Rule of Lenity

In January, the U.S. Supreme Court applied the rule of lenity in a criminal case.  The rule of lenity is a rule of statutory construction that resolves ambiguities in statutory language in favor of the defendant.   The case involved a defendant who was convicted...

Federal Halfway Houses

At the end of March, Attorney General Eric Holder announced some new policies for federal halfway houses.  Federal halfway houses are used by tens of thousands of prisoners to ease the transition from prison back into society.  Some of the changes Holder announced...

Batson Challenge

In criminal court, every defendant is granted a speedy and public trial with an impartial jury of his or her own peers. What does an impartial jury of his or her own peers necessarily mean? The 6th amendment of the United States constitution doesn’t exactly...