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Last 20 posts indexed in the Criminal Law category on Justia BlawgSearch.com

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  • 12/13/12--16:07: West of Memphis (2012)
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    Original ArticleI think everyone in Ohio should contact the local police, daily, requesting information on all criminals in their neighborhood. If we have a right to know where ex-sex offenders live, then we also have the right to know about everybody else.12/13/2012By JIM PROVANCECOLUMBUS — A bill mandating creation of a state registry of arson offenders soon will be on the way to the governor’s desk, but the compilation of otherwise public records will not itself be public. The state Senate on Wednesday gave final approval to the bill after a six-member joint conference committee stripped it of language requiring the registry be considered a public record accessible to the press and general public. “There are a lot of researchers and other individuals who would find use of this information beneficial,” said Sen. Mike Skindell (D., Lakewood). “We are government, and … it is presumed that the records created by government are public unless there is a compelling interest not to [make it public].”- Are you kidding me?  There are a ton of documents the government doesn't release.  Have you been living under a rock? By a vote of 4-2, the conference committee sided with the Senate with Republicans opting to keep the compiled information private.- How ironic! Ex-sex offender info is public, but arsonist, murderers, gang members, drug dealers, and all other criminals is not?  Why is that?  I think we should all constantly contact the local police demanding a list of all arsonist and other criminals who live around us!  We have a right to know!  Right? “The original concept of this was to be a law enforcement tool … ” said Steve Raubenolt, deputy superintendent of the attorney general’s Bureau of Criminal Investigation and Identification. “It was never discussed that it would be a public record or a public registry. We’ve only got one public registry involving BCI records…, and that involves sex offenders. That registry was developed specifically to notify the public.” He said the bureau was concerned about the administrative task of having to comply with public record requests for information from the registry.- Yeah I'm sure, but when it came to ex-sex offenders, that thought never crossed their minds? Sen. Tim Schaffer (R., Lancaster), sponsor of Senate Bill 70 (PDF), said he was open to discussing the issue further next year but didn’t want the dispute to derail the bill now so close to the end of the current two-year session. Lawmakers are expected to bring the session to a close today. “I don’t want to throw any administrative logjams in the road,” he said. Despite Senate Democrats’ opposition to removal of the public records requirement, they supported the bill and it passed the upper chamber unanimously. The House is expected to ratify the change today. Mr. Skindell noted that making the registry public would not compel the attorney general’s office to make it available to the public via a computer search engine such as the sex offender registry. He also said the attorney general could charge fees per page to comply with public records requests for the information.- Yeah, year, find any excuse to not make it public, while ex-sex offenders info is public, putting their lives in danger. Dennis Hetzel, executive director of the Ohio Newspaper Association, said after the vote that most of the information collected for the registry is already a public record on a piecemeal basis. “Those precedents are always troubling because it’s death by a thousand cuts with public records,” he said. “There’s always a good reason why this specific thing shouldn’t be public, but the aggregate of all of those arguments is that we’re keeping more and more things secret or we’re making it more difficult.”- Isn't it hypocritical of these corrupt politicians?  When it's about ex-sex offenders, everything goes, but everybody else, nope, can't have it, it violates their rights and privacy? © 2006-2012 | Sex Offender Issues

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    Though we all may be experienced drivers but after consuming a few drinks we assuredly cannot drive well, and in this aspect we cannot argue with the state’s law as well. When a police officer stops a driver when he is under the similar conditions and makes [...]

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    Nancy Leong (University of Denver Sturm College of Law) has posted Gideon's Law Protective Function (Yale Law Journal, Vol. 122, 2013) on SSRN. Here is the abstract: Gideon v. Wainwright dramatically affects the rights of indigent defendants by entitling them...

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    The Equal Justice Initiative (EJI) is proud to present A History of Racial Injustice — 2013 Calendar. This calendar represents the start of EJI's newest initiative addressing race and poverty in America. The history of racial inequality and economic injustice...

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    Eugene Lockhart Jr. was sentenced by federal district court judge Jorge A Solis to 54 months in federal prison for his role in a multimillion-dollar mortgage fraud scheme involving straw buyers and fraudulent mortgages.

