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Jake Sussman

Chief Operating Officer & General Counsel

Jake graduated from New York University School of Law, where he was a Root-Tilden-Kern Public Interest Scholar. He then clerked for the Honorable Ellen B. Burns of the U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut. Jake previously practiced law in North Carolina, where he handled criminal and capital cases in state and federal courts. Jake also litigated scores of civil rights cases, including the successful challenge to North Carolina’s ban against marriage equality. Jake has been an invited speaker on topics including the death penalty, working with experts, litigating civil rights actions, and First Amendment issues.

Prosecutorial misconduct in DE renders guilty plea unconstitutional

When a defendant pleads guilty, he must do so “knowingly, intelligently, and voluntarily.” Whether those requirements are undermined when prosecutors withhold information concerning the credibility of a key witness was explored in a recent decision by Judge Richard Stokes of the Superior Court of Delaware. On February 19, 2016, Michael Coverdale came to court on heroin-related criminal […]

Misconduct results in reversal in 34-year-old case

The Idaho Supreme Court ruled this past Monday that Idaho County prosecutors committed misconduct during Mark Lankford’s 2008 murder retrial. As a result, Lankford will need to be released from prison or retried for a 1983 double-murder. The court originally overturned Lankford’s convictions last summer but prosecutors petitioned for a rehearing. The court’s 39-page opinion (again) found that prosecutors unconstitutionally withheld […]

Follow up: Gaston County D.A. accused of withholding evidence in murder case

On Monday, July 3, 2017, a Superior Court judge granted Mark Carver’s request for an evidentiary hearing, which will be held in September. Carver claims he was wrongly convicted of the 2008 death of Irina Yarmolenko, a UNC Charlotte student. As previously discussed here, Carver’s attorney, Chris Mumma of the N.C. Center on Actual Innocence, has alleged […]

Prosecutorial misconduct found in Massachusetts

The scandals marring Massachusetts’ state drug labs — and its criminal justice system — have taken a new turn. Former state chemists Sonja Farak and Annie Dookhan have both received their legal comeuppances for their misconduct. And at least one wrongfully convicted person, Leonardo Johnson, has been awarded $2 million as a result of being victimized by Dookhan’s lies. But last week, following months of […]