Wrongful Conviction Roundup: Q4

As we finish out the year with the fourth quarter wrongful conviction roundup, I want to highlight the cause-effect relationship of many of the common themes discussed in this blog. The fourth quarter wrongful convictions and exonerations illustrate the tragic, real world effects of prosecutorial misconduct, police misconduct, false confessions, and flawed eyewitness identifications. The… Read More

It’s Not About Race??

  Here is something that astounds me: in video after video, we see a white, male cop unnecessarily brutalizing a black female who had failed to immediately defer to the cop’s authority, and law enforcement quickly declares that race was not a factor in the violence. By now, many of us have seen one of… Read More

A Culture of Police Violence

There’s been a lot of press about unwarranted police shootings and law enforcement cover-ups of police brutality, but do you ever wonder how on earth a culture developed where some police officers could believe that it is okay to treat people that way? I certainly have. And here’s what I’ve come up with: the culture… Read More

Wrongful Convictions Roundup: Q3 2015

I know we do a wrongful conviction roundup every quarter, but the injustice some people have to endure never fails to shock. This quarter’s wrongful convictions are particularly upsetting. The Exoneration of Bobby Johnson Let’s begin with Bobby Johnson’s heartbreaking story. Bobby was 16 years old in 2006 when he was jailed for the armed… Read More

The Price of Police Misconduct

Our criminal justice system is premised in part on the idea that if you commit a crime, you pay a price: the fear of spending years in prison and paying back the money you stole should deter you from stealing in the first place. But, of course, this type of deterrence only works if the… Read More

Freddie Gray and the Blue Wall Syndrome

Although Freddie Gray was rendered comatose in Baltimore police custody, all six police officers involved deny using or witnessing any force during Mr. Gray’s fatal encounter with the police.  And yet a bystander’s video of the arrest depicts Mr. Gray, flanked by officers and screaming in pain, while someone yells that Gray’s leg is broken… Read More

All Police Departments in Illinois Are Required to Video-record Lineups and Photo Arrays Effective January 1, 2015.

All police departments across Illinois are now required to video-record lineups and photo arrays as part of a new state law aimed to prevent police from influencing witness identifications. This reform is long overdue. Misidentification is the leading factor in wrongful conviction cases. Misidentification contributed to approximately 75% of all wrongful convictions exonerated by DNA… Read More

CPD Hit For Hiding Records About Officers Engaged in Perjury and Other Misconduct

States Attorney Alvarez Shields Dirty Cops From Prosecution, Says Suit CHICAGO – A civil rights attorney here filed suit against the Chicago Police Department today for stonewalling his Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests aimed at gathering more evidence about lying while under oath by two police officers, Allyson Bogdalek and Dominick Catinella. “The public… Read More

Excessive Force Case: Kingsley v. Hendrickson

The U.S. Supreme Court recently granted cert to an excessive force case out of the Seventh Circuit: Kingsley v. Hendrickson, 744 F.3d 443 (7th Cir. 2014), No. 14-6368, 2015.  The issue is whether an objective or subjective standard of reasonableness applies in an excessive force case. In 2010, Michael Kingsley was a pretrial detainee at Monroe County… Read More

Settlement Strategies in the Midst of Police Brutality Incidents


Eric Garner’s death has focused the nation’s attention to issues of racial bias and police brutality.  Somewhat muted by the loud calls for the reworking of the entire criminal justice system is Garner’s family’s call for justice.  While nothing will bring back Garner, his family searches for justice from New York City, the city and… Read More