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Corruption in the New York Courts Part II


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Back in March of 2018, we wrote a blog about corruption in the New York courts regarding a case titled Knopf v. Esposito.  Earlier this month, on June 17, 2021, Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance announced the indictment of Melissa Ringel, a former director at the New York State Supreme Court Appellate Division, First Department, and her husband, Frank Esposito, a private attorney, for their roles in multimillion-dollar real estate transaction, in which Ringel used her position, without authorization, to advise Esposito’s client’s attorneys on an escrow order unrelated to her official responsibilities.  Their conduct allowed the client to sell the property and pay the $50,000 balance to Esposito’s law firm from the proceeds.  The defendants are charged in a New York State Supreme Court indictment each with one count of Official Misconduct.

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.

Warnings over Guns at Polling Places on Election Day


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Can voters bring guns into polling places?  In most states, the answer is: it depends.  Only about a dozen states—including California, Arizona, Florida and Georgia—explicitly ban open and/or concealed carry in voting sites.  In much of the country, voters may bring firearms into polling places, as long as the buildings and churches do.  Those rules vary at the state and local level.

Assaults and Killings of Judges and Other Court Officials


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An openly misogynistic lawyer who is believed to have killed the son of a female federal judge in New Jersey had a list of more than a dozen other possible targets, including three other judges and two doctors, several people with knowledge of the matter said.  The list of names was found on July 20, 2020, inside a rental car on a rural road in the Catskills in New York, where the lawyer, Ron Den Hollander, had killed himself.

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