First Step Act Gives Federal Inmates with Extraordinary and Compelling Reasons Chance for Early Release

The FIRST STEP Act (S. 2795), introduced by Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D- RI) and Sen. John Cornyn (R - TX), was passed by Congress with the intent that people are prepared to come home from prison job-ready and have major incentives to pursue the life-changing classes that will help them succeed on the outside. The Act also provides an avenue for federal prisoners with “extraordinary and compelling reasons” to quickly seek early release by petitioning directly to their sentencing judge and bypassing the Federal Bureau of Prisons bureaucracy.

Currently, the federal prison system is failing to achieve its purpose - rehabilitation- and instead rips people away from their families, lea...

Senate passes GRACE Act Providing Federal Prisoners Alternate Avenue Other than Bureau of Prisons to Seek Compassionate Release

The Senate passed the “GRACE” Act on December 18, 2018 which allows federal prisoners eligible for compassionate release to seek relief in federal court if they run into opposition from the Bureau of Prisons.

The proposed Act provides federal prisoners the ability to file a motion under 18 USC 3582 for a reduction of sentence if the Bureau of Prisons fails to grant compassionate release within 30 days from the prisoner's request. this is a HUGE development and would reverse the Bureau of Prison's historic position of stalling or failing to act on request's of prisoners who are terminally ill.

"Science Day" of Actual Innocence Seminar Complete

"Science Day" of the Actual Innocence seminar hosted by the TCDLA is in the books. There were fantastic and thought proviking presentations on secondary DNA transfer and latent fingerprints. Nicole Casarez also presented an excellent session on ethical duties of a criminal defense attorney and a prosecutor in actual innocence cases using the Anthony Graves case (out of the United States Southern District of Texas Galveston Division) as a backdrop. In the Anthony Graves case, he was convicted and sentenced to death for a murder he did not commit. The prosecutor lied and suppressed key evidence. Mr. Graves was exonerated and the prosecutor was eventually disbarred.

Overall, the seminar was very...

Powerful Day 1 of Actual Innocence Seminar


August 2, 2018 TCDLA Actual Innocence Seminar

Day 1 of the TCDLA Actual Innocence Seminar in Austin, Texas was powerful. The seminar started off with excellent speakers on ineffective assistance of counsel and jail house snitch testimony. These presentations were buttressed with informative sessions by the State of Texas Prosecuting Attorneys and the Conviction Integrity Unit (CIU) attorneys of Dallas and Tarrant County. The day ended with a dinner and emotional presentations of exonerees and family members of Tim Cole who was exonerated posthumously (he died while in prison for s crime he did not commit).

We look forward to tomorrows sessions on DNA, eyewitness identification, shaken baby s...

Kingsbury Law Firm Receiving Top Notch Training on Actual Innocence

The Kingsbury Law Firm is in Austin to attend the Actual Innocence seminar hosted by the Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association (TCDLA) which is funded partly by a grant from the Innocence Project. We are looking forward to intense training on working to free the wrongfully convicted. Sessions will focus on the development of the practical skills necessary to win in this critical area of legal practice. We will be blogging live from the 2-day event. For more information, go to TCDLA Actual Innocence




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