Blog Posts in June, 2015

  • SJC Offers No Coverage for Cops Performing Warrantless Searches of Cell Phones

    On June 25, 2014, the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS), in California v. Riley , issued a ruling which essentially held that law enforcement cannot search a person's cell phone "incident to their arrest." Chief Justice John Roberts, the author of the opinion, put it in terms just about everyone can understand: "Our answer to the question of what police must do before searching a cell ...
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  • New Sentencing Guidelines for White Collar Criminals

    The federal sentencing guidelines for white collar criminals, i.e. economic crimes, have been a topic of controversy for quite some time. In April 2015, the guidelines for economic crimes were amended in 3 key areas, in part to amend the "draconian" sentences which the unrevised guidelines often produced. For example, in 2008 a federal judge sentenced a 72-year-old man to 330 years in prison, ...
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  • Boston Herald: McGovern: Hate-crime charge could actually soften penalty

    Charleston, S.C., shooting suspect Dylann Storm Roof is escorted from the Cleveland County Courthouse in Shelby, N.C., Thursday, June 18, 2015. Roof is a suspect in the shooting of several people Wednesday night at the historic The Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston. (AP Photo/Chuck Burton) Friday, June 19, 2015 By: Bob McGovern Jurisdiction can be the difference between life ...
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  • Charleston Shooting - Federal Hate Crime or State Mass Murder? An Assessment of the Jurisdictional Debate

    Some crimes are so heinous and despicable in nature that the simple act of writing about them makes one almost seem complicit. Wednesday night's slaughter of nine innocent church goers in Charleston, South Carolina is exactly that. My initial reaction is to say nothing for that precise reason. However, as an attorney it's often hard for me to keep my mouth shut; as a blogger, it's hard not to ...
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  • Are Insanity Defenses No More Than Fools' Errands?

    Twice in this same week, jurors in Suffolk County (Boston) rejected insanity defenses in first degree murder cases. On Monday, a jury found Edwin Alemany guilty on counts alleging he kidnapped, robbed, and deliberately murdered Amy Lord, and assaulted two other unrelated women. (The Alemany jury's verdict was based on findings of all three applicable theories of Murder 1: premeditation; extreme ...
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  • WGBH News: Edwin Alemany’s Lawyer, Violent Crime Compensation, Chris Christie & Nun On The Bus

    Edwin Alemany, convicted in the brutal murder of Amy Lord, is headed to prison for life. Many questions still remain regarding Alemany’s mental health, and whether he should be getting more help. City Councilor Tito Jackson ( @titojackson ), attorney Janice Bassil and criminal defense lawyer Brad Bailey ( @Brad4Justice ) discuss the Alemany case, as well as a new proposal to pay violent criminals ...
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  • Online threat or mere Facebook folly? SCOTUS' review of Elonis v. U.S.

    Just last week, on June 1, the United States Supreme Court ("SCOTUS") decided Elonis v. U.S. , which involved an analysis of the federal threat statute, 18 U.S.C. § 875(c). In Elonis , the defendant was charged with five counts of violating § 875(c) based on the following posts on Facebook, as alleged (and summarized here) in each respective count of the indictment: The defendant was found guilty ...
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  • FOX25 EXCLUSIVE: Aaron Hernandez’s defense wants jury probe

    FALL RIVER, Mass. ( MyFoxBoston.com ) — Less than two months after Aaron Hernandez was sentenced to life in prison, his lawyers have come up with a new reason why they believe his conviction should be overturned, and it involves one of the jurors that sat on his case. FOX25 has confirmed Hernandez’s lawyers recently submitted four new filings at the Bristol County Superior Courthouse in Fall ...
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  • US DOJ Issues Red Card to FIFA with Sweeping RICO Indictment

    Just about 10 days ago, the feds handed down a 47 counts, 161 pages, wide-ranging racketeering indictment against top executives of the Federation Internationale de Football Association ("FIFA"), world soccer's governing body, its constituents, as well as some US-based sports marketing companies. [1] The indictment alleges that FIFA officials regularly engaged in a pattern of criminal activity ...
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