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    Tu Ngoc Tran, 38, Portland, Oregon, was found guilty by a federal jury of conspiracy to manufacture or distribute marijuana, two counts of manufacture of marijuana, making a false statement on a loan application and wire fraud.

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    Are Massachusetts prosecutors no longer prosecuting illegal drug cases? There are some people in Massachusetts who seem to believe that their difficulties obtaining and using marijuana are about to become a thing of the past. They see the recent decriminalization of pot and actual legalization of medicinal marijuana to have simplified their lives. Unfortunately, things do not really work that way. At least, not in the criminal justice system. In fact, the new laws (once they are both finalized) are likely to set many people up for disaster and complicate the situation. At least, unless you understand the issues. Attorney Sam’s Take will be following the development of these issues and post several blogs on this subject matter so that we may not only alert you, our readers, but also so we can best represent our clients. There are many types of folks who simply, for medical or other reasons, want to imbibe in marihuana…if they can do so legally. At least, they want to know whether doing so places them at risk. We plan to be at the forefront of the issue…aiding our clients in setting up all that must be set in order for them to obtain medical marijuana and helping them illuminate the risks. One major question, of course, will be how one gets a dispensary license and a prescription card. Another will be what one can do with otherwise-legally obtained marijuana at home and in the street. For example, can you share it with a sick friend who is in pain?

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    From the New York Times: BERLIN — A German man who was mistaken for a terrorist and abducted nine years ago won a measure of redress on Thursday when the European Court of Human Rights ruled that his rights had...

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    The Virginia State Crime Commission endorsed tougher penalties this week for texting while driving after new legislation was submitted for the upcoming legislation session. The proposed legislation is slated to be considered in the 2013 legislative session. The commission put forth the suggestion for tougher penalties after a judge did not convict a driver, who [...]

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    This Chicago DUI attorney has posted here , here,  and here about the inability of undocumented immigrants to drive legally (you can’t get a driver’s license in Illinois if you are undocumented).  Now, it looks like Springfield has come to its senses and soon, although it will still be a while, undocumented people will be able to obtain valid driver’s licenses in Illinois.From the Chicago SunTimes:It was kind of a homecoming for Illinois’ Senate president when he visited a Pilsen church Sunday to accept a thank you from its Latino congregation for pushing legislation to provide driver’s licenses to illegal immigrants.Sen. John Cullerton’s family has been involved in Illinois politics since Edward F. Cullerton was a powerful alderman from 1871 to 1920.The senator has received bi-partisan support for a bill that would allow illegal immigrants to get temporary licenses similar to those issued to foreign visitors who are here legally. By some estimates, 250,000 motorists in Illinois are here illegally.Cullerton said he’s confident the Illinois House will pass the measure next month after a 41-14 vote in the Senate on Dec. 4.“The state representatives see their senator voted for the bill,” Cullerton said. “It puts pressure on them and makes it easier for them to vote for the bill.”Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White is taking a “neutral” position on the bill, according to a spokesman, but Cullerton praised him for helping draft the legislation.“He said that it’s workable and he can implement it,” Cullerton said, adding, “There were only about 5,000 of these licenses issued last year. Now there could be a quarter of a million people applying for them.”Some Republican legislators have said they’re strongly opposed to providing licenses to people breaking the law because they’re here without legal documents.Setting aside the controversy, this is good news because the undocumented drive every day throughout this state.  Many pay insurance, maintain valid registration, and even submit to emissions testing on their vehicles doing everything else they could do to comply with the law.  The problem is some don’t know our rules of the roads because they’ve never had to study and take our driver’s license examination. What happens when an undocumented/unlicensed, and yet insured, immigrant is at fault for an accident? Do you think that insurance company is going to promptly pay out on that claim?Even the staunchest opponents of this new law probably don’t want that unintended consequence to fall on licensed drivers throughout the state.

