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Criminal Justice News This Week (week of 05-18-20)

Sentenced for Three Strikes, Then Freed. Now Comes a Pushback. "Measures that softened California’s sentencing laws are headed for the ballot again."

Multiple Ohio Prison Deaths Include Inmate Arguing Innocence. "Ohio prison inmate Carlos Ridley, four decades into a life sentence for a triple slaying, was awaiting a court ruling this month he hoped would help him prove innocence through DNA testing."

Twitter CEO gives $10M to help prisons battle coronavirus. "The donation will buy 10 million face masks and other equipment for people who are incarcerated and corrections employees."

Federal Court Says Every Drug Dog In Utah Is Unreliable. "Courts have historically been willing to cut drug dogs as much slack as they cut their law enforcement officer handlers. Subjective interpretations of anything an animal does to please its master is considered close enough to Fourth Amendment compliance to justify warrantless searches. Every so often, a court will question the reliability of the dog or the intent of its handler, but those are anomalies."

Prosecuting PPP Fraud May Be Harder Than It Seems. "Once the May 14 deadline for arguably undeserving recipients of PPP loans to return the funds 'no questions asked' has passed, the government will no doubt seek to make examples of undeserving PPP loan recipients."

Pay Cuts, Layoffs, and More: How Law Firms Are Managing the Pandemic. "Our firm-by-firm guide to how law firms are protecting their bottom lines from the economic fallout of the coronavirus."

Senate Approves Surveillance Bill With Sharper Privacy Safeguards. "The Senate voted to revive three F.B.I. tools for counterintelligence and counterterrorism investigations and amped up a House-passed proposal to bolster outside critics appointed to oppose wiretap requests in court."

Not a Crime. "In an 'egregious case of the criminal-justice system gone wrong,' the Texas Supreme Court ruled a man is entitled to wrongful-imprisonment compensation because he was imprisoned for two years for conduct that was not a crime at any time during his criminal proceedings."

Georgia Man Jailed for 43 Years Freed After Plea Deal. "A Georgia man convicted of murdering a woman in 1976 reached a plea deal and was released from jail Friday after recent DNA testing cast doubt on his guilt."

Philadelphia Court Officials Suspend Jury Trials Through Early September. "Attorney Shanin Specter said the court's decision to extend the suspension of jury trials was understandable given the situation, however, he said the legal community should begin considering new and creative approaches."

Are Virtual Trials Our Future? Can due process be suspended indefinitely?

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