Thursday, March 22, 2012

New York expands DNA databank

Beginning in August, anyone convicted of a felony or penal law misdemeanor in New York State will have to provide a sample for the state's DNA databank under a new law.

Previously, less than fifty percent of convicted criminals were required to provide samples.

The new law also expands defendants' access to DNA testing and comparison both before and after conviction in appropriate circumstances, as well as to discovery after conviction where innocence is claimed.

According to supporters of the new law, the DNA databank provided leads in nearly 2,900 convictions. DNA evidence has also led to the exoneration of 27 New Yorkers who were wrongly convicted.

More information on the state’s DNA databank can be found here.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Report: New York law schools inflating job figures

According to the New York Post, Columbia, NYU and Fordham overpromise the economic benefit of a law degree, inflating the number of students who find employment after graduation by creating short-term school-funded jobs to temporarily boost the percentage of students employed for the ABA survey, which counts the employment figure nine months after graduation.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Town Court Goes Paperless

Gannett News:
Five work stations, including the judge's bench, are equipped with a Fujitsu Scansnap scanner — about the size of an old-fashion breadbox — and two Dell monitors.

At [the clerk's] desk, there's an additional monitor as well as an Iomega StorCenter digital file cabinet, small enough that it could be hidden behind a medium-size picture. All of them are hooked up to a trademarked docketing system called the CourtRoom Program, by Service Education Inc., and each has been loaded with an off-the-shelf Adobe software program that sorts, routes and shares, according to the standards [the judge] and [court clerk] developed.

Eventually, everything is channeled to offsite storage and backup through Red Barn Technology Group, based in the Town of Chenango.

Total cost: $4,339.97, which was paid for by a state grant

New rules proposed to prevent colleges from exploiting veterans

Fox News:
For-profit schools would be required to meet new standards covering everything from drop-out rates to transparency, under a proposal by senators who claim the colleges are exploiting members of the U.S. military for their government education benefits....

The bill would require many schools to offer support services to military students, and require the federal government to provide those students one-on-one education counseling. It also would require schools to disclose graduation rates, loan default rates and other information to prospective students.

Monday, March 5, 2012

National Consumer Protection Week: March 4 - 10, 2012

National Consumer Protection Week focuses attention on the importance of consumer information and provides people with free resources explaining their rights in the marketplace.

Among the topics covered this week are understanding loans and mortgages, money management and avoiding identity theft.

More information about National Consumer Protection Week can be found here.