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Revenge Porn Victims Have New Rights

102733346In 2013 and again in 2015, California amended its disorderly conduct statute to include instances of “revenge porn.” See Pen C §647(j)(4). The first convictions are coming down with more likely to follow. Continue reading

Don’t Let Immigration Status Sabotage Your Client’s Sentence

489194765The following is a guest blog post by Norton Tooby, who has a national law practice in Oakland, California, providing expert consultation and representation on immigration consequences of criminal convictions, post-conviction relief, and criminal defense of noncitizens.

The Supreme Court has focused attention on the need to advise clients accurately on the specific immigration consequences of a guilty plea. Padilla v Kentucky (2010) 130 SCt 1473. But it’s also essential that defense counsel accurately advise clients about the sentencing consequences of his or her immigration status. Counsel must also do whatever is possible to prevent a defendant’s immigration status from destroying his or her opportunities for the alternatives to incarceration used in most criminal cases that result in sentences.

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Testing for Psychopathy

Did you know that, before certain California inmates may appear before a parole board, a state psychologist first evaluates the inmate to determine whether he or she is a psychopath? And even more interesting, did you know that there is actually a test — the Psychopathy Checklist—Revised (PCL-R)  — that is designed to measure psychopathy? Well, it’s all true. But, as NPR reports, the use of the test in the criminal justice system has come under more intense criticism in recent years, with the test’s creator among the critics.

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The “CSI” Effect

A criminal jury’s expectations of the quality of forensic evidence has changed greatly due to a juror phenomenon known as the “CSI effect.” This phenomenon is named after the popular police television series “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation,” which depicts forensic science as the magical key to solving grisly crimes. Jurors who watch these shows may erroneously believe that they have great knowledge and insight about the use of this evidence, even when their understanding of forensic evidence is based on fictional crime scene technicians and the evidence they can get in their cases. Continue reading

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