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Editorials

Our Criminal Justice System…

Is it about Justice? Is it about the Money? Is it about Power? Or is it about all three?

By Ray Hrdlicka - Publisher

I have repeatedly said that every action undertaken by human beings, with very few exceptions, is all about the money. The acquisition of money, the expenditure of money, and the opportunity cost of money.  Yet when we talk about our criminal justice system, it is often spoke of as an exception to human influences, set apart by the rule of...

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A Better Way To Help Missing Children - Improving the Amber Alert

by Bill Bickel

Around 6:30 pm on the evening of February 1, Florida 11-year-old Carlie Brucia disappeared. It wasn’t until the evening of the following day that an Amber Alert was issued. Carlie’s parents don’t criticize the delay; but they are frustrated that Law Enforcement didn’t do a thing until….

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DNA Gets Criminal - Part 1 of 3

Fifteen years ago the three initials were rarely spoken outside of a laboratory, or a classroom where students of science were pondering the potential of genetics and genetic engineering. Today, DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) is frequently the star witness in courtrooms around the world — used by….

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Cooking Up Salvation - a Rehabilitation Story - From Drug Dealer to Chef

Jeffrey Henderson was one of the youngest and wealthiest crack cocaine dealers in Southern California. “I poisoned a whole generation,” said 37-year-old Henderson, who now lives in Las Vegas. While still a teenager he drove fancy cars, had armloads of beautiful women, swam in oceans of money and took frequent trips to Las Vegas, where he gambled away hundreds of thousands of dollars and was placed on the high-roller list of such resorts as Caesars Palace.

From con to chef

Today, five years after getting out of prison, Henderson is an award-winning chef at Caesars, where he…..

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DNA Goes To Court - Part 2 of 3

Harlan Levy was an assistant district attorney in New York when he first recognized the value of DNA’s duel identity — a potential witness for the defense and for the prosecution, in cases of violent crimes. In a book Levy wrote on the emerging DNA technology and its potential in investigating violent crimes, he said the power of DNA to identify a suspect — or to….

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News
Suspect arrested with guns, bullets at Greece-Turkey border

This undated photo released Sunday, Feb. 14, 2016, by the Hellenic Coast Guard shows rifles and bullets confiscated following the arrest of two British citizens at the northern town of Alexandroupolis. Following this arrest, Greek police say they arrested another 40-year-old British citizen, on the main border crossing to Turkey carrying four Walther air rifles, eight scopes and 200,000 bullets. (Hellenic Coast Guard via AP)THESSALONIKI, Greece (AP) — Greek police say they arrested a British citizen on the main border crossing to Turkey carrying a large weapons cache.


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Congo opposition member arrested before strike, is released
KINSHASA, Congo (AP) — A Congolese opposition leader who was arrested Sunday before a planned strike this week has been released, the government's spokesman said.
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New York man pleads not guilty in fatal stabbings of girlfriend, children
A Brooklyn man pleaded not guilty on Sunday to murder and other charges in the stabbing deaths of his girlfriend, their daughter and another child at a Staten Island hotel being used to shelter the homeless family. Michael Sykes, 25, was arraigned in court after the discovery on Wednesday of the bodies of Rebecca Cutler, 26, her daughter Ziana Cutler, 1, and 4-month-old Maliyah Sykes. Cutler's older daughter, Miracle Cutler, 2, was wounded but survived.
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Former priest arrested in cold case known for compassion

This undated photo provided by the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office shows John Feit. The former priest has been arrested Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2016, in Arizona in the 1960 slaying of a 25-year-old Texas schoolteacher and beauty queen, Irene Garza. (Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office via AP)PHOENIX (AP) — For nearly 20 years, John Feit was known around the St. Vincent de Paul nonprofit agency as one its most compassionate employees.


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Man pleads not guilty in stabbings of woman, 3 children

Michael Sykes is led into the courtroom to be arraigned, Sunday, Feb. 14, 2016 at criminal court in the Staten Island borough of New York. Police on Saturday arrested Sykes, a fugitive suspected of stabbing his girlfriend and all three of her small children with a kitchen knife in a brutal attack at a hotel used as homeless housing, ending a four-day manhunt. (Bill Lyons/Staten Island Advance via AP, Pool)NEW YORK (AP) — A man arrested in the stabbings of his girlfriend and her three small children has pleaded not guilty to charges including murder and attempted murder.


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How To Help Your Court Case

A Defendant's Guide to Courtroom Etiquette

by Mark J. Sullivan

If you’re a defendant in the courtroom, your demeanor and attitude will be noticed – by the prosecutor trying to convict you, by the probation officer who might be charged with evaluating you, and by the judge who desires to give you a fair trial, fair rulings, and perhaps a fair sentence. But the jurors’ impressions are the most important. In fact, jurors are instructed that

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Criminal Law 101 - Up to the Preliminary Hearing

By Kirk Tarman

Criminal Defense Attorney - San Bernardino County

 

Many time defendants are thrust into the hostile waters of the criminal justice system without any idea what is going on and what their rights are. Hopefully, this article will give anyone charged with a crime, a bit of orientation and insight into the wild and wacky world of the justice system.

The Arraignment - This hearing can be crucially important to a defendant.

First because, the judge will determine if you are going to be assigned an attorney (a.k.a. public defender or conflict panel attorney) or if you have the capability to hire your own attorney. The primary factor involved in this determination is...

