FIRST CIRCUIT COURT OF APPEALS FINDS PROBABLE CAUSE DESPITE POOR POLICE INVESTIGATION

The First Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a finding of summary judgment in favor of the City of Sandown, New Hampshire, its former police chief and a police officer. Ralph Holder and his estranged wife attended their son’s soccer game. During the game it started to rain and Mr. Holder asked his wife if she had brought a long sleeve shirt for their son. She said she hadn’t. A verbal confrontation commenced. Eventually Ms Holder bumped her husband and he […] Read more »

OBSERVERS DO NOTHING AS STUDENT IS GANG RAPED

Saturday, outside the Richmond (California) High School gym where students were attending a homecoming dance a fifteen year old student was gang raped by as many as ten people, some of whom were students or former students while as many as ten other people watched the rape. The rape took place, reportedly, over a period of two and a half hours and no one reported it to the police. Five people are currently in custody–two adults and three juveniles. More […] Read more »

UPDATE: NINTH CIRCUIT GRANTS THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION’S REQUEST FOR IN BANC HEARING ON JEPPESEN

In Mohamed v. Jeppesen Data Plan the Ninth Circuit reversed a Northern District of California decision upholding the Bush/Obama administrations’ use of extraordinary rendition. Extraordinary rendition is the transportation of individuals from one country to another often for the purpose of torture or to avoid the requirements of extradition treaties. In Jeppesen five people who were abducted and transported to foreign jails run either by the CIA or foreign governments are suing a CIA contractor for its part in arranging […] Read more »

DOCTORS REFUSE TO PARTICIPATE IN OHIO STUDY OF EXECUTION METHODS

On September 15 Romell Broom was scheduled to be executed by the state of Ohio. Ohio uses lethal injections for executions. After two hours the executioner was unable to find a vein and inject the poison. At that point Governor Ted Strickland suspended the execution. Since then all executions have been delayed pending a study of the best way to carry out the executions. But Ohio has a problem. They have only been able to find one doctor willing to […] Read more »

SAN JOSE POLICE OFFICERS ATTACK UNARMED STUDENT WITH BATON AND TASER

Another police officer has been caught on a cell phone camera beating an unarmed person. San Jose officer Kenneth Siegel was called to an apartment where two roommates were fighting. He arrested Phuong Ho on assault charges. The officer claims that Ho resisted arrest but a third roommate photographed the arrest with his cell phone. It shows numerous hits with a metal baton. At least one of the hits occurred after another officer had placed Ho into handcuffs. While Siegel […] Read more »

SAN FRANCISCO BOARD OF SUPERVISORS VOTES TO AMEND SANTUARY POLICY

San Francisco (along with a number of other cities including Austin, Baltimore, and New York) is a sanctuary city. A sanctuary city is one that is friendly to immigrants. It does not cooperate with the Federal government when the government wants to deport illegal aliens. There are exceptions to the sanctuary policy. For example city employees will report suspected felons to ICE for deportation. Until July this exception did not apply to juveniles in San Francisco. The San Francisco Chronicle […] Read more »

JUSTICE DEPARTMENT REJECTS RULE EXPANDING DISCOVERY OF EXCULPATORY EVIDENCE

Following the reversal of the conviction of Senator Ted Stevens for discovery violations by the Justice Department, judges, defense attorneys and prosecutors have discussed means to improve the discovery process. Some including U. S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan who presided over the Stevens trial want to revise Rule 16 of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure which deals with discovery issues so that it requires that United States Attorneys turn over all exculpatory evidence. Currently Rule 16 does not require […] Read more »

DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE ANNOUNCES NEW MARIJUANA POLICY

The Department of Justice announced a new policy affecting the fourteen states which have medical marijuana laws. The Department directed U. S. Attorneys in those states not to prosecute medical marijuana users or provider of medical marijuana who strictly comply with state laws. The new policy is in line with campaign promises made by Barack Obama when he ran for president and statements made by Attorney General Eric Holder. The letters to the U. S. Attorneys said that while possession […] Read more »

CHANGE OF VENUE GRANTED IN BART KILLING

Alameda County, California Superior Court Judge Morris Jacobson granted the motion of former Bay Area Rapid Transit police officer Johannes Mehserle for a change in venue for his trial for the murder of Oscar Grant who he shot during an investigation of a rowdy incident on the subway at the Fruitdale Station in Oakland. Judge Jacobson looked at six factors in determining the need for a change of venue. First he considered the nature and gravity of the offense. Since […] Read more »

FIRST CIRCUIT FINDS SEARCH OF AUTOMOBILE PASSENGER LEGAL

The First Circuit Court of Appeals reversed a ruling by the District Court suppressing evidence on Fourth Amendment grounds and upheld a search by a Hooksett, New Hampshire police officer. Officer Aaron Brown of the Hooksett, New Hampshire Police Department pulled over a vehicle driven by Renee LaFontaine for having a burned out headlight. After informing LaFontaine of the reason he pulled her over, Brown questioned Vincent Chaney who was in the right front seat. He asked Chaney for his […] Read more »