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Virginia Beach Police use forged DNA reports to obtain false confessions

According to a recent story from NPR, the Virginia Beach Police Department categorically lied to defendants to obtain false confessions in serious felony matters. “Investigators from Herring’s office found that the police department was using the forged documents as “supposed evidence” to try to get confessions, cooperation and convictions. The police department would lie and say the suspect’s DNA was connected with the crime and provide that in the document, which had forged letterhead and contact information, according to the investigation.” The sad truth:  Police officers are, within certain limits, allowed to coerce statements from defendants using false information.  False Confessions  are often the result of misstatements or outright lies by the police department.  Police can tell some lies to try to get a suspect to talk, but the Supreme Court in Minnesota in particular as warned that law enforcement agencies that do so regularly are “on thin ice.”  Increasingly, more judges in more jurisdictions are suppressing false confessions, meaning that it cannot be used against a defendant in a jury trial.  I have raised successful challenges to false information resulting in false confessions before.   Over my years of practice I have actually seen lies like this told to defendants, that “we have your DNA” or “your fingerprints are on the weapon” when in fact it wasn’t true.  In Minnesota I suppressed a confession by a juvenile to a criminal sexual conduct case in which the officers misrepresented to the defendant that the accusations “were not very serious” and they just wanted his “side of the story.”    I recently won a murder case in which  Aaron Zirzow of the Minneapolis Police Department Crime Lab was caught lying about their firearm tests and represented falsely that the test fired bullet casing “matched” the casing found at a murder scene.  The test was not even performed the same brand or materials used in the casing found at the scene, and the state strategically arranged microscopic photos and alignments to make it look as though the same marks were left.   However before even obtaining that false evidence, the Minneapolis Police represented to the defendant that his fingerprints and DNA were on the gun, which wasn’t true.  They obtained a sort of partial false confession from my client.  The jury found the defendant NOT GUILTY, despite the State calling over 20 witnesses.  The sole testimony presented by the defense was that of the defendant, and defendant had been accused of shooting someone before. If you’ve been accused of a crime and forced to confess because you thought it would go better for you, or if you’ve been told the forensic evidence in your case is hopeless to overcome, you need to hire a Criminal Defense Attorney, like myself, who practices in Minnesota.  I have the competence to dig into forensic evidence, consult experts, and learn the latest science and challenge the state’s evidence.  If you’ve been accused of a crime in Ramsey County, Hennepin County, Washington County, Dakota County, Rice County or anywhere… Read more {+}

Nicholas Kraus charged with Second Degree Murder

Today the Hennepin County Attorney charged Nicholas Kraus with Second Degree Murder.   He says his attempt was to jump the barricade.  It doesn’t sound like anyone is buying that story.  Click here to read the complaint. Nicholas Kraus charged with Second Degree Murder was last modified: June 16th, 2021 by Alex DeMarco

Can Covid-19 Era Executive Orders Sharing Medical Information Violate Your Rights?

A Recent Minnesota Order Regarding the Sharing of Covid-19 Patient Information May Have Significant Legal Considerations. The Covid-19, AKA “Corona Virus”, and Current Considerations by Government The pandemic covid-19 crisis has led to unprecedented considerations and speculations on what the future of our medical data and privacy will look like both in Minnesota and throughout the United States.  Federal officials have even considered the possibility of issuing certified “immunity cards” to people who have had the corona virus despite the fact we have no idea whether inherent immunity invests after infection and for how long.   Obviously government has taken unprecedented actions in the face of this new and fast moving public safety concern.  The contrast between our deepest held liberties and the government restrictions on our very movements and livelihoods present significant legal questions with facts that appear virtually nowhere in published court opinions.  In short, we are in unchartered territory, and while we must continue to operate on science and facts, protect our neighbors, and avoid mindless conspiracy theories, liberty is a thing that must be closely guarded, and history teaches us that liberty is most vulnerable in the face of fear and crisis.  That means, for those of us in the legal profession, especially criminal defense attorneys, we need to remain vigilant, thoughtful, and deliberative when studying these developments as they have at least the potential to violate certain rights.  The criminal defense lawyer should have an updated and watchful eye on civil liberties in the context of the Covid-19 Pandemic and the operation of law enforcement and courts. It was recently revealed that, according to an executive order of Governor Tim Walz, the Minnesota Department of Health has the street addresses and other information of every person known to be infected with Covid-19, and that information can be freely shared with law enforcement.  While there may be utility to such an order, Minnesota medical privacy laws carry significant privileges for patients of all sorts which far exceed even HIPPA standards.  Recently, Alex DeMarco achieved a victory in a DWI case where a blood sample was suppressed after a serious accident in which his client was alleged to be driving under the influence.  The following is some pertinent law on the subject of how your medical information can be shared. Minnesota Statute § 595.02, subd. 1 …  (d) A licensed physician or surgeon, dentist, or chiropractor shall not, without the consent of the patient, be allowed to disclose any information or any opinion based thereon which the professional acquired in attending the patient in a professional capacity, and which was necessary to enable the professional to act in that capacity; after the decease of the patient, in an action to recover insurance benefits, where the insurance has been in existence two years or more, the beneficiaries shall be deemed to be the personal representatives of the deceased person for the purpose of waiving this privilege, and no oral or written waiver of the privilege shall have any binding… Read more {+}

