Legal News

Sex Offenders Will Now be Identified on US Passports – Here Is what you need to know

In 2016, Congress passed the “International Megan’s Law.” The law aims to protect children from sexual abuse and exploitation, especially through sex trafficking and sex tourism.   The law went into effect in late 2017, allowing the State Department to begin revoking the U.S. passports of convicted sex offenders.  These individuals will be permitted to...
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DNA’s Gold Standard Begins to Tarnish

The forensic gold standard that is DNA has begun to show signs of tarnishing.  Once believed to be infallible, the shortcomings and potential errors inherent in testing ever smaller quantities of DNA have begun to show up in criminal cases throughout Washington and the country. In 2009, the National Academy of Sciences published a report...
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Cursory Police Work Leads to Acquittal

Any defense attorney will tell you that the phrase “Not guilty” contains the two sweetest words in the English language. My colleague Alexei Garick and I recently savored such a verdict when our client was acquitted of Child Molestation in the First Degree. When this case first landed on my desk, I thought something must...
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Six-Year Study Highlights Flaws in How Universities Handle Sexual Assault Claims

A recent report released by the non-profit organization Stop Abusive and Violent Environments (SAVE) has attacked the predominant method for handling campus-based adjudications of sexual assault accusations. The SAVE report, titled “Six-Year Experiment in Campus Jurisprudence Fails to Make the Grade,” labels these proceedings as chronically inefficient, unfair, and occasionally harmful. The 2011 Dear Colleague...
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To Be Blind or Not to Be Blind? Forensic Interviews in Child Sexual Abuse Cases

An important question for forensic interviewers of children in alleged abuse cases is whether to gather information about the case before interviewing the child. The Supreme Court suggested in the 1989 case Idaho v. Wright that allegation-blind forensic interviewing may guard against leading children to make false allegations. In “Planning the Forensic Interview,” researchers Monica...
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