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» Entries tagged with "Police"

Details

Jeff Gamso put up a post today that included, among other things, a portion of a detailed log about what one death row inmate did prior to his execution. For example, at 10:50:23, he asked for grape soda. At 10:55:36, he requested a “special meal” of a T-bone steak with A-1 steak sauce and a “Chief” salad with blue cheese dressing. Details like that make everything feel more real, and in this particular case, those details really humanize that man for me. Knowing his last meal does more to upset me about his execution than all the mitigation in the world. It drives home that the government killed a person. It’s hard for me to think that an evil monster would have a favorite steak sauce … Read entire article »

Filed under: Trial

Trial Reflections

I spent last week in trial. My client was charged with one count of aggravated assault. If he had been convicted and the state proved his priors and its allegation that he was on probation, he faced ten to fifteen years. The theory of the state’s case was that my client kicked his live-in girlfriend in the face five or six times, causing her “temporary but substantial disfigurement.” The jury acquitted my client after a four-day trial and an hour of deliberation. Like any trial, it was an interesting experience. A few things stood out though. I only had the case for about ninety days, and I was the client’s fifth or sixth lawyer, depending on whether you count his third (and last) public defender. … Read entire article »

Filed under: Clients, lawyers, public defenders, Trial

After the Collapse

Defense attorneys, at least the ones I know, regularly speculate about how much time we have before the criminal justice system finally collapses. The argument is never about whether it’s going to happen, but rather about when it’s going to happen. Spend enough time in court with open eyes, and you’ll wonder the same thing. The system is so broken and overflowing with cases that most of us think it can’t possibly last much longer. Always one to embrace a little doom and gloom, instead of talking about how we might prevent the imminent collapse, I’d rather talk a little about how I think things are likely to be after it happens. Here are my predictions: 1) The Bill of Rights as we know it will be just … Read entire article »

Filed under: Practice in General

Unusual DUIs

I’m a huge fan of Lawrence Taylor’s DUI Blog. His post yesterday was about police charging a man on a bicycle with driving under the influence. He previously put up a post about a lawn mower DUI. The most offensive DUI case I’ve heard is probably this one, where a poor lady was cited for wheel chair DUI. Every time I hear about someone getting charged with DUI on something other than a car, truck, or motorcycle, I marvel at the stupidity of anti-DUI zealots. How dangerous are these drunk bicyclists and lawn mowers? More importantly, how much more dangerous are they than a drunk person without transportation? Do authorities really think they’re protecting the public by prosecuting that lady in her wheel chair? … Read entire article »

Filed under: DUI, Police

Really?

I could make a very long list of idiotic misconceptions police officers have about drugs, but my favorite by far is the legendary marijuana green-tongue. Believe it or not, police officers are actually trained to look for a green tongue as an indicator of marijuana use. In fact, the dreaded green-tongue even made it on the NHTSA’s website. I couldn’t make this stuff up. I seriously doubt there is any real scientific research supporting that theory. Sure, the NHTSA claims it’s true and cites plenty of studies, but I’m not about to read every single resource they cite to see how exactly they came to the conclusion that a green-tongue means recent marijuana use. Can anyone point me to the specific study? If there is … Read entire article »

Filed under: Government Rants

Super-nosed Cops

I recently had a case where a police officer claimed he was able to smell a very small amount of unburnt marijuana. The amount was the same weight as a level teaspoon of salt, yet the officer pulled over the truck and performed a search of the vehicle without the client’s permission based solely on the odor of unburnt marijuana. The marijuana was located in the back of a closed camper inside two sealed plastic baggies inside a nylon gym bag filled with clothes. I have absolutely no doubt that the officer couldn’t have possibly smelled that marijuana. However, as a defense attorney few tools exist for me to challenge the claim on a scientific basis. I’ve only located one case where a court took … Read entire article »

Filed under: Police, Search and Seizure

Wow

I hope this isn’t a rule here as well. Or do I? … Read entire article »

Filed under: Police

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