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Criminal Justice News This Week (week of 07-06-20)

Big-City DAs Form Commissions to Help Heal From Racial Injustice  "District attorneys in three major American cities will host truth and reconciliation commissions intent on giving voice to citizens who have suffered from police violence or prosecutorial overreach."

Face Masks In Courtrooms Could Lessen False Assumptions About Credibility, Researcher Finds"Many reopened courts now require people to wear face masks to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. Wearing face masks in courtrooms can do more than protect public health, says Julia Simon-Kerr, professor of law at the University of Connecticut School of Law."

Want to Reform the Criminal Justice System? End the Drug War. "Drug prohibition increases conflict between citizens and the police."

Compelled Biometric Access Legal Under 4th, 5th Amendments "The government may compel individuals to unlock devices using biometrics during the execution of a search warrant without violating the individual’s Fourth or Fifth Amendment rights, a federal court in Kentucky ruled Thursday."

Shocking Corruption Revealed in Houston Police Department"Fallout from a bungled Houston police raid that left a married couple dead deepened Wednesday as prosecutors charged several retired officers with felony records tampering, and the police department released an audit detailing corruption that led to the raid. Gerald Goines, 55, the now-retired HPD narcotics officer at the center of the scandal, was already facing two state felony murder charges, in addition to federal civil rights charges, that could send him to prison for the rest of his life."

The five biggest cases awaiting Supreme Court decisions "As the court winds down one of its most politically charged terms in recent years, one that revealed a new ideological dynamic with Chief Justice John Roberts anchoring the center, it will address disputes over presidential power, health care and the Electoral College. Here are the five most-anticipated decisions pending before the court."

Prosecutorial Immunity Denied for 'Fake Subpoenas,' Fabricating Evidence and Directing Raid  "This column by Martin A. Schwartz, on Section 1983 Litigation, focuses on three recent circuit court decisions rejecting claims of prosecutorial immunity for investigative actions."

The Night That Lasted A Lifetime: How Psychology Was Misused In Teen's Murder Case "Over the next few days, police used now-discredited psychological techniques — including hypnosis — to get two eyewitnesses to identify the shooters. One of them, they claimed, was sixteen-year-old Fred Clay."

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