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Criminal Legal News: January, 2022

Issue PDF
Volume 5, Number 1

In this issue:

  1. “If Everybody’s White, There Can’t Be Any Racial Bias”: The Disappearance of Hispanic Drivers From Traffic Records (p 1)
  2. Brooklyn DA Releases List of Untrustworthy Cops (p 7)
  3. You’d Better Watch Out: The Surveillance State Has a Naughty List, and You’re On It (p 8)
  4. Sixth Circuit: Only One Conviction May Result Under § 922(g) for Single Incident of Firearm Possession (p 10)
  5. Montana Supreme Court: Ineffective Assistance of Counsel for Failing to Object to Incorrect Jury Instruction That Lowered State’s Burden of Proof (p 11)
  6. The AEDPA: A Forgotten Catalyst in Mass Incarceration (p 12)
  7. New Jersey Supreme Court Announces Arrestees in Police Custody Have Reasonable Expectation of Privacy in Calls Made on Police Station Phone Absent Notice That Call Is Being Monitored or Recorded (p 14)
  8. Crime Rates Rise and Fall. The Police Mostly Have Nothing to Do With It. (p 16)
  9. Pennsylvania Supreme Court Announces Framework for Determining Whether State of Mind Exception to Hearsay Rule Applies to Out-of-Court Statements, Dual-Purpose Statements Generally Inadmissible (p 18)
  10. Fourth Circuit: Long-Term Aerial Surveillance That Reveals ‘Whole of Individuals’ Movements’ Constitutes Search Without a Warrant, Violates Fourth Amendment (p 20)
  11. Rethinking the ‘Sex Offender’ Label (p 22)
  12. North Carolina Supreme Court Announces Pretrial Notice of Duress Defense Does Not Forfeit Fifth Amendment Right to Silence, Reaffirms Rule Against Preemptive Impeachment (p 22)
  13. California Court of Appeal: Police Created Atmosphere of Custodial Interrogation Requiring Miranda Warnings Even Though Prearrest Interview Occurred in Teen Suspect’s Home (p 24)
  14. California Court of Appeal: Superior Courts Must Consider Only Elements of Prior Adjudicated Felony, Not Juvenile’s Conduct for § 1170(d)(2)(B) Purposes (p 25)
  15. Third Circuit Announces Mere Physical Proximity of Guns and Drugs Insufficient for Automatic Application of U.S.S.G. § 2K2.1(b)(6)(B) Enhancement Under Commentary Note 14(B), Creates Rebuttable Presumption (p 26)
  16. California Supreme Court Announces Mandatory Supervision Conditions Un-der Realignment Act Evaluated for Reasonableness on Case-by-Case Basis Under Lent Test (p 27)
  17. Montana Supreme Court: Defendant’s Due Process Rights Violated by Delayed Initial Appearance for Two Years While Jailed in New York on Out-of-State Warrant (p 28)
  18. U.S. Sentencing Commission Creates New Sentencing Tool for Judges (p 29)
  19. California Supreme Court Announces Not All Subsequent Habeas Petitions Under Death Penalty Reform and Savings Act Are ‘Successive’ (p 30)
  20. Who Defends the Public Defenders? (p 31)
  21. The Long-Term Effects of 9/11: Naturally, More Surveillance (p 32)
  22. Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court Announces Impacted Third Party Has Right to Appeal Motion Granting Postconviction DNA Testing (p 32)
  23. Second Circuit Declares Police Firearms Examiners Subject to Brady, Examiner Who Failed to Disclose Exculpatory Ballistics Report Not Entitled to Qualified Immunity (p 34)
  24. Ninth Circuit: California Law Prohibiting Recovery of Loss of Life Damages Inconsistent With § 1983 (p 34)
  25. Ninth Circuit: Washington’s Sentencing Guidelines, Not Statutory Maximum, Set Upper Limit for Sentence When Determining Grade of Violation of Supervised Release Under U.S. Sentencing Guidelines (p 36)
  26. Nevada Supreme Court Reverses Denial of Motion to Withdraw Guilty Plea Because Defendant Had Strong Argument for Speedy Trial Violation and Colorable Claim of IAC (p 37)
  27. Iowa Supreme Court Calls SCOTUS’ Fourth Amendment Jurisprudence ‘a Mess,’ Announces Departure from Lockstep Adherence, and Rules Warrantless Seizure and Search of Defendant’s Curbside Trash Unlawful (p 38)
  28. Missouri Supreme Court: Evidence Found in Cell Phone Seized at Sheriff’s Office Instead of Defendant’s Home, Identified as Location to Be Searched in Warrant, Must Be Suppressed (p 40)
  29. First Circuit: ‘Controlled Substances Offense’ Under § 2K2.1(a)(2) of USSG Refers to Time of Sentencing, Not Time of Prior Conviction (p 41)
  30. Unchecked Federal Use of Facial Recognition Tech (p 42)
  31. Is Orange County’s DNA Collection Scheme Really Voluntary? (p 42)
  32. Study: Petty Court Fines and Fees Creates ‘Vicious Cycle’ of Debt for Years (p 43)
  33. Hawai’i Supreme Court: Prosecutor’s Cumulative Misconduct Deprived Defendant of a Fair Trial, Vacates Denial of Motion for New Trial (p 44)
  34. Cop Gets Money for Nothing, Awards for Free (p 45)
  35. Veterans Restorative Justice Act Offers More Than Alternatives to Jail in Minnesota (p 45)
  36. Secret CBP Teams New DHS Weapon of Mass Surveillance (p 46)
  37. Microbiome: The Latest in Cutting Edge Forensics (p 46)
  38. Biden’s DOJ Targets Police Misconduct (p 47)
  39. Big Brother’s Eyes and Ears: Understanding and mitigating the impact of high-tech surveillance (p 48)
  40. Fifth Circuit: Texas Police Get Qualified Immunity for Knowingly Using Taser to Ignite Gasoline-Soaked, Suicidal Man, Killing Him and Destroying Family’s House (p 48)
  41. How Cops Use Copyright Laws to Prevent the Public from Recording Their Bad Acts (p 49)
  42. Marijuana Arrests Keep Dropping (p 50)
  43. News in Brief (p 50)

