• 130 Posts about Journal Register Columns • More recent •
Would a different defense have spared Aaron Hernandez a life sentence? I suspect his lawyers are wondering, especially after jurors told the media they were shocked to hear the defense say in closing arguments that Hernandez was present at the scene of the murder of Odin Lloyd.
Richard Lapointe looked dazed, even confused, when he walked out of Superior Court in Hartford last week. It was the first time in 26 years his feet hit civilian pavement. He was supposed to die behind bars.
apointe's long walk to freedom illustrates the complexity of the criminal justice...
Criminal defense lawyers console themselves about the self-destructive course some clients take by saying such things as: "You can lead a client to the courthouse, but you can't make him think." Courthouses are dark places; a courtroom rarely brings out the best in people.
Consider the case...
Do black lives matter? Do cops's lives matter? The answer to both questions is obvious: yes. That's what makes the arrest of a fifteen year-old-girl in New Haven not long ago such a combustible topic. The sparks still flying after the arrest are proof that we need civilian police accountability...
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...
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...
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...
No sooner had news broken that Craig Hicks was accused of killing three young Muslim college students in North Carolina than calls erupted for a federal hate crime investigation. The Justice Department promptly obliged.
Where was the hue and cry for such an investigation when Ali Muhammed...