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Posts tagged "criminal defense lawyer"

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."

Assets Can't Be Frozen If Not Tied to a Crime, Supreme Court Says

Late last month, the Supreme Court battled it out over the legality of the government freezing money unconnected to a crime. Justice Stephen G. Breyer said the case was a simple one, that the government can confiscate "a robber's loot, a drug seller's cocaine, a burglar's tools, or other property associated with the planning, implementing, or concealing of a crime." However, there is one thing it cannot do and it is this: freeze money or other assets unconnected to the crime.

Florida Judge Overturns Practice of Surprise Misdemeanor Convictions

Surprise! You've got a misdemeanor on your record. How could this possibly happen without prior knowledge? Well, in Florida, up until recently, it was in fact possible.

Is Use of Certain Emojis Enough to Warrant an Arrest?

A twelve-year-old girl in Fairfax, VA is facing charges in juvenile court after posting a series of emojis in an Instagram post that implied a threat to her school. Emojis, the small pictures used to punctuate texts and social media posts, are a hallmark of smartphone communication. And, like many aspects of digital communication, they are a source of confusion in the courts.

Should Apple unlock its iPhones? Judges Split on Apple's Public Responsibility

Should Apple make a way for law enforcement to access their iPhones? That question continues to play out in the courts, and could have a far-reaching effect on technology and privacy laws in the United States.

Florida lawmaker seek to change how juvenile cases end up in adult justice system

Florida lawmakers are joining advocates for juvenile justice and policy makers in expressing concern about how frequently the state's young offenders are funneled into the adult justice system with a proposed bill. House Bill 129 offers an alternative to give judges more oversight in which juvenile cases are tried in adult court, a power currently yielded largely by prosecutors.

Florida Death Sentence Rejected in Appeals Court Due to Ineffective Assistance of Counsel

Ineffective assistance of counsel is a legal statute that gives persons convicted of a crime a chance to have their case reviewed. It is based on evidence that the defense attorney did a poor job of representation, which resulted in the conviction and/or sentencing. This was the argument that the attorneys of John Gary Hardwick Jr. used in an appeals case with the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

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