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» Entries tagged with "officers"

Nothing Better To Do

My biggest takeaway from State v. Foncette is that there must be no crime in Tempe. Officers stopped Foncette, apparently smelled marijuana, and brought a drug dog to the scene. The dog alerted, but they found nothing. They proceeded to follow him to a hotel and walked with the dog down the hallway outside of the room where he was staying. The dog alerted outside of his room, and officers knocked. When he opened the door, officers apparently smelled marijuana again. Foncette left the room when officers asked, but his companion did not. Police then detained both of them, and they subsequently got a warrant for a nighttime search of the hotel room. They found a lot of marijuana. Obviously, there were no burglaries in Tempe that night. I am sure … Read entire article »

Filed under: Arizona Cases, Drugs, Medical Marijuana

More Than Race

I’m hesitant to write a post making a similar point to my last one, but as one article after another comes out discussing racism in this country in the wake of another white cop avoiding indictment after murdering an unarmed black man, this time with clear video, I worry we’re only having part of the conversation. Race is part of problem. It may even be most of the problem right now. It’s also the reason why most people are even thinking about the issue of police violence. Unfortunately, I worry that it’s not the part of the problem we can fix. Although I’m not as optimistic or congratulatory about our progress, Chris Rock makes some amusing and likely accurate observations about race relations in this country: “When we … Read entire article »

Filed under: Government Rants

Food for Thought

A few Fridays ago, I spent the day in a very short jury trial. In that one short day, I was given more food for thought than I ever could have imagined. Between dawn and dusk, I strengthened a few existing beliefs, reconsidered many more, and even managed to drink a beer or two afterwards while trying to make sense of what happened. Here’s what I learned… You are entitled to a jury trial in an Arizona reckless driving case I initially told my client that I didn’t think he was actually eligible for a jury trial in a case involving a single count of class 2 misdemeanor reckless driving. I didn’t even believe he was actually going to get one when he showed me his hand-written pro … Read entire article »

Filed under: Prosecutors, Trial

Blurring Lines

I picked a jury last week. During voir dire, I noted something that struck me as particularly interesting. I wondered if there was much to read into it. I noticed most members of the panel drew no distinction between law enforcement experience and military service. When the judge asked the jurors if they or any close friends or family had any law enforcement experience, most people who answered in the affirmative did so because they had friends or family in the armed forces. My impression was that they viewed the two as being the same because they view both soldiers and cops as protectors. I found the lack of distinction troubling. Maybe it’s the libertarian in me, but I’m bothered by the increasing police militarization in this country. … Read entire article »

Filed under: Uncategorized

Lying Officers on Appeal

When I review evidentiary hearing transcripts for appeals, I cringe when officers opine about what they saw defendants do. Officers are always 100% sure about what was going on, whether their opinions match the facts or not. A lot of the time, an officer’s opinion about what a defendant did can make a defense motion fail. Any movement by a defendant is a “furtive gesture” suggesting he was hiding something. If the defendant says his pants were falling down and he had to pull them up, the cop will say the defendant was trying to hide something in his pants. “There was no good reason for Mr. So-and-So to be pulling up his pants.” The trial court will almost always agree with the officer and find … Read entire article »

Filed under: Government Rants, Police, Post-Conviction

Wow

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

Filed under: Police

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