suspect in a felony case. They even don’t need to wait until you are officially arrested, or until you are found guilty, and they don’t need a warrant […]

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What would it take for you to confess to a crime that you didn’t commit? Would several hours in an interrogation room do it? For many, the acts of interrogating police officers push them to the edge, where they end up admitting to crimes they never committed. One former police officer is working to change […]

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