Diagnosis of “child abuse” in infants is largely junk science and such expertise should not be allowed in court.

People who have been accused of child abuse often hire a lawyer that “confronts” them with the “science” and persuades innocent people to plead guilty.  Instead, a defense lawyer should be in the business of confronting the science itself.  Juries will nearly always believe what a physician says and presume that calling their expertise into question is just a “tactic” by a criminal defense attorney.  Thankfully brave reporters like @Mike_Hixenbaugh have paid attention and produced great investigative work like this:  An ER doctor was charged with abusing his baby. But 15 medical experts say there’s no proof..  How bad is the science?  So bad the the government is trying to silence journalists.  If you’ve received a single call from a teacher or social worker regarding bruises or marks on your child, you need to call an attorney immediately.   It moves THAT fast.  In less than 24 hours, you may see your child for the last time.  Countless termination of parental rights are premised solely on the “expert” testimony of a doctor. Authorities in Wisconsin did not want you to read this story. First a prosecutor sought a gag order after I reached out seeking comment. Then a state agency sent me a cease and desist order warning of potential criminal charges. Proud of @NBCNews for publishing it anyway. https://t.co/Gd2QoK54wS — Mike Hixenbaugh (@Mike_Hixenbaugh) January 27, 2020     Diagnosis of “child abuse” in infants is largely junk science and such expertise should not be allowed in court. was last modified: January 29th, 2020 by Alex DeMarco

Those That Know 4th District Chief Public Defender Mary Moriarty Best Will Not Be Silent.  “Other Officials” Will Hide Their Identities Like Cowards. 

Quotes from the Star Tribune story on the Attorney General’s demand for review of Mary Moriarty’s suspension. “She said they expressed concerns about her management style, what they called inflexibility with other criminal justice officials and confrontations on the issue of racial inequality. They also questioned a series of Tweets about historic lynchings in the Deep South, she said.” ————————————————- TRANSLATION: She has made the state actually do work and interrupted the Hennepin plea machine. Further she talks like those scary BLM people that block the highway because they are being stopped, beat, and shot by police in disproportionate numbers as demonstrated by every SHRED OF DATA and should be called out every time BY THE PEOPLE FIGHTING FOR MINORITIES IN COURT. ——————————————————— “Separately, law clerks and lawyers in Moriarty’s office wrote to the board in her defense, praising her leadership and commitment to clients and calling for her reinstatement. And dozens of public defenders and public interest attorneys outside Minnesota signed onto a letter objecting to her suspension” ————————- TRANSLATION: She has created no “culture of fear” in her office and has done nothing but educate all of us and zealously advocate and suffer beside all of us. We’re talking about a woman who was nearly too busy to comment because she was volunteering on scene with cleanup from the Drake Hotel Disaster.   PLEASE SIGN PETITION HERE. Those That Know 4th District Chief Public Defender Mary Moriarty Best Will Not Be Silent.  “Other Officials” Will Hide Their Identities Like Cowards.  was last modified: January 7th, 2020 by Alex DeMarco