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.
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.
Picture this: you've just interviewed for your dream job, and you feel great about it, with the exception of one tiny detail. You've got something on your record. The worst part about it is, the thing that's on your record is an old and minor conviction.
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.
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 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.
Recently, an anonymous jury was used in the high profile case of William Porter. Porter was the first of the Baltimore police officers charged in the death of Freddie Gray to stand trial. While there is precedent for using anonymous juries in certain instances, the practice has seen an uptick in recent years.
Recently, the Supreme Court ruled that Florida's death penalty sentencing procedures are in violation of constitutional rights. The court heard the case of 37-year old Timothy Hurst, who was convicted of murder and sentenced to death in in 1998.
Students and Professor Petition Supreme Court
A group of law students at the University of Utah are petitioning the US Supreme Court in another development in debate over juvenile offenders.
The Supreme Court is hearing a case on a defendant's rights to seized assets that may set new precedent on the subject. The case centers on Sila Luis, a Miami woman who was indicted in 2012 for Medicare fraud. The allegations against Luis claim that she and two co-defendants used bribes and false claims to defraud Medicare of $50 million dollars.