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    After an arrest for suspicion of driving under the influence, your citation will have a date on which you are required to appear before a criminal Judge. It is very important that you appear before the Judge on or before that date. The only exception for you not having to appear is if you have hired a Los Angeles Criminal Defense lawyer to appear on your behalf. A legal professional can only appear on your behalf if you have retained them, and only if the case is not a felony or a serious charge that will require that you personally appear before the Judge. If the facts of your case allows an experienced professional to appear on your behalf then you do not have to worry about coming to Court and you will not be breaking any laws. If however, you are not represented by an attorney and have a court date, you MUST appear before the Judge. If you do not want to proceed without an attorney, you can always ask the Judge for a continuance to be able to hire counsel. The Judge will likely not deny you the opportunity to do so. If you do not have an attorney, and do not appear before the Judge, you will be charged with a failure to appear. A failure to appear is a serious charge and requires that you appear before the Judge as soon as possible. A bench warrant is issued, and this will allow officers to arrest you and take you into custody pending a court date. A failure to appear can have an impact on your probation, as well as an expungement if you choose to file for one later on. Let's consider Daniel. Daniel had work and therefore opted to miss his court date. Daniel was not represented by an attorney. As soon as Daniel missed his court date, a bench warrant was issued and Daniel was charged with a failure to appear. Later on that week, Daniel was driving and was pulled over by officers for a routine traffic stop. When officers ran Daniel's driver's license, they discovered that there was a bench warrant out for him and promptly arrested him and took him into custody. Daniel remained in custody and was taken to appear before the Judge the next day. If Daniel chooses to hire an attorney, the attorney will go into Court and persuade the criminal Judge to recall the bench warrant and allow Daniel to continue with his case, promising that Daniel understands the importance of appearing and makes it a point to appear regardless of all other circumstances with the exception of emergencies. Do not fail to appear at your court appointed date. It can cause more complex issues than the initial charge itself. If you absolutely cannot appear, speak to a Los Angeles Lawyer to see what your options are so that you remain out of trouble and on the Judge's good side

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    Zachary Torry and Kenneth J. Weiss (Independent and University of Pennsylvania) have posted Medication Noncompliance and Criminal Responsibility: Is the Insanity Defense Legitimate? (Journal of Psychiatry & Law, Vol 40, Summer 2012) on SSRN. Here is the abstract: Noncompliance with...

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    Doug Berman at Sentencing Law & Policy excerpts this article from USA Today.

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    Original Article12/07/2012 The Chicago Police Department is now the subject of a federal Justice Department investigation into its interrogation practices in at least one case that dates back more than 25 years, 60 Minutes has learned. The case involves juveniles who were as young as 14 years old. Now, after serving lengthy jail times, they tell Byron Pitts they were picked up on the streets, isolated from their parents and in some cases held for days by the police, who they say forced false confessions from them under harsh interrogations. Pitts' report will be broadcast on 60 Minutes, Sunday, Dec. 9 at 7:00 p.m. ET/PT. "Everything in that confession was fed to us, and myself and my co-defendants by the police," [name withheld] tells Pitts. He signed a 21-page confession in 1994 admitting to a murder and rape of a 30-year-old prostitute that resulted in a 30-year sentence. "You are being cuffed up and beat on by the police...they can get you to do what they want you to do,'' says [name withheld], who would sign a confession in another case that resulted in being jailed for more than 19 years. Defense attorneys point out that Chicago has had twice as many false confession cases that have been documented than any other city in the country. This year seven men, including [name withheld] and [name withheld], were exonerated by a Chicago court of murder and rape charges. It was charged that Chicago police may have coerced confessions out of some of them when they were teenagers. Those men are now free and were given certificates of innocence, but not before they had spent nearly 20 years in jail for crimes they did not commit. This happens all too often in Chicago, says Peter Neufeld, the co-founder of the Innocence Project. "Quite simply, what Cooperstown is to baseball, Chicago is to false confessions. It is the Hall of Fame," Neufeld says. "There are more juvenile confessions in Chicago than anyplace else in the United States...It's not because the kids are different...it's because of the way the police keep pounding and pounding and pounding away in those interrogation rooms," he tells Pitts. Former Cook County Prosecutor Bob Milan says for the first time that he is now convinced some of the convictions his office made were based on false confessions obtained by Chicago Police. "I didn't believe people would confess to rape and murder of a woman. You know, just didn't believe it," Milan tells Pitts. "But based on my experiences, I found it did happen." It happened in [name withheld]'s case, one Milan was involved in as a young prosecutor. [name withheld] and his teenage defendants, [name withheld] and [name withheld], were convicted and sentenced to life in prison based on false confessions obtained by the police. Milan says it still haunts him that he did not examine the confessions given by some of the defendants at the time -- confessions that resulted in their convictions. "These young men lost a lot of good lives. I was part of it, I didn't mean it, I never would have done that intentionally, but it doesn't make it any easier," he tells Pitts. "There's nothing worse as a prosecutor than playing a role in sending an innocent person or people to prison for many years. There's nothing worse." Cook County State's Attorney Anita Alvarez tells Pitts that she is aware of the federal investigation into one of the cases and is cooperating with their probe. Recently she has established a new unit within her office to re-examine questionable prosecutions, but defends the action of the police in these cases. "We have not uncovered any evidence of any misconduct, by the police officers or the state's Attorneys, that took the statements in these cases,'' she says.Video LinkVideo Link© 2006-2012 | Sex Offender Issues

