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Criminal Justice News This Week (week of 03-02-20)

Ohio tries an unusual tactic toward opioid settlement: Working together. "Hundreds of municipalities in Ohio, along with the state’s governor and attorney general, are nearing an agreement on how to divide any money that might come from a major federal case against opioid manufacturers and distributors, an attempt to ensure fairness in the allocation of a potential settlement as recompense for the ravages of the nation’s opioid epidemic."

Report Card: Grading states on 2019 record reforms. "For the first time this year we have prepared a 'Report Card' on how state legislatures performed in 2019 in advancing the goals of reintegration. We have not covered all states, only those we thought most and least productive. We hope this new feature of our annual reports will provide an incentive to legislatures across the nation, and a tool for legislative advocates."

Police Accountability. "Josie Duffy and co-host Darnell Moore discuss police accountability and explain why it’s so hard for the criminal justice system to hold police accountable."

A Key FBI Photo Analysis Method Has Serious Flaws, Study Says. (“After ProPublica’s reporting last year, scientists at UC Berkeley tested one of the FBI Lab’s photo analysis techniques, identifying bluejeans by the pattern on their seams, and found flaws that challenge the method’s reliability.”

Human Trafficking Victims Deserve Greater Access to Second Chances. "A simple revision to Connecticut's vacatur law would make an important difference to victims of human trafficking. The state should allow trafficking victims with convictions for crimes other than prostitution to request vacatur from the court, but give judges the discretion to grant or deny such requests."

The world’s scariest facial recognition company is now linked to everybody from ICE to Best Buy. “Clearview said it only sold facial recognition tech to cops. Its leaked client list says otherwise.”

A D.C. judge issues a much-needed opinion on ‘junk science’. "Last September, the D.C. Superior Court restricted the testimony of a prosecution ballistics expert in a felony case. I want to draw some attention to the opinion, which I haven’t seen written up elsewhere, because it is one of the best decisions I have read in response to a challenge to the scientific validity of forensic evidence, particularly in a criminal case."

A New Study Challenges the Reliability of Court Psych Exams. "A team of lawyers and psychologists reviewed 364 exams used in the legal system, finding a third of them don't pass muster with forensic mental health experts."

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