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Criminal Justice News This Week (week of 06-15-20)

High Court Rules Civil Rights Law Protects LGBT Workers. "In a landmark 6-3 decision, the Supreme Court ruled Monday that federal anti-discrimination protections apply to employees who are gay and transgender."

Protests Fuel Push For Increased Access To Police Records"Public records laws in 18 states exempt officer disciplinary reports and misconduct allegations from disclosure requirements, and another 18 states allow only limited access to that information. Spurred by public demands for increased police accountability, those laws are now coming under intense scrutiny."

The Vanishing Trial: FAMM, NACDL launch documentary about the trial penalty. "FAMM and NACDL are hosting a virtual screening and panel discussion of their new documentary 'The Vanishing Trial' which takes a deep dive into the trial penalty in America. The public will be able to register to view the film from Friday, June 15, through Monday, June 18."

Michael Flynn: The Trap, the Guilty Plea and 'Brady'. "In his Ethics and Criminal Law column, Joel Cohen uses the Michael Flynn case as a background to examine the legal issue: Must a prosecutor disclose Brady material before a defendant pleads guilty?"

Support For Defunding The Police Department Is Growing. Here’s Why It’s Not A Silver Bullet. "Past budget cuts have had unintended consequences. Now, proponents say it’s time to fundamentally reimagine the role of the police."

ACLU Sues City Of LA Over Scooter Data Collection. "The local branch of the American Civil Liberties Union is suing the city of Los Angeles over its electric scooter program, saying its collection of geolocation data violates the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and state privacy law."

Nationwide Protests May Resound in Supreme Court First Amendment Case. "The petition from a Black Lives Matter leader, DeRay Mckesson, takes on new importance amid the national protests that followed the death of George Floyd in the custody of police in Minneapolis."

Ohio Public Defenders call for systemic change in criminal justice system to address racism. "About 50 lawyers, administrators and investigators from the Office of the Ohio Public Defender (OPD) circled Franklin Park on Monday afternoon, honoring the death of George Floyd, a black man killed by police, and protesting police violence and racial injustice in the courts."

Police Killings Prompt Reassessment of Laws Allowing Deadly Force. "The continuing deaths of black people by the police are undermining support for the wide latitude officers are given in cases in which an encounter ends in a death."

Many Police Departments Have Software That Can Identify People In Crowds. “BriefCam, a facial recognition and surveillance video analysis company, sells the ability to surveil protesters and enforce social distancing — without the public knowing.”

Split 6th Circ. Denies Ohio Prisoners' COVID-19 Release. "A split Sixth Circuit panel has said that a lower court erred in ordering the removal of vulnerable prisoners from a federal prison due to the COVID-19 outbreak, ruling that the Federal Bureau of Prisons made a reasonable effort to protect its inhabitants from the virus."

Microsoft says it won't sell facial recognition technology to US police departments. "Microsoft said Thursday it will not sell facial recognition technology to police departments in the United States, at least until there is a federal law to regulate the technology."

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