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Category Archives: General

Court Grants Compassionate Release Based on Changes in Marijuana Laws

By Steven P. Berne |

A judge released an inmate from prison after finding that recent changes in marijuana laws presented “extraordinary and compelling circumstances” warranting the inmate’s release. The court sentenced a defendant in April 2021 after a jury found him guilty of growing marijuana and using a firearm in 2012. Soon after it imposed the mandatory minimum… Read More »

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BOP Does Not Have Immediate Plans to Send Inmates on Home Confinement Back to Prison

By Steven P. Berne |

BOP Director Michael Carvajal testified before Congress and stated that the BOP does not have any immediate plans to send the 4,000+ inmates on home confinement back to prison.At the same time, however, Director Carvajal did not rule out the possibility of sending them back to prison later, and he testified that Congress must pass a… Read More »

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How to Navigate the Federal Prison System

By Steven P. Berne |

The National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers’ Corrections Committee released an important new online resource, “How to Navigate the Federal Prison System“. The guide is especially crucial and timely resources for attorneys, family members of incarcerated individuals, and the public.        

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New Proposed Law Will Lower the Amount of Time Served for Older or Medically Ill Inmates

By Steven P. Berne |

A group of U.S. senators is pushing to expand compassionate release eligibility for elderly federal inmates during the pandemic and beyond. The COVID-19 Safer Detention Act of 2021 seeks to bring parts of the First Step Act in line with the pandemic’s impact on the U.S. Bureau of Prisons’ elderly population. The bill would… Read More »

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Second Chance Law Now in Effect

By Steven P. Berne |

The Second Chance Act of 2020 is designed to expand Georgia record restriction law to include certain misdemeanor and felony convictions. It also created incentives for employers to hire those whose convictions had been expunged. If you have been convicted of a single misdemeanor, or a series of misdemeanors relating to a single incident,… Read More »

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What Joe Biden’s Election Means for the Future of Criminal Justice

By Steven P. Berne |

In light Joe Biden’s apparent election to serve as the 46th president of the United States, the Marshall Project has published a detailed review of President-Elect Biden’s criminal justice platform, which the Marshall Project notes was “quietly” the “most progressive criminal justice platform of any majority party candidate in generations.” Joe Biden will likely… Read More »

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U.S. IMPRISONMENT RATE AT ITS LOWEST SINCE 1995

By Steven P. Berne |

The combined state and federal imprisonment rate of 419 sentenced prisoners per 100,000 U.S. residents in 2019 was the lowest imprisonment rate since 1995, the Bureau of Justice Statistics announced today. The imprisonment rate in 2019 marked a 17% decrease from 2009 and a 3% decrease from 2018, and it marked the 11th consecutive… Read More »

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Could Zoom jury trials become the norm during the coronavirus pandemic?

By Steven P. Berne |

As criminal courts grapple with the COVID-19 pandemic, some in the legal industry wonder whether a virtual jury trial could be next. Just weeks ago, the idea might have seemed inconceivable. Now, as remote meetings using videoconferencing tools such as Zoom become a regular fixture in courts, some are concerned that virtual trials would… Read More »

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Problems with Courts reopening in Georgia

By Steven P. Berne |

Georgia Supreme Court Chief Justice Harold Melton warned state judges Monday that they could face judicial discipline if they continue to ignore COVID-19 health guidelines. Melton plans to extend an emergency order this week, and this time he plans to include “stronger, more mandatory language” about the need to follow health directives, he said…. Read More »

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What does “Inciting a Riot” mean in Georgia?

By Steven P. Berne |

Many people are unsure of the differences between affray, riots, and inciting a riot in Georgia. All of these crimes are a disturbance of the peace, but they are all different. It is important to know the subtle distinctions between each crime. All of them are charged as misdemeanors in Georgia.  Georgia Law O.C.G.A…. Read More »

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