Several interesting criminal procedure decisions were handed down in May by the New York Court of Appeals:
People v. Stone, 2017 N.Y. Slip Op. 03559, 29 N.Y.3d 166 (May 4, 2017) (Court’s PDF) – Conviction affirmed where the defendant argued his right to confrontation was violated where a detective was permitted to testify that an unavailable witness had identified the defendant. The Court held that the trial court “eliminated any prejudice to defendant by striking the offending testimony from the record and instructing the jury to disregard the statements.”
People v. Bushey, 29 N.Y.3d 158, 53 N.Y.S.3d 604 (May 4, 2017) (Court’s PDF) – In this case, the Court held that a police officer may run a car’s license plate number through the government database without any suspicion of wrongdoing; that this does not constitute a search, and that any information obtained as result of such inquire may form probable cause for the police officer to stop the vehicle.
People v. Smalling, 29 N.Y.3d 981, 75 N.E.3d 665, 53 N.Y.S.3d 248 (May 2, 2017) (Court’s PDF) – In this case, the Court reversed a conviction and ordered a new trial where the trial court had agreed not to give a jury instruction on constructive possession but then ultimately did give such an instruction.
In a recent Huffington Post piece, titled The Trump Administration’s Treatment Of Law Enforcement Professionals and The Criminal Justice System Is Alarming, alum and PCJI Board Member John Bandler critiques the administration’s treatment of the law enforcement community.
Founded in 1992 with only three attorneys on staff, Peter Neufeld and Barry Scheck have made a profound impact on the criminal justice system in the United States over the past 25 years. Explore their 25th anniversary interactive summary online and if you are interested, see how you can help.
As Craig Watkins, former Dallas District Attorney, stated:
Everybody thinks the civil rights struggle is over. It’s not. There’s a new civil rights struggle, dealing with criminal justice.
In 1992, there were three attorneys on staff of this project affiliated with the Cardozo Law School, the Cardozo Law School clinic trained 20 students that year, there were ten exonerations by 1992, and zero states with post-conviction DNA statutes in 1992.
To date, there have been 349 exonerations using DNA technology, there are 50 states with access to post-conviction DNA testing, 25 states that record interrogations, 20 states with improved eye-witness procedures, 32 states with wrongful conviction compensation laws, 100+ laws have been passed so far to prevent wrongful conviction and support exonerees, 80 staff members of the Innocence Project, and 550 Cardozo Law School students trained since 1992.
In today’s New York Times, Errol Morris, famed author and moviemaker, addresses the death penalty.
The National Archive of Criminal Justice Data (NACJD) is the source for crime and justice data. The archive’s mission is
to facilitate research in criminal justice and criminology, through the preservation, enhancement, and sharing of computerized data resources; through the production of original research based on archived data; and through specialized training workshops in quantitative analysis of crime and justice data.
Users can download available data, analyze data online and also deposit data via a secure uploading process. Available data can be searched or browsed. The browseable categories include: attitude surveys, community studies, computer program and instructional packages, corrections, court case processing, courts, criminal justice system, crime and delinquency, drugs, alcohol and crime, homicide studies, official statistics, police, and victimization.
Whether searching or browsing the collection of data, the results page includes additional filters to narrow down along with selected list of publications relevant to the category being researched.