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.

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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.

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Shakespeare and Sexting: Reconsidering Penalties for Teen Sexual Activity

The Pew Charitable Trusts

More than 20 years ago, when Russell Foster was 19 and his girlfriend Amber was 15,
Montana’s laws tore them apart, sending Russell to prison for four years for having sex with
a minor.
Their story mostly has a happy ending. They reunited when Russell got out of prison.
They’re married now, with four kids, and living in Glasgow, Montana.

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Police’s growing arsenal of technology watches criminals and citizens

Star Tribune

Law enforcement agents are deploying an onslaught of new technology to collect information on criminals and unsuspecting citizens alike. Body cameras. Cellphone hacking devices. License plate scanners. Software that can identify faces in surveillance video.

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‘Do better for the kids’: Marion County steps up child abuse response team

Statesman Journal

In the face of extremely complex and challenging child abuse cases, the Marion County District Attorney’s Office is launching a pilot program designed to increase coordination during high-risk child abuse investigations. Officials with the Marion County Child Abuse Response Team announced the pilot project Friday.

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Editorial: State law requires inmate DNA

OWH May 22, 2017

State prison officials are now on the way to following state law by requiring DNA swabs of convicted felons.

The Nebraska Department of Correctional Services no longer lets inmates refuse to provide the samples without suffering consequences — which was occurring before The World-Herald revealed the practice.

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Recent Developments in the Forensic Sciences

Office of the Deputy Attorney General

Forensic science is generally dated to Hans Gross’ Handbuch für Untersuchungsrichter, Polizeibeamte, Gendarmen (Handbook for Magistrates, police officials, military policemen), which was published in 1893, although forensic medicine and forensic toxicology are much older. Edmond Locard established the first crime laboratory in 1910 in Lyon, France.

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Judges, lawyers want to fix bail system to keep poor out of jail

Star Tribune

Mary Ellen Heng doesn’t think a bank account should dictate how long someone spends in jail. Yet throughout her career, the deputy Minneapolis city attorney has repeatedly seen exactly that: people lingering in Hennepin County jail because they can’t afford a $78 bail.

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Inaccurate leads from IP addresses prompt police to serve warrants on innocent people

ABA Journal

On the morning of March 30, 2016, David Robinson and his partner, Jan Bultmann, were starting their day when six Seattle police officers knocked on their door with a search warrant. The police thought Robinson was trafficking child pornography.

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Student sexting a ‘growing problem,’ in middle and high schools, leading to legislation, Suffolk District Attorney Dan Conley says

Gintautas Dumcius

Sexting – the sending of sexually explicit messages via text message — is a “growing problem” in middle schools and high schools, leading to the need for legislation that could curb it, a top prosecutor said Tuesday. “We see it all the time,” Suffolk County District Attorney Dan Conley said at a press conference unveiling the legislation aimed at cracking down on sexting and closing a “revenge porn” gap in Massachusetts law.

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