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July 29, 2013 Scientific American Magazine:  
Solitary Confinement Is Cruel and Ineffective  

July 29, 2013 Scientific American Magazine:  Solitary Confinement Is Cruel and Ineffective

 

"[S]uch extreme isolation and sensory deprivation can take a severe, sometimes permanent, toll on emotional and mental health. Researchers have found that prisoners in solitary quickly become withdrawn, hypersensitive to sights and sounds, paranoid, and more prone to violence and hallucinations."



 

Anecdotal, however this a good illustration of why an innocent citizens should think twice before performing field sobriety tests.
Disabled man files lawsuit against former Utah trooper Lisa Steed
A disabled man is suing former Utah Highway Patrol trooper Lisa Steed, claiming she put him at risk and caused seizures by forcing him to undergo sobriety tests and jailing him after pulling him over while he was riding his bicycle in 2010.
Michael Tilt claims he was riding his bicycle about 7:30 p.m. Oct. 28, 2010, near 2700 S. Main St. on a trip to a grocery store. Tilt, who suffers from seizures, cerebral palsy and other birth defects, has his bike outfitted with an electric motor to propel the bike when he is unable to pedal, the lawsuit states.
Although anecdotal,  this a good illustration of why an innocent citizens should think twice before performing field sobriety tests.

A disabled man is suing former Utah Highway Patrol trooper Lisa Steed, claiming she put him at risk and caused seizures by forcing him to undergo sobriety tests and jailing him (and withholding his medication to prevent seizures) after pulling him over while he was riding his bicycle in 2010.  Michael Tilt claims he was riding his bicycle on a trip to a grocery store. Tilt, who suffers from seizures, cerebral palsy and other birth defects, has his bike outfitted with an electric motor to propel the bike when he is unable to pedal, the lawsuit states.

 


In some cases DNA evidence has pointed to the wrong suspect.  Statistics can also be exaggerated . . . 


“I honestly don’t know what you’re talking about. I will say this again: I have never fabricated a confession in my life.”


May 21, 2012 Report - More Than 2,000 Exonerations for False Convictions in the US Since 1989

 

EXONERATIONS IN THE UNITED STATES, 1989 – 2012 

REPORT BY THE NATIONAL REGISTRY OF EXONERATIONS

 

Most people who are falsely convicted are not exonerated; they serve their time or die in prison. And when they are exonerated, a lot of times it happens quietly, out of public view,”  - Samuel Gross, Law Professor University of Michigan and Editor of National Registry of Exonerations.

More than 2,000 falsely convicted people of serious crimes have been exonerated in the United States in the past 23 years.  Exonerations in the United States, 1989 – 2012   Report By The National Registry Of Exonerations  

The Columbus Ohio Dispatch Recently published "Report breaks down wrongful convictions" and reports that Ohio’s 28 exonerations ranked eighth among the states, far behind Illinois’ 101. The new study also documents 1,170 exonerations related to 13 police-corruption scandals across the country. Most involved drugs and guns planted on defendants who were later cleared. In 200 cases, drivers were framed on drunken-driving charges, the report said.


Posted: April 10, 2012 Wall Street Journal:  For Feds, 'Lying' Is a Handy Charge


Illustrates another reason why attorneys advise clients to remain silent when dealing with a government official or investigator when they believe that they are  innocent of wrongdoing.  There is serious danger in speaking to a government official.  The "innocent " speaker often does not know  know whether they are  innocent of wrongdoing under federal criminal law .  

    An excellent article that illustrates another reason why attorneys advise clients to remain silent when dealing with a government official or investigator even when they believe that they are  innocent of wrongdoing.  There is serious danger in speaking to a government official.  The "innocent " speaker often does not know  know whether they are  innocent of wrongdoing under federal criminal law.  

   "When federal prosecutors can't muster enough evidence to bring charges against a person suspected of a crime, they can still use a controversial law to get a conviction anyway: They charge the person with lying."


          Title 18, Section 1001, which makes lying to federal officials a felony punishable by up to five years in prison. 

In Ohio, charges of "Obstructing official business" and "Obstructing justice" can be applied in a similar fashion with the same effect.


February 23, 2012  New York Times  -  Why Do Innocent People Confess?

 

Juries don’t want to believe that somebody will confess to a crime he didn’t commit.  Judges don’t want to believe this either. “Well, I don’t understand — why would he confess?”


The Genetic Ripple Effect of Hardship

Scientists are looking for epigenetic changes to help explain how factors like poor parenting and stress in early life degrade physical and mental health later on.

