Ken Strutin (JD, MLS) is an experienced law librarian, criminal defense attorney, and well-known writer and speaker. He is the author of The Insider’s Guide: Criminal Justice Resources on the Internet, and has lectured extensively about the benefits of using the Internet for legal research at national and local CLE training programs. Mr. Strutin also wrote ALI-ABA’s Practice Checklist Manual on Representing Criminal Defendants, and co-authored the award winning Legal Research Methodology computer tutorial, published by the Center for Computer-Assisted Legal Instruction (CALI). He has contributed chapters to several books and written many articles concerning knowledge management, legal research and criminal law. Mr. Strutin has taught courses in Advanced Legal Research and Law Office Management. He is also listed in Who’s Who in American Law. Currently, Mr. Strutin is the Director of Legal Information Services at the New York State Defenders Association and writes a column for the New York Law Journal. See also Ken Strutin’s Criminal Justice Resources Series on LLRX.com.
Cited by courts and reviewed by growing numbers of legal professionals, web logs are becoming the must-read news sources in many areas of law. Regularly scanning the right web logs is one of the best ways to stay abreast of new cases and emerging issues. And incidentally, it’s an excellent method for learning about new blogs.
This article is a collection of web logs that provide news and analysis of current developments in criminal justice. Authorship ranges among lawyers, law professors, law librarians, public defenders, criminal justice professionals and observers and commentators on the justice system.
This is not meant to be a comprehensive review of all web logs on this subject. Only select sites focusing on news and analysis have been chosen, omitting a large body of web logs that chronicle individual experiences and viewpoints. To explore the blogosphere further, see the Directories section at the end.
Even a brief survey of the blogs in this article quickly demonstrate their value as current awareness and research tools. In addition to news from mainstream media, often the editors of these sites post hard to find items, such as links to unpublished opinions, briefs and motions, new studies, and changes in local polices and practices. Many provide organized access to past entries through site search engines and categorical links. And some offer dated entries with external links, ideal for research and citation. Lastly, these journals often list useful resource websites and other relevant blogs.
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These are general criminal law news and commentary blogs. Most are national in scope, and some concentrate on particular subject areas.
- Appellate Law and Practice
This web log publishes case summaries from various federal circuits and some state courts. Categories include criminal defenses, offenses, procedure and sentencing. It is authored by a group of federal law clerks and appellate lawyers, each of whom cover discrete topics.
- Capital Defense Weekly
This site provides national coverage of case law, legislative and political developments concerning death penalty litigation. The site is published by Karl Keys.
- Crime & Consequences
This blog discusses criminal law topics including: notable federal and state cases, new studies on criminal justice policies, and other news. The editorial viewpoint of this site is “from the perspective of victims of crime and the law-abiding public.” The blog is sponsored by the Criminal Justice Legal Foundation.
- Criminal Justice Journalists’ News Center
This is a news service that provides daily updates with links to current stories devoted to criminal justice issues nationwide. It is published by Criminal Justice Journalists with the support of John Jay College of Criminal Justice.
Virginia Lawyer Ken Lammers edits this blog, where he posts links to stories about criminal defense news nationwide.
- CrimProf Blog (LPBN)
This is a part of the Law Professor Blogs Network and is edited by Mark A. Godsey, Associate Professor of Law, Faculty Director, Lois and Richard Rosenthal Institute for Justice/Ohio Innocence Project, University of Cincinnati College of Law, along with contributing editor Michele Berry, Associate at Gerhardstein & Branch Co. LPA Cincinnati, OH. They frequently publish summaries of news items about criminal law stories of interest and scholarly research.
This blog has a unique perspective, viewing criminal defense at the juncture where it meets technology. Entries summarize news in forensics, law enforcement practices, and other defense related technology subjects. The topic categories include cybercrime, DNA, DUI, fingerprints, junk science, and more. The site is maintained by Washington state criminal lawyer and computer technologist Robert Perez.
- DUI Blog
This web log is devoted to monitoring developments in DWI law across the country. The site editor, Lawrence Taylor, a California attorney, is a nationally recognized expert whose publications include the treatise Drunk Driving Defense, and he is one of the founders of the National College for DUI Defense.
