Cellphone Evidence

A New Jersey state appeals court overturned a man’s assault conviction as unjust after the trial court refused to allow the jury to see a cellphone video of the defendant’s family’s interaction with police at the scene of the crime. The video directly rebutted the prosecutor’s claim that family members lied about their attempt to speak to the police, and contradicted police claims that they thoroughly canvassed the area for witnesses.

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Pretrial Detention

Defendants who have been in pre-trial detention for at least six months and meet certain requirements have the right to reopen their detention hearings, the New Jersey Supreme Court ruled in a dispute brought by the Office of the Public Defender and the ACLU relating to the impact of Covid-19 and the suspension of in-person criminal jury trials. The court directed trial judges to conduct the reopened hearings “on an expedited basis.”

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