"What are some of the underlying biological mechanisms that can help us understand how we get from the early stress to the later health outcomes?"

Scientists say epigenetic signatures might someday be used to predict people's risk of developing disease. Such patterns also might aid clinicians in diagnosing certain conditions, including psychiatric disorders, earlier or more accurately than by relying on observable symptoms alone.


Posted Feb 8, 2012

2 Former TSU Law Students Sue Over ‘Arbitrary and Capricious’ D Grade in First-Year Contracts Class

and file federal lawsuit in the Southern District of Texas. It contends the D grades they got from an adjunct professor teaching a first-year contracts class were "arbitrary and capricious," intended to "curve them out" of the class rather than objectively assess their performance.


January 2012 News from a Nation in Lockdown  www.solitarywatch.com  - Solitary Confinement: FAQ

A census of state and federal prisoners conducted in 2005 by the Bureau of Justice Statistics–and cited by the Vera Institute of Justice–found more than 81,622 inmates held in “restricted housing.” A widely accepted 2005 study found that some 25,000 of these segregated prisoners were being held in supermax prisons around the country.  . . .  What could possibly go wrong?


January 24, 2012

Justices Rein In Police on GPS Trackers

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled unanimously Monday that police violated the Constitution when they attached a Global Positioning System tracker to a suspect's vehicle without a valid search warrant. 

and its use of that device to monitor the vehicle’s movements, constitutes a search under the Fourth Amendment.  Pp. 3–12.
(a) The Fourth Amendment protects the “right of the people to be
secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures.”  Here, the Government’s physical intrusion on an “effect” for the purpose of obtaining information constitutes a “search.”  This type of encroachment on an area enumerated
in the Amendment would have been  considered a search within the 
meaning of the Amendment at the time it was adopted.  Pp. 3–4.
(b) This conclusion is consistent with this Court’s Fourth Amendment jurisprudence, which until the latter half of the 20th century
was tied to common-law trespass.  Later cases, which have deviated 
from that exclusively property-based approach, have applied the

The Court held that the Government’s attachment of a GPS device to the defendant's vehicle, and its use of that device to monitor the vehicle’s movements, constituted a search under the Fourth Amendment.  

Here, the Court held that the Government’s physical intrusion on an “effect” [vehicle] for the purpose of obtaining information constitutes a “search.”  This conclusion under the Fourth Amendment is is consistent with this Court’s prior holdings tied to common-law trespass.


NOVEMBER 19, 2011

Document Trove Exposes Surveillance Methods

Documents obtained by The Wall Street Journal  open a rare window into a new global market for the off-the-shelf surveillance technology that has arisen in the decade since the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

Documents obtained by The Wall Street Journal  open a rare window into a new global market for the off-the-shelf surveillance technology.

 


January 03, 2011  

 

Update:  Warrentless Search of Cell Phone Data

 

In December 2009 The Supreme Court of Ohio ruled that the Fourth Amendment prohibition against unreasonable searches and seizures requires police to obtain a warrant before searching data stored in a cell phone that has been seized from its owner in the course of a lawful arrest when the search is not necessary to protect the safety of law enforcement officers and there are no exigent circumstances.  State v. Smith

This Ohio ruling is contrary to the rulings of several other States, including California, where it has been held that police officers may lawfully search mobile phones found on arrested individuals' persons without first obtaining a search warrant.  People v. Diaz

See: Why you should always encrypt your smartphone (and how to do it)


September 2010


Supreme Court Report

Turning Miranda ‘Upside Down’?

The high court keeps pecking away at the famous 1966 decision


The high court ruled this term that a suspect's request for a lawyer is good for only 14 days after release from custody, that police do not explicitly have to tell suspects they have a right to counsel during an interrogation, and that criminal suspects must unambiguously announce to police that they wish to remain silent.  ABA Journal Sept. 2010


June 2, 2010  The Supreme Court of Ohio ruled 5-1 that a police officer’s unaided visual estimation of a vehicle’s speed is sufficient to support a speeding conviction without independent verification of the vehicle’s speed if the officer is trained, certified by the Ohio Peace Officer Training Academy or a similar organization, and experienced in visually estimating vehicle speed.   Barberton v. Jenney


5/5/10

Wrongly convicted man goes free

DNA tests prove he is innocent of rape

CLEVELAND -- Cuyahoga County Judge Eileen A. Gallagher broke down on the bench this morning as she freed a man who has served 29 years for a rape he did not commit.  Columbus Dispatch


