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I just lost a tough case and, as in any loss, I am bitter about it. My client faces 60 years for the shooting of a rival gang member in Hartford's North End. We tried the case twice, the first time to a hung jury. On Monday, a jury returned a quick guilty verdict.
The case turned on the...
What if just about everything we think we know about the war on drugs is wrong?
Start, for example, with the oft-repeated proposition that the war began in the 1970s, during the administration of Richard M. Nixon.
Wrong. The war is far older, and originates in Henry Anslinger's Federal...
Only rarely have I been able to use the Judas Iscariot sentencing argument. I did so today. My client was found guilty of murder, and faces a maximum of 60 years. There is little doubt he will get every bit of that, given the fact that he faces many other charges of attempted murder and conspiracy...
I came home after dark last night to a report from my wife that our emu had died. She spotted him lifeless in the back of an outbuilding in which he seeks shelter. I could not bear the thought of dealing with him last night. It had been too long and too difficult a week.
I went out not long...
Trial, some say, is a search for the truth. That's specious tomfoolery. In fact, trial, at least a criminal trial, is guerilla warfare. Some of the most lethal terrorists are prosecutors. Fear and the dark arts of intimidation are common tools.
Consider the case of United States versus John...
I've never understood why folks don't regard public defenders as real lawyers. Some of the best lawyers in the state are public defenders - I am thinking of New Haven's Thomas Ullman, Beth Merkin and Joe Lopez, among others. What's more, many folks accused of crimes would be better off with a...
Gov. Dannel Malloy is calling for reform of some of the state's draconian sentencing laws, proposing that mere drug possession be a misdemeanor, and calling for the elimination of mandatory minimum sentences for non-violent drug offenses. That's all well and good, as a start.
Here's where we...
I was sitting with a client, a federal prosecutor and a FBI agent the other night. We were engaged in what is known as a "reverse proffer." That's where the government tells a defendant what it intends to prove at trial. The government's goal is to persuade the accused to enter a guilty...
At courthouses throughout the state, the public at large is required to walk through a metal detector to gain entrance. This includes criminal defense lawyers. Prosecutors and cops are waved right through the security measures. Why? They are regarded as "law enforcement."
The distinction is...
Now that we've abolished the death penalty in Connecticut, at least insofar as future cases are concerned, the fate of those currently on death row being much at issue, there is really no cause for jurors ever lawfully to consider the consequences of a guilty verdict. Why, then, are prosecutors...