U S ATTORNEY DENIED ABSOLUTE IMMUNITY FOR ADMINISTRATIVE ROLE

Lawyers for U. S. Attorney Daniel Zachem filed a writ of certiorari with the Supreme Court challenging a D. C. Circuit Court decision denying him immunity in a case in which Zachem and Suzanne Bailey-Jones, a District of Columbia Superior Court official removed Peter Atherton from the grand jury. The rule allows only the presiding judge or his/her designate to remove grand jurors. But after complaints from other members of the grand jury that Atherton was disruptive Zachem went to […] Read more »

THIRD CIRCUIT COURT OF APPEALS UPHOLDS TERRY SEARCH

In United States v. Johnson the Third Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the Terry search of Anthony Johnson and affirmed his conviction for possession of a weapon by a convicted felon. Tammy Anderson a resident of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania called 911. She told them that she saw a white taxicab pull up next to a van across the street from her residence. She said she saw two men get out of the taxicab and she heard a shot. It was too […] Read more »

THE SUPREME COURT FINDS NEW YORK CITY’S RICO SUIT AGAINST INTERNET CIGARETTE SELLER TOO ATTENUATED

The Supreme Court in Hemi Group, LLC v. City Of New York limited the use of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) in cases where the alleged violation of the law is too attenuated from the loss of money. “RICO provides a private cause of action for ‘any person injured in his business or property’” as a result of 18 USC 1962, the criminal provisions of RICO. “Specifically, §1962(c), makes it ‘unlawful for any person employed by. . […] Read more »

THEY GAVE THEM A CHOCOLATE . . .WHAT?

Marcus A. Wellons was tried and convicted for rape and murder in Georgia.He was sentenced to death. They must have a strange sense of humor in Georgia. At the end of the trial the jurors gave the judge a chocolate penis and the bailiff a chocolate imitation of a women’s breasts. I do not know what the judge or the bailiff thought but the United States Supreme Court was not amused. But before the matter got to the Supreme Court […] Read more »

SUPREME COURT REJECTS INCOMPETENCE OF COUNSEL CLAIM FOR FAILURE TO FURTHER INVESTIGATE RETARDATION CLAIM

Well if anyone thought that Justice Sonia Sotomayor was a bleeding heart liberal they were wrong. Nor is she a Justice Thurgood Marshall or a Justice William J. Brennan who thought that the death penalty was cruel and unusual. Yesterday she wrote on behalf of a 7-2 majority (Justices Stevens and Kennedy in the minority) upholding the death penalty for Holly Wood against claims of incompetence of counsel. The primary question on appeal was whether counsel’s decision not to investigate […] Read more »

THE UNITED STATES SUPREME COURT RULES THAT VOIR DIRE SHOULD BE OPEN TO THE PUBLIC

The Supreme Court yesterday reversed the Georgia drug conviction of Eric Presley due to the judge’s refusal to allow Presley’s uncle to be in the courtroom, or even on the same floor of the DeKalb County Courthouse during jury voir dire. The Sixth Amendment, among other things guarantees “the right to a speedy and public trial.” The trial judge stated that he did not want jurors to be put into a position where they might hear out of court statements […] Read more »

FBI ERRS IN BIN LADEN PICTURE

According to the FBI’s web page, the FBI uses the latest age progression technology to facilitate arrests. But this time they goofed big time. Age progression photography is updating the picture of a suspect to attempt to determine what a person looks like in the present, based upon pictures of how the person looked in the past. Wikipedia defines it as “[a]ge progression is the process of modifying a photograph of a person to represent the effect of aging on […] Read more »

FAROUK SHAMI–STARTING A VIGILANTE WAR?

Farouk Shami is a self made millionaire who lives in Houston and is running for the Democratic nomination for governor of Texas. He claims to have come to this country from Palestine with $71.00 in his pocket and to now be worth millions. While attending college in this country he got a job as a cosmetologist and eventually formed a company manufacturing cosmetology products Today he is a millionaire running for governor of Texas. How smart do you have to […] Read more »

SUPREME COURT UNANIMOUSLY FINDS OVERWHELMING EVIDENCE SUPPORTING DEATH PENALTY

An Ohio jury recommended the death sentence for Frank G. Spisak and the judge imposed the sentence for the murder of three people and the attempted murder of two people at Cleveland State University in 1982. After s a series of appeals and petitions for a writ of habeas corpus the matter came before the Supreme Court on a petition for habeas corpus. Spisak made two claims in his petition. First he claimed that the jury instructions unconstitutionally required the […] Read more »

SUPREME COURT REVERSES GRANT OF HABEAS CORPUS FINDING DNA EVIDENCE SUFFICIENT

The Supreme Court reaffirmed Jackson v. Virginia. In Jackson v. Virginia the Supreme Court held: that a state prisoner is entitled to habeas corpus relief if a federal judge finds that “upon the record evidence adduced at the trial no rational trier of fact could have found proof of guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.” This week in E. K. McDaniel v.Troy Brown the Court stated that Federal Courts can only grant a writ of habeas corpus if no rational trier […] Read more »