12Jul 2017

There used to be 300 death sentences pronounced each year in the United States. Last year, there were just thirty. Capital punishment has now been outlawed in nineteen states and in other states it is decreasing in its imposition. Jurors are increasingly reluctant to impose it. Last year, only twenty-seven counties out of more than […]

11Jul 2017

A Florida judge recently received an anonymous birthday card and $10,000 in cash. He didn’t know what to do with it and temporarily turned it over to the sheriff’s department. Should he keep it? Should he donate it to a charity? The Florida Supreme Court’s Judicial Ethics Advisory Committee said that he should do either […]

05Jul 2017

The United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit ruled today in Gordon v Lafler that a judge’s conduct could not arise to a due process violation. Throughout the trial the judge and defense lawyer had exchanged comments that certainly could influence a jury. In addition, the judge found the defense lawyer in contempt […]

30Jun 2017

There is no question that Tennessee is a gun friendly state, and this year’s legislative session proved it. Two important gun rights were added to those already enjoyed by Tennesseans. First, Tennesseans can now manufacture and possess silencers legally. The Tennessee Hearing Protection Act of 2017 will not affect federal regulations but it will remove […]

26Jun 2017

The United States Supreme Court recently decided in Lee v United States that when one pleads guilty based on his counsel’s errors and gives up the right to a trial, which he certainly would have exercised had he known the consequences of his plea, he is entitled to a new trial. Lee was charged with […]

22Jun 2017

We are all entitled to a public trial. The public and the press are also entitled to a public trial in order to ensure that free society is open and subject to inspection. The United States Supreme Court decided a public trial case today in Weaver v Massachusetts. Because of space issues, the courtroom was […]

21Jun 2017

For those who don’t follow college baseball, Luke Heimlich is the ace pitcher for Oregon State, who enters this year’s College World Series as the favorite with a 54-4 record this season. In 2012, Heimlich pleaded guilty to one felony count of sexually molesting a 6-year-old female relative in Washington (his home state). Heimlich registered […]

20Jun 2017

The United States Supreme Court reversed an Alabama case in which the defendant was denied an expert mental health professional yesterday. In an unusual application of the Anti-Terrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act, the Court held that to deny him mental health assistance in his capital case was an unreasonable application of Supreme Court law. […]

19Jun 2017

The United States Supreme Court today in Packingham v North Carolina addressed a North Carolina law which makes it a felony for a registered sex offender to access a commercial social networking website where the sex offender knows that the site permits minor children to become members or create and maintain person web pages. Mr. […]

15Jun 2017

Inmate telephone calls in jails and prisons have become, in most places, prohibitively high in cost. Because of this issue, the Federal Communications Commission placed a cap on inmate placed calls. The District of Columbia Court of Appeals has ruled that the FCC exceeded its statutory authority by placing a cap on intrastate calls. They […]

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