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Posts tagged "Criminal Defense"

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Feds increasingly cracking down on illegal possession of firearms

A year ago, a man stood outside of an Alabama church begging police to kill him. His wife said he had been suicidal and had held a gun to his head earlier so she had hidden the gun in the church. The police arrested the unarmed man and retrieved the gun.

151 people exonerated in 2018 after losing 1,639 years of freedom

Our criminal justice system is meant to protect defendants' rights. Many of our constitutional amendments were specifically written to guarantee certain rights for criminal defendants, including the right to due process of law, to have competent counsel, to be free from unreasonable search and seizure, to confront the evidence and witnesses against you and more.

Supreme Court: Cops need warrants to search vehicles in driveways

The Fourth Amendment guarantees freedom from "unreasonable" searches and seizures by government agents like police officers. That has generally meant that the police are required to obtain warrants before they arrest someone or search their property -- unless the police can point to a recognized exception to the warrant requirement. These exceptions include emergencies, situations where the person consents, and situations where evidence could quickly and easily be carried away or destroyed.

At int'l conference, CSI experts call for forensic science reform

According to the Innocence Project, the misapplication of forensic science is a contributing factor in 45 percent of wrongful convictions that were resolved through DNA exonerations. The problem, which the Innocence Project defines as unreliable or invalid forensic discipline, insufficient validation of a method, misleading testimony, mistakes or misconduct, is the second most common contributing factor to wrongful convictions.

Decisions by prosecutors affect every aspect of a criminal case

The prosecutor may be the most powerful figure in the criminal justice system. They have power over everything from what charges will be filed to what the sentence will be after a conviction. They have influence over whether defendants get bail or have to remain locked up until they can be tried -- or until they agree to a plea bargain. They negotiate those plea bargains, too.

Supreme Court rules 'excessive fines' clause applies to states

In a unanimous ruling, the U.S. Supreme Court has said that the Eighth Amendment's prohibition on "excessive fines" applies to states and local governments as well as to the federal government. The high court had never actually ruled that the clause applied to states and local governments, although many people assumed that it did.

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