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Associated Press: "The tale of the tape: when should police videos be released?"

09/23/2016

Associated Press: "The tale of the tape: when should police videos be released?"

Photo: A protester walks in front of a line of police officers blocking the access road to I-277 on the third night of protests in Charlotte, N.C. Thursday, Sept. 22, 2016, following Tuesday’s fatal police shooting of Keith Lamont Scott. (Chuck Burton/Associated Press)

Two police shootings, both recorded by police. In one city, the police recordings were released almost immediately and protests remained calm. In the other, the chief has so far refused to provide the videos to the public and violent protests have wrought destruction in the heart of the city. Two different outcomes that raise some key questions: How soon are police obligated to release the recordings and why might they keep a lid on it?

In this era of a 24/7 cycle of citizen journalists and live video feeds, civil rights activists are saying the refusal to release video almost immediately underscores the fractured relationship between police and the community they serve.

“There’s a knee jerk reaction on the part of police departments. We used to call it the blue wall of silence,” said Randolph M. McLaughlin, a civil rights attorney and professor at the Elisabeth Haub School of Law at Pace University. “Now it’s just a blue wall.”

Read more: https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/the-tale-of-the-tape-when-should-police-videos-be-released/2016/09/23/4023052c-815c-11e6-9578-558cc125c7ba_story.html

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Associated Press: "3rd Night of Charlotte Protests Stays Largely Peaceful"

09/23/2016

Associated Press: "3rd Night of Charlotte Protests Stays Largely Peaceful"

Photo: Police fire teargas as protestors converge on downtown following Tuesday's police shooting of Keith Lamont Scott in Charlotte, N.C., Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2016. Protesters have rushed police in riot gear at a downtown Charlotte hotel and officers have fired tear gas to disperse the crowd. At least one person was injured in the confrontation, though it wasn't immediately clear how. Firefighters rushed in to pull the man to a waiting ambulance.(AP Photo/Gerry Broome)

. . . Experts who track shootings by police noted that the release of videos can often quell protest violence, and that the footage sometimes shows that events unfolded differently than the official account.

"What we've seen in too many situations now is that the videos tell the truth and the police who were involved in the shooting tell lies," said Randolph McLaughlin, a professor at Pace University School of Law. He said it is "irresponsible" of police not to release the video immediately.

Read more: http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/2nd-night-violent-protests-charlotte-police-shooting-42269243

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Associated Press: "Time Gap in Offering Aid After Police Shooting Stirs Concern"

09/21/2016

Associated Press: "Time Gap in Offering Aid After Police Shooting Stirs Concern"

A frame grab from video released by the Tulsa Police Department shows Terrence Crutcher walking with his hands in the air as he is confronted by police on Sept. 16 2016. (Photo: Tulsa Police Dept./EPA)

. . . "When the police take actions that result in injury to you and then leave you on the ground to die, well, I think that's a constitutional violation," said Randolph M. McLaughlin, a civil rights attorney and professor at the Elisabeth Haub School of Law at Pace University.

Read more: http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2016/09/21/us/ap-us-police-shootings-medical-help.html

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Dallas Morning News: "45 years after Attica, America's inmates are protesting again, but not in Texas — yet"

09/16/2016

Dallas Morning News: "45 years after Attica, America's inmates are protesting again, but not in Texas — yet"

On Sept. 10, 1971, inmates of Attica State Prison voiced their demands during a negotiating session with New York's prison Commissioner Russell Oswald. Photo: Associated Press

. . . "A lot of attention is now beginning to be focused on our prison system," said Micahel B. Mushlin, professor of law at the Elisabeth Haub School of law at Pace University and author of Rights of Prisoners, a four-volume treatise on prisoner-rights laws.

"That's a healthy development. And that's coming from both the left and the right. We really have a problem in our prisons and this is reflective of that."

Mushlin said he doesn't know "the conditions in every prison specifically in the U.S. but speaking nationally, we really do have a problem operating prisons to the standard we should have."

He said prisons should be places where inmates can be "productive," safe and respected by those overseeing them.

"That doesn't happen in many places," he said.

Read more: http://www.dallasnews.com/news/headlines/20160915-45-years-after-attica-america-s-inmates-are-protesting-again-but-not-in-texas---yet.ece

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Journal News: "Women’s Bar Assoc. awards scholarship"

09/16/2016

Journal News: "Women’s Bar Assoc. awards scholarship"

Julie Kattan, left, presents its Justice Sondra M. Miller Scholarship to Erica Danielson. (Photo: MFox)

Bar Association awards scholarship

HARTSDALE - The Westchester Women’s Bar Association Foundation, the charitable arm of the Westchester Women’s Bar Association, recently presented its Justice Sondra M. Miller scholarship to Erica Danielsen. The WWBAF gives the annual scholarship to a deserving Pace Law School student and supports other organizations by awarding grants to not-for profit organizations that provide programs that serve the community.

http://www.lohud.com/story/money/business-in-the-burbs/2016/09/13/rockla...

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New York Law Journal: "Exoneree Pursues Law Degree to Fill Criminal Justice 'Gaps'"

09/16/2016

New York Law Journal: "Exoneree Pursues Law Degree to Fill Criminal Justice 'Gaps'"

Jeffrey Deskovic, who served 16 years in prison for a murder he did not commit, has done everything he can in the years since his release to fight for the freedom of the wrongfully accused.

He started a nonprofit foundation to help prisoners with their cases. He writes about injustice, shares his experiences publicly and lobbies for reforms.

Now he's working to become what he considers the ultimate advocate—a lawyer—by going to law school to obtain a J.D.

