Category: David Rossman

Experts Media Alert – Grand jury decisions in New York and Ferguson

December 4th, 2014 in 2014, David Rossman, Experts Media Alert, Jack Beermann, News Releases, School of Law 0 comments

A week after a Ferguson grand jury decided not to indict a police officer in the death of Michael Brown, a Staten Island grand jury came down with the same decision in the death of Eric Garner who died from an apparent chokehold by a New York City policeman. Both decisions are raising the question of what is the function of a grand jury. U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder has said he will pursue a federal civil rights investigation on the Garner case. Rev. Al Sharpton announced that he would hold a civil rights march in Washington, D.C. on December 13 to protest the deaths of Brown and Garner, as well others who have been killed by police officers.

The following Boston University School of Law professors are available to offer commentary and analysis:

rossman_white_65wDavid Rossman is the director of BU’s Criminal Law Clinic Programs. He is a former assistant district attorney in Middlesex County, Massachusetts, where he was responsible for grand jury investigations and prosecutions of white-collar crimes. Rossman can be reached at 617-353-5011 or drossman@bu.edu.

beerman_white_65wJack Beermann, an expert in constitutional law, is also a noted scholar civil rights litigation against state and local governments and their officials. “Civil rights litigation is a very important part of our legal system because it involves holding government officials accountable when they violate constitutional and other important rights,” he says. Beermann can be reached at 617-353-2577 or beermann@bu.edu.

maclin_white_65wM. Tracey Maclin, a professor of law, is an expert on constitutional law, criminal law, and civil liberties. He has served as counsel of record for the American Civil Liberties Union in a number of Supreme Court cases addressing Fourth Amendment issues. Maclin can be reached at 617-353-4688 or tmaclin@bu.edu.

 

For additional commentary by Boston University experts, follow us on Twitter at@BUexperts

Jared Remy’s guilty plea stuns legal experts

May 28th, 2014 in 2014, David Rossman, Lowell Sun, Newsmakers, School of Law 0 comments

rossman_white_65wLowell Sun
David Rossman, School of Law

Jared Remy was sentenced to life in prison without parole Tuesday after admitting he killed girlfriend Jennifer Martel last August, a decision that surprised legal experts who called the guilty plea very unusual…

Expert quote:

“It was in his best interest as a son to do this.”

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The Arab Spring chokes in Egypt

May 1st, 2014 in 2014, David Rossman, Newsmakers, School of Law 0 comments

rossman_white_65wThe Commentator
David Rossman, School of Law

It’s almost as if the revolution against Mubarak was pointless. Egypt is more repressive now than it was when he was in charge. But some Egyptians are still not prepared to give up…

Expert quote:

”To sentence anyone to death without an exhaustive inquiry into their individual culpability is a violation of fundamental human rights.  It does not seem possible that a court could sentence 700 people to death in one proceeding and do justice.”

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Egyptian dictatorship’s 529 death sentences

March 25th, 2014 in 2014, David Rossman, Newsmakers, Stanley Fisher 0 comments

The Commentator
David Rossman, School of Law
Stanley Fisher, School of Law

Yesterday, as reported everywhere, a judge in Upper Egypt took just two court sessions to sentence to death 529 supporters of Mohamed Morsi for the murder of a single police officer…

Expert quotes:

Rossman:

“Selecting juries from the community gives ordinary people a say in how the justice system operates. That makes it more legitimate in the eyes of the people. In the American jury system, if the jury finds a defendant not guilty, no judge can overturn that decision. So the people are the ultimate check on the exercise of state power. Anyone charged with a crime that has a punishment of more than six months imprisonment is entitled to a jury.  And yes, juries are used in mafia trials as well as every other type of criminal case.”

