Category: Federal Criminal (Other)

August 11, 2017

Supreme Court to Decide Whether Prosecutors Can Use Pleas to Skirt Constitution

While the endless portrayal of jury trials in media might indicate otherwise, trials are actually quite rare in the U.S. criminal justice system. With 97% of federal cases ending in pleas, the Atticus Finch conception of American justice has been largely confined to books. Ordinarily, when an accused enters into a plea agreement, he waives… Read More

July 21, 2017

Why Banning Criminals from the Web Doesn’t Work

A few weeks ago, the Supreme Court issued a unanimous ruling in Packingham v. North Carolina, 137 S. Ct. 1730 (U.S. 2017) invalidating a state law outlawing registered sex offenders from accessing websites which could facilitate offender-minor direct communication.  While the majority opinion and concurrence seems grounded in, and specific to, sex offender restrictions, the… Read More

July 13, 2017

The Lowdown on Takedowns

Attorney General Jeff Sessions and a battery of other federal law enforcement officials today announced the “largest health care fraud takedown” in U.S. history, with 412 charged defendants, including 56 doctors, accused of defrauding taxpayers of roughly $1.3 billion.  Importantly, the takedown focused on the over-prescription of opioids, a phenomenon that has led to thousands… Read More

June 12, 2017

The “Third Party” Catch-22

As the Department of Justice has been doubling down on law enforcement overreach, the Supreme Court has just decided to hear a case that may limit the use of a common tool that law enforcement uses to infringe upon the privacy rights of innocent people. The case, Carpenter v. United States, arises out of a… Read More

March 2, 2017

When A Threat Becomes A Crime

A Miami Beach man was recently accused of threatening President Trump on Twitter. He sent the threat directly to Secret Service, challenging them to stop his Inauguration Day surprise. They did, and Dominic Puopolo, who used the screen name of Lord Jesus Christ, is now in federal custody. Sending a threat to the President, to an ex-wife,… Read More

February 1, 2017

Will Clemency Continue?

There are many big policy changes happening in Washington these days and they receive appropriate press coverage. But, there are also many smaller changes that can have literally life changing effects on citizens, which are not generally reported in the media. One of those smaller changes is whether the Trump administration will revive a clemency program… Read More

August 12, 2016

The E-Rate Honey Pot

When you grant access to a $ 4 billion fund and give fund participants relative autonomy in how they use those funds, ne’er-do-wells will sniff their way to the honey pot. Keeping them out can be a challenge. So goes the story of the federally administered Schools and Libraries Program, better known as E-Rate. Established… Read More

February 19, 2016

FBI Recruits Apple to Help Unlock Your iPhone

It is a well-known maxim that “bad facts make bad law.”  And as anybody even casually browsing social media this week likely has seen, the incredibly tragic facts surrounding the San Bernadino attacks last December have led to a ruling that jeopardizes the privacy rights of all law-abiding Americans. First, it is important to clearly… Read More

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