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Monthly Archives: February 2020


While The NYPD Claims It Will Remove DNA Profiles for Non-Criminals from Database, Pressure Mounts Against State Criminal Justice Reforms

By Mark I. Cohen, Esq. |

New York appears to be moving in different directions when it comes to certain civil rights issues and criminal justice reforms: In late February, the New York Police Department announced that it would start expunging some of the more than 80,000 people in its database – known as the local DNA index system –… Read More »

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U.S. Supreme Court Removes Last Obstacle To Rule That Reshapes Immigration

By Mark I. Cohen, Esq. |

In late February, as the US Supreme Court removed the last remaining hurdle to (or injunction against) the Trump administration‘s ability to implement the public charge rule and deny immigrants admission or residency in the United States if they could come to depend on public assistance programs, Justice Sotomayor issued a scathing dissent castigating… Read More »

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New Study Reveals That “Junk Science” Psychological Tests Are Being Used to Convict and Sentence Defendants

By Mark I. Cohen, Esq. |

A new study indicates that the courts are not properly screening out unreliable IQ and psychological tests and this is allowing junk science to be used as evidence to sway juries and judges, as well as influence whether a criminal defendant is convicted and what their punishment is. The study looked at hundreds of… Read More »

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The Fate of Marijuana Remains Unclear In New York, Leaving Some Still Targeted for High Arrest Rate

By Mark I. Cohen, Esq. |

While disagreements over how exactly to legalize recreational marijuana in New York play out, the drug remains illegal here, which means that arrests are still occurring and New Yorkers continue to face repercussions for drug charges. This means that marijuana convictions are still preventing people from getting jobs, affecting child custody issues, placing immigrants… Read More »

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Reporting Reveals That Immigration Enforcement Is Purchasing Cell Phone Location Data in Spite of 2018 Supreme Court Decision That This Violates the Fourth Amendment

By Mark I. Cohen, Esq. |

In February, the Hill and the Wall Street Journal reported that federal law enforcement has been purchasing cell phone location data to conduct immigration and border enforcement work. That information has reportedly been turned over to the Department of Homeland Security, which has used it to track down undocumented workers and other migrants entering… Read More »

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Government Using Foreign Intelligence Powers to Circumvent Law & Spy On Citizens for Routine Criminal Investigations

By Mark I. Cohen, Esq. |

A fraud defense case that is currently underway has revealed that the government is regularly using its surveillance powers under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) to conduct ordinary domestic criminal investigations and wiretap permanent residents in the US in order to bring charges that have nothing to do with national security or foreign… Read More »

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Police Officers Lying About Probable Cause to Justify Searches In New York

By Mark I. Cohen, Esq. |

The issue of police pulling people over because they claim to smell marijuana and, as a result, having probable cause to search a car without a warrant is a serious issue in New York and something that needs to be addressed, even as we decriminalize marijuana, as it leads to an improbably high number… Read More »

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U.S. Supreme Court Examines What Constitutes A “Serious Drug Offense” Under The Armed Career Criminal Act

By Mark I. Cohen, Esq. |

In late January, the U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments in an important criminal case involving the interpretation of what a “serious drug offense” is under the Armed Career Criminal Act.  The Act dictates that anyone who has three previous convictions for a “serious drug offense” or “violent felony” must serve a minimum of 15… Read More »

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The New York Criminal Bar Association
Avvo Clients' Choice Award 2017
Avvo Reviews Mark L. Cohen


"... Mr. Cohen's effort... in everything he has done before the Court, is A-Plus... [R]ecently, in another case... [before me], the result he achieved for his client... was quite impressive." Honorable Kenneth M. Karas, United States District Judge for the Southern District of New York.


"So I have very sophisticated counsel here and, Mr. Cohen, [your client] is very fortunate in having you as his attorney, and I hope he appreciates that." – Quote from the Honorable Denise L. Cote, United States District Judge for the Southern District of New York.


"As Mark Cohen, a defense lawyer who has tried cases throughout the city and was a prosecutor in the Bronx, pointed out, there is a saying among defense lawyers in New York." – As provided in the New York Times City Room Blog.

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