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Civil Rights Archives

Lawsuit Claims Seattle Trash Collecting Policy Violates Their Right To Privacy

In an attempt to get residents to throw away less garbage, the City of Seattle has given each household several different trash bins to put out to the curb - one for yard and food waste, one for recycling, and even smaller cans for stuff that is really trash.

FBI Microscopic Hair Analysis 90% Wrong

The Justice Department and FBI have formally acknowledged that nearly every examiner in an elite FBI forensic unit gave flawed testimony in almost all trials in which they offered evidence against criminal defendants over more than a two-decade period before 2000.

Does solitary confinement violate the 8th Amendment's provision against cruel and unusual punishment?

Members of the Supreme Court rarely speak out publicly about their views on the sorts of issues that are likely to come before them. So it was notable when Justices Kennedy and Breyer sat before the House appropriations committee recently and talked about the plight of the American criminal justice system.

Police Using Noise Blasts To Combat Protestors

During protests in New York City over the past several weeks, a distinct piercing sound could be heard for the first time in this city. The noise, a high-pitched beeping noise, was being emitted from a long-range acoustic device that can shriek repetitive blasts of noise at a volume of up to 152 decibels.

Knock, Knock, It's the Police: A Criminal Lawyers' Analysis of Overzealous Searches And Your Expectation Of Privacy

You are minding your own business, double parked, engine running, while waiting for your friend to run into Chipotle and pick up some burritos. A police officer approaches you and tells you that you are parked illegally. He starts asking you questions......do you have to answer him? Can you drive away? What if he wants to search your car? Should you let him? Can he search it without your permission? If he chases you, do you have to stop?

Microsoft Squares Off With US Gov't In Data Privacy Battle

Microsoft has found itself at the center of an intense legal battle regarding the ability of the United States Government to subpoena data stored abroad. In addition to drawing the attention of constitutional law scholars, tech companies, and lawmakers, the case should also concern private citizens as well.

Unlawful Search Deemed OK Because Cops Were Nice

No provision of the Bill of Rights has had a greater impact upon NY State criminal procedure than the Fourth Amendment. The Fourth Amendment governs searches and seizure conducted by federal and state governmental officers. In our country, searches of an individuals' private property may only be performed after a search warrant is signed by a judge. An exception to this rule is when an individual gives the police valid consent to search their property. This can pertain to anything, including a persons' home, car, phone or handbag. Keep in mind that the prosecution has a heavy burden of establishing that someone consented and that it was voluntarily given. That was the exact issue that presented itself in United States v. Whisenton, a recent Court of Appeals case out of the 8th Circuit.

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