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January 2009 Archives

You Mean the Court Can Pre-Punish me? Unfortunately, Yes.

As you start progressing through a criminal case, you may find yourself wondering why you are serving a sentence before you've even gone to court. It's becoming common practice in a number of jurisdictions to place stringent pretrial supervision conditions on criminal defendants. These conditions can include GPS monitoring (ankle bracelets just like in home detention) that tracks your movements and guarantees you don't go near where the alleged victim in your case lives. The court can also place other conditions such as breath tests and urinalysis, daily or weekly check-ins and, in some cases, even counseling. If you are accused of a sex offense, be prepared for a strict no contact order that forbids any contact with children under the age of 18. The court will also likely impose a no contact order that will forbid you contact with the alleged victim of the offense, especially in domestic violence cases.

O. J. Simpson, did he get what he deserved?

In the news recently was the sentencing of Orenthal James Simpson, more commonly known as O.J. Simpson. As a defense attorney, what kept striking me was all the talk of the sentencing having been coming for thirteen years. As if Mr. Simpson was finally being brought to justice for the murders of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman. Not only do I find this troubling, but I do not find it surprising. The notion of "innocent until proven guilty" has been on the decline in this country for some time.