“If Everybody’s White, There Can’t Be Any Racial Bias”: The Disappearance of Hispanic Drivers From Traffic Records

In Louisiana, law enforcement agencies have been accused of targeting Hispanic drivers in traffic stops and identifying them as white on tickets. Misidentification makes it impossible to track racial bias, experts say.

by Richard A. Webster, ProPublica

When sheriff’s deputies in Jefferson Parish, Louisiana, pulled over Octavio Lopez for an expired inspection tag in 2018, they wrote on his traffic ticket that he is white. Lopez, who is from Nicaragua, is Hispanic and speaks only Spanish, said his wife.

In fact, of the 167 tickets issued by deputies to drivers with the last name Lopez over a nearly six-year span, not one of the motorists was labeled as Hispanic, according to records provided by the Jefferson Parish clerk of court. The same was true of the 252 tickets issued to people with the last name of Rodriguez, 234 named Martinez, 223 with the last name Hernandez and 189 with the surname Garcia.

This kind of misidentification is widespread—and not without harm. Across America, law enforcement agencies have been accused of targeting Hispanic drivers, failing to collect data on those traffic stops, and covering up potential officer misconduct and aggressive immigration enforcement by identifying people as white on tickets.

“If everybody’s white, ...

Brooklyn DA Releases List of Untrustworthy Cops

by Anthony W. Accurso

The District Attorney’s Office for Brooklyn, New York, released a list of New York City Police Department officers who cannot testify in court because of prior misconduct.

Known as a Brady (or more precisely for New York, Giglio) list, this is a list of officers ...

You’d Better Watch Out: The Surveillance State Has a Naughty List, and You’re On It

by John W. Whitehead & Nisha Whitehead, Rutherford.org

He sees you when you’re sleeping 

 He knows when you’re awake

He knows when you’ve been bad or good

So be good for goodness’ sake!

—“Santa Claus Is Coming to Town”

Santa’s got a new helper.

No longer does the all-knowing, all-seeing, jolly Old St. Nick need to rely on antiquated elves on shelves and other seasonal snitches in order to know when you’re sleeping or awake, and if you’ve been naughty or nice.

Thanks to the government’s almost limitless powers made possible by a domestic army of techno-tyrants, fusion centers and Peeping Toms, Santa can get real-time reports on who’s been good or bad this year. This creepy new era of government/corporate spying—in which we’re being listened to, watched, tracked, followed, mapped, bought, sold and targeted—makes the NSA’s rudimentary phone and metadata surveillance appear almost antiquated in comparison.

