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Commonwealth Court: Conviction Necessary for Common Law Forfeiture

Filed under: Criminal Law by Contributor @ October 19, 2014

In an interesting development to the much publicized application of state forfeiture law (Forbes, John Oliver Emphasizing Philadelphia), the Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court recently held in Commonwealth v. 2010 Buick Enclave that the Commonwealth may not attempt to forfeit criminal derivative contraband under the civil common law without evidence of a criminal conviction. In civil forfeiture actions, the government sues […]

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Mumia’s Commencement Speech Reaction – “Think about the myriad of problems that beset this land and strive to make it better.”

Filed under: News by Contributor @ October 14, 2014

The dust has now begun to settle over last week’s news that Mumia Abu-Jamal was asked to deliver a commencement speech via recording at an individual program graduation ceremony at Goddard College, a private and self-described non-traditional liberal arts college in Vermont.  Goddard has now released the speech that Mumia delivered.   Take a look […]

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En Banc Court Clarifies PCRA Witness Requirement

Filed under: Criminal Law by Contributor @ October 11, 2014

On September 17, the Pennsylvania Superior Court issued an en banc decision in Commonwealth v. Pander, 2014 WL 4628565, holding that, in seeking an evidentiary hearing, the PCRA statute and rules of criminal procedure require only a witness certification form, signed by either the attorney or the petitioner pro se, detailing the proposed witness and […]

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NJ Passes “Ban the Box”

Filed under: News by Contributor @ October 8, 2014

The stigma from a criminal conviction will outlast the state’s punishment, a reality that some argue results in an unnecessary and deleterious effect on the economic viability, health, and security of our communities. Last month, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie signed into law the “Opportunity to Compete Act,” which prohibits certain employers from considering a […]

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National Research Council Recommends Best Practices for Eyewitness Testimony

Filed under: Criminal Law by Contributor @ October 5, 2014

Who are you going to trust?  Science or your lying eyes? Eyewitness testimony is widely understood to be highly probative of guilt and is among the most damaging and effective evidence the prosecution may use in making its case against a defendant.  However, eyewitness reports are subject to their own frustratingly difficult array of inherent bias and mistake.  This is especially true […]

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