Category: Constitutional Rights

By Scott Limmer

An attorneys blog about criminal law and procedure, college discipline, Title IX and cases of Interest

High Court Won’t Hear Killer’s Appeal on Jury’s Anti-Gay Bias

UPDATE: Charles Rhines was executed at 7:39 PM on November 4, 2019 by lethal injection. Despite trying to halt the execution, all three of his late appeals were denied by the U.S. Supreme Court. He is the 20th person to be executed in South Dakota since 1877, but his sentence still surrounds controversy as the […]


Massachusetts Top Court Okays Requiring Drug-Free Probation

Can a court make a probationer’s staying drug-free a condition of staying out of jail on probation, even if the probationer is already addicted? The top state court in Massachusetts recently answered that question with a resounding “yes,” rejecting a challenge claiming it was cruel and unusual punishment to stiffen probation terms for Julie Eldred, […]


Will New York Police Get to Use “Textalyzers” to Show Drivers Were Texting?

New York, like nearly every state, has a law against texting while driving, yet the practice is still fairly common, according to surveys of driver behavior. One reason is how difficult it is to detect: unless a driver admits it, or a police officer observes a driver using a handheld electronic device, there’s rarely any […]


Pardoned by President, Sheriff Arpaio Wants Conviction Tossed

Donald Trump’s first presidential pardon went on August 25 to Joe Arpaio, the long-time Sheriff of Maricopa County, Arizona, first elected in 1992 to head Arizona’s biggest local law agency  and re-elected five times, before losing a sixth re-election bid last year. Arpaio received a “full and unconditional” pardon for his July 31 conviction on […]


What is Your Right to Film the Police?

Whether you are being questioned by police or are witnessing a police encounter with another person, you may consider recording the interaction. The news has shown how a police recording can provide evidence of whether a police officer has acted lawfully in making an arrest. However, depending on how and where you are filming the […]


Still Some Bugs in California’s Database of Gang Members

About the CalGang Database For over two decades, California law enforcement agencies have been compiling CalGang, a massive state-funded database designed as a shared criminal intelligence resource for local law enforcers. At last count, it identified over 150,000 persons as gang members or gang associates. But a harshly critical audit of the database, requested by […]


Disciplinary Hearings: Many Colleges and Universities Do Them Very Poorly

The failure of schools to fairly handle student disciplinary proceedings is no longer a well-hidden secret, as recent court decisions are spelling out in some detail. Take, for instance, the decision handed down in July this year by a state court in California in the case of Doe v. Regents of the University of California, […]


What You Should Know about Your Miranda Rights

You’ve seen it scores of times, in crime stories on TV and in movies. After collaring a suspect, the detective reels off a now familiar warning, telling the arrestee of his right to remain silent, reminding him anything he says can be used against him in court, mentioning the rights to have a lawyer present […]


Your Right to Remain Silent: How, When and Why You Should Always Use It

“I am invoking my fifth amendment right to remain silent.” We have all seen suspects on police and legal procedurals assert these rights. And we all assume the same thing. The bad guy doesn’t want to incriminate himself. From this, many people have jumped to the common but erroneous conclusion that anyone who asserts the […]

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