- Fourth Amendment.com
A supplement to Search and Seizure (LexisNexis 3rd ed. 2000), this blog publishes summaries of notable cases nationwide. The site is maintained by Attorney John Wesley Hall, who practices in Arkansas.
- Innocence Blog
This web log publishes news about Institute cases, legislative action and other new developments from around the country concerning innocence claims and wrongful conviction. The blog is maintained by Innocence Institute of Point Park University, which is an innocence project focused on journalistic investigation.
- Jus in Bello
This blog, sponsored by Pace Law School, concentrates on international criminal tribunals and the law of international criminal prosecutions.
- Law of Criminal Defense
This website provides updates concerning ethical issues related to criminal defense written by attorney John Wesley Hall, Jr., and serves as a supplement to his treatise, Professional Responsibility in Criminal Defense Practice (West Group 2005).
- Sex Crimes
This web log has assumed the lead in reporting on the latest developments in sex offense laws, sentencing, registration acts, and civil commitment issues. It has excellent coverage drawn from a wide range of sources. Attorney Corey Rayburn Yung, who is an associate at a New York City law firm, is responsible for maintaining this site.
Intended for a wide audience, this blog is described as the “on-line source for liberal coverage of crime-related political and injustice news.’ Its purpose is to ‘intelligently and thoroughly examine issues, candidates and legislative initiatives as they pertain to constitutional rights, particularly those of persons accused of crime.” The site was created by Denver-based criminal defense attorney Jeralyn Merritt, who is also the author of the criminal justice resource site CrimeLynx. Regular contributors to the blog include: Attorney T. Christopher Kelly of Madison, WI, with occasional contributions by John Wesley Hall, Jr. of Little Rock, AR, see Fourth Amendment.com above.
- White Collar Crim Prof Blog (LPBN)
A part of the Law Professor Blogs Network, this site provides news and summaries about case law and legislative developments in federal crime, specifically white collar offenses. The site editors are Peter J. Henning, Professor of Law Wayne State University Law School and Ellen S. Podgor, Associate Dean of Faculty Development & Distance Education, Professor of Law Stetson University College of Law.
These blogs cover all kinds of topics, such as hearsay, forensics, and false confessions.
- Blog 702
This web log is an adjunct to the Daubert on the Web site, which contains a rich library of materials on the interpretation of Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals, 509 U.S. 579 (1993). The blog provides news and updates concerning the admissibility of expert evidence in the courts. Both sites are maintained by Pennsylvania Attorney Peter Nordberg at Berger & Montague.
- Bluhm Blog
False confession cases are the focus of this site. Professor Steven Drizin, Clinical Professor of Law & Associate Director, Bluhm Legal Clinic Director, Center on Wrongful Convictions, posts news items, case summaries and developments in wrongful conviction cases.
- Confrontation Blog
This blog provides case summaries, news and commentary on developments in the application of the Confrontation Clause in light of Crawford v. Washington, 541 U.S. 36 (2004). Professor Richard D. Friedman, Ralph W. Aigler Professor of Law at the University of Michigan Law School, is responsible for maintaining this site.
- Science and Law Blog (LPBN)
A member of the Law Professor Blogs Network, this site focuses on the many ways that scientific developments impact legal issues. And it reports on new studies and cases in different areas of forensics of interest to criminal practitioners. The site is maintained by David L. Faigman, Distinguished Professor of Law University of CA, Hastings; David H. Kaye, Regents’ Professor of Law Arizona State University College of Law; Michael J. Saks, Professor of Law & Psychology Arizona State University College of Law; Joseph Sanders, A.A. White Professor of Law University of Houston Law Center; and Edward K. Cheng, Assistant Professor of Law Brooklyn Law School.
- Science Evidence
This blog reports on developments in science that impact civil and criminal litigation. The postings are categorized into such areas as forensic evidence, neuroscience and psychology, and toxicology. The site is maintained by Attorney Cliff Hutchinson of Huges & Luce, TX.
