Despite the obvious momentum for criminal justice reform demonstrated in the recent election and the potential passage of the First Step Act, many prosecutors around the country continue to engage in harsh, "tough on crime" tactics. One exception who bears watching is Larry Krasner, the elected district attorney for Philadelphia.
A Wisconsin judge ruled that a man was not correctly tried when he was convicted of killing his wife on the strength of a letter she wrote to a neighbor. The widower was sent to prison for life in 2008 for the poisoning homicide, which seemed to be the fate his wife was expressing fear about in the letter claiming that her husband wanted her dead. That implication led to his being taken into custody on murder charges in 2002, four years after the woman died. In the most recent action, the judge vacated that trial result because the man had no opportunity to confront his accuser.
DNA evidence has become crucial in helping Wisconsin's law enforcement agencies solve violent crimes. Wisconsin's criminal DNA database has reduced the likelihood of wrongful convictions and has also helped exonerate some wrongfully convicted individuals who have spent years in prison for crimes they didn't commit.
A first-degree homicide charge may be considered the most serious criminal offense, and it carries with it the most severe and harshest penalties. If convicted, a defendant's life and the lives of their loved ones may be forever changed. Defendants facing this serious charge should be aware of the precise defenses that are available for violent cases.
A homicide charge against a person is one of the most severe in criminal law. To be arrested for homicide, or any other criminal charge, the police must have probable cause, a legal requirement of sufficient reason from the facts and circumstances of the situation, that an individual has committed the crime. In general, the police must have probable cause to obtain a search warrant before searching for evidence.