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Fourth Amendment Update: US Supreme Court Rules GPS Trackers are a Form of Search & Seizure:…/supreme-court-if-youre…/389114/


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Criminal Justice Reform in California: Five Bills That Could Dramatically Change the Golden State’s Criminal Law Landscape

In 2018, California ushered in a new era of criminal justice; both the cash bail system and the felony murder rule were abolished with the stroke of then-Governor Jerry Brown’s pen. Not to be outdone, state legislators have introduced 2,628 bills since December 2018. Here, we will focus on five criminal justice reform-related bills. 1.  Automatic sealing of criminal records - AB 1076 AB 1076 would automatically seal the criminal records of an estimated 8 million people arrested or convicted of non-violent misdemeanors and infractions. While California allows people to petition the court to seal their records, most people fail to do so. One of AB 1076’s supporters, San Francisco District Attorney George Gascón, observed, “The current laws allow people to get this relief” but most people are “unable to get the relief because they either don’t have the resources or they don’t have the time.”

Supporters say that automating the process will increase the educational and professional opport…

A Step in the Right Direction: A Summary of the FIRST STEP Act


The Formerly Incarcerated Reenter Society Transformed Safely Transitioning Every Person Act of 2018, or FIRST STEP Act, is the first criminal justice reform bill signed into law under the current administration. Long in the making, the Act brings substantial reform to federal sentencing. While this bipartisan bill is primarily focused on decreasing recidivism, which is defined as a return to "criminal behavior, re-arrest, and re-incarceration," through evidence-based programming, the Act also reduces mandatory sentencing for non-violent offenses, expands educational programming, and revises certain drug penalties. This article will provide a broad overview of the Act, as well as a brief discussion of a challenge to the Act’s good time credit provisions by federal inmate Vivek Shah.

The Act includes key provisions from the Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act of 2015 (“SRCA”). Senators Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) introduced the bill …

Election Update: Your Guide to California’s Criminal Justice Ballot Measures Fall 2016

The nation is abuzz with all things Donald and Hillary, and the anticipated outcome of the presidential election. However, there are other important issues at stake this November. State propositions that affect not only you, but also the criminal justice system – like sentencing, marijuana use, gun control, and the death penalty – are up for vote in a few weeks.
And with four ballot cards to get through by November 8th, this Quarterly Update is dedicated to identifying and simplifying the criminal-justice related measures on the ballot. Below is a rough, cliff-notes-like version of the Propositions and Measures certain to affect California’s criminal justice system. Your California vote is important and it is even more important that you know what you are voting for.
California Ballot Measures
Proposition 57: Sentencing and Juvenile Filings
Proposition 57 supports increasing parole and good behavior opportunities for those convicted of nonviolent crimes. This proposition would…