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Proposed Federal Law Could Have Broad Repercussions on Civil Rights

By Phillip J. Murphy |

A bill that was introduced in the House this month (September) has many civil rights advocates extremely concerned: H.R. 3697—titled the “Criminal Alien Gang Member Removal Act—would create sweeping grounds for barring entry and/or justifying the deportation of immigrants based on mere suspicions of gang affiliation. Perhaps of most concern is how key terms—such… Read More »

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Legalizing Pot in New Jersey Comes up Again, This Time for Use at the State’s Poker Tables

By Phillip J. Murphy |

We’ve discussed the potential decriminalization of marijuana before, particularly as it pertains to social and criminal justice issues, with lives derailed by what often turns out to be youthful indiscretions. Not only has a federal law been introduced, but in May, Senator Scutari of New Jersey recently introduced a bill that would allow for… Read More »

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Juveniles Abandoned In Our Criminal Justice System

By Phillip J. Murphy |

While many realize that it can be challenging for those without the resources to obtain justice in the criminal system in our country, most likely do not know that it is an even bigger challenge for our country’s juveniles, specifically, as, according to a new analysis, they are largely left to navigate the legal… Read More »

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Thousands of New York Criminal Cases Relied On DNA Testing Techniques Now Under Scrutiny

By Phillip J. Murphy |

DNA evidence has been considered a valuable tool in criminal investigations over the last three decades or so; especially when it comes to persuading judges or juries. Yet while something such a semen or blood can be linked to one person specifically, when the DNA material is just a few skin cells, for example,… Read More »

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The Use of Social Media as Evidence in Criminal Cases

By Phillip J. Murphy |

Social media is being used and relied on more and more in criminal cases each day. Yet while prosecutors are reportedly able to obtain a search warrant in order to compel disclosure of information about a criminal defendant from a third party social media source, it can arguably be more difficult in general for… Read More »

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New Jersey Urges Supreme Court to Allow Decriminalization of Sports Betting

By Phillip J. Murphy |

New Jersey stands a good chance of winning its argument that sports betting should be legal when the U.S. Supreme Court hears the case this fall. Although the state has been prohibited from sports betting after missing the 1991 deadline, in filing its brief in late August, New Jersey put forth a strong argument… Read More »

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One Stay of Execution Issued Highlights a System Rampant With Problems

By Phillip J. Murphy |

On August 22nd, Gov. Eric Greitens granted a stay of execution for Marcellus Williams, who was convicted 16 years ago for the 1998 murder of former reporter Felicia Gayle. The governor also ordered a board of inquiry to look into the case because of a series of issues found embedded in the original conviction…. Read More »

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Reform of New York Criminal Justice Laws Sought

By Phillip J. Murphy |

New York defense attorneys and the New York State Bar Association are currently calling on the legislature to overturn the state’s “Blindfold Law,” which allows important evidence—such as witness statements and/or police reports—to be kept from the defense until right before trial (i.e. the day the trial begins). Senator Avella recently announced that he… Read More »

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Defendant in Notorious Hudson River Drowning Case Pleads Guilty To Negligent Homicide

By Phillip J. Murphy |

On July 24, the accused defendant in the kayak death on the Hudson which captured headlines pled guilty to criminally negligent homicide. The defendant—Angelika Graswald—was accused of tampering with her fiancé’s kayak and purposely leaving him to drown in the Hudson River. Graswald pled guilty to criminally negligent homicide and will now spend between… Read More »

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When Protesting Turns into a Crime

By Phillip J. Murphy |

The rally in Charlottesville has captured national headlines recently, particularly because it ended with three people killed and some 34 injured. Americans have long-enjoyed free speech rights and the right to assemble. But when does it turn into something more; i.e. something that could be construed as hate crime, or other, even more violent… Read More »

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