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Shooting at a moving vehicle

Great (and thus rare) legal discussion by Whet Moser in Chicago Magazine: “Why It’s Legal for Police to Shoot at Someone During a Car Chase: CPD officers who shot at Paul O’Neal may have violated procedure, but Supreme Court decisions set a high barrier for legal liability”: Perhaps the law could evolve. Police departments are trying to limit high-speed chases,…

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All charges dropped against the Baltimore Six

Marilyn Mosby said she is dropping all charges against the six Baltimore Police officers in the custody death of Freddie Gray. In the press conference she sounded like a petulant child who was caught out doing bad, and so blames everybody else instead. “Systemic issues,” she said. I think a voice of humility, noble humility, might have served her better.…

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Utah v. Strieff: The not so poisonous tree

The branches of the poisonous tree got pruned a bit. The Supreme Court says that if a cop makes a kinda illegal stop — “mistaken” is the word the Court uses — and then arrests the person after a warrant check, and then finds drugs in a post-arrest search, the drugs are admissible in court. This might seem to go…

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10-32. They’re all going to be acquitted.

I’m calling this trial for the defense. Now I’m only following on twitter, so take this with a grain of salt, but the trial of Goodson — the most culpable of the officers on trial for the death of Freddie Gray — is not going well for the prosecution. Judge Williams told the defensethat they may “truncate their case.” The…

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Officer Nero Acquitted on all Charges

Good. Judge Williams used the law. There was no case. I don’t find this surprising. But then I’ve learned to be surprised by these absurd trials. And I was speaking to a friend here in New Orleans who, naturally, assumed the officers are guilty. She hadn’t read my primer and had no idea this trial had nothing (except politics) to…

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Make misdemeanors great again!

Shoplifting has gotten a boost in California. From the AP: Shoplifting reports to the Los Angeles Police Department jumped by a quarter in the first year, according to statistics the department compiled for The Associated Press. The ballot measure also lowered penalties for forgery, fraud, petty theft and drug possession. … The increase in shoplifting reports set up a debate…

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Illinois v. Wardlow (2000), the Good Parts Version

For all ya’ll too lazy to read Illinois v. Wardlow (2000), here is the key part that relates to the constitutionality of chasing suspects who run from a drug corner. The Freddie Gray scenario is almost exactly similar to Wardlow. (I’ve selectively bolded and also removed the citations, but you can click through for the court cases and such): In…

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“What messy justice looks like: After Peter Liang’s killing of Akai Gurley, DA Ken Thompson does the right thing twice”

Harry Siegel’s excellent column in the Daily News: The progressive prosecutor — elected on a promise to salvage Brooklyn justice from the oxymoronic state his predecessor had reduced it to — did the right thing first in holding the cop to account and convicting him before a jury of his New York City peers, and again in recommending that he…

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“They pursue not the truth”

In case you missed it (I did), here’s some good deep legal analysisfrom Page Croyder regarding the trial of the six Baltimore cops: They pursue not the truth, but in the words of Mosby, “justice for Freddie Gray.” And they will trample over the law, the evidence, their ethical responsibilities and real justice to get there. Croyder doesn’t like Mosby,…

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