Criminal Defense Appeals: Different Perspectives

My last post discussed a recent Supreme Court victory. I represented Kyle Steiner in a habeas corpus action stemming from a child sex abuse case. After years of fighting, Kyle obtained some justice. A week after the Steiner decision was released, the South Dakota Supreme Court issued its decision in State v. Graham. The full text of the decision can be read on my web site, www.murphylawoffice.org. The result in that case, however, was not in our client’s favor. The Court found in our favor on one issue, but ultimately concluded that my client’s murder conviction would stand. His life without parole sentence was also affirmed.
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Thoughts on the Election

The election is over and most of us are happy about that. Whether your candidate won or lost, most folks are ready to get on with their lives. However, I want to suggest that we consider getting ready for the next campaign season by getting familiar with an oft-ignored topic: the cost to society of mass incarceration. As I watched the pundits discuss why particular candidates won or lost, the discussion inevitably came back to themes related to the economy, the debt, and the size of our state and national governments. This led me to consider one issue that none of the candidates — local, state or federal — discussed during their campaigns: the cost to society and to the tax payers of incarceration.
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