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    Original Article12/10/2012By Brandon Gatto The US District Court for the Western District of Washington on Thursday ruled (PDF) that the state's most comprehensive underage sex trafficking law is unconstitutional, prompting legislators to drop their defense of the law. In particular, Judge Ricardo Martinez found that Senate Bill 6251, which required Washington Internet websites to document that advertised escorts were at least 18 years of age, violates several provisions of both the First and Fourteenth Amendments to the US Constitution. Since then, the state has seemingly accepted that the bill's language went too far in criminalizing the dissemination of advertisements with "an explicit or implicit offer for a commercial sex act to occur in Washington." In addition to violating free speech, being unconstitutionally vague, being overly broad, and violating the Commerce Clause, Martinez also found that the law violates and is preempted by Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, which declares that Internet service operators are not to be construed as publishers, and are thus not legally liable for third-party speech used via their services. The state was consequently ordered to pay $200,000 in attorney's fees to plaintiffs Backpage.com, LLC and The Internet Archive, a non-profit digital library. Senate Bill 6251's intention was to prohibit anyone from "advertising [the] commercial sexual abuse of a minor if he or she knowingly publishes, disseminates, or displays, or causes directly or indirectly, to be published, disseminated, or displayed, any advertisement for a commercial sex act." Though the goal is commendable, its language has been received with skepticism by the courts. In July Martinez granted a preliminary injunction (PDF) for the plaintiffs in an opinion that foreshadowed the law's ultimate invalidation. Backpage.com initially filed the lawsuit (PDF) in June.© 2006-2012 | Sex Offender Issues

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    Original Article12/13/2012By Stephanie Ando Brazos County adult probation officers have made a significant change in how they monitor sex offenders. They're now requiring multiple lie detector tests every year from these offenders on parole. “In the past, we were probably doing them closer to a year apart. After going to some training recently and reviewing the current literature, it recommended 6 months, so that's what we've changed,” said Director of the Adult Probation Office in Brazos County. Sexual predators are required to follow certain rules in order to live in the community. In Brazos County, that includes registering, getting treatment, and taking polygraph tests. There are about 50 sexual predators here in Brazos County. Officials say they vast majority are required to take polygraph tests as part of their probation. “We're trying to determine if they have been violating the condition of probation by engaging in behaviors, or looking at pornography, or doing something they shouldn't be doing based on the conditions of their offense,” said McGuire{John McGuire/Brazos County Adult Probation Director} We're doing the best that we can to protect the general public from sexual predators. A polygraph test is usually costs $300-$600.- So this would be $600 or $1,200 dollars per year, per person.  What if they do not have a job or home due to the unconstitutional jobs preventing them from getting a job or home? “The defendants are required to pay for it. If someone is indigent then we will find the money to pay for it. That's not going to prevent us from following court orders,” said McGuire.- Yeah, tax payers are paying for it.  And polygraphs are not admissible in court, but they can violate someone for their junk science? The end result could be jail time if a sex offender fails the test and officials learn they've violated the terms of their probation. But the end goal is to keep parks like this safe for children in our community.- So you see, they cannot admit the results into court, but they can throw you in prison for hocus pocus? Video Link© 2006-2012 | Sex Offender Issues

