Category Archives : Criminal Law

Murder trial delayed for lawyer accused of using forged power of attorney as lethal weapon

On January 12, 2015, Posted by , In Criminal Law, By , With No Comments

A double-murder trial scheduled in February for a Missouri lawyer accused of killing her father and his girlfriend in 2010 has been postponed at the request of the prosecution. Attorney Susan Elizabeth “Liz” Van Note, 47, is accused in the unusual case of not only shooting William Van Note, 67,…

Two Pharmacists are Accused of Second-degree murder in Meningitis Outbreak

On December 25, 2014, Posted by , In Criminal Law, By , , With No Comments

(DEBRA CASSENS WEISS) A federal indictment unsealed Wednesday accuses two pharmacists of second-degree murder in a 2012 fungal meningitis outbreak that killed at least 64 people and injured about 750 others. U.S. Attorney Carmen Ortiz announced the 131-count indictment Wednesday against the pharmacists and 12 other people associated with the…

Judge Says Lawyer’s Error Not Enough to Overturn Conviction

On December 21, 2014, Posted by , In Criminal Law, With No Comments

(Joel Stashenko) A defense lawyer’s decision not to call his forensics expert to the stand because the attorney misunderstood procedural rules of expert testimony did not deprive his client of meaningful representation, a judge ruled. Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Albert Tomei (See Profile) denied defendant Gregory Morency’s CPL §440.10 motion…

Jailed Lawyer Says Judge Illegally Ordered Drug Test on His Urine

On December 17, 2014, Posted by , In Criminal Law, With No Comments

(Katheryn Hayes Tucker and Kathleen Baydala Joyner) A former Fulton County prosecutor who is fighting to limit the damage drug convictions will have on his legal career was jailed in Cobb County by a judge who suspected the lawyer was again under the influence. Rand Csehy contends he was simply…

Former Lawmaker Faces Spouse-abuse Case; AG’s Office Says Wife’s Dementia Precluded Consent to Sex

On December 15, 2014, Posted by , In Criminal Law, By , , With No Comments

By all accounts, Donna Lou Young and Henry Rayhons were happily married. But the former Iowa lawmaker is now awaiting trial in a felony spouse-abuse case. He is accused of having sex with his wife in a nursing home when she was allegedly incapable of consent because of her dementia,…

And then Ferguson

On December 5, 2014, Posted by , In Criminal Law, By ,, , With No Comments

(Marcia L. McCormick) The start of the semester is always a bit of a frenzied mess. I’m usually rushing to revise my syllabi, get a head start on finer tuned preparation for classes, finish up a summer project, find my grown-up clothes, and get my kids organized for the start…

Nonprofit funds Drug Prosecutor and Cops, who Turn Addicts into Informants

On December 5, 2014, Posted by , In Criminal Law, By , With No Comments

(Debra Cassens Weiss) A nonprofit group formed by business leaders in Altoona, Pennsylvania, has funded a drug prosecutor and police efforts to fight the drug trade. The nonprofit, Operation Our Town, and the drug-busting operations it funds are drawing some critics, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports. They argue the group is…

Tax and Criminal Law

On November 3, 2014, Posted by , In Criminal Law, By , , With No Comments

(Kristin Hickman) So here’s another interesting “tax and” topic:  the criminalization of tax shelters (and, possibly, tax practice?).  This is a thought I have only preliminarily considered, so I will merely present the problem and hope that those with more experience will weigh in.  Apologies in advance for a long…

White Collar Criminal Sentences: How Long Is Too Much?

On November 1, 2014, Posted by , In Criminal Law, By , , With No Comments

(Daniel Solove) An article in the New York Times discusses the debate over the increasingly long sentences for those convicted of white collar crimes: Bernard J. Ebbers, the former chairman of WorldCom who was convicted of masterminding an $11 billion accounting fraud that bankrupted the company, was sentenced to 25…

Why the Necessity Defense is Unneccesary

On October 27, 2014, Posted by , In Criminal Law, By , With No Comments

From a deterrence standpoint, I’ve never understood why there is such a thing as a necessity or duress defense in criminal law. The deterrence view of criminal law is that we choose punishments to deter judgment-proof individuals from committing acts that harm social welfare. If this is the case, then…