Consider just a small sampling of the tools being used to track our movements, monitor our spending, and sniff out all the ways in which our thoughts, actions and social circles might land us on the government’s naughty list.

Tracking you based on your health status. In the age of COVID-19, digital health passports are ...

Sixth Circuit: Only One Conviction May Result Under § 922(g) for Single Incident of Firearm Possession

by Douglas Ankney

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit held that only one conviction may result under 18 U.S.C. § 922(g) for a single incident of firearm possession, even though the defendant may belong to more than one disqualified class.

Joshua Grant shot his ex-girlfriend after a ...

Montana Supreme Court: Ineffective Assistance of Counsel for Failing to Object to Incorrect Jury Instruction That Lowered State’s Burden of Proof

by Douglas Ankney

The Supreme Court of Montana held that Kasey Lee Secrease’s trial attorneys were ineffective under both the U.S. and Montana Constitutions for failing to object to an incorrect jury instruction that lowered the State’s burden of proof.

Trooper Charles Burton arrested Secrease for DUI. Because Secrease refused ...

The AEDPA: A Forgotten Catalyst in Mass Incarceration

by Dale Chappell

When we talk about things that fuel mass incarceration, the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act (“AEDPA”) is rarely considered as one of the causes for the over-incarceration of U.S. residents. But take a closer look, and you’ll see that the AEDPA has played an integral role ...

New Jersey Supreme Court Announces Arrestees in Police Custody Have Reasonable Expectation of Privacy in Calls Made on Police Station Phone Absent Notice That Call Is Being Monitored or Recorded

by Douglas Ankney

The Supreme Court of New Jersey held that the right of privacy under Article 1,Paragraph 7, of the New Jersey Constitution protects recorded calls made on a police stationhouse telephone from warrantless seizure in the absence of fair notice that the conversation is being monitored or recorded, ...

Crime Rates Rise and Fall. The Police Mostly Have Nothing to Do With It.

Policing expansions don’t do much to reduce crime. Instead, they manage people and communities to serve the interests of the powerful.

by Aya Gruber

Murder rates go down; people exalt policing. Murder rates go up; people exalt policing. The defund movement advocates reducing and reallocating police funds; police budgets remain high. The backlash comes; police budgets get higher. The public becomes aware that policing is violent, racially biased, and counterproductive in marginalized neighborhoods; police get more resources to “improve.”

Policing has an amazing ability to fail up. 

Last week, sexual assault victims told New York City Council’s Women and Gender Equity and Public Safety committees about the New York Police Department’s Special Victims Division’s dreadful handling of their cases. One woman said that despite providing investigators with a “comprehensive 13-page document detailing the incident,” the detective didn’t interview witnesses and her case was closed twice without her knowledge. Another woman told the council that a sergeant dismissed her sexual assault claim because she was sleeping when it happened, explaining “he has sex with his wife while she’s asleep and she’s not reporting him for rape.” Despite such testimony revealing the NYPD’s profound misogyny and a deeply rooted disinterest in solving sexual assault cases, the problem is routinely framed ...

Pennsylvania Supreme Court Announces Framework for Determining Whether State of Mind Exception to Hearsay Rule Applies to Out-of-Court Statements, Dual-Purpose Statements Generally Inadmissible

by Matt Clarke

The Supreme Court of Pennsylvania held that a note implicating the husband of a woman who was drowned the day after she wrote it was inadmissible hearsay, after it had announced a new analytical framework for determining whether the state of mind exception to the hearsay rule ...

Fourth Circuit: Long-Term Aerial Surveillance That Reveals ‘Whole of Individuals’ Movements’ Constitutes Search Without a Warrant, Violates Fourth Amendment

by Douglas Ankney

On rehearing en banc, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit concluded that the Aerial Investigation Research (“AIR”) program—a first of its kind aerial surveillance initiative—enabled police to deduce the whole of individuals’ movements. Therefore, accessing its data is a search, and its warrantless ...

Rethinking the ‘Sex Offender’ Label

by Derek W. Logue, The Crime Report

On Nov. 19, members of the Colorado Sex Offender Management Board (SOMB) took a critical first step in altering the language used to label those convicted of a sexual offense while in treatment towards a “person-first” perspective.

This effort was not without opposition.

