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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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The Presidential Election Fraud and the Supreme Court - Shanlon Wu

The Presidential Election, “Fraud,” and the Supreme Court: Everything You Need to Know

By Trump
Attorney and CNN Legal Analyst Shan Wu is often invited on to CNN to offer his take on contemporary politics. As a former federal prosecutor and current defense attorney at DC Student Defense, Shan provides legal analysis on a variety of topics. On November 28 — almost a month after the 2020 Presidential Election and Justice Amy Coney Barrett joined the Supreme Court — Shan was asked to discuss some of these judicial goings-on. You can watch the whole CNN clip on YouTube here.  A federal judge in Pennsylvania seemed frustrated by Trump’s lack of allegations and evidence. What does this mean? Shan responded that Judge Matthew Brann of the US District Court in the Middle District of Pennsylvania was just the latest in a series of judges who are fed up with the Trump team's weak legal arguments.  As he has said on CNN before, Shan reiterated that it...
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Implicit Racism in the Law - shanlon wu

Implicit Racism in the Law

By Racism in the Law
Trigger warning: This article discusses sensitive topics including lynching, police brutality, concentration camps, etc. It also uses images regarding these topics that some people may find disturbing. In the United States, it seems that many Americans are under the impression we’ve moved past the old days of explicit racist acts, laws, and beliefs. In American society, it seems that many people are under the impression we’ve moved past the old days of explicit racist acts, laws, and beliefs. The whitewashing of American history sometimes causes such historical amnesia - but the rememberance of racist crimes such as slavery, the forced relocation of indigenous peoples, and the Chinese Exclusion Acts act as legacies of the implicitly prejudiced and racist foundations our country was built upon.  Some people believe that since we’ve moved on from slavery, the forced relocation of indigenous peoples, and clearly discriminatory laws like the Chinese Exclusion Act, that...
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Bill Cosby sentence and the #MeToo movement

By Sexual Assault
Bill Cosby is in prison after yet another highly publicized, epic fall from grace amid the #MeToo movement. Once referred to as “America’s Dad,” the comedian and actor has moved from a lavish home to a 7x13 jail cell in Pennsylvania after a judge sentenced him to three to 10 years in prison for drugging and sexually assaulting Andrea Constand more than a decade ago. It took two juries to convict Bill Cosby. His first trial in June 2017 ended with a hung jury, but it took a second jury just two days to convict him in his April 28, 2018, retrial. How did the case of Bill Cosby go from a deadlocked jury to a sex crimes conviction? And will Cosby stay in prison, or will his lawyers win on appeal? Shan Wu, a former sex crimes prosecutor based in Washington, D.C., believes the reasoning behind Cosby’s conviction is...
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Trump’s executive order to stop separating families at the border is a farce

By Trump
President Donald Trump is on a crusade to imprison immigrants as they cross our borders. And what’s worse: he’s billing his “zero tolerance” immigration policy -- pitting asylum-seekers as criminals -- as a humane solution. In an op-ed published on CNN’s website, Shan Wu, a former federal prosecutor who also served as counsel to Attorney General Janet Reno, explains that Trump’s new immigration policy is an effort to deter immigrants from coming to the United States by locking up as many of them as possible. How is his administration doing this legally? Investigators tried simply attaching “illegal entry” to immigrants’ rap sheets, automatically converting their civil asylum request into a criminal proceeding. It’s important to note that seeking asylum in the United States is not a crime. Once these immigrants were deemed criminals, they detained the asylum seekers and separated thousands of children from their families. This continued for weeks,...
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