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Category Archives: Criminal Defense

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Families Sue School for Alleged Abuse by Janitors

The families of three students at the Gregory Elementary School in Long Branch, New Jersey filed a lawsuit seeking $30 million in damages after the students were allegedly abused at the school in March 2012. The families sued the Long Branch Public Schools, the town’s Board of Education, and the Gregory Elementary School, alleging that… Read More »

Blind Justice: When Can Mistaken Eye Witness Testimony Send You to Jail?

For the past two years Lawrence Williams has sat in jail for a crime he did not commit. In 2010, a jury concluded that Mr. Williams and an unknown accomplice shot a robbery victim in the shoulder for not handing over a gold chain. The judge sentenced him to ten years in prison, but Mr…. Read More »

Lawyer Couple Accused of Planting Drugs on School Worker

A California couple has been accused of planting drugs on a volunteer at their son’s elementary school. Kent Easter, 38, and Jill Easter, 39, are both lawyers, and have been indicted on charges of conspiracy to procure false arrest, conspiracy to falsely report a crime and other charges. They are currently free on $20,000 bail… Read More »

Former NYPD Officer Acquitted on Most Serious Charges: Rape and Burglary

In an emotional trial that captivated the city of New York for years, a jury acquitted two NYC police officers on most charges, including rape and burglary. The defense was based on the failure of the prosecution to present sufficient evidence to convict. The jury acquitted the officers based primarily on the following factors: DNA… Read More »

Defrauding Facebook: How One Man Almost Stole the World’s Largest Social Network

In October 2012 Paul Ceglia of New York was arrested on charges he forged documents in a multibillion-dollar scheme to defraud Facebook and its chief executive Mark Zuckerberg. Mr. Ceglia had brought a much publicized lawsuit claiming Zuckerberg signed a 2003 contract giving him a stake in the social media network. Zuckerberg had done programming… Read More »

Post-Conviction Relief: A Second Look at Conviction

According to The Innocence Project, nobody knows just how many innocent people are sitting in prison after being wrongly convicted. This organization works tirelessly with defendants who believe they were wrongly convicted to secure post-conviction relief. Post-conviction relief is a mechanism for the court to review the conviction under certain circumstances and, if appropriate, reduce… Read More »

The Effect of Mental Competency in Death Penalty Cases

Prosecutors and Jared Lee Loughner, who shot Arizona congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, killed six people and injured 13 others in a shooting rampage at an Arizona political gathering, reached a plea deal in August 2012. Under the plea arrangement, Loughner pled guilty and agreed to life in prison. While the plea spared the victims a lengthy,… Read More »

Joseph Tacopina – Drive and Desire

Joseph Tacopina knows firsthand how to work against the odds. He will take unpopular cases, especially those against police officers. When Richard Sanfilippo faced corruption charges in the famous 1994 “Morgue Boys” cases and Kenneth Moreno was accused of taking advantage of an intoxicated woman while he was on patrol, it was Tacopina who stepped… Read More »

What is the Difference Between Federal and State Criminal Prosecution?

Computer activist Aaron H. Swartz was indicted by a federal grand jury in July 2011 after allegedly downloading millions of academic journal archives via a laptop housed in a network closet in MIT. He was charged by Massachusetts state authorities with two counts of breaking and entering, one count of larceny over $250 and three… Read More »

Mitigation in Capital Punishment Cases

This past August, a jury in Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania, decided on a death penalty verdict for 22-year-old Melvin Knight, who pleaded guilty to murder in the torture killing of a mentally disabled woman he held captive in a dingy western Pennsylvania apartment. The prosecutor had argued Knight deserved the death penalty because his crimes were… Read More »