The Justice System is changing. Attorney General Jeff Sessions issued a memo to federal prosecutors last month implementing a new approach as they evaluate what crimes to charge and sentences to pursue. Although ultimate sentencing discretion remains with the Court, the government's position has an impact.
What if forensic evidence was not so scientific? What if investigators could use DNA found at a crime scene to put together a sketch of a suspect that includes bone structure, hair and skin color, other facial features, and even ethnic origin? If it sounds like something you would see only on CSI, you might be surprised. DNA phenotyping is a new technique being used by law enforcement agencies to create a physical likeness based simply on genetic material. Police naturally see the potential of this technology to put away bad guys, but what if it isn't as scientific as it sounds? And worse, what if it's convicting innocent people? In a recent National Geographic article, critics say that this technique and many others that have long been used, like fingerprints, bite-mark analysis, and hair analysis, are not scientific at all. What's worse, they may be no more reliable than eyewitness testimony and sketch artistry, likely suffering from the same issues of vagueness and inexactitude that routinely prove to be fatal flaws for those techniques.
White Collar Crime affects employees too. In the recent Volkswagen scandal where the automaker designed ways for their cars to fraudulently "pass" emissions tests, the government is rolling out a new prosecution strategy: going after the employees. The Detroit Free Press recently reported on Volkswagen engineer, James Liang, who plead guilty in U.S. District Court in Detroit to conspiracy to defraud U.S. regulators and Volkswagen customers, wire fraud, and violations of the U.S. Clean Air Act. He is not only the first Volkswagen employee to be convicted of criminal charges in this matter, his conviction is also a warning to all employees that just following company orders can lead to serious criminal consequences.
What should you consider when hiring a Michigan criminal defense attorney in Detroit or the suburbs for protecting your rights? The following are some of the factors: years of experience, former employment, professional memberships, academic success, standing in the legal community, and client satisfaction.
IN THE NEWS: The Law Office of John Freeman, PLLC, is proud to announce that its founding member has been invited to join the ranks of the American Society of Legal Advocates. This esteemed legal organization welcomed John Freeman as their newest member on December 16, 2013, recognizing Mr. Freeman as one of the Top 100 Lawyers in Michigan.