Under the Washington Constitution, a criminal defendant has a right to be notified of the nature of the charge so the defendant can prepare and present an adequate defense. This makes constitutional, practical, and intuitive sense. You can’t really defend yourself against a moving target. But in certain cases, the Washington Supreme Court ruled today, you can—at least to a degree.
Washington Supreme Court sets aside murder conviction based on racially motivated jury selection process
State v. Pierce is in large part about the death penalty. For that reason, you may think that today's case is irrelevant, because in 2018, the Washington Supreme Court struck down the state’s death penalty law. But State v. Pierce is also in large part about race, which makes the case entirely relevant today in Washington.
To say that cell phones are an integral part of our personal and professional life might be the biggest understatement of the 21st century. Today’s smartphones can do virtually almost anything— browse the web, take pictures, play music, watch videos, send messages.
We don’t just expect officers to investigate crimes and arrest people. We also expect them to protect the community and keep the peace, even when there’s no evidence of criminal activity.
Washington Supreme Court rules that trial judges must thoroughly investigate allegations of juror misconduct based on implicit racial bias
Racial bias can infect the criminal justice system and, like a virus, eats away and damages the body. Racial bias in the jury room can be even more insidious because juror deliberations are usually secret. Juror secrecy is generally a good thing, because it permits jurors to deliberate freely without being subjected to outside pressure or influence.
Every criminal prosecution is different, but every one of them starts the same: with the government filing a criminal complaint.