NINTH CIRCUIT FINDS USE OF TASER TO BE EXCESSIVE FORCE WHERE THERE IS NO DANGER TO OFFICERS OR CIVILIANS

The Ninth Circuit denied an appeal by the Coronado, California Police Department and Officer Brian McPherson from a denial of a summary judgment motion in a 42 U. S. C. 1983 action by Carl Bryan after McPherson used a taser on Bryan during a stop for failure to wear a seatbelt. The defendants moved to dismiss the action claiming qualified immunity. The court refused to dismiss the action finding that use of the taser was unconstitutionally excessive and a violation […] Read more »

EIGHTH CIRCUIT DENIES CLAIMS OF DOUBLE JEOPARDY AND COLLATERAL ESTOPPEL

Joshua Lee Howe was indicted and tried on charges of conspiracy to commit a robbery and kidnapping resulting in felony murder, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 371; felony murder, in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 1111(a) & 2; kidnapping, in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 1201(a) & 2; being a felon in possession of firearms, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(1); and using or carrying a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence, in violation […] Read more »

MARIJUANA LEGALIZATION UPDATE

Recentlly, measures to legalize marijuana have been introduced in Washington and New Hampshire. Earlier this year simillar measures were introduced in California and Massachusetts. Other states are considering proposals which would either legalize medical marijuana or decriminalize its possession. In California, sufficent signatures have been raised to place legalization on the ballot. The Washington bill would mandate the sale of marijuana in the 160 state run liquor stores and it place a 15 per cent tax on the sales. In […] Read more »

A CHANGE OF VENUE FOR KHALID SHAIKH MOHAMMED?

An article in the New York Times raises the question as to whether the trial of Khalid Shaikh Mohammed On charges of masterminding the 9/11 attack on the Word Trade Center and on United Flight 93 will be tried in New York or whether the venue will be changed to another city. The Sixth Amendment guarantees a defendent in a criminal case , among other rights, the right to an” impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime […] Read more »

NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA DENIES TEMPORARY ORDER PROHIBITING DNA TESTING

U. S. District Judge Charles Breyer refused a request by the ACLU for an order to forbid the state of California from enforcing a proposition which requires that everyone arrested on felony charges be required to give a DNA sample. The ACLU has sued the state to forbid the enforcement of Proposition 69 which required the taking of a DNA sample from everyone arrested on a felony charge. Prior to the passage of Proposition 69 only those convicted of a […] Read more »

NINTH CIRCUIT UPHOLDS FORFEITURE

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the forfeiture of the proceeds of the sale of a warehouse worth $345,000 used to grow marijuana in Oakland. Thomas Grossi owned an Oakland warehouse raided by the California Highway Patrol and the DEA in June of 2004. They seized 2400 plants. He was indicted and convicted of maintaining a property where marijuana was grown and sentenced to two and a half years in prison and forfeiture of the warehouse. On appeal he […] Read more »

CRIME STATISTICS DOWN

Unlike other recessions, crime has decreased during the current  recession. During the first half of the year murder and manslaughter decreased by ten per cent according to the FBI’s latest report. Property crimes fell by cent and violent crimes by 4.4 per cent. At the same time the number of people sentenced to death has decreased. But the number of executions has increased. Due to the time lag between the time an individual is charged with murder and the time […] Read more »

SIXTH CIRCUIT FIND BUIE VIOLATION

Nashville police went to the residence of Derrick Archibald to serve an arrest warrant. It took approximate ten minutes from the time they knocked on the door for Archibald to open the door. During that time the officer nearest the door only heard one person inside. When Archibald opened the door an officer momentarily stepped inside the residence, grabbed him, pulled him outside, handcuffed him and arrested him. Then officers conducted a protective sweep of the unit. During the sweep […] Read more »

NINTH CIRCUIT RULES THAT IDAHO PARDON COUNTS TOWARDS FEDERAL GUIDELINES CRIMINAL HISTORY DETERMINATION

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled yesterday that an Idaho conviction for which the defendant received a pardon under Idaho law remains a prior conviction for the purpose of the Sentencing Guidelines. Clinton DeWitt Bays, Jr. pleaded guilty to a charges of being a drug user in possession of a firearm and possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine. He was sentenced to 78 months in the Federal Penitentiary and he appealed claiming that the District Court judge wrongly considered […] Read more »

UPDATE: JUDGE ALLEGES CONFLICT OF INTEREST IN JAYCEE LEE DUGARD CASE

The California Third District Court of Appeal ruled that El Dorado County Superior Court Judge Douglas Phimister wrongly removed Gilbert Maines as counsel for Nancy Garrido in the kidnapping case of Jaycee Duggard. Last month Judge Phimister removed Maines as counsel for Garrido who is charged along with her husband Phillip with kidnapping and sexually abusing Duggard 18 years ago in South Lake Tahoe. Judge Phimister claimed to have information that Maines shared confidential information about Gerrido while he was […] Read more »