Lawyers Hope to Do to Opioid Makers What They Did to Big Tobacco

WSJ July 23, 2017

The legal front widening against makers of opioid painkillers has something in common with landmark tobacco litigation of the 1990s: attorney Mike Moore. As Mississippi’s attorney general in 1994, Mr. Moore filed the first state lawsuit against tobacco companies, saying they harmed public health systems by misrepresenting smoking’s dangers. He helped marshal the subsequent spate of state litigation and then the talks that led to a $246 billion settlement.

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America’s New Breed of Prosecutors

An estimated 10,000 people will avoid fines, jail time, and severe collateral consequences including loss of employment and housing that accompany arrest and misdemeanor convictions due to a policy shift announced by the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office this month. The move, to no longer prosecute turnstile jumping, is among a number of similar actions taken by prosecutors across the country to ease the fear of arrest and prosecution faced disproportionately by low income individuals and people of color.

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As opioid overdoses exact a higher price, communities ponder who should be saved

MIDDLETOWN, Ohio — The coroner here in the outer suburbs of Cincinnati gets the call almost every day. Man “slumped over the dining room table.” Woman “found in the garage.” Man “found face down on the kitchen floor of his sister’s residence.”

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How do you prosecute a murder without a body? California has been doing it for more than a century

The recent discovery of 5-year-old Aramazd Andressian Jr.’s remains at a Santa Barbara recreation area was a grim achievement for investigators who had spent more than two months frantically searching for the boy.

It was also a boost for Los Angeles County prosecutors, who had already filed a murder charge against the child’s father without having found the body.

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Drugs by Mail: Feds Note Surge in Postal Dealing

Not long before Don Holman’s son Garrett died from an overdose in February, he learned his 20-year-old had his drugs delivered directly to their Virginia home in the mail, in packages from foreign countries, reports the Wall Street Journal (https://www.wsj.com/articles/when-the-mailman-unwittingly-becomes-a-drug-dealer-1498469403). “Your drug dealer today is your mailman,” said Holman.

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The Impact of BWC on the Burden of Proof and Evidentiary Expectations

A Prosecutor Perspective
Upon learning that a local law enforcement agency was preparing to deploy body worn cameras, as prosecutors we had to wonder what this new evidence would mean to our presentation of cases in court. Would this mean more or less work? More or less trials? Better trial outcomes?

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Technology and Social Media for Prosecutors: How to Build a Case Ethically and Competently

Social media plays a large role in American life. Every minute users post 216,000 photos on Instagram, tweet 277,000 times, and share almost 2.5 billion pieces of content on Facebook.1 Social media’s importance also coincides with criminal prosecutions and investigations.

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Attorney General Sessions Announces Creation of National Public Safety Partnership to Combat Violent Crime

As the Department of Justice continues its efforts to fulfill President Trump’s commitment to reducing violent crime in America, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced today that 12 cities are joining the Department’s newly organized National Public Safety Partnership (PSP). The announcement came during the opening session of a national summit organized by the Attorney General’s Task Force on Crime Reduction and Public Safety.

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DA pushes for prosecution of drug dealers in overdose deaths

District Attorney Andrew Womble says he is stepping up efforts with local law enforcement agencies to confront overdose deaths in the region by more severely prosecuting narcotics dealers.
Last week, a Roanoke Island man was charged with second-degree murder after a June 10 overdose death in Wanchese.

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Jeff Sessions: Being soft on sentencing means more violent crime. It’s time to get tough again.

Drug trafficking is an inherently violent business. If you want to collect a drug debt, you can’t, and don’t, file a lawsuit in court. You collect it by the barrel of a gun. For the approximately 52,000 Americans who died of a drug overdose in 2015, drug trafficking was a deadly business.

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