You may be under the impression that the sentence a defendant receives in court is based on legal guidelines which attach a certain type of crime to a certain amount of prison time. That’s not entirely true. A mathematical tool is also used to determine recidivism—that is, the likelihood that a convicted criminal will commit another offense within two years. The higher the score the recidivism algorithm produces, the longer the defendant’s sentence. The problem is: the math is biased against black people.
If you were charged with a criminal offense and found guilty, it’s important to understand that a guilty verdict does not have to be the end of the road for you. Under some circumstances, you may be eligible to appeal the ruling—that is, to convince a higher court to review your case for some error in the trial proceedings in the hope that they will overturn your conviction or reduce your sentence.
DNA testing has played a huge role in how cases are tried and how defendants are convicted. Since this forensic analysis has been introduced into the trial process, it has shed light on a huge problem in our criminal justice system: the inaccuracy of eyewitness reports. Of the hundreds of cases in which convicts have been exonerated through DNA testing, more than 70 percent of these involved eyewitness misidentification.
According to a recent study on demographic prison data from 2016, the U.S. Sentencing Commission discovered that black men receive 20 percent more prison time than white men for the same crime—even when the data is analyzed in terms of the offenders’ violent histories.
Much has been said this year about President Trump's propensity to speak his mind, particularly through Twitter. His tweets have been fodder for controversy on things he likes (i.e. support for certain political candidates, his political relationship with China) as well as things that frustrate him (NFL player protests, disaster relief in Puerto Rico).
Much is said about the problems with our criminal justice system, especially its effect upon people of color and the poor. Those who cannot afford to post bail and go free until their next hearing date (or trial) are at a significant disadvantage when it comes to defending the charges against them and preparing to resume life as they once knew it after being released (if they are released at all).
As we write this post, we hope our readers have enjoyed the “Halloween” season of costume themed parties and events. We also hope that our posts have been compelling, unique and genuinely informative.
If you have been arrested and charged with driving under the influence of alcohol in Cook County, DuPage County or elsewhere in the Chicago metro area, chances are that the police report accompanying the charges indicates that the arresting officer smelled an “odor of alcohol” emanating from the driver, which likely gave the officer probable cause to ask you to perform a few field sobriety tests.
Our prior post focused on warnings for those planning on celebrating Halloween by going to a party. Indeed, increased patrols are expected for the entire weekend given that Halloween falls on a Tuesday. While some may believe that they may evade patrols because of what they look like (i.e. not the typical middle-aged man, or college fraternity pledge), the reality of DUI enforcement may come as a surprise.
Halloween is still weeks away, but it is expected that anti drunk driving campaigns will be as popular as commercials touting costumes. Even though Halloween falls on a Tuesday this year, parties will likely take place the weekend before. Indeed, law enforcement agencies will urge drivers to be careful, but they are also charged with arresting drivers whose BAC is above the legal limit.