Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Restoration of Rights Project

Every once in a while, I post something of general interest that is not informant-related. The Restoration of Rights Project is an important new resource from the NACDL (National Assoc. of Criminal Defense Lawyers) that everyone with a criminal record should know about. It provides detailed information about every state: what rights are lost upon conviction, and how to get them back. Here's the description:
NACDL is pleased to offer, as a resource for its members and as a service to the public, a collection of individual downloadable documents that profile the law and practice in each U.S. jurisdiction relating to relief from the collateral consequences of conviction. The 54 jurisdictional profiles include provisions on loss and restoration of civil rights and firearms privileges, legal mechanisms for overcoming or mitigating collateral consequences, and provisions addressing non-discrimination in employment and licensing. In addition to the full profiles, there is a set of charts covering all 50 states (plus territories and the federal system) that provide a side-by-side comparison and make it possible to see national patterns in restoration laws and policies. The information covered by the charts is summarized on the page for each jurisdiction. These materials will be an enormous aid to lawyers in minimizing the collateral consequences suffered by clients and in restoring their rights and status.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Texas police pressure traffic violator into drug work

ABC News ran this story about a mother who was pulled over for traffic violations and then pressured into becoming a drug informant to avoid arrest. Story here: Cops Use Traffic Tix to Force Woman into Drug Buys, Lawyer Claims. This is the same scenario reported in Attica, New York, where another young woman was pressured into becoming a drug informant when she was stopped for failing to pay traffic tickets. See this post: Recruiting new informants. Such stories remind us that police have discretion to use any opportunity--even a speeding ticket--to recruit new informants, even when the offense is minor or has nothing to do with the crimes the police want to investigate.