Toni Messina, Above the Law

Toni Messina

Above the Law

New York, NY, United States

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  • Above the Law

Recent articles by Toni:

Forgiving Your Brother’s Murderer

Hating the person who killed a sibling and carrying that hate forever doesn’t make anyone better or lessen the grief. Closure is important. → Read More

Why Defendants Rarely Testify

What problems come up when a defendant testifies? → Read More

Why It’s Tough Being A Cop

The kind of change needed to encourage officers to seek mental-health help has to come from within the police culture itself. → Read More

‘Unbelievable’: How 2 (Female) Cops Traced A Serial Rapist Back To A Victim No One Believed

Dedicated police professionals who invest the emotional and intellectual energy necessary to investigate a crime can actually change the outcome and net the perpetrator. → Read More

When Is A Child Old Enough To Be Jailed For Life?

When it comes to sentencing, 18- to 21-year-olds need a few more years to mature before they reason like adults. → Read More

Prison Guards — Overworked And Underpaid. No Wonder Epstein Died.

Two weeks after Jeffrey Epstein’s apparent suicide death while awaiting trial in the Metropolitan Correctional Center (MCC) in downtown Manhattan, the Department of Justice (DOJ) has transferred the MCC prison warden elsewhere and put the two prison guards on duty during the time of Epstein’s death on indefinite leave. These are short-term fixes to long-standing problems. There are not enough… → Read More

I Just Want Your DNA

Even DNA from people who do ancestral testing can find its way into police databases. → Read More

Nobody Killed Epstein But Himself

This criminal defense attorney doesn't think there was any kind of conspiracy surrounding the death. → Read More

How To Get A Jury To Ignore The Law And Do The Right Thing

The basics of jury nullification. → Read More

Murder In Rome By U.S. Students: What Happened?

The two American suspects are said to have confessed to the crime, but the Italian criminal justice system differs greatly from our own. → Read More

‘First Step’ On A Long Road

Without proper planning, follow through, and training, the First Step Act is doomed to fail. → Read More

Cage-Free Kids

Criminal defense attorney Toni Messina says if she were an immigrant with an open deportation order, or an undocumented alien, having been duly warned, she'd have been laying low over the weekend. → Read More

A Band Of Brothers — That Is, Until You Rat

What are the parameters of proper military conduct if the line between right and wrong is so unclear? → Read More

What Do The ‘Gay Panic’ Defense And Pardoning Manafort Have In Common?

Lauding changes of the law or interpretations of what already exists to favor a particular agenda may be satisfying in the short run, but in the long run will come back to haunt us. → Read More

Stonewall: The Tipping Point For Gay Rights. Is Criminal Justice Next?

The tipping point may be near, but until people in positions of training others and dictating policy retire or are voted out of office, there will be no widespread change. → Read More

I Represented A Monster — Except He Really Wasn’t

Or, how murder happens even when it’s not intended. → Read More

The Chickens Come Home To Roost: Linda Fairstein Gets Hers

Maybe her fall from grace will remind all prosecutors that sometimes even they can be wrong. → Read More

What’s The Difference Between A Gang And A Cult, And Why Both Are So Attractive?

Both gangs and cults promise their members the following: identity, belonging, meaning, validity, instruction, structure, and purpose as a group. → Read More

The Repercussions Of Having An Unpopular Client

No defense attorney should be conflated with the person he chooses to represent. → Read More

The Catholic Church Finally Establishes A Law On How To Handle Sex-Abuse Claims

The new law establishes a system through which reports of sexual abuse can easily be made and investigated. → Read More