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July 2018 Archives

Black defendants at risk for racial bias during court proceedings

New York residents may be interested to learn that white as well as black bail judges often show bias toward black defendants. This is according to a recent study that was conducted in the Miami and Philadelphia areas. The authors of the study said that the evidence suggested that racial stereotypes were a factor in the bias that is shown towards black defendants.

DNA evidence prompts revision of lineup procedures

Police officers in New York and around the country have long relied on lineups to provide prosecutors with evidence linking suspects to the crimes they are accused of committing, but a growing number of cases involving individuals who were wrongly incarcerated for years or even decades has raised questions about the reliability of witness identifications. A Louisiana man convicted after a witness pointed him out in court was released in January after 38 years behind bars, and lawmakers in the state responded by introducing rules designed to make the identification process more transparent and fair.

Court ruling an update to the Fourth Amendment

The Supreme Court ruled 5-4 in the case of Carpenter v United States, and the ruling has major implications for privacy rights in New York and elsewhere. The court determined that authorities needed a warrant to access the man's cell site location information (CSLI). Prior to the Carpenter decision, officers only needed to have a good reason to believe that accessing this information would legitimately help in a given matter.

The different types of prescription drug crimes

While there may be a difference between prescription drugs and illicit drugs, misuse of prescription medications is still illegal. These drugs can only be lawfully possessed and consumed by those to whom they are prescribed and in the amounts specified on the prescription. Prescription drugs that are commonly misused include painkillers, sedatives and sleeping pills. 

Prosecutors charging overdose bystanders with homicide offenses

The opioid epidemic has led to the loss of many lives in New York and in the rest of the nation. As the number of overdose deaths has increased, police and prosecutors have started charging some of the bystanders of overdoses with crimes.

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