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criminal defense Archives

AI systems may not be fair to criminal defendants

Artificial intelligence is becoming more and more important as automation takes over many tasks and algorithms make trillions of decisions every day. Even the criminal justice system is impacted by the use of AI, as algorithms are often used to make assessments of defendants. People in Texas who are charged with a crime are innocent until proven guilty, but AI technology like risk-assessment tools can make determinations that are disadvantageous to defendants.

Detalles importantes que debe conocer sobre los delitos menores

Los delitos menores no son tan graves según la ley como los delitos graves, lo que significa que implican castigos menos severos. En los Estados Unidos, los delitos menores suelen dar lugar a castigos como la libertad condicional, el servicio a la comunidad, las multas monetarias y el encarcelamiento breve o parcial.

President Trump says that he plans to sign the First Step Act

About 2,600 federal inmates in Texas and around the country who are serving long custodial sentences for crimes involving crack cocaine could be released if the First Step Act reaches President Trump's desk. Trump has vowed to sign the criminal justice reform bill, but political analysts expect bipartisan opposition in Congress to be fierce. Some Republicans say that the bill goes too far and jeopardizes public safety while many Democrats say that it does not go far enough.

How race may affect plea deals

Nonwhites in Texas who are offered plea deals in criminal cases may not be getting the same bargains as their white counterparts. According to a study of Wisconsin misdemeanor cases by a Loyola University professor, white defendants are more likely to get charges reduced, dismissed or dropped. If black people had no criminal history, they were still less likely to get their charges reduced than white people with no criminal history.

Penalties for marijuana reflect its dangerous potential

Many advocates of marijuana have scoffed at the notion that it is a so-called gateway drug which will inevitably lead to the use and abuse of harder drugs. While its legalization for medical purposes has proven beneficial in some states, the evidence remains that it is linked to increased likelihood of heroin and cocaine use.

The basics of bail

When an individual is taken into custody, that person may be given a citation and a promise to appear in court. However, a Texas resident may also be taken to jail after being taken into custody, and at that point, it may be necessary to bail out. A judge will determine if a person is eligible for bail and how much a person needs to pay to buy his or her freedom.

How are jury members chosen?

Jury selection happens at the very beginning of a criminal trial and is a crucial part of the process that has a major impact on the outcome. As the finder of fact, the jury will decide what pieces of evidence and testimony are credible and will deliver its verdict based on what it determines the facts of the case to be. Of course, no human being is perfectly objective, and each member of the jury comes with his or her own background that influences his or her perception of credibility. The task of an effective defense attorney is to aim for the inclusion of jurors able to be fair to the defendant and to challenge any improper actions on the prosecution's part.

When a prosecutor must share exculpatory evidence

When an individual is charged with a crime in Texas, the prosecutor is obligated to share any exculpatory evidence uncovered during their investigation of the defense. Unfortunately, some prosecutors skirt this responsibility, which could lead to the conviction of an innocent person.

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