Weekly ReCAP in Criminal Justice: July 13, 2012

Criminal justice news stories that CAP highlighted this week:

Report: State-Level Estimates of Felon Disenfranchisement in the United States, 2010 by The Sentencing Project, Published July 2012
“A remarkable 5.85 million Americans are forbidden to vote because of “felon disenfranchisement,” or laws restricting voting rights for those convicted of felony level crimes. In this election year, the question of voting restrictions is once again receiving great public attention. This report is intended to update and expand our previous work on the scope and distribution of felon disenfranchisement in the United States.”

Softer California three-strikes law would save on older inmates, Dan Levine and Mary Slosson, Reuters

Follow-up articles on the Supreme Court’s 5-4 decision that mandatory life without parole sentences for juveniles are unconstitutional in Miller v. Alabama:
Juvenile Sentencing: Alito’s Misguided Dissent, Wendy Kaminer, The Atlantic
Time to deal on life sentences for kids, Jeanne Bishop and Mike Osler, CNN
Justice Should Apply to All, Not Just Juveniles, Julie Stewart, Huffington Post

The Unexonerated: Factually Innocent Defendants Who Plead Guilty, John H. Blume and Rebecca K. Helm, Cornell Legal Studies Research Paper, SSRN

Calif. to start bringing back prison inmates in out-of-state prisons, Michael Montgomery, California Watch

Second Look Resentencing: The Human Cost of the BOP’s Restrictive Implementation of Compassionate Release, Steve Sady, Ninth Circuit Blog
“Phillip Smith contacted our office because, even though he had been diagnosed with a terminal illness, the Bureau of Prisons refused to allow his sentencing judge to decide whether to grant a motion to reduce his sentence and let him die at home.”
The VIDEO with Phillip’s story in his own words.

Justice Dept., FBI to review use of forensic evidence in thousands of cases, Spencer S. Hsu, The Washington Post
“The Justice Department and the FBI have launched a review of thousands of criminal cases to determine whether any defendants were wrongly convicted or deserve a new trial because of flawed forensic evidence, officials said Tuesday.”

Justice Delayed: After Three Decades, An Apology, Carrie Johnson, NPR
“Nearly 31 years after he was convicted of rape and armed robbery, Kirk Odom on Tuesday all but won his fight to be declared an innocent man.”

Webinar: The New DOL Civil Rights Guidelines Governing Criminal Background Checks and Federally-Funded Workforce Development Programs, National Employment Law Project (NELP) and the National Reentry Resource Center

Editorial: A Moral Right to Counsel, New York Times
“Now that the Supreme Court has ruled against mandatory life sentences for juveniles, effective lawyers should be provided for new hearings.” – EJI

270 Years in Prison, H.F. Guggenheim, The Crime Report
“Prosecutors’ mistakes are blamed for nearly one-quarter of overturned convictions in Texas between 1989 and 2011, according to a Texas Tribune investigation.” “The wrongfully convicted in those cases spent a combined total of more than 270 years in prison…’Right now, there is next to no oversight of what prosecutors do,’ said Jennifer Laurin, a professor who teaches criminal procedure at the University of Texas School of Law.”

Editorial: Drug courts are proving their value, Star-Tribune, Minnesota

Why Private Prisons Will Lock Up Your Returns, Justin Loiseau 

No Fairytale: Why We Must Teach Kids About Prison, Dr. L’Heureux Lewis-McCoy, PhD, Ebony News & Views

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