Attorney leadership role leads Polikov to inner sanctum

OWH

Persistence is a virtue, Lee Polikov might have thought in March as he sat around a table at the U.S. Department of Justice in Washington, D.C., discussing issues with U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions.
Polikov’s road to one of the inner sanctums of American power had been long, and fueled by years-long concern that law enforcement is losing ground to innovative criminal defense attorneys and to civil rights organizations who devise ever more creative ways to challenge evidentiary procedures and other tools of the prosecutorial trade.

View Full Report

Jailhouse informants have a powerful incentive to help, or hurt, a criminal case: Freedom

Times

Jamison Bell is a good listener.

In the recreation yard of the Pinellas County Jail, one inmate told him
about stabbing a neighbor at a mobile home park. Inside a cell, another
confided in Bell that he killed a man who owed him money for cocaine.

View Full Report

Nevada likely to become second state to require police body cameras

Reuters

Police officers in the state of Nevada may soon be required to wear body cameras under
a measure that was sent on Thursday to Governor Brian Sandoval for his signature.
The proposal, approved by the state legislature, would make Nevada the second state
in the in the country to mandate that state and local police use body cameras. North
Carolina passed a similar requirement in 2015.

View Full Report

New DNA collection links inmate to four rapes in Omaha in the early 2000s

OWH 6/13/17

Turns out, there’s a reason authorities want felons’ DNA.

A recent push by Douglas County prosecutors to have prison officials collect the DNA of refusing prisoners netted a huge result Monday:

Tests have connected a child rapist now in prison to the serial rapes of four young women in Omaha in the early 2000s, prosecutors say.

View Full Report

Experts weigh in on police training, use of Tasers during encounters with the mentally ill

OWH 6/11/17

Slow down. Give the person space. Talk to him respectfully.

That’s how police are advised to respond to an uncooperative person — someone like Zachary Bearheels — who is mentally ill. The primary goal: De-escalate the situation.

View Full Report

Corrections officials say they have reduced number of inmates who have refused to provide DNA samples to 13 from 78

OWH 06/09/17

Nebraska prison officials say the number of inmates refusing to provide DNA samples has dropped to just 13 — as the State Corrections Department works to remedy missteps 20 years in the making.

After a World-Herald investigation in April, department officials said 78 inmates had refused to comply with a 20-year-old state law requiring all convicted felons to submit their DNA into a database that can help clear unsolved crimes.

View Full Report

Ideal Conceal: Gun that looks like smartphone to hit the market this summer

A pistol the size of your smartphone could be available to the public as soon as this summer. The concept is called “Ideal Conceal.”

View Full Report

After initial stumbles, Trump orders overhaul of federal cybersecurity

Twenty-one days past its self-appointed deadline, the Trump administration Thursday ordered a cybersecurity overhaul that mandates broad reviews of the nation’s cyber vulnerabilities and gives the military greater responsibility for the safety of computer networks. President Donald Trump’s long-delayed executive order will force 190 federal agencies to ditch outdated computer systems and migrate toward one centralized network, with much data and processing in the “cloud,” or through shared digital access.

View Full Report

Eyewitness Identification Update: What Prosecutors Need to Know Now

For more than a decade, prosecutors have been warned about the perils of eyewitness identification. The drumbeat grew steadily louder after the National Institute of Justice (“NIJ”) published Convicted by Juries, Exonerated by Science in 1996.

View Full Report

National District Attorneys Association statement on charging and sentencing memo to federal prosecutors

National District Attorneys Association

On Friday, May 12, Attorney General Jeff Sessions issued a memo to federal prosecutors outlining updated charging and sentencing guidelines for the Department of Justice (DOJ). The National District Attorneys Association (NDAA), representing America’s 2500 elected and appointed state and local prosecutors, stands with its federal counterparts in doing all that we can to protect the communities we serve.

View Full Report