New York Civil Rights And Criminal Defense Lawyers

Month: December 2016

What was the most important moment for American civil rights?

When we think of civil rights, most of us think about the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s, when our nation made huge forward leaps in racial equality. However, the most important moment for civil rights in American happened long before the 1960s. We need to look back further to the creation of the Thirteenth and Fourteenth Amendments of the U.S. Constitution, which represent the most pivotal expansions of civil rights in America. The Thirteenth Amendment -- ratified by the states in 1865 -- officially abolished slavery in the United States. What happened after the Thirteenth Amendment is...

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West coast prisoner sues over sewage in cell

According to a prisoner in California, prison officers ignored his backed up toilet. The toilet flooded raw sewage into his cell and he was forced to live in the same area as the sewage for multiple days before prison officers took action to clean up the mess. The prisoner, whose sentence relates to lewd acts against a child, filed his lawsuit on Oct. 8 in federal court. The suit alleges that his rights were violated by correction officers. He is asserting his Eighth Amendment rights under the U.S. Constitution. The Eighth Amendment prohibits cruel and unusual punishment. The lawsuit...

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How accurate is eyewitness testimony?

When it comes to court cases, one of the most important pieces of evidence is an eyewitness testimony. Juries and judges are heavily influenced by the word of someone who says they saw the crime and remember the criminal, but researchers are beginning to doubt the witnesses' memory. According to, in an investigation of cases in which murder and rape cases were later overturned due to DNA evidence, as many as 75 percent of the cases had been originally based on eyewitness testimony. While this was a relief to those who had been scheduled for execution, it is a concern for every...

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What is the Prison Litigation Reform Act?

Congress approved the Prison Litigation Reform Act in 1996. A lot of critics of this legislation have judged it as unfairly limiting the ability of inmates to bring forward federal court lawsuits relating to prisoner abuse. Let's take a look at the five major provisions of the PLRA: -- Prisoners cannot simply file a federal lawsuit at the first sign of abuse. Prisoners have to first utilize and exhaust all internal prison grievance protocols concerning the abuse. Only then can they file a federal lawsuit. -- Prisoners need to pay their federal court filing fees. This can be done via a single...

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What are the elements of a false imprisonment claim?

False imprisonment refers to the act of unlawfully confining someone. This could have to do with unlawful police detention, though it generally refers to the use of threat or authority to detain someone without legal cause. Here are the three elements that must be present in order for a plaintiff to prove that he or she was falsely imprisoned: -- The detention of the individual in question was willful taken by the party that detained him or her. -- The detention took place without the individual's consent. -- The detention happened unlawfully. False imprisonment can happen in a lot of...

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Are New York schools falling victim to segregation?

While the fight against segregation was supposedly settled years ago, researchers are finding that there is still evidence of racial separation. Scientists at UCLA began a research project 60 years after the famous Brown v Board of Education ruling to discern whether or not the United States has become truly equal for all races. The Latino influx   Researchers found that, while original segregation issues focused on the mistreatment of blacks, Latinos are now being separated just as dramatically. Metropolitan areas with the biggest populations proved to be the most segregated,...

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Police chief resigns after writing racial profiling email

A police chief in a neighboring state was accused of promoting racial profiling tactics after an email he wrote surfaced publicly. The email stated that racial profiling serves a purpose in law enforcement when carried out correctly. More specifically, the email, written in 2014, said that black gang members from a neighboring city frequently carry out crimes in their city, Wyckoff, and this is why officers target black individuals present in white neighborhoods. After the email surfaced, the police chief announced that he would resign from his position following a 180-day suspension that...

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