• Keystone State’s Feud WIth Federal Defender Office

    In Pennsylvania, 429 death warrants have been signed since 1985 but only three people have been executed. The state’s top judge, Chief Justice Ronald D. Castille of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court , blamed its failings largely on the Federal Community Defender Office. The chief justice said “the … the organization prolongs death penalty proceedings, using […]

  • Maryland Eliminates Death Row!

    “Outgoing Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley took the state’s last four inmates off death row, commuting their sentences to life in prison without parole in one of his final acts in office.” O’Malley’s office noted that the state’s legislature had abolished the death penalty with a law that took effect in May 2013 and that the […]

  • Probation Population Up, Prison Population Down!

    %It’s a mixed report as far as whether the criminal justice system in this country is growing or contacting. The number of persons under adult correctional supervision fell by 41,500 persons during 2013, dropping to 6.89 million by yearend, the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) announced. The decline in the correctional population (down 0.6%) was […]

  • Push To Explore Alternatives to Incarceration

    The criminal justice system’s overreliance on incarceration is now recognized as having life-long effects on the overall economy, those sentenced to prison, and the prisoner’s children as well. Former Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin wrote a piece for the Wall Street Journal in which he argued that in an increasingly competitive global economy, equipping Americans for […]

  • Fiscal Year 2014 Sentencing Trends!

    The last quarter Fiscal Year 2014 sentencing statistics were released by the Sentencing Commission. There are lots of interesting information that the Commission has mined. One trend is that for all of Fiscal Year 2014, only 46.3% of sentences were imposed within the calculated guideline range and in the final quarter of FY2014 only 43.6% […]

  • South Dakota’s Unique Proposal to Fund Indigent Defense

    We all know that seized drug proceeds are used to fund prosecutor’s offices and even initiatives sponsored by law enforcement agencies. To me, those uses are bothersome because agents are given a financial incentive to seize property and cash knowing that they’ll indirectly benefit, financially, from their actions. Is it any different if the seized […]