Fisher:

“Overall, I believe that the availability of jury trial (although the jury is, in fact, rarely used in the U.S.) is a blessing for upholding the individual’s right to a fair trial. The jury system is more expensive to operate than trial by professional judges, but it is also more democratic: lay persons drawn from the community are less vulnerable to political pressure from above, and more reflective of community sentiment. That has both advantages and disadvantages, depending on the case. In the U.S., the parties, if agreed, can decide in any case to be tried by the judge, rather than by a jury, which gives some flexibility.”

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Will the Morsi trial change the Egyptian judicial system

February 16th, 2014 in 2014, David Rossman, Newsmakers, School of Law 0 comments

rossman_white_65wThe Jerusalem Post
David Rossman, School of Law

Ousted Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi is to be tried for inciting violence against protesters. He will be also tried, along with many other public figures, for “insulting the judicial authority.”…

Expert quote:

“Selecting juries from the community gives ordinary people a say in how the justice system operates.”

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Officials Will Seek the Death Penalty for Boston Bombing Suspect

January 30th, 2014 in 2014, Blogs, Boston Magazine, David Rossman, Newsmakers, School of Law 0 comments

rossman_white_65wBoston Magazine “Boston Daily Blog”
David Rossman, School of Law

Officials from the U.S. Department of Justice announced on Thursday—one day ahead of the intended deadline—that they would seek the death penalty in the case against Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev…

Expert quote:

“So one of the things the Justice Department will say is, ‘we are leaving it in the hands of the community,’ and that the jury is going to make the ultimate decision. It’s a shared responsibility. It’s not Eric Holder that holds the switch.”

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Death Penalty Decision Approaches in Marathon Bombing Case

January 30th, 2014 in 2014, Blogs, Boston Magazine, David Rossman, Newsmakers, School of Law 0 comments

rossman_white_65wBoston Magazine “Boston Daily Blog”
David Rossman, School of Law

The deadline for federal officials to decide if they will pursue the death penalty for Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is due by Friday, January 31, and according to experts, it’s possible that prosecutors will call for capital punishment…

Expert quote:

“Prosecutors don’t get to kill people, juries have to. So one of the things the Justice Department will say is, ‘we are leaving it in the hands of the community,’ and that the jury is going to make the ultimate decision. It’s a shared responsibility. It’s not Eric Holder that holds the switch.”

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James ‘Whitey’ Bulger convicted of multiple gangland crimes

August 13th, 2013 in 2013, David Rossman, Los Angeles Times, Newsmakers, School of Law 0 comments

rossman_white_65wLos Angeles Times
David Rossman, School of Law

James “Whitey” Bulger ran the clannish streets of South Boston for generations, an Irish crime boss from the brick projects along the waterfront whose rule was an open secret…

Expert quote:

“The trial was never about whether Whitey would be convicted. It was about what Whitey wanted to do with the last opportunity he had to capture the public eye.”

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James ‘Whitey’ Bulger, Fugitive Mobster, Begins Murder Trial

June 4th, 2013 in 2013, David Rossman, Huffington Post, Newsmakers, School of Law 0 comments

rossman_white_65wHuffington Post
David Rossman, School of Law

When James “Whitey” Bulger steps into a Boston federal court Tuesday, it will be easy to see how the now bald, thin, 83-year-old was able to blend in with Santa Monica residents as half of an unassuming retired couple…

Expert quote:

“It touches everything that made Boston run. There was a triumvirate of extraordinarily powerful people in Boston — Billy Bulger, John Connolly and Whitey. He was the figure that connected everybody.”

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When the Police Can Search Your Home Without a Warrant

April 25th, 2013 in 2013, David Rossman, Newsmakers, School of Law 0 comments

rossman_white_65wLawyers.com
David Rossman, School of Law

The nail-biting manhunt for the Boston Marathon bombing suspect on Apr. 19 led police from door to door in Watertown, Mass., looking for Dzhokhar Tsarnaev…

Expert quote:

“If they have probable cause, they can search without a warrant when taking the time to get one either would result in the destruction of evidence or present a danger to someone.”

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