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Crime.Justice & America - The Criminal Court System

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Category : The Criminal Court System

Representing Informants

By Stuart Kirchick

Criminal Defense Attorney - Santa Clara County


As a second year law student in 1988, I attended a conference of criminal defense attorneys in San Francisco where half the day was devoted to discovery procedures for the disclosure of informants. In discussing the subject, each prominent attorney proudly announced that they would never represent an informant – as if representing a cooperating defendant were a betrayal of the profession by aiding and abetting the government in doing their job. Why should we help the government that prosecutes our clients, hides evidence from us, and doesn’t know the meaning of truth and justice!?! Not to mention suffer the stigma of being labeled as a “snitch lawyer”.

Over the past ten years, defending a cooperating defendant has undergone....

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The Dilemma of the Domestic Violence Victim What Cooperative Witnesses Should -- and Shouldn't Do

By Mark J. Sullivan (deceased)

More often than not, alleged victims in domestic violence (DV) cases do not want to cooperate with the prosecution. Sometimes, it's because they don't want the defendant to go to prison or jail. Other times, it is because they lied at the time of the incident, and they fear perjury or obstruction charges of their own. Usually, they call the DA's office and ask to "drop the charges." Quickly and bluntly they are told that.....

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Defender of Paradise

By Scott Ciment

The Republic of Palau is an independent nation that rests in a tropical corner of the Pacific between the Philippines and Papua New Guinea. When I arrived there to run their national Office of the Public Defender, I naturally thought that my life as a criminal defense attorney in New York City would suddenly be more relaxing, without the stress of back to back felony jury trials, high case loads and complicated defense strategies. I was wrong.

At my going away party, my defense lawyer friends in Manhattan joked about asking for “bail of one hundred bananas” and representing people accused of “felony assault with a coconut.” When I arrived in Koror, the capital city, I was met by one of the deputy public defenders and rode in the back of his pick up truck to my new office. There was a large stack of files on the desk, and as I went through them I was horrified to see that in addition to forty or so active felony cases, I had three murder trials....

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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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