Non Sequiturs: 01.06.19

* It’s baaack: partisan gerrymandering returns to the Supreme Court — and in the view of veteran SCOTUS watcher Amy Howe, it’s unlikely that the justices will duck the merits this time around. [SCOTUSblog] * Article III standing and the Stored Communications Act: Orin Kerr argues that it should be viewed through the lens of …

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3 Major Reforms in the New Criminal Justice Bill

The First Step Act, signed into law by President Trump last week, represents just that: a great first step towards criminal justice reform that altered federal sentences guidelines. While there are many other steps that need to be taken — especially at the state and local level — the bill will provide some major changes …

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Jury Recommends Life Sentence for Neo-Nazi Who Drove Into Crowd

A Charlottesville, Virginia jury recommended life plus 419 years in prison, to be served consecutively, for the self-avowed neo-Nazi who ran his car into a crowd of counter-protesters at a white supremacist rally last year, killing one and injuring 35 others. James Alex Fields, Jr. of Maumee, Ohio, was found guilty of murder for the …

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Michael Cohen, Trump’s Former Lawyer and Fixer, Is Going to Prison

Michael Cohen, the man who claims he covered up the president’s “dirty deeds,” was sentenced to three years in prison this morning for his role in funneling hush money to two Donald Trump mistresses in the run-up to the 2016 election. The former lawyer and “fixer,” also received a two-month sentence for lying to Congress …

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Feds Ask for ‘Substantial’ Prison Time for Michael Cohen

The whole idea of having a “fixer” is that the person keeps you out of trouble and doesn’t get caught doing it. It’s safe to say that former Donald Trump attorney Michael Cohen was not a great fixer. Cohen pleaded guilty to eight counts of campaign finance violations, tax fraud, and bank fraud in August, …

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Man Sentenced to 8 Years for Medical Marijuana in Mississippi

Patrick Beadle, a 46-year-old father of two, was sentenced to eight years in prison, without the possibility of parole, for possessing nearly three pounds of medicinal marijuana. He was pulled over for allegedly crossing a double-yellow line, and police found the weed during a routine search. Beadle purchased the marijuana in Oregon to deal with …

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Michigan Man Found Guilty of Assault for Shooting at Teen Asking for Directions

Homeowners generally have the right to defend themselves and their property in their own home. Specifically, the so-called “castle doctrine” says that a homeowner does not have a duty to retreat if they are in their home, though state laws may limit the amount of force allowed and require that an intruder be in the …

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Washington Becomes the Latest State to Abolish the Death Penalty

Washington became the latest state to outlaw the death penalty in the Washington Supreme Court ruling of State v Gregory, in furtherance of Governor Jay Inslee’s vow in 2014 to never have another execution while he was in office. The vote was unanimous, with five justices citing that the “death penalty is invalid because it …

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