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Sex Crimes Defense Archives

How ‘genetic genealogy’ could violate your civil rights

One of the biggest cold cases in modern history made news about a year ago with the capture of the alleged “Golden State Killer.” The man identified as the suspect has been charged with 26 counts of murder for his alleged spree of murders and rapes in the 1970s and 80s across California.

Study: Your DNA can end up on objects you’ve never touched

While other types of evidence and forensic science are increasingly being challenged as unreliable, DNA analysis is the notable exception. It is usually considered the gold standard in the criminal justice arena, especially in prosecutions of violent crimes and sex offenses. And DNA evidence has been used to both convict and exonerate countless individuals.

Do people on federal supervised release have the right to a jury?

Andre Haymond of Oklahoma was convicted in federal court of possessing child pornography in 2010. As part of his sentence, he was placed on supervised release for 10 years. When he was accused of violating his supervised release, he was ordered to serve an additional 5 years in prison -- longer than his original term of incarceration. Now, he is asking the U.S. Supreme Court to rule that he should have received a jury trial before being sentenced to the additional five years.

DNA exonerates man of shocking rape after 37 years in prison

When a set of allegations is explosive enough, the police are under immense pressure to solve the crime. That can lead to corners being cut, such as targeting the most likely suspect to the exclusion of all others. Witness statements that don't match the police's theory may be ignored, as may evidence tending to show the suspect isn't guilty. When the allegations are especially shocking, the risk of a false conviction seems to increase.

False confessions led to convictions for the 'Norfolk 4'

In 1997, Michelle Moore-Bosko's husband discovered her body, raped, stabbed and strangled, in the apartment they shared. He had been at sea the previous week. The police immediately identified a neighbor, Navy sailor Danial Williams, as the prime suspect because he reportedly had a crush on the victim.

SCOTUS to decide sex offenders' right to trial on new charges

When a convicted sex offender on supervised release is accused of a new offense, how should they be sentenced? Should the penalty be the one for violating their supervised release terms, or should they be sentenced as if they had been convicted of the new offense?

It's unjust to charge teens as felons for sexting with peers

Both adults and teens engage in sexting, or the exchange of sexually explicit messages and images by cellphone or over the internet. Some surveys put the rate of adult sexting at between 15 and 22 percent. Among teens, perhaps 20 and 28 percent have engaged in sexting. Of those who had, about 70 percent were sexting with an intimate partner.

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