The Shiller Preyar Law Offices are dedicated to social justice issues on a local scale in the Chicagoland area as well as on a national scale. Our blog is a useful space to keep up with current legal news, firm updates and upcoming events.
(This post originally ran with the Daily Law Bulletin on March 19, 2014).
This year is likely to bring a series of interesting rulings from the State’s five appellate courts and eventually from the Supreme Court on how the recent liberalized marijuana and gun laws impact 4th amendment analysis for stops and frisks.
Recent announcements have brought Marissa Alexander, and the controversial Stand Your Ground laws, back into the news. In 2012, the domestic violence survivor was convicted with aggravated assault for firing a shot at the ceiling during an attack by her estranged husband. She received the mandatory minimum sentence of 20 years. Though occurring before Trayvon Martin’s killing, Ms. Alexander’s case became especially prominent after George Zimmerman’s trial for that case, and in conjunction with the ongoing case against Michael Dunn, who is accused of killing the black teenager, Jordan Davis. Alexander’s case is often used in larger conversation about Florida’s the inconsistent application of Stand Your Ground or Shoot First laws.
Recent news that New York State has taking steps to end solitary confinement for juveniles and pregnant inmates is heartening, even as it points to the larger problems facing the US corrections system—including wrongful imprisonment, inhospitable and overcrowded correctional facilities, extreme sentencing guidelines. To some people, solitary confinement seems a just punishment and to others it is cruel and inhumane treatment. Here at Shiller Preyar, we tend toward the latter. Either way, it’s important to know what the key issues are in conversations about solitary confinement.