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Criminal Justice News This Week (week of 01-11-21)

A Civilian's Guide to Insurrection Legalese "Everyone's talking about sedition, treason and conspiracy. Here's what these terms actually mean and how they've been enforced."

Past Impeachment Attorneys Say New Articles Against Trump Should Be Seriously Considered "'President Trump spent months creating a powder keg. At that rally outside the Capitol, he finally lit a match. He can unquestionably be impeached for that act,' former impeachment counsel Joshua Matz said."

Remarkable New Fifth Circuit Decision Limiting Cell Phone Searches “According to the court, warrants must establish probable cause separately for each "category" of information in the phone in order to search it.”

Judges Grapple With Phone, Laptop Searches at US Customs "The First Circuit struggled Tuesday with a policy that lets border agents look through the phones or laptops of travelers returning from abroad."

Stopping the Clock: Tolling Agreements in Federal Criminal Cases "In entering into any tolling agreement, defense counsel should endeavor to limit its scope to a specifically defined investigation arising out of a particular set of facts with carefully enumerated potential charges."

A Texas man was sent to trial with the coronavirus. Jurors weren’t told they were exposed until after deliberations ended. "From March until June, Texas had zero jury trials because of the pandemic, starting a backlog of cases that will take years to overcome. This summer some counties started experimenting with in-person jury trials, which have posed health risks for those involved."

60 Minutes: How Curtis Flowers, tried six times for the same crime, was saved from death row "Curtis Flowers spent nearly half his life in prison for the murders of four people and may still be on death row if not for the investigative work of a podcast."

Pa. Commonwealth Court declares Marsy's Law unconstitutional, referendum votes invalid "A state appellate court on Thursday ruled Marsy’s Law, a victims’ rights initiative, unconstitutional and invalidated referendum votes for the law that appeared on the 2019 general election ballot because it affected too many aspects of the state constitution."

Geofence warrants can be used to identify those who invaded the Capitol, not to mention Facebook warrants By John Wesley Hall, "The government’s prior use of geofence warrants were a prelude to this: With the invasion of the Capitol on Wednesday, the government now can attempt to locate all the cell phones inside the Capitol to identify those to potentially charge." 

There Are Too Many Prosecutors On The Bench, Take It From Me, A Prosecutor "Courts must not overrepresent the viewpoints of the most powerful at the expense of the communities they serve."

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