The victim advocates and representatives from county prosecutors unsuccessfully attempted to table the vote and even accused members of the SOMB of not following protocols. Ultimately, the SOMB settled on the phrase, “adults who commit sexual offenses.”

This change does not go far enough.

In the words of one prosecutor who testified at the SOMB hearing, it was just a “longer way to say sex offender.” I agree. Furthermore, the phrase implies the SOMB clients are continuously committing offenses.

Victim advocates and prosecutors argued that replacing the term “sex offender” with different terminology “minimizes harm.” Victim advocates, including those currently on the SOMB, had argued they suffer lifelong consequences as victims and therefore those who have committed an offense should also suffer for life.

But this argument merely proves the intent of sex offense treatment schemes and post-conviction laws are to dehumanize and cause enduring harm to those who have committed offenses ...

North Carolina Supreme Court Announces Pretrial Notice of Duress Defense Does Not Forfeit Fifth Amendment Right to Silence, Reaffirms Rule Against Preemptive Impeachment

by Anthony W. Accurso

The Supreme Court of North Carolina held that defendants filing a pretrial notice of intent to rely upon the affirmative defense of duress do not waive their Fifth Amendment right to silence.

On March 2, 2017, police approached a Ford Fusion in the parking lot of ...

California Court of Appeal: Police Created Atmosphere of Custodial Interrogation Requiring Miranda Warnings Even Though Prearrest Interview Occurred in Teen Suspect’s Home

by Douglas Ankney

The California Court of Appeal, First Appellate District, ruled that the coercive atmosphere created by police during a prearrest interview of a teen suspect in his own home made it a custodial interrogation requiring advisement of rights pursuant to Miranda v Arizona, 384 U.S. 436 (1966), ...

California Court of Appeal: Superior Courts Must Consider Only Elements of Prior Adjudicated Felony, Not Juvenile’s Conduct for § 1170(d)(2)(B) Purposes

by Douglas Ankney

The California Court of Appeal, Fifth Appellate District, held that Superior Courts are to consider only the elements of a juvenile’s prior adjudicated felony and not the juvenile’s conduct when considering a petition to recall his sentence under California Penal Code § 1170(d)(2)(B).

David Lee Harring, Jr., ...

Third Circuit Announces Mere Physical Proximity of Guns and Drugs Insufficient for Automatic Application of U.S.S.G. § 2K2.1(b)(6)(B) Enhancement Under Commentary Note 14(B), Creates Rebuttable Presumption

by Douglas Ankney

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit ruled that mere physical proximity of guns and drugs to each other is insufficient for automatic application of the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines (“U.S.S.G.”) § 2 K2.1(b)(6)(B) enhancement under the U.S. Sentencing Commission’s Commentary Note 14(B) for a drug-trafficking ...

California Supreme Court Announces Mandatory Supervision Conditions Un-der Realignment Act Evaluated for Reasonableness on Case-by-Case Basis Under Lent Test

by Anthony W. Accurso

In a case of first impression, the Supreme Court of California held that conditions of mandatory supervision under the 2011 Realignment Act, Stats. 2011, ch. 15, § 1, are to be assessed on a case-by-case basis using the same standard previously articulated for probation conditions in ...

Montana Supreme Court: Defendant’s Due Process Rights Violated by Delayed Initial Appearance for Two Years While Jailed in New York on Out-of-State Warrant

by David M. Reutter

The Supreme Court of Montana held that a defendant’s due process rights were violated by the State’s failure to bring him before a judge for two years after arrest. The Court vacated the probation revocation sentence and dismissed the State’s petition to revoke with prejudice.

The ...

U.S. Sentencing Commission Creates New Sentencing Tool for Judges

by Dale Chappell

The U.S. Sentencing Commission (“USSC”) recently created a new tool for federal judges that will let them compare sentences for similar defendants under specific guidelines to help “guide” them on what sentence may be appropriate for an offense. It’s also a valuable tool for the public in ...

California Supreme Court Announces Not All Subsequent Habeas Petitions Under Death Penalty Reform and Savings Act Are ‘Successive’

by Dale Chappell

 

A subsequent petition for habeas corpus relief filed in a California court is not always a “successive” petition, under the death penalty reform law passed in 2016, the Supreme Court of California held, among other important rulings on the law.

It’s called the Death Penalty Reform ...

