NINTH CIRCUIT FINDS BORDER SEARCH TO BE UNCONSTITUTIONAL

Rufino Ignacio Valdes-Vega was driving a Ford F-150 pickup on Interstate 15 (I-15) 70 miles north of the Mexican border in San Diego County, California. A border patrol agent in an unmarked vehicle sitting along side the road took notice of Valdes-Vega. Valdes-Vega was driving in an erratic manner, faster than the flow of traffic and he had a Baja California license on his vehicle. The agent lost track of the vehicle and a second agent continued the surveillance. The […] Read more »

FOURTH CIRCUIT AFFIRMS ACCA SENTENCE

The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed William Thomas Davis’ Armed Career Criminal Act (ACCA) sentence for possession of a weapon by a convicted felon despite the failure of the court and the prosecuting attorney to properly inform him of the maximum sentence for the offense. Both in the plea agreement and at the time of the plea Davis was told that the mandatory minimum sentence was ten years. But at sentencing, where he was sentenced to fifteen years he […] Read more »

LAWYER ACCUSED OF SMUGGLING HIT LIST OUT OF JAIL

Yusuf Bey IV, the leader of Oakland’s Your Black Muslim Bakery was convicted of murdering Oakland Post editor Chauncey Bailey, Michael Wills, and Odell Roberson. At the time of his murder Bailey was investigating violence and financial fraud at Your Black Muslim Bakery. On June 9, 2011 he was found guilty of ordering all three murders. Prior to April 2010 Bey IV was represented on the murder cases by Lorna Patton Brown. Brown resigned after a jail house informant reported […] Read more »

JOE PATERNO, GUILTY?

The Freeh Report commssioned by the Board of Directors of Penn State University blamed the leadership of Penn State for failing to protect children on the campus from being molested by former assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky who was recently convicted of 45 counts of child molestation. Specifically the report by the former Federal Judge and FBI director, Lewis Freeh, pointed the finger at Head Football Coach Joseph V. Paterno, President Graham B. Spanier, Senior Vice President-Finance and Business Gary […] Read more »

CELL PHONE RECORDS BECOME IMPORTANT POLICE TOOL

Despite a reduction in requests for wiretaps the number of law enforcement requests for information from telecommunications companies is increasing. The major cell phone companies responded to 1.3 million requests for information from law enforcement agencies last year. At the same time the number of wiretap requests from state and Federal officials declined by 14 per cent to 2732. Federal judges approved 792 requests and state judges approved 1940 requests for wiretaps. Requests for information to cell phone providers cover […] Read more »

SUPREME COURT CLARIFIES CRACK COCAINE SENTENCING

Under the Sentencing Reform Act of 1984 the quantity of powder cocaine requiring a mandatory five year or ten year was 100 times the amount of crack cocaine requiring the same mandatory sentence. For example a five year mandatory sentence was triggered by either five grams of crack cocaine or 500 grams of powder cocaine. The tremendous ratio was decried by many including the United States Sentencing Commission. It was in part responsible for the outrageous percentage of African Americans […] Read more »

SUPREME COURT FINDS THAT MANDATORY LIFE WITHOUT PAROLE FOR JUVENILES VIOLATES THE EIGHTH AMENDMENT

The Supreme Court ruled last week that mandatory life without parole (LWOP) sentences are unconstitutional in juvenile cases. In two cases, involving 14 year old boys convicted in adult courts in Alabama and Arkansas of murder the Supreme Court reversed the sentence after the boys were sentenced to mandatory life without parole sentences. As in Roper v. Simmons, in which the court outlawed the use of the death penalty for juveniles the Court in Miller v. Alabama found that The […] Read more »

UNITED STATES v. ARIZONA

After Arizona enacted S. B. 1070 which criminalized certain violations of Federal immigration law the Ninth Circuit issued an injunction prohibiting the enforcement of four sections of the Act. The Supreme Court last week upheld the injunction on three sections. The primary issue before the Supreme Court was whether the sections were preempted by Federal law. Under the Constitution Federal law is the supreme law of the land and where there is a conflict between Federal and State law Federal […] Read more »

WE’RE BACK

The server problems have been cured. However you may notice that we are in the process of modernizing our format. This will take several days and at times the appearance may be somewhat irregular but that should not effect our content and we expect to have a newer and more readable format shortly. Read more »