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Under Color of Law: September and October

Under Color of Law: September and October

By News
These past few months, I’ve had my eyes on:  Individual Cases and Elections Adnan Syed, October Adnan Syed, the subject of the popular podcast Serial, had his charges dismissed by the Baltimore State Attorney’s office. This followed two decades of controversy about Syed’s innocence. The charges were dismissed because the prosecution discovered evidence suggesting Syed’s innocence that was never disclosed to his original defense attorney. Instances like this show the unique position that prosecutors are in to not only represent their client – the state – but to also constantly be moderating whether justice is being upheld in the court room. Prosecutors in Florida have recently shown a similar respect for the fair implementation of law by refraining from prosecuting abortion cases.  Keith Ellison Election, October Keith Ellison is up for re-election for Attorney General of Minnesota, and the GOP is pouring support into his opponent, an inexperienced prosecutor who...
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Shan Wu slams Elon Musk for enabling hate - Shanlon Wu

Shan Wu slams Elon Musk for enabling hate

By News
If you have a Twitter – and even if you don’t – you’ve probably heard about the Elon Musk takeover during the last few weeks. Musk’s blustering statements about free speech and censorship have made headlines, but so have criticisms of the mogul’s policies. Former federal prosecutor Shan Wu has made a recent foray into the national discourse by tweeting a bold condemnation of Musk for enabling hate speech. Read on for more context behind Shan’s most recent viral analysis. Musk’s rocky takeover For those who haven’t been following the saga, here’s a quick rundown of the events: Musk first began buying up Twitter stock in January of 2022. He then announced that he planned to buy the social media company in April. He publicly promised Twitter a $44 billion price tag, then promptly backed out of the deal a few weeks later. Twitter took Musk to court, and the...
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Will the FBI arrest Trump before the Midterms - Shanlon Wu

Will the FBI arrest Trump before the Midterms?

By News
In his latest national media appearance, former federal prosecutor Shan Wu weighed in on the question of former President Donald Trump’s potential criminal charges for an article in Newsweek. The potential for Trump to be charged with fraud has been a burning question in the media ever since the FBI raided Trump’s residence at Mar-a-Lago in August. With many wondering whether Trump will be charged before the Midterm elections in November, there is quite a bit of political and legal uncertainty around the case. But Shan thinks that legal action before the Midterms is unlikely. Read about his contribution to the discussion in Newsweek below, as well as his other recent media appearances discussing the saga of Trump’s fraud conspiracy. An arrest before Midterms is unlikely The Department of Justice has had a longstanding policy against taking investigative steps or filing charges within 60 days of an election, to prevent...
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Fraud conspiracy is bigger than just Trump - Shanlon Wu

Fraud conspiracy is bigger than just Trump

By CNN, News, Trump
Former federal prosecutor Shan Wu provides his insight into the fraud case against Donald Trump. Regular readers of our blog will know that Shan is frequently tapped by national media outlets for his take on prominent legal news stories, from issues facing the AAPI community, to the ongoing legal battle between the state of New York and the Trump dynasty. This week, we’ll be delving into the latest developments in the case against Trump, and Shan’s take on what they mean for the future of our legal system. Tax fraud case is open and shut On Wednesday, September 21st, New York Attorney General Letitia James announced a civil lawsuit against former President Donald Trump, the Trump Organization, executives of the business, and three out of four of Trump’s adult children. The lawsuit alleges a decade-long scheme to defraud New York businesses, banks, and the government, most prominently by overinflating the...
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February: Legal Eyes: Law, Politics & Social Justice - Shanlon Wu

February: Legal Eyes: Law, Politics & Social Justice

By News
In February, I had my eyes on:  LAW & POLITICS NY DA Probe of Trump Falters Shockingly, lead prosecutors in Manhattan DA’s office resigned over new DA Alvin Bragg expressing doubts about a criminal case against Trump.  It’s very rare for a top prosecutor – especially one brand new to the job - to go against the prosecutors closest to the case. NY AG James' case should be unscathed by this so all eyes will turn to her civil matter now. AAPI ISSUES: Criticism of Olympic gold medalist Eileen Gu reflects racial animosity towards AAPIs stoked by racist rhetoric. While countless American athletes have participated under the flag of different nations in the Olympics, whether for greater opportunity or for ancestral heritage, none have drawn attention and controversy like Eileen Gu. The 18 year old gold medalist differs from many of these athletes because she was easily skilled enough to...
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January: Legal Eyes - Shanlon Wu

