Supreme Court Curtails Civil Asset Forfeiture

For years, state and local police departments have been piggybacking on federal investigations and statutes that allow for the forfeiture of property derived from or involved in criminal activity. While the law was intended to deprive criminals of the ill-gotten fruits of their illegal labor, too many police departments began seizing cash and property from …

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Supreme Court Denies Muslim Death Row Inmate’s Request for Imam at Execution

Despite Alabama prisons allowing Christian ministers and spiritual advisors to attend executions, and despite a last-minute appeal from a Muslim death row inmate to have his imam accompany him at his execution, and despite the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals decision to stay his execution in order to hear his First Amendment arguments, the Supreme …

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What’s a Violent Felony? Supreme Court Just Lowered the Standard

Repeated violent felonies can have dire consequences for some criminals. Many states, and the federal government, have three-strike type rules that require mandatory sentencing for certain convictions post-third-strike. Therefore, defendants can, and should, fight tooth-and-nail to keep convictions from coming under violent felony codes. But what is “violent”? According to the United States Supreme Court, …

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Burglary Includes Breaking Into a Mobile Home or Tent, Supreme Court Rules

Call it a sign of the times. The United States Supreme Court recently ruled that non-traditional homes can suffice for the “structure” requirement needed for the definition of burglary. SCOTUS States Structures Can Be Untraditional Burglary, though a state crime, is generally described as the unlawful entry into a dwelling with the intent to commit …

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