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November 2014 Archives

Will New York City's New Marijuana Policy Lead To Court Overcrowding?

The old way of dealing with people found in possession of marijuana has been slowly changing, not only in Colorado and Washington, but in New York City as well. In a historic change, a policy went into effect last week where city cops will stop arresting people on low-level marijuana charges. Instead, if you are caught with less than 25 grams of weed, you will be given a ticket to appear in court (This policy will not apply to people observed smoking on the street. They will still be arrested). If found guilty of the non-criminal violation, a first-time offender will face a fine of $100.

Why Do Innocent People Plead Guilty?

The criminal justice system in this country bears little resemblance to what the Founding Fathers envisioned. To them, the crucial part of the system was the jury trial, which served not only as a truth-seeking mechanism, but also a shield against tyranny.

New York man charged with DWI after crashing into house

Police in New York say that a 30-year-old man was driving under the influence when he lost control of his vehicle and crashed into a residence on Nov. 21. In addition to drunk driving charges, the Scottsville resident is facing counts of leaving the scene of an accident, driving without a valid driver's license and contempt.

Grand Jury Issues Part 3 - Motions to dismiss the indictment based on the denial of the defendant's right to testify

In an earlier post, we discussed how a prosecutor serves a dual role in the grand jury - that of prosecutor AND judge/legal advisor. So, during grand jury proceedings, prosecutors have "a duty of fair dealing to the accused." This duty of fair dealing encompasses an obligation to ensure fairness in grand jury submissions, which includes notice of the grand jury proceedings that gives a defendant a reasonable opportunity to exercise his right to testify. 

As A Decision Nears In Ferguson, We Answer: What Happens In The Grand Jury? Part 1

After hearing testimony for nearly three months in the death of Michael Brown, the 18-year-old who was shot by Officer Darren Wilson on August 9, a St. Louis County grand jury is nearing a decision on whether to bring criminal charges against the officer.

New York man facing charges for girlfriend's stabbing death

A man is facing charges of criminal possession of a weapon and second-degree murder in connection with the stabbing death of his girlfriend on Nov. 8. Authorities discovered a 68-year-old woman with multiple stab wounds at a Queens apartment when they responded to an emergency phone call. The woman was pronounced dead at the scene by emergency personnel. Following an initial investigation, the woman's boyfriend was taken into police custody.

Nearly 500,000 cigarettes plus zero tax equals...prison?

Recently, a 67-year-old Moroccan was driving across Staten Island just after midnight when he was pulled over by the police. Law enforcement did not stop him for drunk driving, speeding or any other traffic law infraction. They did not suspect him of transporting cocaine or meth. They simply pulled him over because he had cigarettes in his van.

Man attempts to eat DWI test results

A man in New York state has been taken into custody after allegedly trying to eat the results of his DWI test. According to police reports, the man was stopped for speeding on the highway around 5:30 a.m. on Nov. 2. The officer on the scene believed that he was intoxicated and subsequently detained him.

Is a proclivity for violent behavior simply in some peoples' genes?

An individual's genetic makeup dictates many things. From the way we look to the medical conditions or diseases we are born with or later develop, much is predetermined by an individual's genes. The role that genes play in influencing behavior is an area of great interest to scientists and sociologists who aim to discover the role genes play in influencing behavior.

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