- Tillers on Evidence and Inference
Professor Tillers teaches evidence at the Cardozo School of Law. His web log reviews and analyzes developments concerning evidentiary issues related to factual investigation and litigation.
The blogs in this area focus on case law developments and policy issues surrounding the nation’s sentencing laws and correctional practices.
- Corrections Sentencing
This is a forum for practitioners, policymakers, and the public to review and discuss current issues and the latest research in sentencing policy and practice. The site is maintained by Michael Connelly, Administrator of the Evaluation & Analysis Unit of the Oklahoma Department of Corrections and Dr. Kim Steven Hunt, Executive Director of the District of Columbia Sentencing Commission.
A site devoted to presenting the latest “research on the crime control industry,” this web log publishes information about studies, statistics, policy reports and other data related to the condition of US prisons, prisoner rights, and connected criminal justice issues. This site is a project of the Prison Policy Initiative and maintained by Executive Director, Peter Wagner, JD.
- Real Costs of Prisons Weblog
This is a news and resource site that tracks developments in prison policy and sentencing laws. It’s published by the Real Cost of Prisons Project (an activity of the Sentencing Project), which aims to increase public understanding about the negative impact of mass incarceration on society.
- Second Circuit Sentencing Blog
This web log provides case summaries and commentaries on sentencing decisions from the Second Circuit Court of Appeals. The site is maintained by Harlan J. Protass, a criminal defense attorney in New York City.
- Sentencing Law and Policy
Professor Douglas Berman, William B. Saxbe Designated Professor of Law Moritz College of Law at The Ohio State University, publishes insightful commentary on late-breaking sentencing developments in the courts, and monitors a wide range of news and original sources.
Many excellent blawgs spotlight criminal practice news in a particular locale, while sometimes posting entries on general matters of interest to practitioners everywhere.
- Best Defense
This is one of several blogs authored by federal criminal defense lawyer Tom Lincoln. These blogs contain summaries and discussions of current cases in the First Circuit, issues and stories about criminal defense practice, and developments in federal criminal law. His other blogs include: Macondo Law, focusing on items of interest to criminal defense lawyers in Puerto Rico; Puerto Rico Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, which posts information about association activities and important legal news; and TrialPrep, a novel site discussing case preparation, courtroom presentation and advocacy techniques.
- Federal Criminal Appeals Blog
McNabb Associates, a law firm whose practice concentrates on federal criminal practice, publishes a web log that discusses federal appeals cases of interest to practitioners. They also maintain separate blogs in distinct areas of federal defense practice, such as Federal Crimes and International Extradition.
- Federal Defender Law Blogs
These sites concentrate on case summaries and commentary about new decisions coming out of the US Supreme Court and federal circuit courts. The authors are lawyers with the Federal Defenders Office. A compilation of these blogs reports can also be found at D-Web Law Blogs.
- US Supreme Court Center
- This web resource has an annotated list of “Blogs on the Supreme Court and Constitutional Rights.” The site was created by Justia, Oyez and US Court Forms.
Georgia Criminal Law Blog and Podcast
This site reports on criminal legal news, case law and legislative developments, and practice topics of interest to Georgia practitioners. The site is maintained by Robert Leonard, founding partner of the law firm of Leonard & Rickman.
This is a state specific site that provides news and resources for Kansas practitioners, along with observations about local defense practice. The site is maintained by Randall Hodgkinson, an attorney with the Kansas Appellate Defender Office.
Criminal Defense in Massachusetts
This blog posts entries about state practice, news, case law summaries, and relevant national developments. The site is maintained by H. Ernest Stone, a Massachusetts attorney.
This is a web log that provides updates on the development of GungaWeb.com, which is an information system for analyzing and keeping current with sentencing laws, plea bargaining restrictions, sentencing alternatives, lesser included offenses, and statutory construction. The site is maintained by David E. Woodin, Esq., Catskill, NY.
David Feige, writer, lecturer, and former public defender, provides commentary and postings about issues of interest to the public defense community. He recently published a book about his experiences, Indefensible: One Lawyer’s Journey Into the Inferno of American Justice.
