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Articles on Criminal law

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Marc Short, former Vice President Mike Pence’s chief of staff, testified in late July before a federal grand jury investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, assault on the U.S. AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite

How do grand juries work? Their major role in criminal justice, and why prosecutors are using them to investigate efforts to overturn the 2020 election

Grand juries are meeting in Georgia and Washington, D.C., as part of investigations into attempts to overturn the 2020 presidential election. How do they work?
When people are held in jail, they’re likely to accept quick release – even if it means admitting to something they didn’t do. Caspar Benson via Getty Images

Pandemic pushed defendants to plead guilty more often, including innocent people pleading to crimes they didn’t commit

While guilty people are more receptive to plea offers, innocent defendants can also see pleading guilty as an attractive option.
Eugene Debs, at center with flowers, who was serving a prison sentence for violating the Espionage Act, on the day he was notified of his nomination for the presidency on the socialist ticket by a delegation of leading socialists. George Rinhard/Corbis Historical/Getty Images

Free speech wasn’t so free 103 years ago, when ‘seditious’ and ‘unpatriotic’ speech was criminalized in the US

Free speech is a long American tradition – but so are attempts to restrict free speech. A First Amendment scholar writes about measures a century ago to silence those criticizing government.
A woman reacts to the news that Derek Chauvin was found guilty on all three counts in the murder of George Floyd. Scott Olson/Getty Images

Why this trial was different: Experts react to guilty verdict for Derek Chauvin

Scholars of policing, law, race and Minnesota history explain the landmark guilty verdicts handed down in the trial for the murder of George Floyd.

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