On Police Officers and Other Bullies

Jefferson Memorial

  I am sitting in JM-15 at D.C. Superior Court watching a Georgetown University law student cross-examine a police officer on a drug case. The officer is doing the old “dumb officer” routine; that is, he can’t seem… Read More

On Prison Tapes: Eavesdropping on Your Client

  I am dealing with a “hide-the-ball”-type prosecutor in Virginia. I have gotten spoiled from working with D.C. prosecutors; they are usually pretty upfront about what they have against your client.  There are no ambushes or surprises.  Your… Read More

The “Oopsie” Phenomenon and Other Problems with Urine Tests

Aerial view of DC

With the use of breath test machines temporarily suspended in D.C. because of calibration and accuracy problems, people arrested under suspicion of drinking and driving are currently being administered urine tests. Generally considered even less reliable than the… Read More

On Jabbar Collins and Other Jailhouse Lawyers

U.S. Capitol Building

I have only seen one “law library” at a prison, and I have to say I was not at all impressed. A converted broom closet with a broken chair and a rickety metal bookshelf, the library consisted mostly… Read More

Because Transcripts Can Be Unforgiving

When I was a public defender in Philadelphia, my office mate used to come across me reading transcripts from court hearings I had done and kid me. I thought I was being conscientious, working to make myself a… Read More

On Human Memory and Eyewitness Testimony

U.S. Capitol building

Many years ago, as a student at the University of Freiburg in Germany, I went with an American friend to West Berlin to sightsee.  We went to a bar one night in which we were taken for some… Read More

Everyone Should Have An Identical Twin

Jefferson and Washington monuments

For over 20 years, Detective Wynn conducted line-ups at the Curran-Fromhold Correctional Facility (CFCF) in Philadelphia.  The line-ups were carried out in a little triangular-shaped room just beyond the main reception area. You know the way it looks… Read More