Thursday July 31, 2014
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Thursday July 31, 2014

Contributors: News - Harmless Error

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    Friday Jul 18, 2014 | 11:04 am

    Lawyered to death: why California’s death penalty is unconstitutional

    In 1995 Ernest Dewayne Jones was sentenced to death in California. He exhausted all his state appeals and lost at every turn. In 2009 Jones applied for federal Habeas Corpus relief claiming that his sentence violated his federal rights. On Wednesday, federal district court judge Cormac J. Carney finally ruled on the petition and held that Jones’ sentence is unconstitutional. His decision was not based on the idea that it’s too harsh […]

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    Thursday Jul 17, 2014 | 7:03 am

    Your Genome is less protected than your iPhone, except in Vermont

    Many states have laws mandating DNA collection from people who get arrested. Once analyzed, the arrestee’s DNA profile can be added to a database for use in future investigations. Last term, the U.S. Supreme Court decided Maryland v. King and held that these compulsory DNA sampling laws are constitutional. Maine has a DNA testing law but it only requires samples from people convicted of certain crimes. Vermont’s new DNA protections Last week, Vermont’s Supreme Court decided State […]

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  • Monday Jul 14, 2014 | 7:35 am

    Interesting items: marijuana search, attempted murder

    Here are some of my favorite stories of the past week: Smell of Marijuana is grounds for a search in Maine, not in Massachusetts The Massachusetts High court decided Commonwealth v. Overmyer last week and held that the smell of unburnt marijuana does not create probable cause to search a car. The same court decided in 2011 that the smell of burnt marijuana was not a valid basis to detain and search […]

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  • Tuesday Jul 08, 2014 | 11:04 am

    Florida fighting Judge back on the bench, lawyer he hit is out of a job

    Some may recall my earlier post about Florida Judge John C. Murphy. He’s the guy who challenged Assistant public defender Andrew Weinstock to a fight for refusing to waive his client’s speedy trial rights. Judge Murphy then apparently grabbed the defense lawyer by the collar and punched him in the head. Security footage of the incident is embedded below: Many who saw the original post asked, “What happened with that case? Was […]

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  • Monday Jul 07, 2014 | 6:12 am

    Maine Supreme Court drops a bomb on foreclosure cases

    As of July 3, 2014 Maine might be the hardest place in America for a bank to foreclose on a residential mortgage. On that day, the Maine Supreme Judicial Court released an opinion in Bank of America v. Greenleaf. Though no one disputed that Greenleaf failed to make $70,000 in mortgage payments, Justice Ellen Gorman, writing for the unanimous court, held that Bank of America could not sue for foreclosure. Read […]

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  • Monday Jun 30, 2014 | 1:48 am

    The Supreme Court’s last 10 decisions of OT 2013, 8 down 2 to go

    Last week was a big one at the U.S. Supreme Court. The justices issued eight opinions and only two argued cases remain undecided. The decisions this week covered cell phone searches, abortion clinic buffer zones and greenhouse gas regulation. The remaining cases consider employee health coverage for contraception and compulsory union dues. Only two cases left There are only two cases left to decide this term and opinions are expected Monday 6/30/14 […]

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  • Wednesday Jun 25, 2014 | 12:30 pm

    Supreme Court finds warrantless cell phone searches unconstitutional

    Today, the Supreme Court decided Riley v. California and ruled that it’s generally illegal for police to search the digital data on an arrestee’s cell phone without a warrant. Chief Justice Roberts wrote for the unanimous court and Justice Alito filed a concurring opinion. The decision consolidates two cases that presented similar issues. Riley v. California California Police arrested Riley and, with no warrant, searched his smart phone for evidence that […]

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  • Monday Jun 23, 2014 | 5:11 am

    U.S. Supreme Court news: last week’s opinions & cases still pending

    If you like watching the United States Supreme Court, then this is like harvest season. As the term winds down, the Court scrambles to release opinions in still pending cases. The Justices issued six opinions last week and more are expected today, Wednesday and Thursday. SCOTUSblog live coverage begins at 9:15. Here is a look at what happened last week and what to look forward to in the coming days. Cases decided […]

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    Thursday Jun 19, 2014 | 9:14 am

    Straw purchaser or handgun bargain shopper?: Abramski v. U.S.

    This week, the supreme court decided Abramski v. United States. The court affirmed Abramski’s felony conviction for being a firearm “straw purchaser” even though Abramski and the man he bought the gun for were both legally allowed to buy and possess firearms. Facts of Abramski’s case Bruce Abramski was fired from his job as a cop over theft allegations. Still, he had his old cop ID and hoped to use it […]

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