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May 2016 Archives

Discrimination in Jury Selection Proved in 1987 Case

On Monday, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of Georgia death row inmate Timothy Tyrone Foster. In a 7-1 decision, the High Court ruled that the prosecution in Foster's case had illegally discriminated against potential jurors based on race.

22 Accused of Committing $13.1 Million in Food Stamp Fraud

According the Miami Herald, a recent raid on a poplar flea market has resulted in 22 people being charged in food stamp fraud. If found guilty for taking what amounts to $13.1 million in government issued food assistance, the arrests would be the largest food stamp fraud case in the country to date.

Florida's Death Penalty Conviction Practices Under Scrutiny

Recent state court decisions and amendments to the laws surrounding the constitutionality of death penalty sentencing practices in Florida are being challenged by judges in multiple cases. In the most recent development, a Miami-Dade judge found the death penalty to be unconstitutional based on the fact that it does not require unanimity of the jury. Florida Circuit Judge Milton Hirsch put it this way: "A decedent cannot be more or less dead. An expectant mother cannot be more or less pregnant. And a jury cannot be more or less unanimous. Every verdict in every criminal case in Florida requires the concurrence, not of some, not of most, but of all jurors - every single one of them."

Is the "Textalyzer" the Next Tool of Highway Patrols?

Everyone has heard of the Breathalyzer, the device which determines a driver's blood-alcohol level, but new on the driver's stage we have what is known as the "Textalyzer", a tool invented to keep people from texting and driving. Although the invention is still in its early stages, states are beginning to adopt the new technology as a way to prevent traffic accidents and provide incriminating proof of texting while driving should an accident occur.

Supreme Court Questions Constitutionality of Breathalyzer Tests

Earlier this month, the Supreme Court considered the fourth amendment implications of the administration of breathalyzer tests for suspected drunk drivers. While it is true that in all 50 states there are laws which allow a person's driver's license to be revoked if they refuse a breathalyzer, some states, along with the federal government, have additional laws. These laws include criminal punishment and even jail terms for a person who refuses to take a breathalyzer test.

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