Fault Lines
20 September 2017
  • Fear Of Knowing: Why Not Test The DNA?

    by - Sep 28, 2016
    (Comments: 5)
    September 28, 2016 (Fault Lines) — I was standing at the podium in federal court arguing about the constitutionality of a provision of Ohio’s law on post-conviction DNA testing. It’s not available for everyone.  You have...
  • AEDPA – Because Getting It Over With Is The Most Important Thing

    by - May 18, 2016
    (Comments: 0)
    May 18, 2016 (Mimesis Law) — People who know me roll their eyes when I say it, and folks who read stuff I’ve written (here, for instance, or here) yawn, but really, I don’t care about...
  • See Something? Maybe Think Before You Say Something?

    by - May 11, 2016
    (Comments: 13)
    May 11, 2016 (Mimesis Law) — Sitting at the gate at Newark airport.  Waiting for my flight to Cleveland.  Taking notes about something or other.  Maybe a transcript.  Maybe a brief.  Maybe thoughts for a blog post....
  • Distracted by the Feel-Good Story Of Innocence

    by - May 4, 2016
    (Comments: 5)
    May 4, 2016 (Mimesis Law) — In 1963, Paul Gatling entered a guilty plea to the murder of Lawrence Rothbort in the Crown Heights section of Brooklyn.  The alternative, he feared, was a death sentence.  So...
  • The Supreme Court of Kansas, Or Maybe It’s Oz

    by - Apr 27, 2016
    (Comments: 3)
    Apr. 27, 2016 (Mimesis Law) — Kansas.  Who knew it would be Kansas? Unless you’ve been skipping your daily dose of court news or blog posts (including here on Fault Lines, over at Simple Justice, at...
  • Four Steps To Death, Unless It’s Too Much Effort

    by - Apr 20, 2016
    (Comments: 1)
    Apr. 29, 2016 (Mimesis Law) — A capital prosecution in Ohio works roughly this way. The grand jury charges aggravated murder (Revised Code Section 2903.01) and one or more death specifications (R.C. 2929.04(A)). If the jury...
  • Harmful Harmless Error

    by - Apr 13, 2016
    (Comments: 1)
    Apr. 13, 2016 (Mimesis Law) — It’s called the “harmless error rule,” and if you squint really hard and think like a prosecutor, it almost makes sense. Consider the trial. Something went wrong.  Really, something always...
  • Two Murders, Two Cities, Too Little Regard For DNA

    by - Mar 16, 2016
    (Comments: 0)
    Mar. 16, 2016 (Mimesis Law) — From Charles Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities: IT WAS the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age...
  • The System: San Andreas Fault Edition

    by - Mar 9, 2016
    (Comments: 7)
    Mar. 9, 2016 (Mimesis Law) — Last year, as you know if you pay attention to these things, 149 men and women across the country who had been convicted of serious crimes were exonerated.  It was...
  • Life Plus? It Ain’t Necessarily So

    by - Mar 3, 2016
    (Comments: 4)
    Mar. 3, 2016 (Mimesis Law) — As Jeralyn Merritt pointed out, maybe they’d like to give life plus cancer out as a sentence because, well, why not. I mean, it’s supposed to be punishment, right? Take...
  • Earworms, The Donald, The Justice, and the Pope

    by - Feb 24, 2016
    (Comments: 0)
    Feb. 24, 2016 (Mimesis Law) — It’s not a song, but still stuck in my head, inspired by the contretemps between the Pope and Donald Trump.  The former who said that the latter wasn’t Christian because...
  • Of Graves and Worms and Epitaphs

    by - Feb 17, 2016
    (Comments: 4)
    Feb. 17, 2016 (Mimesis Law) — Whether you liked or loathed him, he was, to dip into cliché (which he rarely did), larger than life.  And now . . . His death changes everything. Or perhaps...
  • Numbers? You Want Numbers? We Got Numbers!

    by - Feb 10, 2016
    (Comments: 8)
    Feb. 10, 2016 (Mimesis Law) — What jumped out at me as I was reading Tara Singh’s Fault Lines post, “Clergy & Child Sex Abuse: Quick Forgiveness Is Cheap Grace,” (besides the great title) was the...
  • Oh, I’m Sorry Your Honor. Were You Talking to Me?

    by - Feb 3, 2016
    (Comments: 4)
    Feb. 3, 2016 (Mimesis Law) — The other day at Fault Lines, Chris Seaton wrote about In re Carrington in which a divided Tennessee Supreme Court held that while parents are entitled to counsel when the...
  • Whipsawed & Whiplash – A Month In The Life (And Death) Of The Death Penalty

    by - Jan 28, 2016
    (Comments: 2)
    Jan. 28, 2016 (Mimesis Law) — We’re about a month into the New Year now, and except for rulings on emergency matters, the Supreme Court is done until well into February. I’ve already done a couple...
  • The Anthony Kennedy Conundrum, A Matter of Life and Death

    by - Jan 20, 2016
    (Comments: 0)
    Jan. 20, 2016 (Mimesis Law) — It’s not quite the time and the Supreme Court is not quite the place. So says Murray Newman, and I’m not about to say he’s wrong.  On the other hand,...
  • An Especially Brutal Murder

    by - Jan 13, 2016
    (Comments: 6)
    Jan. 13, 2016 (Mimesis Law) — He always maintained he was innocent, framed in fact. The real killer, he said, was a prisoner in Ohio who confessed – and sometime later committed suicide. But Oscar Ray...
  • Remembering the Girl with the Blue Dot Over Her Face

    by - Jan 6, 2016
    (Comments: 1)
    Jan. 7, 2015 (Mimesis Law) — My client stands charged with rape. The indictment, as returned by the grand jury, and in the not-particularly eloquent language (and punctuation) of these sorts of legal documents, says that...
  • Remember the Alamo (When Texans Could Fight?)

    by - Dec 23, 2015
    (Comments: 0)
    Dec. 23, 2015 (Mimesis Law) — A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about Robert Leslie Roberson, III, a guy the Great State of Texas hopes to be putting to death one day soon.   That’s the...
  • An Appellate Lawyer’s Screed

    by - Dec 16, 2015
    (Comments: 10)
    Dec. 16, 2015 (Mimesis Law) — I was sitting at the dining room table reading a transcript when I started to growl. A deep, guttural sound, not something my wife, who was sitting across from me...