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Archive | 5. Pre-Trial RSS feed for this section

What’s an “analogue”?

October 4, 2012

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If you read the statutes on synthetic cannabinoids, you’ll constantly run into the phrase “and it’s analogues” (sometimes spelled “analog”).  A lot rides on the definition of that word.  Is, for example, UR-144 an “analogue” of JWH-018?  If it is, your prospects are dim at trial.  If it’s not, we’re high-fiving afterwards at the bar […]

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Operation Log Jam finds a wood chipper

September 11, 2012

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Someone find me a case out of the hundreds if not thousands that came out of Operation Log Jam that will go to trial on the science – the chemistry – of Synthetic Cannabinoids.  It isn’t happening.  Not one.  Why not?  The strong arm of the government is belligerently in the face of small businesses […]

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The Importance of an Arraignment

May 16, 2012

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I always chuckle when the media reports in ever-so-serious tones that so-and-so plead “Not Guilty” at his Arraignment.  Everyone pleads “Not Guilty” at their Arraignment.  Pleading guilty is done after filling out a long form and being read the long list of rights the defendant is giving up.  We don’t slow down arraigning dozens of […]

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Preliminary Hearings in Action

May 10, 2012

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I had two Preliminary Hearings today.  I was wired for sound on both, and, to boot, in front of a Magistrate Judge new to me.  I introduced myself around.  My first impression of the Judge was that he looked both serious and seasoned – a good combination.  And, humorously but with a hint of humbleness […]

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Trolling Research Papers, January 2012

January 19, 2012

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Trolling Research Papers, January 2012

I can spend hours at a clip trolling the Social Science Research Network for papers.  Hit “Browse” by the masthead and have at it, or type “Criminal” (or whatever) in the search box then change the sort to “Date Posted, Descending.”  Just watch the original publication date because it doesn’t always coincide with the SSRN […]

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SCOTUS Criminal Opinions – January 10-11, 2012

January 13, 2012

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SCOTUS Criminal Opinions – January 10-11, 2012

The Supreme Court of the United States done us right good – two days, four opinions with criminal-law implications.  We may not like them, but final rulings are always a good thing.  Let’s dig in. We were waiting for Perry v. New Hampshire after our writing on eyewitness testimony, and now we have it.  Here’s the […]

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Eyewitness testimony: Remembering what you didn’t see

December 29, 2011

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Eyewitness testimony:  Remembering what you didn’t see

Set aside the alleged over-importance jurors give to Expert Witnesses when it’s explained from the comfortable confines of his $3,000 hand-tailored suit that Analyses A and B led to Conclusion C with a 99.9944% accuracy, and then the DA rams home during closing argument that Conclusion C points to and only to the guilt of […]

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Excluding Evidence: A Primer and Lesson as the US DOJ Goes Down

December 26, 2011

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Excluding Evidence:  A Primer and Lesson as the US DOJ Goes Down

We’ve all heard of cases where evidence was excluded from the eyes and ears of the jury.  Television is full of dramatic examples.  Wailing waifs can be heard to claim that some criminal “got off on a technicality.”  Probably the first example most folks would give is a cop searching without a Warrant.  That evidence, […]

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Lawsuit of the Day: Married teachers ply 17-year old with alcohol for sex

December 6, 2011

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Lawsuit of the Day:  Married teachers ply 17-year old with alcohol for sex

Oh, my.  This grungy looking couple of 60-somethings got this kid drunk then commenced a threesome.  There seems to be additional victims.  The guy also got nailed for child porn.  Worse yet (from a defense perspective), they developed the relationships over years before commencing The Full Lewinski. The news first hit in April 2011: Daniel Shepard, 62, […]

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Lawsuit of the Day: Children & Youth about to get smacked

November 20, 2011

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Lawsuit of the Day: Children & Youth about to get smacked

Here’s the Opinion out of federal court (Western District, PA) for Bower v. Lawrence County Children & Youth, et al. First, I need to write that Children & Youth have an almost impossible job, analogous to a parole officer – they have to be right 100% of the time.  If C&Y or a PO fail […]

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