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11 Reasons NOT to Talk To The Police

by Mark J. Sullivan

This article might just as well be entitled “You have the right to remain silent. Use it. Say nothing.” This doesn’t mean “Deny having committed the crime.” It means telling the police officer that your attorney has advised you not to answer any questions, and then saying nothing else to anybody until you talk to him or her.

Recently I was giving this advice to a potential witness, and he said, “I’ll just tell them that I don’t know anything.” This is wrong. For one thing, he did know something, so this would have…..

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Confidential Informants-AKA “The Snitch”

By Kirk Tarman

This essay concerns the confidential informant aka the ‘CI’ aka the snitch. A confidential informant is a person that is being used by the police to help them in their police investigation. Many times, the CI is a person that was arrested by those same police, and in return for a dismissal/charge reduction or money are now helping the police officers.

A phenomenon that seem to be encountering more and more is that....

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SPEAK FOR YOURSELF--HELP YOURSELF:

BE PREPARED FOR THE PROBATION INTERVIEW

By Andrew Dósa

Criminal Defense Attorney - Alameda County

You have been forced to be silent. From the start of your case through change of plea, you were quiet. You wanted to speak up, but someone else did the talking, explaining, arguing, and negotiating for you. Your attorney was your mouthpiece. But now it is your turn, your one and vitally important turn.

Here is the setting. You have negotiated a deal and changed your plea. The sentencing hearing is a couple weeks away. A probation officer is sitting in front of you. She is overwhelmed with work, deadlines, stress, a personal conflict with a spouse-like everybody else. What can you do for yourself? How can you leave a positive impression? Consider a few things and then plan your presentation.....

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Ask a Lawyer

Hinkle, Jachimowicz, Pointer & Mayron talks about two of the difficult situations you may face in the criminal justice system. Since they claim the title of largest private criminal law practice in Santa Clara County CA, with decades of experience and seven attorneys, it would make sense for those involved in a criminal case to read on….

Most people do not realize that being under the influence of a controlled substance such as meth-amphetamine, cocaine or ecstasy results in a mandatory 90-day sentence in jail, if other options like Deferred Entry of Judgment (formerly called Diversion) are not explored and achieved. Your lawyers experience is....

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Habeas Corpus

By Wally Farrell

This is the first of a series of articles regarding the history, meaning and use of the Great Writ of Habeas Corpus.

Habeas corpus, roughly, “you should have the body”, has been a capstone of Anglo-American jurisprudence for many centuries, beginning with the Magna Carta in 1215. Abuses by King John caused the revolt among nobles who compelled John to sign the Magna Carta, or Great Charter, to recognize the rights of Englishmen.

The parties met at a place named Runnymede along the Thames River for the historic signing. The Magna Carta then established the principle that no one, including the King, was above the law. The roots of habeas corpus lie in Article 39, which states that no free man could be imprisoned without the judgment of his peers.

Habeas corpus is the remedy of last resort for a citizen unjustly....

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How to Make Your Lawyer Work for You

With 27 years of experience, criminal defense attorney Richard Poland, writes about the best way to work with your lawyer.

Public versus Private defense

If you’re charged with a crime, you need representation. Hiring a lawyer increases the odds of....

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Ask a Lawyer - How can I get my record sealed?

by Dennis Lempert

Question?

I would like to know how I can get my record sealed? My record has already been dismissed under PC 1203.4.

Peter Ahas gotten his case dismissed by using Penal Code §1203.4. That section allows someone who has been convicted of a crime either by pleading guilty or no contest or by a verdict of a judge or jury to clear their record. The record can be cleared only after the…..

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What is Reasonable Suspicion?

by Keith Jordan

Have you ever wondered how an officer can pull you over when you're driving along minding your own business? How about stopping you when you're walking down the street? If you want to know what they can do to you legally and how to avoid getting detained and arrested, then read on....

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Listen To The Experts
Kirk Tarman discusses criminal case motions
Posted on June 16th, 2015 by Admin istrator

Motions are one of the most important aspects of a criminal case before getting to trial.  Kirk Tarman, criminal defense attorney in San Bernardino County CA, discusses suppression motions based upon the 4th Amendment, dismissal motions, discovery motions, and more... for a glimpse into the preparation of a criminal case. ….

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Andrew Dosa discusses restitution
Posted on June 16th, 2015 by Admin istrator

Andrew Dosa, a civil and criminal defense attorney located in Alameda County CA, when interviewed by Crime and Justice Online, explains everything you need to know about restitution in criminal cases.  What is restitution?  Is it to punish the guilty or help the victim? Is it always paid?  What happens if it is not paid?  Are all criminal charges associated with restitution?  Can you use restitution to bargain away a jail sentence?  Is it applied more in civil or criminal cases?  These questions and more are answered by our expert on restitution, Andrew Dosa….

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Wally Farrell, a criminal defense attorney in Riverside County, now deceased, discussed the Death Penalty in California with Ray Hrdlicka
Posted on June 16th, 2015 by Admin istrator

Here is an entertaining and informative interview with Wally Farrell, a premier criminal defense attorney in Riverside County, now deceased, who discussed the Death Penalty in California with Crime, Justice & America Talk Show Host Ray Hrdlicka.  Is it really a deterrent? Why represent defendants charged with this type of crime?  What is “special circumstances” in the crime?  Life without parole vs. the Death Penalty.  Why does this type of case last so long?  Is it a choice between Justice or a Political and Financial cost?  Does it demean life? Or does it demean the death of victims?

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