Blog Archive for June 2016

Not enough evidence and our system of justice.

by: Matt Newburg

June 22, 2016 at 4:30 PM EDT

By now you have heard that Jerry D. Jones, the district attorney for the 4th District Court for Louisiana has decided not to prosecute two Alabama football players who were in a car with marijuana and a gun.  The prosecutor indicated, on a court filing, that he would be dismissing the charges because there was "insufficient evidence."  So what does that mean? If you take that comment at face value, that means the prosecutor did not think he could prove his case beyond a reasonable...

Confessions to Crimes That Never Happened: The Corpus Delicti Rule

by: Jason Osbourn

June 10, 2016 at 2:39 PM EDT

Victoria Banks pleaded guilty to manslaughter after she confessed to killing her newborn baby. She, along with two others who also confessed to participating in the crime, were sentenced to 15 years in prison. The problem? Years before her confession, Victoria underwent sterilization and doctors say that it would have been impossible for Victoria to have been pregnant, let alone given birth.

The Corpus Delicti Rule is meant to guard against such convictions, ensuring that people are charged and...

New law gives courts greater power to overturn Secretary of State’s denial of a restricted license

by: Jason Osbourn

June 6, 2016 at 11:49 AM EDT

Those whose license is revoked may request a hearing with the secretary of state (SOS) and request that their license be reinstated. Reinstatement of a license under these circumstances is highly discretionary. While a denial may be appealed to the circuit court, the court will only overturn SOS’s decision only for the most grievous mistake of fact or law or blatant abuse of discretion. As a result, a denial by SOS is almost never overturned by the circuit court.

Earlier this month, however, the...