• 126 Posts about Journal Register Columns • More recent •
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...
A couple of decades ago, I paced the halls of the federal courthouse in Hartford for days awaiting a verdict in a police misconduct case. My client was the son of a New Haven police officer. One night, as the nightclubs were closing in New Haven, an officer struck the client in the head with his...
Most lawyers don't talk much about legal fees with members of the general public. Why should they? It's rare that good news brings a person to a law office. More often than not, crisis drives the need for a lawyer, and a lawyer's request to be paid for his or her services is begrimed by the very...
Dying scares me less than suffering. Perhaps that's because I've reached an age at which I attend more funerals than weddings. But I can imagine nothing more terrifying than to be forced to suffer. So my heart goes out to Cassandra C., the young 17-year-old kidnapped by the state and forced,...
Jesus wept at the gravesite of Lazarus, the Gospel of John reports. Theologians debate the meaning of those tears. Some take it as source of sorrow over the tyranny of death, a master over us all. Others see it as his frustration over the blindness of those who failed to recognize his divine...