TWENTY MONTH SENTENCE FOR FAILURE TO PAY CHILD SUPPORT UPHELD

The Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the twenty month sentence of Michael Lee Knight for failure to pay child support. The Court found that he failed to pay $35,833.13 in child support and that he owed $78,565.85 (including interest?) in restitution. Knight claimed that the trial court did not take into sufficient consideration “his poverty, history of sexual and physical abuse, struggles with drug addiction and bipolar disorder, incarceration while he was to pay child support, and efforts to […] Read more »

JUDGE GRANTS TEMPORARY RESTRAINING ORDER PREVENTING ARIZONA’S ANTI-IMMIGRANT BILL FROM TAKING EFFECT

U.S. District Judge Susan Bolton issued an order restraining the State of Arizona from enforcing significant parts of Arizona’s new restrictive law criminalizing and limiting the activity of illegal immigrants. The order prohibits the enforcement of provisions that: require officers to make a reasonable attempt to determine the immigration status of a person stopped, detained or arrested if there is a reasonable suspicion that the person is unlawfully present in the United States, and requiring verification of the immigration status […] Read more »

UPDATE: JUDGE FACES TWENTY YEARS IN KIDS FOR CASH DEAL

Two Pennsylvania juvenile court judges were indicted for accepting kickbacks in exchange for sending children to a private jail. Often former Luzerne County (Wilkes Barre) Court of Common Plea Judges Mark Ciavarella and Michael Conahan sentenced juveniles to the private jails without appointing lawyers for them on minor offenses. Among the charges for which children were placed in the private jail were for stealing loose change from cars, writing prank notes, possession of drug paraphernalia and mocking an assistant principal […] Read more »

TENTH CIRCUIT DENIES IMMUNITY TO PROSECUTOR FOR REVIEW OF SEARCH WARRANT AFFIDAVIT

The Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals denied immunity to a prosecutor who reviewed a search warrant affidavit for the residence of an on-line journalist at the University of Northern Colorado. Thomas Mink published The Howling Pig. For its editorial column he chose the name of Junius Puke with an altered photograph of Junius Peake, a professor at the school. Mr. Peake was not amused. He contacted the Greeley police. They drafted a search warrant affidavit for the home that Mink […] Read more »

SEARCH UPHELD AFTER OFFICER RECEIVES CONSENT

Eddie Garcia and Nancy Martin Perez were pulled over due to having an obstruction hanging from the windshield of their truck. Their identification, registration and insurance was checked. They were interviewed separately and gave contrasting statements on where they were going and why. A computer check was initiated. During the check the officer asked to look in their trailer. He took a 30 second look with Garcia and they shut the trailer. After the computer check is completed Garcia is […] Read more »

NINTH CIRCUIT UPHOLDS SEARCH FOR WEAPONS

The Ninth Circuit upheld the conviction of Robert Burkett for possession of a gun by a convicted felon. Burkett was a passenger in a speeding vehicle. An officer turned on his overhead light to stop the vehicle but it took an unusually long time to stop. (eight tenths of a mile.) While the officer was stopping the vehicle he saw Burkett in the right front passenger seat making furtive movements. After Burkett was charge he moved to suppress the gun […] Read more »

MAN KILLED BY OAKLAND AND BART POLICE

Only ten days after a jury found former BART police officer Johannes Mehserle guilty of involuntary manslaughter in the killing of Oscar Grant on New Years Day 2009 BART and Oakland police officers killed Fred Collins who was wielding a knife and threatening the officers near the same Fruitvale BART station where Grant was killed. While the official story from the BART and Oakland Police Departments is that five police officers, two from BART and three, from Oakland killed Collins […] Read more »

MIRANDA WAIVER UPHELD DESPITE LOW IQ

The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals held last week that a waiver of Miranda rights by a man with an IQ level in the sixties and who had a brain aneurysm decreasing his IQ by approximately 10 points was valid. James Collins was convicted of murdering his girl friend in the early morning hours of May 1, 2001 after they spent several hours smoking crack cocaine. He had a long history of mental illness and the trial court heard the […] Read more »

MEHSERLE CONVICTED OF INVOLUNTARY MANSLAUGHTER

Johannes Mehserle was convicted of the involuntary manslaughter of unarmed Oscar Grant III who was lying face down on the platform floor at the Fruitdale BART station on New Years 2009 by a Los Angeles jury. The trial was moved to Los Angeles due to fear that Mehserle, who at the time of the shooting was a BART police officer would not get a fair trial in Oakland where he shot and killed Grant after being called to the BART […] Read more »

EL SALVADOREAN SEIZED BY ICE AFTER BEING STOPPED FOR TRAFFIC INFRACTION

An El Salvadorean citizen residing in San Francisco was seized by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) as an illegal alien after he was stopped for making an inadequate stop at a stop sign. When he was stopped the officer asked him for his driver’s license. He did not have one. (Of course it is hard if not impossible for an illegal alien to obtain a driver’s license.) He was then arrested for driving without a license. When his name was […] Read more »