Hundreds May Get New Sentence After SCOTUS Decision

"Hundreds of prisoners serving mandatory life without parole sentences for crimes they committed when they were juveniles may get new sentencing hearings after a Jan. 25 decision by the U.S. Supreme Court.

The court's 2012 decision banning mandatory life without parole sentences for juvenile offenders applies retroactively, Justice Anthony M. Kennedy wrote for the 6-3 majority.

...

 agreed.

F.B.I Allowed for More Victimization by Permitting a Child Pornography Website

"Child pornography is not like guns or drugs. It can be infinitely copied and distributed. When the government distributes tangible contraband as part of a sting operation, it cannot hope to contain or limit the dissemination of the illegal goods.

If the allegations against the F.B.I. are true regarding its control of the network for approximately two weeks, it actively participated in the revictimization of those depicted in child pornography with no possibility of controlling distribution. Such conduct is immoral and inexcusable." 

Gov. Kathleen Sebelius appointee penned anti-abortion Court of Appeals ruling

"Former Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius is a foe in the eyes of anti-abortion advocates in Kansas, and yet it was a Sebelius appointee who issued the Kansas Court of Appeal’s anti-abortion minority opinion Friday.

Richard Levy, a professor of constitutional law at the University of Kansas, said lower court judges have less discretion to pursue personal predilections because they are bound by higher court rulings.

Supreme Court Eases Burden for Prosecutors in Death Penalty Cases

"The Supreme Court Wednesday eased the burden for prosecutors seeking the death penalty, throwing out state court rulings intended to make sure jurors properly considered evidence defense lawyers introduce to argue against a defendant’s execution.

The issue came from Kansas, where a 2001 state supreme court ruling required trial judges to tell jurors that mitigating evidence—that is, aspects about a defendant’s crime or background pointing toward mercy—need not be proven beyond a reasonable doubt.

KU law professor calls arguing before High Court memorable, impactful

"A University of Kansas distinguished law professor has extra reason to be pleased with this week's U.S. Supreme Court decision upholding death sentences for three Kansas men. He helped argue the case.

In addition to his KU role, Stephen McAllister works with Attorney General Derek Schmidt as the state's Solicitor General. McAllister appeared with Schmidt in October before the nation's High Court, arguing the Kansas Supreme Court incorrectly applied federal law in the death penalty cases of Reginald and Jonathan Carr and Sydney Gleason.

After 149 years, Kansas lawmakers still grappling with 14th Amendment

The 14th Amendment was one of three post-war amendments that were supposed to put the issues of slavery and racial discrimination to rest. It’s the one that says, among other things, that states may not deprive their citizens of life, liberty or property without due process of law, nor deny to any of them equal protection under the laws.

...

But today, 149 years later, issues that are embedded in the 14th Amendment continue to stir controversy in statehouses around the country, on issues ranging from abortion to gay rights, and from even voting rights to school finance.

A Real Dialogue for a Change

"A panel on 'Grappling with Campus Rape' was part of the 'Hot Topic' program at the American Association of Law Schools annual meeting, held January 6-10 in midtown Manhattan. Indeed, that issue has been the focus of particularly intense polemics in academia. A number of law professors, even some with strong liberal feminist credentials, have spoken out against the campus rape panic and the push for harsher measures that they say trample on students' rights.

...

Four Shots in Oskie: How Tom Bledsoe (almost) got away with murder, Part 3: The trial of Floyd Bledsoe

"The tragic death of 14-year-old Camille Arfmann became a dual tragedy with the wrongful conviction of Floyd Bledsoe. A sheriff’s hunch and apparent misrepresentation of polygraph results led to his arrest; a prosecutor’s fabrications, teamed with alleged act of incompetence by his defense attorney, led to his conviction; and the repeated falsehoods of his brother kept him behind bars for nearly 6,000 days.

...

'I don’t think they know how it happened, which is troubling,' said Alice Craig, Floyd’s trial attorney. 'Investigators look back on it and they’re mortified.'

Four Shots in Oskie: How Tom Bledsoe (almost) got away with murder, Part 2: The search for Camille Arfmann

"The case of Camille, like thousands of others, has benefitted from the advent of improved forensics testing. In 2013, the Project for Innocence and Post-Conviction Remedies at the University of Kansas asked the Serological Research Institute to test the sexual assault kit again, along with Camille’s clothing. Casseday Baker, a forensic serologist, published his results on Sept. 2, 2015. News articles about Baker’s findings were read on Tom’s cellphone not long before he ended his life."

 

 

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