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On the Passing of a Dear Friend: Ray Gabriele

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Forgive me for departing from the usual theme of this column, the law, to pay tribute to my oldest and dearest friend, Ray Gabriele. Early on March 11th I received a call from Ray’s former medical partner to tell me the sad news that Raymond had died suddenly that morning in his home. Dr. Raymond […] [Read More]
Categories: General

Supreme Court Relaxes Sentencing Guidelines

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In 1984 the United States Sentencing Commission began the process of promulgating uniform sentencing guidelines to bind federal judges in the imposition of criminal sentences. The goal of the Commission was parity in sentencing. Of concern were disparate sentences for similar conduct based on the district where the crime was committed. Offenders in New York […] [Read More]
Categories: General

Cheshire II and Change of Venue

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Venue is the legal term ascribed to the location of a particular court proceeding. Generally, criminal cases are tried in the locale where the crime is alleged to have been committed. There are times, however, when pre-trial publicity is so overwhelming that the public’s right to know collides with the defendant’s right to due process […] [Read More]
Categories: General

Cheshire Trial Part 2: Judging the Judge

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Defense attorneys for accused murderer, Joshua Komisarjevsky, threw down a gauntlet this week as the trial moved toward commencement, when they sought the recusal of Judge Jon Blue who had presided over the Hayes trial. Their Motion challenged the Judge’s neutrality and objectivity. Raising claims that Judge Blue abandoned his role as an objective arbiter, […] [Read More]
Categories: General

Is Our Criminal Justice System Broken?

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With each new horrendous crime splashed across headlines and the nightly news; with interviews of frustrated victims and their families venting about delays and too much emphasis on the rights of defendants; with every news report of the lingering devastation to injured victims, we are left with the strong sense that our system of justice […] [Read More]
Categories: General

United States v. Jared Loughner

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With his all too familiar maniacal grin, Arizona shooting suspect, Jared Loughner, appeared in Federal Court this week and entered not guilty pleas to the initial charges of attempted murder. As the investigation continues, Loughner will eventually be charged with the murders of the six shooting victims, as well. Loughner’s court appointed counsel is ethically […] [Read More]
Categories: General

Could the Arizona Shootings Have Been Avoided?

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As the Arizona shooting victims are buried and the survivors face long and difficult rehabilitation, the question lingers: could this tragedy have been prevented? I am not talking about restricting arms sales or dialing back the rhetoric. No, the more pointed question focuses on the suspect, Jared Loughner. His parents have not spoken yet but […] [Read More]
Categories: General

Inciting Violence and the First Amendment

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In the wake of the tragic shootings in Arizona, the increasing vitriol that has infected America’s political rhetoric has come under scrutiny. Has the passion with which some have expressed dissatisfaction with politicians or sought their ouster served as well to ignite a powder keg? Such is one claim being discussed in the media. The […] [Read More]
Categories: General