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Category Archives: Constitutional Rights

First Step Act: Criminal Justice Reform Bill Signed into Law

President Donald Trump has signed a landmark piece of criminal justice reform legislation called the First Step Act. The President tweeted, “Congress just passed the Criminal Justice Reform Bill known as the #FirstStepAct. Congratulations! This is a great bi-partisan achievement for everybody. When both parties work together we can keep our Country safer. A wonderful thing […]

The Arrest of Ohio Terror Suspect Christopher Cornell: Questions Abound, Including the Role of Informants and the Issue of Entrapment

Yesterday’s arrest of an Ohio man in conjunction with an alleged terror plot on the U.S. Capitol not only made immediate headlines, but likely added to growing public fear here in the U.S. – with reports focusing on this latest “homegrown terrorist” from America’s heartland.  Twenty-year-old Christopher Cornell, arrested outside of a Cincinnati gun store […]

Video Recording of Confessions: When Interrogation Goes too Far

By Rick Collins and Lucas Kessler* In the recently decided case of People v Thomas, the New York State Court of Appeals held that police questioning had gone too far.  The defendant’s confession was not his own; the police essentially put words in his mouth and forced him to confess.  The court reversed the conviction, […]

Criminal Record Sealing And “Second Chances”

Release of New Report and Editorial in The New York Times Brings Attention to the Importance of Second Chances for Ex-Offenders The importance of “second chances” for deserving ex-offenders continues to be a topic of great interest and much discussion – and this past week, the issue was once again brought to light for millions […]

Rick Collins’ New Huffington Post Blog Appearing on HuffPost Politics

Rick’s Latest Huffington Post Blog Addresses New Clemency Guidelines – and Even Greater Need for Criminal Record Sealing Rick Collins, a blogger for the Huffington Post Crime Section, is featured in a new blog post now appearing on Huffington Post Politics.  The blog addresses the recently announced new clemency guidelines, where Rick applauds the Administration’s […]

Injecting Constitutionality into the Death Penalty

While the death penalty is falling out of favor with the American public, sixty percent of Americans continue to support it.  And since 1976 (after a brief hiatus), the death penalty has been sanctioned by the Supreme Court.  In three decisions that year, collectively referred to as the Gregg decision, the nation’s high court upheld […]

The Unfortunate Casualties of the War on Drugs

Last year in California, a lonely, seventeen-year-old autistic student thought that he finally made a friend.  His “friend” was a fellow student named Daniel Briggs, and the two had art class together.  After a while, however, Briggs began to act strangely.  Briggs asked his “friend” to get him drugs.  In a barrage of sixty text […]

When the News Media Goes Beyond Just Reporting on Crime

It used to be that the news media was a mirror of the events of the day.  A newsworthy event would occur and the media would investigate and report the facts.  Today however the news media goes far beyond telling us the who, what, where, when, and why of a particular story.  Instead, news outlets, […]

When a Person is Falsely Accused and Framed for a Crime: Rick Collins Addresses Criminal Defense Issues of Framing in Article Published by Atticus

A client being framed for a crime doesn’t only happen in movies and on television crime shows – ordinary, law-abiding citizens can be “set up” and framed for criminal acts, such as controlled substance crimes, that they didn’t commit.  In today’s “War on Drugs” criminal defense arena, the topic of framing is a very real […]

New Report Indicates Drug Enforcement Agency “Snoops” On Americans

Why the DEA is Going Too Far … and How Constitutional Rights Are Being Violated   Reuters released news this week likely to shock most Americans, who may view it as a further governmental infringement on personal privacy and a violation of our Constitutional rights.  According to the report, the Drug Enforcement Agency (through its […]

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