January: Legal Eyes: What’s New in 2022

By News
Whats new in January 2022: Justice Stephen Breyer’s anticipated retirement emphasizes the evolution of Supreme Court Justices to monoliths of powers in today’s political sphere. This over concentration of power in a small ground can undermine democracy and upset the three equity of the three branches of government, especially when the next generation of judicial leaders are groomed with particular political paradigms. Read more at my most recent publication.  A vigil was held to honor Michelle Go, a Bay Area native who was senselessly killed while waiting for her train. Simon Martial turned himself in for pushing her and is being charged with second degree murder. Go was known for volunteering with homeless initiatives and was an engaged member of her community.  While it is still unclear whether race was a factor in her death, it is a painful reminder that violence against the Asian American and Pacific Islander community...
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What Bill Cosby’s Overturned Conviction and Release from Prison Teaches Us - Shanlon Wu

What Bill Cosby’s Overturned Conviction and Release from Prison Teaches Us

By Sexual Assault
[Warning: This article discusses rape and sexual assault.] As we all know, Bill Cosby was found guilty in 2018 of three counts of aggravated sexual assault and sentenced to 10 years in prison. The accusations that surfaced around the case - and there were many of them - were horrific, particularly in reference to such a (previously) lovable American icon. Perhaps the most shocking news about this case, however, came out only last month: Cosby was released from prison on a technicality. Understandably, sexual assault survivors and other advocates have protested the finding, claiming it could lead to a dangerous backsliding of the long-overdue progress for the #MeToo movement. But what about the legality of the decision? Does it have any merit? And what does this mean for other survivors? Read on for a summary from former federal prosecutor, Shan Wu. WATCH SHAN’S ANALYSIS ON CNN HERE How did Bill...
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Shanlon Wu weighs in on Matt Gaetz investigation - Shanlon Wu

Hot Off the Presses: Shanlon Wu weighs in on Matt Gaetz investigation

By Sexual Assault
If you keep up with this blog, or follow Shan on any social media, you know that Shan is frequently consulted by national news outlets for his insight into pressing news stories as a former federal prosecutor and current defense attorney. In this week’s update of a series we’re now calling “Hot Off the Presses,” Shan weighs in on recent developments in the Justice Department’s investigation into Representative Matt Gaetz for his alleged involvement sex trafficking. Below is an overview of Shan’s insight, as well as links to his media appearances. The Matt Gaetz investigation Matt Gaetz is a Republican congressman from Florida, notorious for his ardent support of former President Trump and his prominence among the hard-right wing of the Republican Party. In March, the New York Times reported that the Department of Justice is currently investigating Gaetz’s involvement in an alleged sex trafficking scheme that has been developing...
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Shan Wu offers insight to national news outlets on hate crime prosecution - Shanlon Wu

Shan Wu offers insight to national news outlets on hate crime prosecution

By Hate Crime
[Warning: this article discusses racial and sexual violence against Asian-Americans, including both historical instances of violence and the recent Atlanta shootings which occurred ]   As a former federal prosecutor and a frequent political commentator on racial justice in the law, Shan Wu has been contacted by a number of news agencies in the past several weeks to comment on the rise in anti-Asian hate crimes in the United States since the beginning of the pandemic. Read on for a summary of what Shan has to say, and links to all of his most recent appearances. Hate Crimes The federal standards for a hate crime are simply that the crime was motivated by prejudice against race, gender, sexual orientation, or another protected status. Most states have their own hate crime statutes with similar language. Amidst the recent rise in violence against Asian-Americans and Pacific Islanders, many activists have called for...
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Anti-Asian Hate crimes - Shanlon Wu

Anti-Asian Hate crimes

By Racism in the Law
Prosecutors need to charge anti-Asian violence as hate crimes. While any violent crime impacts the victim, a crime motivated by hate can impact entire groups of people, be they of a particular race, religion, ethnicity, or sexual orientation. To effectively deter future bigots from acting on their worst impulses, the criminal justice system must not only prosecute the violent acts, but also the hateful intent behind them. The need to adopt this approach could not be more urgent. In the wake of COVID-19, there has been an enormous upsurge of some 1,900% increase in hate crime incidents driven by anti-Asian sentiment. Additionally, almost 3,000 incidents of anti-Asian discrimination were reported to the Stop AAPI Hate database. The recent murder of Vichar Ratanapakdee, an 84-year-old Thai immigrant who was slammed to the ground by a 19-year-old, has reminded us of the crucial need to charge these crimes with the acknowledgement of...
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