hartford criminal defense lawyerAdvocates for criminal justice reform have called attention to a number of practices by police officers and prosecutors that can result in suspects being wrongfully convicted of criminal charges. The approach that is often taken by police officers when interrogating suspects is one issue that has affected people in many cases. Officers are allowed to lie to suspects and use other deceptive practices during interrogations, and this has led many people to be convicted based on false confessions. Fortunately, some states are beginning to pass laws meant to protect suspects from these techniques.

New Laws Prevent Police From Lying When Interrogating Minors

Since a Supreme Court ruling in 1969, police officers have been legally allowed to lie to suspects during interrogations. This ruling was based on a case where police officers had lied to a suspect, stating that someone else had confessed and implicated him in a crime. The court found that the fact that the officers had lied was not sufficient to make the suspect’s voluntary confession inadmissible. Unfortunately, this opened the door for all manner of deceptive practices by police officers.

Police officers will often approach an interrogation with the presumption that a suspect is guilty, and they will use any practices they feel are necessary to elicit a confession. In many cases, police will lie to suspects about the evidence against a person, falsely claim that other people have made statements implicating them, or imply that a suspect will receive leniency if they cooperate. Interrogations may last for several hours, and officers will attempt to wear down a suspect to the point that they make a false confession simply to get out of the situation. According to the Innocence Project, around 30 percent of cases where people are exonerated after being wrongfully convicted involve false confessions.


East hartford criminal defense lawyerThe COVID-19 pandemic has affected the lives of everyone in the United States. Even though most people have been able to take steps to protect their health and safety, people who are serving sentences in prison have struggled to avoid the risks of infection. To address the risks that inmates face, the federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) has allowed for the release of thousands of prisoners, placing them on home confinement during the pandemic. However, the future status of these prisoners is uncertain, and many are concerned that they may be required to return to prison. Convicted offenders and their family members may need to consult with a criminal defense attorney to determine whether they can take legal action to address this issue.

Prisoner Release Under the CARES Act

In March of 2020, Congress passed the CARES Act, which provided multiple types of relief to people who have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. One of the provisions of this act allowed for the early release of federal prisoners. This option was usually available for nonviolent offenders who had served at least half of their sentences and who met criteria such as good behavior during their sentence or a high risk of health complications due to COVID-19. 

After being released, prisoners have been able to continue serving their sentences while under home confinement. Most of the time, prisoners have been required to wear an electronic monitor such as an ankle bracelet. Prisoners may also be restricted to traveling only for work-related purposes, and they may be required to submit to regular drug testing. While these restrictions can be strict, home confinement has allowed many prisoners to reconnect with their family members, obtain employment, and pursue education.


hartford defense lawyerChild pornography and other forms of child sexual abuse are a major concern in today’s society, and law enforcement officials have many tools at their disposal that they use to identify potential sexual predators and prosecute them for crimes against children. However, the increasing use of these tools has raised concerns about privacy and the violation of people’s Constitutional rights. Apple recently announced that it will be implementing a new feature that will search people’s iPhones to identify photos that may be considered child pornography. Multiple privacy and security advocates have argued that this feature is a troubling invasion of people’s privacy, and it could potentially be misused by law enforcement or other parties.

Problems With Apple’s Anti-CSAM Features

In an upcoming update to the iPhone operating system, Apple will be implementing new features meant to identify child sexual abuse material (CSAM). These features will scan users’ photos and compare their “digital fingerprints” with images in public databases of known child pornography images. If a match is found, an image will be reviewed by an Apple employee, and confirmed matches may result in law enforcement being notified and provided with a user’s information.

Other technology companies, such as Facebook, have used similar methods to scan photos uploaded by users. However, Apple’s new feature is different in that it will not just scan photos that have been uploaded to iCloud, but it will also scan photos stored on people’s individual devices. Security researchers have raised concerns that this opens the door to increased surveillance of users by law enforcement, as well as potential abuse by government officials who wish to track the activities of protestors, activists, or journalists. 


hartford defense lawyerImmigrants to the United States may run afoul of a variety of laws that could affect their immigration status. There are multiple issues that could potentially lead to deportation, including being convicted of certain types of crimes. In some cases, law enforcement officials may ask a person to cooperate with an investigation, telling them that by doing so, they can receive an S visa that will allow them to remain in the United States. However, criminal justice and immigration advocates have found that these types of visas are rarely granted, and in many cases, immigrants will still face deportation even if they cooperate with law enforcement and meet all of their legal requirements.

Problems With S Visas

S visas, which are commonly known as “snitch visas,” are available for those who have provided assistance to a law enforcement agency as a witness or informant in a criminal investigation. Up to 200 S visas can be issued each year for people who assist with criminal cases, and an additional 50 visas can be issued in cases related to terrorism investigations. Initially, a person will be allowed to stay in the U.S. with a nonimmigrant status, and if they meet all requirements during the investigation where they are serving as an informant or witness, they will be allowed to apply for a Green Card and become a Lawful Permanent Resident.

Unfortunately, the S visa system has not functioned in practice the way that it is meant to, and very few of these visas are actually issued. In 2018, only 16 S visas were approved in criminal cases, and since 1995, only six visas have ever been approved in cases related to terrorism. In many cases, S visas take between 5 to 10 years to be processed, and they can be denied at any point, resulting in a person losing their immigration status and being deported, even if they have complied with all government requests and fulfilled all of their obligations during an investigation.

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