MIRANDA WARNINGS AND THE BOSTON MARATHON BOMBING

There are many interesting legal issues surrounding the Boston Marathon bombing. Today I would like to discuss the Miranda Warning issue. Peace officers investigating the Boston Marathon bombing did not read Dzhokhar Tsarnaev his Miranda rights prior to interrogating him. As any watcher of crime programs on TV knows the cops are supposed to tell a defendant that she/he has the right to remain silent; the right to have his/her attorney present during there questioning and that anything they say […] Read more »

SUPREME COURT DENIES SECOND TRIAL FOR DOUBLE JEOPARDY CASE

After the prosecution rested its case in Lamar Evans’ arson of “other real property” trial the court granted his attorney’s motion for a directed verdict on the basis that the state failed to prove an element of the case. Specifically the trial court held that the prosecution had failed to prove that the property was not a residential dwelling. The court granted the motion and the state appealed. The appellate court found that arson of “other real property” is a […] Read more »

COURT UPHOLDS LIFE SENTENCE FOR CHILD PORN CONVICTION

Paul Pavulak was convicted of possessing and attempting to produce child pornography, attempting to entice a minor, and committing crimes related to his status as a sex offender. The Delaware State Police received information that Pavulak was working for his son’s company and that he was viewing child pornography at the office. They got a search warrant and arrested him after pornography was found on two computers and after searching his email. He was convicted and due to his two […] Read more »

COURT DENIES SUPPRESSION OF GUN AND SHELLS

Police Officers Derek Sullivan and Emmett Macken observed a small group of men outside a rooming house in Manchester, New Hampshire known for drug activity. It appeared as if a drug deal was in progress. The officers followed two of the men, Joshua Lacy and Bryan Bleau to a parking lot behind the residence. Bleau and Lacy were joined by a third man. A black Honda arrived and Bleau got in the passenger side. The car drove away. After a […] Read more »

GRAND JURY RESISTERS INCARCERATED IN SEATTLE

Leah-Lynn Plante, Matt Duran and Kteeo Olejnik were jailed for refusing to testify before a grand jury investigating anarchist activities in the Pacific Northwest. A grand jury is a constitutionally mandated investigative tool used by the United State Attorney to bring charges against an individual for capital crimes or other major crimes. If a person refuses to testify before the grand jury he/she is brought before a District Court judge who grants the individual immunity from being convicted for any […] Read more »

SEVENTH CIRCUIT UPHOLDS BANK SECRECY ACT SUBPOENA

At the request of the Internal Revenue Service a grand jury subpoenaed certain documents from TW pursuant to the Bank Secrecy Act of 1970 (Act). The purpose of the subpeona was to find out whether TW was using offshore banks to avoid paying income tax and whether TW complied with the filing requirements of the Act. TW moved to squash the subpoena claiming that both the requested documents and the act of providing the documents were protected under the Fifth […] Read more »

NY DA TO RETRY GOLDMAN SACHS CASE

Sergey Aleynikov’s Federal conviction for stealing program code from his employer, Goldman Sachs, was reversed by the Second Circuit Court of Appeals which found that his actions were not a violation of Federal law. Aleynikov, who worked for Goldman copied proprietary Goldman code before leaving the company to work for a high-frequency trading startup. He was convicted for theft in Federal Court and spent a year in Prison. However the Second Circuit Court of Appeals reversed his conviction and found […] Read more »

FIRST CIRCUIT UPHOLDS SEARCH OF RESIDENCE AND FAILURE TO MIRANDIZE DEFENDANT

During an FBI investigation of Jake Crooker’s uncle for possession of ricin, a toxic chemical, a small amount of which can kill a person, the FBI obtained a search warrant for Jake’s father’s residence. Jake lived in the home with his parents. As a result of items found during the search he was charged with possession of firearms and ammunition by an unlawful user of a controlled substance, and possession of marijuana. Prior to trial he raised motions to suppress […] Read more »

SUPREME COURT LIMITS INMATE’S RIGHTS UNDER MIRANDA

Randall Lee Fields, a prisoner in a Michigan jail was taken from his cell to a separate part of the building sometime between 7:00 pm and 9:00 pm. He was then interrogated by two armed officers for five to seven hours. He was not given his Miranda rights although he was told he could go back to his cell if he wanted to. During the interrogation he admitted to having sexual acts with a 12 year old prior to his […] Read more »

NINTH CIRCUIT UPHOLDS DEATH PENALTY AGAINST DOUBLE JEOPARDY CLAIM

Robert Jeffery Farmer was convicted of two murders in separate trials in Nevada and sentenced to death. Four circumstances in aggravation were alleged. But the three judge panel only made findings as to two statutory aggravating circumstances, both of which involved claims that the murder occurred during the commission of other felonies. It found both of these to be true. After he was sentenced the death penalty was vacated when the Nevada Supreme Court found the circumstance in aggravation unconstitutional. […] Read more »