"I want to be the attorney of record," he said.

Deskovic, 42, began classes this semester at Pace University Elisabeth Haub School of Law in White Plains, just nine blocks from the courthouse where he received his conviction.

He's taking four classes this semester: criminal law, torts, legal skills and—his favorite so far— civil procedure, which is taught by Michael Mushlin, a leading advocate for prison reform.

"He's a man after my own heart," Deskovic said of Mushlin.

But while he's finding some appeal in the civil side of the law, he is fully committed to practicing criminal defense.

"There is not enough lawyers who are zealous advocates who are working to exonerate people who are wrongfully convicted," he said.

Deskovic's experience with the criminal justice system has given him the chance to see the "gaps in the system" and that a J.D. will help him push for policy changes.

Read more: http://www.newyorklawjournal.com/id=1202767297141?keywords=deskovic&publ...

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The Atlantic: "The Trouble With Double Jeopardy"

09/14/2016

The Atlantic: "The Trouble With Double Jeopardy"

. . . Professor Lissa Griffin of Pace Law School has written extensively on the “mixed verdict” problem in double jeopardy law. She notes that one underlying concern of the cases is that both sides—prosecution as well as defense—have one “full chance” to present their theories and evidence and get a result. That did happen in this case, although the conviction was reversed for error.  She also echoes the NAPD brief’s concerns: “One of the reasons we’re dealing with mixed verdicts is how many statutes there are,” she said in an interview. In some cases, “the proliferation of charges is outrageous.”  Where the government chooses to charge a defendant with violating several different statutes, mixed verdicts are a real possibility.  

The government relies heavily on one case, Powell—the case where a jury convicted the defendant of using the phone to commit a crime for which the jury found her not guilty. That seemingly inconsistent verdict stood.  But Griffin  pointed out that the Powell decision didn't  permit the government to prosecute Powell twice. It had its conviction and kept it; “successive prosecution is a very different double jeopardy issue” than inconsistent verdicts reached at the same time, she said.

Read more: http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2016/09/the-trouble-with-double-jeopardy/499730/

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Associated Press: "Group to vote on urging countries to close ivory markets"

09/13/2016

Associated Press: "Group to vote on urging countries to close ivory markets"

. . . "We're talking about the extinction of elephants," said Joseph Moravec, law student at Pace University and voting member of the conservation congress. "Ivory markets are going to close one way or the other, whether it's us closing them when the elephant is still alive, or they're going to close in a few years when these species are still extinct and there's no more ivory left."

Read more: http://www.usnews.com/news/news/articles/2016-09-09/group-to-vote-on-urg...

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Journal News: "Hudson River's abuse continues: View"

09/08/2016

Journal News: "Hudson River's abuse continues: View"

A barge is parked in the Hudson River across from the city of Yonkers on Aug. 8. (Photo: Mark Vergari/The Journal News)

At a time when the federal government should invest generously in the Hudson River’s recovery, it remains the river’s most enduring adversary, writes John Cronin, a senior fellow at Pace University’s Academy for Applied Environmental Studies in the Dyson College Institute for Sustainability and the Environment, and the former Hudson Riverkeeper. Its latest scheme: a U.S. Coast Guard proposal on behalf of the American Waterway Operators to create 43 anchorages between Yonkers and Kingston to park oil-filled barges. The plan would benefit shipping and oil interests, while the Hudson and its communities bear the economic and environmental consequences of spills, accidents and ecological damage, and the estuary’s fishery continues its decline.

Read more: http://www.lohud.com/story/opinion/contributors/2016/09/08/hudson-river-abuse-continues/90004504/

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Co.Exist: "A New York High School Is Using Oysters In Its Curriculum—And To Protect The City's Coastline"

08/31/2016

Co.Exist: "A New York High School Is Using Oysters In Its Curriculum—And To Protect The City's Coastline"

[Photo: New York Harbor School]

. . . For Murray Fisher, the school's founder, the Billion Oyster Project’s devotion to marine skills made it a compelling partner for the Harbor School. It amounts to learning the shape and shifts of the seafloor, navigating ships to drop cages of shells, watching what happens to those shells and designing new ways to support the habitat.

Fisher now believes students can do more than strengthen the harbor's ecosystem—they can also strengthen the laws that govern the harbor. Fisher is working with John Cronin, an activist who pushed many of the cleanup and protection laws that restored the Hudson River in the 1970s and 1980s. Cronin, who now teaches a class in policy writing to undergraduates at Pace University, is working with the Harbor School and the Billion Oyster Project on a plan through which Cronin’s college students would embed on Governors Island during their class. They would mentor Harbor School students—and together, all the young people would write policy proposals.

The threat looming over all this work is climate change, which could devastate New York’s coastline and shift budgets to emergency repairs rather than long-term habitat restoration. Fisher worries that his mission to train kids for careers protecting the aquatic ecosystem can only go so far with limited resources. And all sorts of disturbances can upend kids as they go through college and into the workforce.

For now, Cronin counters that the students’ confidence can spread through partnerships, and through the Billion Oyster Project, to many other places. He talks about using future grant money to create a "virtual town hall" of waterfront activists. He says students he met at graduation, talk convincingly about having gained a devotion to the harbor. If he’s right, the technical waterfront skills kids learn on Governors Island can help them navigate the much stormier course of working and commuting and paying taxes in a stressed climate.

Read more: https://www.fastcoexist.com/3062501/a-new-york-high-school-is-using-oysters-in-its-curriculum-and-to-protect-the-citys-coastline

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