Calls to make immigration judges independent from the executive branch are growing louder following sweeping policy changes under the Trump administration.
The poor, the desperate and the popular have turned to crowdfunding for help paying for bail or legal bills. The former two categories tend to have far less success than the latter, experts say.
In lawsuits across the country, indigent defendants are becoming the plaintiffs, suing states and arguing that underfunding public defenders’ offices violates the constitutional rights guaranteed by the Supreme Court’s Gideon decision.
More than 530 immigrant soldiers enlisted in the military through a program that promised to naturalize them as citizens, only to be discharged without warning due to purported security concerns. Now they're fighting for due process in the country they pledged to serve and facing potential persecution in the countries they left behind.
After spending two years providing low-income tenants facing possible eviction with pro bono legal representation, Philadelphia's mayor and City Council are taking steps to make the pilot program permanent.
A blockbuster decision last month that a secret non-prosecution deal between the government and a millionaire sex offender violated the Crime Victims Rights Act highlights the importance of making sure victims have a seat at the table, experts say.
Josh Glenn should have been going to high school when he turned 17, but instead he was sitting in a Philadelphia jail cell after his family was unable to afford bail. More than a decade later, he's joined the ACLU in a newly filed lawsuit challenging allegedly excessive bail practices on the part of Philadelphia judges.
Jaylan Banks and Sylvester Williams were nearing the end of their juvenile sentences at a youth facility in Harrisburg, Illinois in the spring of 2017 when they found themselves flung directly into multiyear sentences in the adult corrections system following altercations with guards.
A recent move by immigration authorities to bump up a slew of hearing dates in New York without notice has public defenders crying foul and painting the move as a not-so-subtle attack on the ability of immigrants facing deportation to have proper counsel.
In an effort to boost legal access and the rule of law across the globe, attorney Vivek Maru launched Namati in 2011. Here, Maru talks about growing a network of grassroots legal advocates and democratizing the law.
Phone calls from local jails often cost far more than phone calls from state prisons due to commission-based contracts between service providers and jail operators. As a result, contact between defendants and their attorneys before trial can cost up to $25 per 15 minutes.
States have seen an explosion of access to justice commissions in recent years, and they’ve become a driving force not only in getting legal aid to those who need it, but also helping self-represented litigants better navigate the courts.
Oakland resident Riana Buffin was never formally charged with a crime, but that didn’t stop her from spending 46 hours in jail because she couldn't pay bail while suspected of grand theft, or from losing her job when she didn't show up to work.
Part of the Immigration and Nationality Act violates the U.S. Constitution by limiting federal district courts from reviewing whether asylum seekers apprehended near the border established a fear of persecution, the Ninth Circuit found Thursday.
Bail reform advocates got a boost last week when the Tenth Circuit backed the constitutionality of recently enacted New Mexico rules allowing courts to eschew cash bail for many defendants, experts said.
Advocates and lawmakers in New York are gearing up to make the Empire State the first in the country to decriminalize sex work, hoping for a package of changes that they say should include wiping away past criminal convictions on prostitution and related charges.
Two recent reports from New York and Pennsylvania document the pervasive fear of courthouse immigration arrests among immigrant communities. Immigration officers defend the practice as a result of so-called sanctuary city policies, but lawyers say it scares off crime victims and witnesses.
Having a legal ID can easily be taken for granted, but more than 1 billion people across the globe don’t have a way to show who they are, which can affect everything from starting a business, to enrolling in school, to appearing in court or filing a police report.
A city granted a $21 million settlement to an exonerated man who spent 37 years behind bars, less than a year after the state paid just $1.95 million. The discrepancy in sums raises the question: how much is a wrongfully convicted person’s lost time really worth?
A New York federal judge on Friday declined to renew an order mandating strict access to attorneys for inmates in a Brooklyn federal jail that had no heat for a frigid week in January, finding the lawyers who sued over the ordeal lack standing to bring Sixth Amendment claims.
In 2017, after two trials and years of legal fees that wiped out his life savings, Curtis Lovelace was acquitted of the murder of his wife, but the court ruled he still had to pay $35,000 as a "bond forfeiture fee," something Lovelace is now arguing is unconstitutional.
Communications with your attorney are usually private, but there’s a glaring exception for people in prison. Federal prosecutors can access all emails sent over a system set up by the Bureau of Prisons, and it’s unclear how often they might be looking at emails between attorneys and their clients.
A Texas court relied on outdated and stereotypical rationales to determine that a death row inmate who struggled as a teenager to grasp basic math was not intellectually disabled and should be executed, the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled, reinforcing that established clinical guidelines must underpin such decisions.
After the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling that state and local governments must abide by the constitutional ban on excessive fines, advocates say the fight against civil asset forfeiture is far from over.
Much attention has been paid to certain First Step Act reforms and their impacts on those serving prison sentences, but two less-heralded programs created by the law could drastically reduce sentences for large swaths of the current prison population, say Addy Schmitt and Ian Herbert of Miller & Chevalier Chtd.
Sixth Amendment jury trial provisions do not apply to juveniles because their proceedings are considered rehabilitative. But by any definition, the proceedings and “sentences” juveniles face are certainly “criminal.” State courts should interpret their own state constitutions to give juveniles this fundamental right, says University of Illinois College of Law professor Suja Thomas.
A 30-city report by the U.S. Sentencing Commission sheds new light on the prevalence of unwarranted sentencing disparities in federal cases, and should get more attention from prosecutors, defense attorneys, judges and the public, says Stephen Lee of Benesch Friedlander Coplan & Aronoff LLP.
In an initiative that could set new standards for jail reform across the country, New York City is seeking to shut down Rikers Island. Although remarkable progress has been made, the year ahead will be decisive, say Judge Jonathan Lippman and Tyler Nims of the Independent Commission on NYC Criminal Justice and Incarceration Reform.
A recent ruling in Cambodia marked the end of an onerous, nine-year-long proceeding in which over $300 million was spent and only three former Khmer Rouge officials were sentenced. For some, the convictions brought closure, but others believed the trial to be a colossal failure of justice, say Viren Mascarenhas and Morgan Bridgman of King & Spalding LLP.
While the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in Timbs v. Indiana ought to be celebrated by the civil forfeiture bar, it should not be viewed as a sea change — for three reasons, says Alexander Klein of Barket Epstein Kearon Aldea & LoTurco LLP.
The acquittals last month of the former president of the Ivory Coast and a political ally add to the recent string of failures by the International Criminal Court to obtain convictions for accused war criminals. The decision is drawing attention for a number of reasons, say Viren Mascarenhas and Morgan Bridgman of King & Spalding LLP.
In Fort Bend County v. Davis, the U.S. Supreme Court will decide whether exhaustion of administrative remedies under Title VII is required before a court can exercise jurisdiction over a case. But many are wondering what practical difference, if any, the eventual outcome will make, says Carolyn Wheeler of Katz Marshall & Banks LLP.
Wildfires and other natural disasters present a wide range of often unanticipated civil legal challenges. Disaster survivors should be able to turn to "second responders" from the legal community to preserve their rights, say John Levi of the Legal Services Corp. and Robert Malionek of Latham & Watkins LLP.
The recently enacted First Step Act makes significant strides toward reforming the federal criminal justice system. However, if attorney general nominee William Barr is confirmed, his oversight could render the law almost ineffectual, says Lara Yeretsian, a Los Angeles-based criminal defense attorney.