Wednesday November 26, 2014
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Wednesday November 26, 2014

Contributors: News - Harmless Error

  • Tuesday Nov 04, 2014 | 8:14 am

    46,000 prisoners to be resentenced under reduced Federal drug guidelines

    The blog has been on accidental hiatus in recent weeks while me and some friends opened a new law firm. I’m back, and plan to be posting regularly once again. In April, the United States Sentencing Commission approved the 2014 Federal Sentencing Guidelines. Congress had until 11/1/14 to disapprove them and, since they didn’t, the new guidelines are now effective. That might not sound very exciting, but the 2014 guidelines […]

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  • Monday Oct 06, 2014 | 8:12 am

    U.S. Supreme Court opens for business: 1st oral argument & new cases granted

    Today at 10am the U.S. Supreme Court will hear it’s first oral argument of the 2014 term. The case is North Carolina v. Heien and it asks whether a police officer’s mistaken understanding of the law can be the basis for a constitutionally valid traffic stop. You can read my post about the case here, and there’s a much more comprehensive argument preview at SCOTUSblog. Last week, the court granted […]

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  • Thursday Oct 02, 2014 | 12:13 pm

    Supreme Court’s 1st case asks: can cop’s mistake justify a traffic stop?

    This term, the U.S. Supreme Court will begin hearing oral arguments on October 6, 2014. The first case, Heien v North Carolina, presents a pretty cool criminal law issue; it considers whether a police officer’s mistaken understanding of the law can be a valid basis for making a traffic stop. Facts of the case In order to stop a vehicle, a police officer only needs objectively reasonable suspicion of some criminal […]

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    Tuesday Sep 30, 2014 | 11:40 am

    Caius Veiovis: scary looking Mainer gets life on iffy MA murder

    Roy C. Gutfinski Jr. once lived in Augusta Maine and spent 7.5 years in the Maine state prison for aggravated assault. After his release in 2008, he changed his name to Caius Domitius Veiovis (the name, he insists, is NOT based on the Twilight series) and relocated to western Massachusetts. Unfortunately, he got into a bit of a scrape there too. In 2011 Veiovis was arrested for his alleged role in […]

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  • Tuesday Sep 16, 2014 | 1:18 pm

    Posse Comitatus? How a military investigation set a child pornographer free

    The Posse Comitatus Act is an 1878 federal law that prohibits the military from doing domestic law enforcement. The act doesn’t come up that much and defendants seldom actually win because of it. That’s why I was surprised to see the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals decision in United States v. Dreyer. The court found a Posse Comitatus violation and tossed out the child pornography that sent Michael Dreyer to prison for 18 […]

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  • Monday Sep 15, 2014 | 1:56 pm

    Interesting items: Haitian sex abuse defamation, executing the innocent

    Two completely unrelated stories caught my attention today. The first draws a strange connection between a Haitian orphanage, clergy sex abuse and a Maine man with an axe to grind. The second considers what a federal judge might do if faced with an innocent man condemned to die. An orphanage in Haiti and a defamation suit in Maine Scott Dolan wrote an interesting piece for this paper discussing a defamation […]

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  • Friday Sep 12, 2014 | 11:17 am

    Steve Robinson might have committed a felony by recording that conference call

    Steve Robinson, a blogger for the conservative “The Maine Wire” might be in trouble. He secretly recorded a conference call between liberal groups planning a reaction to anti-Mike Michaud adds. The Attorney General is now investigating the situation for possible criminal prosecution. Though Robinson initially claimed that he got the recording from a source, he has since admitted that he made the recording himself. Obviously, Robinson was not invited to participate […]

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  • Thursday Sep 11, 2014 | 7:31 am

    Today’s Pistorius verdict shows differences between South African & U.S. law

    The Oscar Pistorius murder trial started in March and today, it’ll be up to the single trial judge to render her verdict. A lot has been said about the possible outcomes and the broader social impact, but for me the case highlights striking differences between the the South African and U.S. Criminal Justice systems. No Jury There are no juries in South Africa criminal trials, and so it will be up to […]

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    Monday Sep 08, 2014 | 11:25 am

    A tour of the guidelines: former VA Governor, Bob McDonnell’s likely sentence

    Last week, a federal jury in Virginia returned guilty verdicts against Bob McDonnell and his wife, Maureen. The two were indicted in January of 2014, just days after Bob McDonnell’s term as Virginia’s Governor ended. The 43 page indictment lists 14 counts mostly related to soliciting and receiving bribes. News outlets have reported that Bob McDonnell faces something like 84 years in prison. While that is hypothetically possible, it’s pretty […]

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