FOURTH CIRCUIT UPHOLDS TERRY SEARCH IN GANG CASE

Edith Hernandez-Mendez and seven young Hispanic men were hanging out across the street from Montgomery Blair High School (BHS) shortly before the end of the school day. The previous day a member of a Hispanic gang was stabbed a couple of miles from the school and the police gang unit decided to surveil the area around the school. Members of the Hispanic gangs attended the school though apparently the police knew of no connection between students at the school and […] Read more »

FBI STING CATCHES MUSLIM FUNDAMENTALIST IN BOMB PLOT

Mohamed Osman Mohamud was arrested in a sting operation for Attempted Use of a Weapon of Mass Destruction. Mohamud, a 19 year old United States citizen, born in Somalia, is accused of attempting to detonate a bomb during the Christmas tree lighting in Portland, Oregon’s Pioneer Courthouse Square last Friday. In December 2009, according to an FBI declaration supporting the arrest warrant for Mohamud, he sent an email to a friend in Pakistan involved in terrorist activities stating that he […] Read more »

THIRD CIRCUIT FINDS QUALIFIED IMMUNITY BUT RULES THAT COMMUNITY CARETAKING EXCEPTION DOES NOT APPLY TO RESIDENCES

Lawrence Ray was going through a difficult divorce. He had custody of his daughter. His wife arrived at his house to pick up their daughter for visitation. She could see a man inside the house but no one answered the door when she knocked on the door. She called the police. They arrived but the man still did not answer the door. The officers called the local judge who wrongly issued an arrest warrant and told the officers that they […] Read more »

EIGHTH CIRCUIT UPHOLDS SEARCH OF RESIDENCE FOR GUNS DESPITE TECHNICAL VIOLATIONS IN THE AFFIDAVIT SUPPORTING THE SEARCH WARRANT

Conservation Officer Jeremy King cited Dale Thurman for illegally baiting deer on property that his father owns. The property had a two story house on it with the address 1025 Zeller Avenue and a mobile home with the address 1035 Zeller Avenue. Thurman told King that he lived in the mobile home. After being cited Thurman asked King if he could use pistols to hunt deer. King told him he could. Thurman said he had pistols and pointed towards the […] Read more »

BORDER SEARCHES OF ELECTRONIC MEMORY

In an editorial last week, The New York Times urged Congress to pass a law limiting border searches of computers to cases where agents have a reasonable suspicion of illegal activity and requiring probable cause and a judicially signed warrant to hold a computer more than 24 hours. Under current law any agent checking luggage or carry-on baggage at a border can indiscriminately search and detain a computer. A supervisor’s permission is only needed if it a laptop, smart phone, […] Read more »

AHMED KHALFAN GHAILANI CONVICTED ON ONE COUNT–CIVILIAN COURTS SHOW THAT THEY CAN HANDLE MAJOR TERRORIST TRIAL

Ahmed Khalfan Ghailani, the first Guantanamo detainee tried in a civilian court, was convicted of conspiracy to damage or destroy U.S. property but was acquitted of the remaining 281 counts in the indictment related to the bombing of the United States embassies in Tanzania and Kenya in 1998. He was accused of procuring the truck and the gasoline tanks used in the attacks. He has said that he did not know what they were going to be use to attack […] Read more »

COUNSEL’S ERRORS LEAD TO DENIAL OF APPEAL

Jimmy Walden was convicted of drug-related offenses in Federal Court in Tennessee. He raised two issues on appeal. First he objected to the failure of the trial court to grant his counsel additional time to file motions. Counsel failed to timely file a motion to suppress evidence and the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals agreed with the trial court that he did not have good cause to get an extension of time. The second issue is whether there was sufficient […] Read more »

WOMAN FACES POSSIBLY 20 YEAR FOR SEXTING

A Texas mother is accused of sexting a sixteen year old son of a friend. It is alleged that Lori Darling David texted two nude pictures of herself to the young man. For this she is facing twenty years in prison. Find Law makes light of what I and I suspect most people would consider an outrageous sentence by pointing out that most people in the woman’s situation enter into a plea bargain under which they do not spend any […] Read more »

SUPREME COURT UPHOLDS GUN LAW

In its first criminal justice decision of the 2010-1011 session, Abbott v. United States the Supreme Court tackled a split in the circuits over 18 U. S. C. Section 924(c). Section 924(c) criminalizes possession of a weapon while being involved in a violent or drug-related offense. It states in pertinent part: (c)(1)(A) Except to the extent that a greater minimum sentence is otherwise provided by this subsection or by any other provision of law, any person who, during and in […] Read more »

ICE REFUSES REQUESTS TO OPT OUT OF SECURE COMMUNITIES

ICE claims to have definitively decided not to allow individual counties to opt out of its Secure Communities Program. A number of counties including California’s San Francisco and Santa Clara counties as well as Virginia’s Arlington County and Washington D. C. have requested to opt out of the program following the decision of the state Attorneys General to enroll the state in the program. A community that signs up for Secure Communities electronically provides all fingerprints of those arrested and […] Read more »