All posts in category Criminal Defense

A Muslim Student, a Clock, and a Lesson on School Justice


A young Muslim student was arrested and suspended recently when an English teacher thought a homemade clock looked like a bomb. The incident raised concerns of discrimination and Islamophobia. But what is the arrest telling the students of MacArthur High School about school justice?

Do Long Jail Sentences Prevent Juvenile Crime?

Do Longer Jail Sentences Prevent Juvenile Crime?

A teen breaks the law, gets caught, is arrested and eventually goes to jail (specifically a juvenile detention center). What is it that keeps him from doing it all over again once he is released? Will a longer jail sentence set her straight? A new Department of Justice report says no.

Michigan's New Sentencing Rules Aren't Better for Defendants

Defendants question benefit of new Michigan Sentencing law

Michigan defendants face a new level of uncertainty when they walk into criminal court for sentencing. The state Supreme Court’s decision may have been based on defendants’ right to a jury trial, but it doesn’t protect them from judicial discretion.

Michigan Supreme Court Strikes Down Mandatory Minimum Sentencing Guidelines

Michigan Supreme Court strikes down mandatory minimum sentencing guidelines

Last week, the Michigan Supreme Court struck down that part of the state’s sentencing guidelines that requires judges to use facts not given to the jury to set mandatory minimum sentences. It’s a decision that could fundamentally change how criminal law works in Michigan.

Judge Rules Michigan Sex Offender Registry Act Unconstitutional

Michigan Sex Offender Registry Act struck down as vague

On March 31, 2015,  a federal district court judge has ruled parts of the Michigan Sex Offender Registry Act are unconstitutional. But maybe not for the reasons you would expect.

Truancy for Trouble? Bill Would Strip Money From Absentees' Families

Truancy as grounds to take away cash assistance?

How do you get your teenager to stay in school? Grounding, privilege stripping, bribes? How about threatening to take away their food and housing? That’s what a bill that just passed the Michigan House of Representatives would do, and not just to the teen, but the whole family.

ABA Works to Dismantle the School to Prison Pipeline

We need to dismantle the school to prison pipeline

The School to Prison Pipeline and Zero Tolerance have been popular buzz words in the legal and educational communities over the last few years. Now the American Bar Association is calling for the pipeline to be dismantled, not just discussed.

Police Prevent Shooting Threat at Milford High School

Milford High School

A ninth grade student threatened to “shoot up” Milford High School “like Columbine” on social media. Thanks to swift action by the police, the school is safe. But what will happen to the student?

One Lawyer's Take on Restorative Practices

Students Can Use Restorative Practices in the Classroom

Last week, I had an opportunity to attend a four day training on Restorative Practices. This alternative supplement to traditional disciplinary structures is gaining popularity among schools and courts in Southeast Michigan. Like any new strategy though, it has strengths and weaknesses.

California Leads the Way on Restorative Justice

California implements restorative justice practices

Education professionals and students’ rights advocates have been pushing for big changes in school discipline procedures, including the use of restorative justice practices. Now the results are in: California is showing the rest of the country what it takes to keep students in school.

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