“Think Hard and Fast About Your Priorities”: Federal Judge Chastises Rep. Chaka Fattah For Not Paying His Criminal Defense Lawyers

JONATHAN TURLEY

Chaka_Fattah_official_headshotPennsylvania Democratic Rep. Chaka Fattah faced a rare tongue lashing from U.S. District Judge Harvey Bartle III over the failure to pay his defense counsel in his corruption and racketeering trial. Judge Bartle snapped at Rep. Fattah to get “your priorities” straight.

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Virginia Senate Kills Measure To Repeal Criminalization of Adultery

JONATHAN TURLEY

virginia%20is%20for%20loversA legislative proposal by Sen. Scott Surovell (D–Fairfax) would have seemed a no brainer in any legislative body. Surovell was seeking to decriminalize adultery in Virginia. As I have previously discussed (here and here), Virginia has an anachronistic and facially unconstitutional law that makes adultery a crime. Yet, the Virginia Senate killed the bill this month and reaffirmed its intention to criminalize what the majority deems immoral choices by consenting adults. Adultery will remain a Class 4 misdemeanor despite 13 other states that have repealed similar laws in recent years.

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Virginia Senate Kills Measure To Repeal Criminalization of Adultery

JONATHAN TURLEY

virginia%20is%20for%20loversA legislative proposal by Sen. Scott Surovell (D–Fairfax) would have seemed a no brainer in any legislative body. Surovell was seeking to decriminalize adultery in Virginia. As I have previously discussed (here and here), Virginia has an anachronistic and facially unconstitutional law that makes adultery a crime. Yet, the Virginia Senate killed the bill this month and reaffirmed its intention to criminalize what the majority deems immoral choices by consenting adults. Adultery will remain a Class 4 misdemeanor despite 13 other states that have repealed similar laws in recent years.

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Indiana Moves Toward Law Giving Police Departments The Right To Withhold Video From Police Body Cameras

JONATHAN TURLEY

legislator_kevin_mahan_1028bwc_leadAn Indiana House government committee voted unanimously to allow police departments to withhold video from police body cameras. Unanimously. These videotapes have resulted in arguably the single most effective deterrent of police abuse in the history of this country. However, Rep. Kevin Mahan (left) (R., Hartford City) wants to leave the release of the evidence at the discretion of the very department that often faces the greatest criticism and costs over such evidence.

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More Client-Centered than Thou

Appellate Squawk

Client Satisfaction Survey hearing If you ever want to liven up a dull CLE, just ask your audience, “How do you deal with a client who wants you to do something that you know would sink their case?”  People who’ve been totally comatose until that moment will lift their noses out of their I-phones and start baying, “I’ve been practicing law for 30 years, and I would NEVER. . .”  “I’ve been a public defender all my life, and I would  ALWAYS. . . ”

Add to the hypothetical that the client is a juvenile or otherwise mentally underserved and they may start throwing chairs.  There’ll be heated speeches on Equality, Autonomy and the Evils of Paternalism, followed by retorts that if clients had good judgment they wouldn’t have ended up as clients.  And somebody will inevitably unfurl the banner of CLIENT-CENTERED REPRESENTATION.

Since that seems to be our kommandant’s favorite slogan, we decided to find out…

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Bipartisan Coalition Looks Targets Florida for Sentencing Reform

crimcourts : A Criminal Law Blog

Advocates of sentencing reform have been doing a nationwide tour for their push, and came to Florida this past week. Brian Elderbroom, of the Urban Institute, took part in a “Fair Sentencing” event at the Florida State University College of Law. Also taking part was Lauren Galik, who’s report “The High Cost of Incarceration in Florida: Recommendations for Reform” can be found online, HERE.

There is a serious movement from both sides of the aisle to put more common sense in sentencing, and in doing so, reduce the cost and potentially be more proactive in preventing crime. It’s a movement to keep an eye on.

read more here. and here.

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Woman Found Dead In Hotel Room With Two Capuchin Monkeys and An Incoherent Man . . . Police Declare Death “Suspicious”

JONATHAN TURLEY

bildePolice in North Port, Florida responded to the discovery of a dead body in a hotel room with two live Capuchin monkeys and an incoherent man. In an announcement that would seem the most unassailable finding in the annals of criminal justice, the police declared the death of Linda Marie Smith, 59, to be “suspicious.”

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