The author of this blog writes case summaries of current Second Circuit, New York Court of Appeals, and Fourth Department decisions. The site is maintained by Eric Dolan, a public defender in Monroe County, NY.
Long Island (Criminal) Trial Lawyer
This blog provides commentary on criminal defense practice and news summaries about developments in local cases. The author is Anthony J. Colleluori, an experienced criminal lawyer, who has written and lectured extensively on defense practice. Please note that this blog is on hiatus until January 2007 for retooling as a group blog that will include more case summaries and discussions of trial techniques.
New York Supreme Court Criminal Term Library
This web log publishes new summaries and links from a wide range of sources regarding criminal law and related topics. The site is maintained by David Badertscher, Principal Law Librarian at the Criminal Law Library of New York City, First Judicial District, Supreme Court.
New York lawyer Nicole L. Black, a former civil practitioner and public defender who now provides researching and writing services for attorneys, posts news and commentary about local civil and criminal law news.
Grits for Breakfast
This web log provides summaries and commentary regarding news and developments in Texas criminal justice. This is site is maintained by Scott Henson, a former journalist who is now a writer/public policy researcher affiliated with the Texas Criminal Justice Coalition.
Criminal justice overlaps many related areas of law. These blogs address some connected topics.
Antitrust Prof Blog (LPBN)
Shubha Ghosh, Professor of Law at the SMU Dedman School of Law, reports on new developments and activities among scholars and practitioners in the field of antitrust law.
Family Law Prof Blog (LPBN)
This site provides case summaries, news and commentary concerning domestic law. The site is edited by Barbara Glesner Fines, Ruby M. Hulen Professor of Law University of Missouri Kansas City, and Nancy Ver Steegh, Associate Professor of Law William Mitchell College of Law.
Immigration Prof Blog (LPBN)
The rapidly changing area of immigration law is monitored on this blog by Kevin R. Johnson, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs Mabie-Apallas Public Interest Professor of Law and Chicana/o Studies University of California, Davis, School of Law; and Bill O. Hing, Professor of Law, and Asian American Studies Director of Clinical Legal Education University of California, Davis, School of Law.
This is a blog that covers news and resources related to factual research and investigations. The site is maintained by Tamara Thompson, a private investigator.
These directories will provide valuable resources for locating additional blogs in criminal justice and other areas of law.
This is a digest of posts from the legal blogging community, similar to a table of contents service for law reviews. It organizes entries into more than 30 topics, including Criminal Law. This service is sponsored by Blawg Republic, which is a blog search engine that updates entries hourly.
Law Professor Blogs Network (LPBN)
This network facilitates scholarship and teaching through its blogs on a variety of subjects. The law teachers who edit these web logs provide up-to-date news, expert commentary, and links to additional resources. The network is maintained by Publisher & Editor-in-Chief, Paul L. Caron, Charles Hartsock Professor of Law, Director of Faculty Projects, University of Cincinnati College of Law; and Chief of Operations, Joe Hodnicki, Associate Director for Library Operations, Robert S. Marx Law Library, University of Cincinnati College of Law.
This is a pathfinder that provides information on blogging and evaluating web logs. It has a topical analysis of legal blogs in different areas of practice. The site is maintained by Lynn Lenart, Assistant Law Librarian for Reference Services at the University of Akron School of Law Library.
PD Blog Guide
This is an annotated collection of links to web logs about public defense. The blogs on this list report on news, legal developments, and personal experiences of criminal defense and legal aid attorneys around the country. The Guide was developed by Public Defender Stuff, a news service of the Public Defender Investigator Network.
Taxonomy of Legal Blogs
This website is an index to the universe of law-related web logs. Along with a categorical analysis of sites in different areas of law, the author has done several citation studies noting courts and law reviews that have referred to particular web logs: Cases Citing Legal Blogs and Law Review Articles Citing Legal Blogs. It was created by Ian Best, a former student at the Mortiz College of Law, who is now a lawyer with the Ohio Legislative Service Commission.