The U.S. Legal System and All Things Related Blog

With Enough People, Power, and Persistence, the System Will Improve



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One year after George Floyd’s murder: What is the status of police reform in the United States?


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May 25th marked the one-year date of George Floyd’s murder.  Floyd's death sparked a massive movement for police reform and racial justice.  Though many were relieved that Derek Chauvin was convicted of murder, it is impossible to celebrate the killing of a person who died under the knee of a police officer while three other officers stood guard, ignoring the pleas of several concerned bystanders.  And yet, it took this shocking public display of police violence to get the attention of most Americans.

Qualified Immunity Is a Bad Thing


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New York is now the first city in the country to end qualified immunity for police officers.  The measure was passed as part of a package of police reform bills.  The decades-old protection has prevented officers from being sued or liable for misconduct.

Gun Reform, Crime Rate, and Homicide Data


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As of today’s date, there have been 102 mass shootings in the United States just this year, and it’s only March.  The recent horrific mass shootings in both Atlanta and Boulder have again brought up the discussion advocating for gun reforms.  A once in a century pandemic cannot be the only thing that slows mass shootings in this country.  In many ways, our lives are starting to feel normal again after a long, difficult year filled with so much loss.  Sadly, the return to mass shootings is also a sign of a return to “normal” in the United States.

New Laws in 2021


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With a new year come new rules and regulations across the country.  A plethora of new laws that went into effect on January 1, 2021, reflect the issues of the last year when employment, the pandemic, and criminal justice reform was top of mind for many Americans.

Here are some of the biggest changes that went into effect on January 1.

Nationwide Protests and Demand for Institutional Reforms


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As many people are aware, there have been protests around the country as well as around the world after the brutal and senseless murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis on Monday, May 25th, 2020.  As the saying goes, this was the straw that broke the camel’s back—after the million other straws underneath it.  The tumult and passion of the past several weeks have forced people to face the uncomfortable realities of our justice system.  These protests are like nothing the United States and the world have ever seen.  The last time anything close to what is currently transpiring happened in the United States was during the civil rights movement of the 1960s.

Is the COVID-19 Lockdown a Violation of Our Constitutional Rights?


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Benjamin Franklin once said, "Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.”  But what would Franklin have given up to secure a lot of permanent safety—stopping a sometimes lethal microbe that has already killed thousands of Americans?  Like so much else in our world during these trying times, his maxim now faces a harsh test from COVID-19.

Orange County Corruption Exposed


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Two audits conducted by the Orange County sheriff’s department uncovered a pattern of filing false reports that could call into question thousands of convictions.  Deputies booked evidence days, and sometimes weeks, after it was purportedly collected according to an internal audit, which examined thousands of police reports filed between 2016 and 2018.  Thirty percent of evidence was “booked out of policy,” according to a presentation describing the first audit’s findings.  A second audit found that deputies had claimed to have collected evidence that was never booked.

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