DOJ's New Recording Policy: The Exceptions Swallow The Rule

The Department of Justice recently distributed a memorandum of its new recording policy which ostensibly seeks to revise its long-standing practice of not electronically recording suspect or witness interviews. While many view this as a positive development, I have written a column explaining the shortcomings of this policy. I’m afraid little will change as the policy’s exceptions swallow the rule. 

The article can be found on on the website.

As always, I’d appreciate your feedback on the topic at hand and encourage you to either post a comment directly below the column on or reach me directly at

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Not Just Tsarnaev: Right To Council Dwindles

On May 7th, defense attorneys for Dzhokhar Tsarnaev filed a motion to suppress statements that FBI agents claim Tsarnaev made during an interrogation in the Intensive Care Unit of Beth Israel hospital. The pre-trial wrangling over whether this interview, which took place before Tsarnaev was read his Miranda rights, can be admitted into evidence raises important questions about the right to counsel and the privilege against self-incrimination. In my latest column for WGBH News, co-authored with my research assistant Juliana DeVries, we explain how the Supreme Court has in recent years allowed for the serious erosion of these key Constitutional protections.     

You can read the column at the WGBH website

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Guest Appearance on Bill Frezza's 'Real Clear Radio Hour'

Last week I sat down with Bill Frezza for a radio segment titled: "Runaway Government." Our discussion touched on a range of issues covered in Three Felonies A Day including the proliferation of vague statutes, over-zealous prosecutors and selective prosecutions.

Listen to the full conversation here:
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"Trigger warnings: A dangerous idea on campus" by Renee Loth

Renee Loth has written an insightful piece for The Boston Globe on the phenomenon of 'trigger warnings' currently spreading through higher education nationwide. Students and administrators alike have started demanding these disclaimers - which originated in the blogging world - be included on course syllabi and materials that could prove ‘offensive.’ As Loth puts it, “reasonable concern for students who may have suffered terrible traumas has morphed into a serious threat to intellectual freedom.” Tantamount to censorship, these trigger warnings are antithetical to a liberal arts education and have no place in the academy.

See the full article here:

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Unsettling result of Bulger trial: soon to hit big screen

Last week I sent out my review of the latest Whitey Bulger documentary that I wrote for This week I have published another piece in response to Berlinger’s film, this time in Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly, that considers the legal details of the Bulger trial in more depth. In this column I argue that, given the ambiguity in the case law governing the admissibility of Bulger’s claimed immunity agreement, Bulger should have been allowed to present this defense. 

I realize that my position here will be seen as questionable by many, and as both wrong and wrong-headed by some. If you have any feedback, whether in agreement or disagreement, feel free to make a comment below the piece on the MLW website, or write me directly at .

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