Category Archives: Criminal Law

WaPo: Opinion: ‘The Watch’ blog: Lunch links: Louisiana attorney general approves of arresting people who threaten to file police complaints

WaPo: Opinion: ‘The Watch’ blog: Lunch links: Louisiana attorney general approves of arresting people who threaten to file police complaints by Radley Balko: • Some police in Louisiana are arresting people who threaten to file complaints against them, under the … Continue reading →.. To continue reading this legal news please click Read full information...

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State v. Fincher: No Foundation Required for DRE Testimony

The court of appeals held yesterday in State v. Fincher, ___ N.C. App. ___, ___ S.E.2d ____ (2018), that the trial court did not abuse its discretion when it permitted a drug recognition expert to testify in a DWI trial that the defendant was under the influence of a central nervous system depressant. The defendant argued that the State failed to lay a sufficient foundation to establish the reliability of the drug recognition examination, but the court determined that no such foundation was required as the General Assembly had legislatively sanctioned the admission of this type of evidence under Rule 702(a1)(2). Facts. The defendant in Fincher was having a really terrible day (seriously, read the opinion) before she rear-ended a car in a restaurant drive-thru. The officers who responded to the accident noticed that Fincher’s eyes were red and glassy and her speech was slurred. She told them that she was prescribed several different types of medication and had taken Xanax….. To continue reading this legal news please click Read full information...

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Terrorist Attack Puts Diversity Green Card Lottery in Jeopardy

The diversity green card lottery hit the headlines after a terrorist attack in New York in November 2017. The diversity visa program, also known as the green card lottery, was criticized for allowing an attacker who was an immigrant from Uzbekistan, to come to the US. Sayfullo Habibullaevic Saipov was from Central Asia but he had been living in the US since 2010, sources said. He is accused of driving a rented pickup truck down a busy bicycle path near the World Trade Center in Manhattan killing eight people, reported CNN. President Donald Trump tweeted that he didn’t want the diversity green lottery to continue. He called for a switch to a merit-based immigration system. New York terrorist attack threatens diversity green card lottery Notwithstanding the criticism, the diversity green card lottery has an unusual history, reported USA Today. In 1965, The Immigration Act eliminated quotas that previously determined how many people could immigrate to the U.S. from any….. To continue reading this legal news please click Read full information...

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Competency and Federal Criminal Appeals

A three-judge appeal court recently upheld the dismissal of charges that a man faced after threatening an FBI agent who declared the man mentally incompetent to stand trial. The man was later released from federal custody after spending 22 months in prison. The appeal was an effort to have the incompetency ruling overturned to force prosecutors to take the man to trial. The man planned to call 50 to 75 witnesses at the trial to establish that the FBI had turned against him. The man argued that there was insufficient evidence to establish that he was mentally incompetent. During the criminal case, the man had fired several lawyers, attempted to represent himself, and sent numerous letters to various public officials. The man’s court-appointed attorney declined to comment about the ruling. The Sixth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States guarantees every person the right to a fair trial. One of the elements of a fair trial is that a person is able to adequately….. To continue reading this legal news please click Read full information...

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Exoneree Anthony Graves Speaks Out Against Request to Expedite Death Penalty in Texas

Anthony Graves was incarcerated for 18 years—12 of which were spent on death row—before a federal court overturned his capital murder conviction in 2010. Texas courts had previously rejected all of his appeals. Graves’ case is a prime example of how state courts can make an incorrect decision about a case, and how the protection of federal reviews can save a person’s life—like it did for Graves. Last week, Texas renewed its request to “opt in” to a federal law that would expedite the death penalty by shortening the legal process and limiting appeals options. While proponents of this law claim that it would save the state time and money, it greatly increases the chances of executing an innocent person because it often takes years for lawyers representing those on death row to uncover evidence of innocence. In speaking out against the approval of this law, Graves told the Texas Tribune, “If it were up to the state itself, I would….. To continue reading this legal news please click Read full information...

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