Who Defends the Public Defenders?

by Jayson Hawkins

The Sixth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution offers a guarantee of the assistance of an attorney when accused of a crime. This guarantee has become a trope in countless movies and TV shows where suspects are advised: “If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be provided ...

The Long-Term Effects of 9/11: Naturally, More Surveillance

by Jayson Hawkins

The 9/11 attacks were a rare historic moment, a watershed event that recast the American experience at home and abroad.

While most discussions of this phenomenon have focused on impacts felt equally across the nation—wars; Islamophobia; new hassles at airports; the nagging fear that contrary to all ...

Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court Announces Impacted Third Party Has Right to Appeal Motion Granting Postconviction DNA Testing

by Matt Clarke

The Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts ruled that a third party who is ordered to provide biological materials pursuant to G. L. c. 278A has a right to appeal such order even where the party hasn’t intervened in the case.

After an evening of drinking at his ...

Second Circuit Declares Police Firearms Examiners Subject to Brady, Examiner Who Failed to Disclose Exculpatory Ballistics Report Not Entitled to Qualified Immunity

by Douglas Ankney

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit affirmed the decision of the U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut that held police forensic firearms examiner James Stephenson was not entitled to qualified immunity in a suit alleging he withheld exculpatory ballistics reports in violation ...

Ninth Circuit: California Law Prohibiting Recovery of Loss of Life Damages Inconsistent With § 1983

by Douglas Ankney

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit affirmed the ruling of the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California that Cal. Code Civ. Proc. § 377.34’s prohibition on recovery of loss of life damages is inconsistent with 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and thus ...

Ninth Circuit: Washington’s Sentencing Guidelines, Not Statutory Maximum, Set Upper Limit for Sentence When Determining Grade of Violation of Supervised Release Under U.S. Sentencing Guidelines

by Douglas Ankney

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit held that the state of Washington’s mandatory sentencing guidelines set the upper limit for possible punishment for a state crime that U.S. district courts must abide by when determining the grade of violation of supervised release under the ...

Nevada Supreme Court Reverses Denial of Motion to Withdraw Guilty Plea Because Defendant Had Strong Argument for Speedy Trial Violation and Colorable Claim of IAC

by Douglas Ankney

The Supreme Court of Nevada reversed the district court’s denial of Kevin Sunseri’s motion to withdraw his guilty plea because he had a strong argument of a speedy trial violation and a colorable claim of ineffective assistance of counsel (“IAC”).

In December 2015, Sunseri robbed a man ...

Iowa Supreme Court Calls SCOTUS’ Fourth Amendment Jurisprudence ‘a Mess,’ Announces Departure from Lockstep Adherence, and Rules Warrantless Seizure and Search of Defendant’s Curbside Trash Unlawful

by Anthony W. Accurso

The Supreme Court of Iowa ordered the suppression of evidence in a criminal case while announcing that the Iowa Constitution prohibits law enforcement from taking a homeowner’s opaque garbage bags left curbside for collection and searching through the trash contained within without a warrant.

Officer Brandon ...

Missouri Supreme Court: Evidence Found in Cell Phone Seized at Sheriff’s Office Instead of Defendant’s Home, Identified as Location to Be Searched in Warrant, Must Be Suppressed

by Anthony W. Accurso

The Supreme Court of Missouri held that evidence obtained from a cell phone seized from defendant while he was visiting the sheriff’s office was properly suppressed where the search warrant allowing for seizure of the phone identified only the defendant’s home as the location to be ...

First Circuit: ‘Controlled Substances Offense’ Under § 2K2.1(a)(2) of USSG Refers to Time of Sentencing, Not Time of Prior Conviction

by Anthony W. Accurso

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit held that the term “controlled substance offense” in § 2K2.1(a)(2) of the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines (“USSG”) refers to substances that are controlled at the time of the defendant’s sentencing, not at the time of their prior conviction. ...

Unchecked Federal Use of Facial Recognition Tech

by Anthony W. Accurso

 

A June 29, 2021, report from the Government Accountability Office (“GAO”) details the use of facial recognition technology (“FRT”) among federal agencies and documents alarming lack of accountability, transparency, or any meaningful policies governing its use.

The GAO report reviewed 42 of the 86 federal ...

