Actus Reus

ac·tus re·us \ˈak-təs-ˈrē-əs, ˈäk-tu̇s-ˈrā-u̇s\

noun : the wrongful act that makes up the physical action of a crime

Latin: guilty act

Denver Law Criminal Defense Clinic

The Denver Law Criminal Defense Clinic aims to change the criminal justice system one new lawyer at a time. In the past five years alone, more than 40 Denver Criminal Defense Clinic students have been offered jobs in the Colorado Public Defender’s Office. Of the 18 Criminal Defense Clinic students from the Spring 2016 semester, 11 are participating in summer internships with a public defender’s office. This section of Actus Reus is devoted to posts about and for the Denver Law Criminal Defense Clinic and its alumni/ae.

CDC reunion at CO Public Defender Conference

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Marshall Project begins three-part series addressing underfunding of public defender offices

Beginning today, the Marshall Project is publishing a three-part investigative series on underfunding in public defender systems. The first article, entitled When the Money Runs Out for Public Defense, What Happens Next?, provides a glimpse into staggering funding crises in public defender offices across the country. The accounts include Louisiana judicial districts where one public defender represents 900 clients, another public defender represents 50 defendants simultaneously pleading guilty … [Read more...]

Prosecution Notes from Jury Selection and Batson Objections

Sara Hildebrand (CDC Fall 2011) writes: I recently did a presentation for some fellow public defenders about the legal principles set forth in Batson and its progeny, and re-learned, when reading the U.S. Supreme Court's opinion in Foster v. Chatman, 136 S.Ct. 1737 (2016), how important it is to move the trial court to (a) consider the prosecution's notes related to jury selection when ruling on a Batson objection; and (b) make those prosecution's notes part of the record for appellate … [Read more...]

Southern Center for Human Rights hiring for death penalty attorney position

The Southern Center for Human Rights is currently accepting applications for a new death penalty attorney.  Attorneys at all stages of their career, including 3Ls with criminal defense experience, are invited to apply. The deadline to apply is Sunday August 28, 2016. The job description and application requirements are available here. … [Read more...]

Reflections from the Criminal Defense Clinic – Carl Charles (Fall 2012)

Carl Charles final reflection … [Read more...]

Reflections from the Criminal Defense Clinic – Daniel Cunny (Fall 2012)

The law doesn't help enough. You need more. Part of what I've gained from the last semester in the Criminal Defense Clinic is a better understanding of makes a good lawyer, I entered the semester with a belief that a good lawyer had an understanding of the law, and an ability to make a strong legal argument based on that knowledge. I'm exiting the semester with a different belief. From what I've seen this semester, a legal argument, or at least a legal argument alone, is not the best way … [Read more...]