The Criminal & College Discipline Blog

By Scott Limmer

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

Widespread COVID-19 Threats Faced by Jails and Prisons Across the Country

As the global pandemic affects daily life worldwide, both national and state governments are trying to come to terms with COVID-19 threats and its effects of inmates and corrections staff in America’s jails and prisons. The Bureau of Prisons (BOP), which runs the 122 federal corrections facilities nationwide last year holding about 220,000 inmates, or […]

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High Court: Warrantless Blood Draw Okay if Driver Unconscious

The Fourth Amendment protects against unreasonable searches and seizures and has generally been interpreted to mean police need a warrant to test blood from a driver suspected of drunk driving. As recently as 2013, the U.S. Supreme Court in a 5-4 decision (Birchfield v. North Dakota) ruled police had violated constitutional rights of a DUI […]

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High Court Weighs Life Sentence for Underage Washington Sniper

In an early case during its new term, on October 16 the U.S. Supreme Court heard an appeal by Lee Boyd Malvo of the sentence of life without possibility of parole Virginia gave him in 2004 for his role in a series of lethal sniping attacks in the nation’s capital region during the autumn of […]

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New York State Bans Sex-Based “Panic Defenses” to Murder

New York has by legislation disallowed the so-called gay or trans “panic defenses” to murder charges, in which defendants argue their legal responsibility should be lessened due to the killer’s revulsion at the victim’s sexual or gender identity. The legislature easily passed, and on June 30, Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed into law S. 6573, which […]

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High Court Hears Challenge to New York City Gun Transport Law

For the first time in nearly a decade, the U.S. Supreme Court on December 2 heard arguments on Second Amendment issues. In New York State Rifle and Pistol Association v. City of New York, the state affiliate of the National Rifle Association and three New York City residents challenge regulations city police adopted banning licensed […]

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Google Cellphone Data May Tell Police if You Were by a Crime Scene

You probably regard your cellphone or smartphone as an invaluable communication tool. But, to their regret, some criminal defendants are learning the mobile phones they carry with them can communicate with police searching for suspects and tell them if they happened to have been near the scene of a crime around the time it was […]

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Circuit Court Casts Dubious Eye on Campus Speech Police

A federal appeals court stopped short of halting the activities of the University of Michigan’s Bias Response Team (BRT), but suggested such campus organizations might be unlawfully curbing students’ privileges, and instigating free speech rights violations. Last year, Speech First, an advocacy group based in Washington, D.C., sued the university in federal court, claiming it […]

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Blocked by One Court from Resuming Federal Executions, DOJ Tries Again

Last July, the Trump Department of Justice (DOJ) said it planned to end a lengthy hiatus on federal executions (the last occurred in 2003) and carry out death sentences on four convicted murderers of children. Attorney General William Barr also directed the Bureau of Prisons to use a single-drug lethal injection protocol using the sedative […]

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Upstate County Criminalizes Behavior to “Annoy” the Police

Being annoying won’t do much to advance your popularity or social life, but in one upstate county, New Yorkers might go to jail for being annoying — if a person they’re annoying is working for the police force or other public safety organization. Jailtime for Individuals Who Annoy Police Officers? In Monroe County, which includes […]

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New York Governor Will Try Again to Legalize Adult Pot Use

Although failing to make good last year on his plan to legalize adult recreational use of marijuana (or, as the New York penal code has it, “marihuana”), Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) has renewed his intention to make that a priority part of his wide-ranging 2020 agenda, which is dubbed “Making Progress Happen.” In his annual […]

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