5/5/2010  Supreme Court of Ohio Court Rules Nurse Does Not Hold ‘Position of Trust’ That Would Bar Her From Intervention Program

A nurse employed in a hospital, who steals drugs in the course of her employment, does not occupy a “position of trust” and is not categorically ineligible for Intervention in Lieu of Conviction

R.C. 2951.041 allows Ohio trial courts, at their discretion, to refer a first-time offender charged with a qualifying offense who meets certain requirements to a period of rehabilitation if the court has reason to believe that drug or alcohol usage was a factor leading to the offense. If the defendant successfully completes the intervention plan, the trial court dismisses the proceedings against the offender without a finding of guilt and may seal the records relating to the offense. Among other requirements, to be eligible for ILC, an offender must qualify for community control sanctions (rather than a prison sentence).  State v. Massien


5/4/10

The U.S. penal population exploded from around 300,000 to more than 2 million.  The Criminalization of our country.

No other society in human history has imprisoned so many of its own citizens." The figures show that the United States has locked up more people than any other country: a half million more than China, which has a population five times greater than the U.S. Statistics reveal that the United States holds 25% of the world's prison population, but only 5% of the world's people. From less than 300,000 inmates in 1972, the jail population grew to 2 million by the year 2000. In 1990 it was one million. Ten years ago there were only five private prisons in the country, with a population of 2,000 inmates; now, there are 100, with 62,000 inmates. It is expected that by the coming decade, the number will hit 360,000, according to reports.  Psychology TodayThe Sentencing Project.


4/26/10

Ohio's Growth Industry

Ohio's statewide inmate population climbed within 130 inmates of the all-time record of 51,273 this month

 About one of every four state employees works for the Ohio Department of Correction and Rehabilitation Services, the fourth-costliest state agency after the Department of Job and Family Services, Department of Education and Board of Regents.  Read Here

1 in 25 adults in Ohio is under some form of correctional control.


4/16/10

The federal government drops bid to read email account without getting a search warrant.


2/24/10

Break in Miranda custody between attempts at interrogation, overcomes the presumption that once a suspect invokes the Miranda right to the presence of counsel, any waiver of that right in response to a subsequent police attempt at custodial interrogation is involuntary.

United States Supreme Court sets bright line test of 14 days to determine a “break in custody” in Maryland v. Shatzer  559 U.S. ___ (2010) No. 08-680.

            Shatzer was interrogated in 2003 and invoked his Miranda right to have counsel during interrogation, so the interview was terminated.

            In 2006 another detective attempted to interrogate Shatzer, who was still incarcerated at the time.  Shatzer waived his Miranda rights and made inculpatory statements. 

            The issue was whether the protections creating a presumption of involuntariness once a suspect invokes the Miranda right to the presence of counsel still applied to the second interrogation.

            The Court held that because Shatzer experienced a break in Miranda and there was no suppression of his 2006 statements.

NOTE:  Invoke your right to have counsel present with you whenever the police attempt to interrogate you.

Also see:  'Miranda' dealt one-two punch by high court


1/20/10

The Cost of the Rising Prison Population in Ohio

Ohio’s prison population is on the rise. The number behind bars hit a record 51,273 in 2008, the third consecutive year of increases.  The Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction, which has an annual operating budget of $1.7 billion, is projecting the state’s inmate total is poised to grow 11 percent in the next decade. Additionally, DRC has estimated that increasing system capacity to accommodate the projected increase will cost $925 million, including $424 million in construction costs and $501 million in additional operating costs.   Office of Ohio Governor Ted Strickland


11/23/09

"OVERCRIMINALIZATION AND THE NEED FOR LEGISLATIVE REFORM”


10/29/09

When One of Offender’s Convictions May

Not Be Sealed, Law Does Not Allow Sealing Record of Other Offenses

The Supreme Court of Ohio ruled unanimously today that when an applicant with multiple convictions under one case number moves to seal his or her criminal record in that case pursuant to R.C. 2953.32, and one of those convictions is exempt from sealing pursuant to R.C. 2953.36, the trial court may not seal the remaining convictions.  State v. Futrall


9/30/09

Supreme Court Upholds Law Imposing Tougher DUI Sentence When Prior Offender Refuses Breath Test

The Supreme Court of Ohio upheld as constitutional a state law that imposes 10 additional days of mandatory jail time on a driver with a prior DUI conviction if that person refuses to take a chemical test after being arrested for a subsequent DUI violation.  State v. Hoover


 

The Overcriminalization of AmeriThe Overcriminalization of America
01/07/15  The Overcriminalization of America

 





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