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    If you already have a child custody order in place, whether it is outlined in a parenting agreement, a custody order, or a divorce decree, and you want to modify the custody status or the terms of the timeshare, consultation with a family law attorney is highly advised.The reason a consultation with a child custody attorney is recommended is because the method for modify the custody requires attention to numerous factors.  Also, if done incorrectly, a parent can greatly affect his or her rights to custody and child support.At the consultation, be prepared to explain the reason for the modification of custody with supporting documents.Click if you are interested in learning about our legal fee plans.

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    IDAHO STATE POLICE NEWS RELEASE - generated by our News Release ListServer DO NOT REPLY --------------------------------------------------------------------------- Idaho State Police Regional Communication Center - North 615 W Wilbur Ave Suite A Coeur d'Alene, Idaho 83815 Please direct questions to the appropriate District Offices District 1 (208) 209-8620 Fax (208) 209- 8618 District 2 (208) 799-5150 CASE # L12000955 --------------------- PRESS RELEASE ----------------------------- DATE: 12-13-2012 TIME: 04:33 PM LOCATION: SB US95 MP 343.3; JJ&#65533;s Building Supplies ASSISTING AGENCIES: Latah County Sheriffs Office ------------- VEHICLE #1 ------------- DRIVER: Paul Oman AGE : 61 ADDRESS : Clarkston, WA INJURIES? - Yes HOSPITAL TAKEN ? Gritman Hospital VEHICLE YEAR: 2005 VEHICLE MAKE: Chevy VEHICLE MODEL: Silverado WRECKER : Moscow Auto SEATBELTS WORN? Yes ------------- VEHICLE #2 ------------- DRIVER : Samuel Hohmann AGE : 24 ADDRESS: Kamiah INJURIES? -Yes HOSPITAL TAKEN ? Gritman Hospital VEHICLE YEAR : 1989 VEHICLE MAKE: Honda VEHICLE MODEL: Accord WRECKER : Auto Body Super Center SEATBELTS WORN? Yes PASSENGER: Mary Hohmann ADDRESS : Kamiah INJURIES? Yes HOSPITAL TAKEN ? Gritman Hospital ------------- VEHICLE #3 ------------- DRIVER : Kevin Kilwein AGE : 58 ADDRESS: Moscow INJURIES? Yes HOSPITAL TAKEN ? Gritman Hospital VEHICLE YEAR : 1996 VEHICLE MAKE: Ford VEHICLE MODEL: F250 WRECKER : Auto Body Super Center SEATBELTS WORN? Unknown PASSENGER: Mary Kilwein ADDRESS: Moscow INJURIES? Yes HOSPITAL TAKEN ? Gritman Hospital INCIDENT NARRATIVE: Kilwein was SB US95 @ 343.3 stopped to turn into JJs Building Supply. Hohmann stopped behind him, waiting for traffic to clear. Oman, who was inattentive and failed to yield to turning traffic, struck Hohmann, who then struck Kilwein. DSP INITIALS <BAM> -----------------------------------

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    Nach einem Spiel in der Nähe von Amsterdam schlugen drei Jugendspieler auf einen 41-jährigen Linienrichter ein. Der Mann erlag wenig später seinen schweren Kopfverletzungen. Die drei mutmaßlichen Täter wurden von der Polizei wegen des Verdachts des Totschlags vorläufig festgenommen. Die Polizei schließt nicht aus, dass weitere Festnahmen folgen werden. Die betroffene Mannschaft hat seine . . . → Read More: Tötungsdelikt: Junge Fußballspieler prügeln Linienrichter tot

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