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August 2017 Archives

Court rules warrant for cellphone is unconstitutionally broad

If the police suspect you of a crime, is that enough to justify a warrant to search your home for whatever cellphones and electronic devices you may own? No, it's not, according to a recent federal appeals court decision. If they could, that would open the homes of all suspects to extensive searches, which would be unconstitutional.

Study: Blacks and Hispanics more likely to be searched nationwide

A recent, large-scale study by Stanford University's Open Policing Project has found good evidence that African-American and Hispanic drivers are ticketed and subjected to vehicle searches at a higher rate than whites and that this is due to racial bias. Moreover, the effect does not appear limited to states with histories of discriminatory legislation.

3 things you should know about Ecstasy

Many people think that so-called recreational drugs are no big deal. This is a mistake. While it may be easier to find such drugs and take them, this does not mean that the consequences are any lesser. This is certainly true of substances such as Ecstasy, which is a popular party drug taken by youth and many other demographics. There are a few things you should know about this drug.

DOJ restarts work on validating suspect forensic techniques

In 2015, the FBI revealed the results of its review of hundreds of cases, dating back decades, in which members of its hair analysis unit had testified. In at least 90 percent of the cases, the FBI was forced to admit that its analysts had overstated the strength of evidence involving microscopic hair analysis. Unfortunately, hair analysis is not the only forensic science technique that has been challenged as either unscientific or less reliable than previously thought.

Gun rights for domestic violence offenders before appeals court

A man who was convicted of a misdemeanor domestic violence offense in 1997 has sued the United States Attorney General to get his right to carry a firearm restored. At issue is a federal law, 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(9), which permanently bans the ownership of firearms or ammunition by anyone "who has been convicted in any court of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence."

Criminal justice reformers concerned about possible pot crackdown

Advocates for criminal justice reform have been awaiting recommendations from the president's Task Force on Crime Reduction and Public Safety, and they're are concerned. After observing recent policy pronouncements by Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who leads the task force, they worry the recommendations will signal a major federal crackdown on marijuana possession -- and for a controversial reason.

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Law Office of Christopher A. Connelly
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Charlotte, NC 28204

Phone: 704-376-9376
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