Is Orange County’s DNA Collection Scheme Really Voluntary?

by Jayson Hawkins

It’s no secret that anyone who commits a serious crime in the U.S. is likely to have their genetic profile catalogued in the FBI’s Combined DNA Index System (“CODIS”). This network has connected state DNA databases for over 20 years and houses upwards of 14 million “offender” ...

Study: Petty Court Fines and Fees Creates ‘Vicious Cycle’ of Debt for Years

by Dale Chappell

A study by the Duke University Law School found, unsurprisingly, that court fines and fees for such petty offenses as parking tickets creates a “vicious cycle of court debt” that lasts for years, hindering most U.S. residents who are struggling to get by. The solution, researchers say, ...

Hawai’i Supreme Court: Prosecutor’s Cumulative Misconduct Deprived Defendant of a Fair Trial, Vacates Denial of Motion for New Trial

by Douglas Ankney

The Supreme Court of Hawai’i vacated the judgment of the Intermediate Court of Appeals (“ICA”) that held a prosecutor’s cumulative misconduct was harmless.

Matthew K. Williams was convicted of sexually assaulting T.Y., a minor. At trial, the prosecutor introduced to the jury incriminating statements allegedly made by ...

Cop Gets Money for Nothing, Awards for Free

by Ed Lyon

In the early 20th century, unions were beneficial in that they pushed for safe working conditions and decent wages for the working class. The way our society has evolved, not all unions are what they seem. This seems to be especially true of police unions.

A prime ...

Veterans Restorative Justice Act Offers More Than Alternatives to Jail in Minnesota

by Douglas Ankney

On August 10, 2021, a crowd of veterans’ organizations, prosecutors, defense attorneys, lawmakers, and other interested parties gathered outside the Minnesota State Capitol to watch Governor Tim Walz symbolically sign into law a measure he had approved weeks earlier in a private setting—the Veterans Restorative Justice Act ...

Secret CBP Teams New DHS Weapon of Mass Surveillance

by Jayson Hawkins

The American police state and accompanying surveillance apparatus has a long history dating back to the first Red Scares and beyond. The exponential growth of police presence engendered by the “wars” on crime and drugs did not result in any serious consequences for the politicians who fostered ...

Microbiome: The Latest in Cutting Edge Forensics

by Michael Fortino

One week after the attacks of September 11, 2001, letters containing anthrax were mailed to several news outlets, and to the offices of two U.S. Senators, forcing the FBI to seek new and innovative methods to determine who might be behind this most recent domestic terroristic act. ...

Biden’s DOJ Targets Police Misconduct

by Dale Chappell

In April, the Department of Justice announced it was investigating several police departments for civil rights violations, showing signs that the DOJ under President Biden is revving up its efforts to crack down on police misconduct. It’s a stark contrast to the single civil rights investigation launched ...

Big Brother’s Eyes and Ears: Understanding and mitigating the impact of high-tech surveillance

by Anthony W. Accurso

Americans are being subjected to a rapid proliferation of surveillance in every area of their lives, jeopardizing their privacy interests and rights under the Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. Law enforcement agencies at all levels are increasing the amount and types of spying as new ...

Fifth Circuit: Texas Police Get Qualified Immunity for Knowingly Using Taser to Ignite Gasoline-Soaked, Suicidal Man, Killing Him and Destroying Family’s House

by Matt Clarke

On June 25, 2021, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit refused to re-visit its decision that Texas police officers who used a Taser on a suicidal man who had drenched himself in gasoline knowing it could ignite him were entitled to qualified immunity. Ramirez ...

How Cops Use Copyright Laws to Prevent the Public from Recording Their Bad Acts

by Dale Chappell

It’s a disturbing trend, but one that’s very effective. Cops have been playing copyrighted music during encounters with people, in an attempt to prevent them from recording and posting video of the encounter to popular video-sharing social media sites.

Here’s how it works. “I am playing my ...

Marijuana Arrests Keep Dropping

Marijuana arrests have dropped to their lowest level since 1991, according to a report by the FBI released in September 2021. The reason for the sharp reduction in arrests for marijuana crimes is simple: legalization. But the trend has been slow coming.

Back in 1991, marijuana arrests in the U.S. ...

News in Brief

Arizona: Claims for $300,000 were filed in September 2021 against the city of Chandler, Arizona, in advance of a lawsuit planned by two activists arrested during a protest against police brutality six months earlier. According to a report by the Phoenix New Times, the men, Darien Barrett and Phil ...

 

 

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