Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Private Probation companies should be AGAINST the law, not the law.



Traffic cops. I'm not saying I'm being singled out. All I am saying is that a drone follows my car wherever I go. Does that happen to you?

I have been diagnosed with tennis elbow.  Prescription? Stop taking so many selfies.
Rubio ridicules Trump about the size of his package.  And that is Presidential?

Today, Justice Clarence Thomas during court argument,open his mouth for the first time in literally a decade.


FBI wanting Apple to invent an "unlock".  I have an Android.  I wish my phone was as safe from the FBI as the I-phone is.  Not even sure why, I just do. The only ambivalence is that I have less of a concern for YOUR privacy. As for me?  I've sent some pretty embarrassing messages over the years.


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Too frequently I see these ads:


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Two Brothers Heaped Insults On Judge After She Gives Them Suspended Sentences . . . Judge Calls Them Back and Sends Them To Jail For Two Years

by jonathanturley
Daniel and Samuel Sledden have again shown how the combination of a demonstrably low intellect and access to social media can be a terrible combination. The two drug dealing brothers were pulled back into court in England by Judge Beverley Lunt after they posted abusive remarks -- mocking her for giving them only probation.


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Erdoğan Announces That He Will Not Comply With Court Ruling Protecting Two Journalists

by jonathanturley
220px-Recep_Tayyip_ErdoganTurkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has continued his assault on basic freedoms in his country with an assault this month on the decision of the Constitutional Court. The Court had the temerity to disagree with Erdoğan and rule that the imprisonment of two prominent journalists for a report on alleged illegal arms transfers to Syria was a violation of their rights. Erdoğan has announced that he will simply ignore the ruling of the court because he disagrees with it. Erdoğan has become increasingly bold in his crackdown on opponents and civil liberties -- relying on his base of Islamic organizations.
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Clarence Thomas Breaks 10 Years of Silence at Supreme Court

By ADAM LIPTAK

Justice Thomas asked questions from the bench for the first time since February 2006, and just weeks after the death of Justice Antonin Scalia.

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Apple Wins Ruling in New York iPhone Hacking Order

By KATIE BENNER and JOSEPH GOLDSTEIN

A federal judge denied the use of the All Writs Act, a law that federal authorities have cited in insisting on Apple's help breaking into iPhones.



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Are states skimping on notice before seizing unclaimed property? Thomas and Alito raise issue

Feb 29, 2016, 9:16 am CST



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Donald Trump and his legal team say plaintiff can't withdraw from Trump University lawsuit

Mar 1, 2016, 5:45 am CST


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CONSTITUTIONAL LAW

Are states skimping on notice before seizing unclaimed property? Thomas and Alito raise issue


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Justices Samuel A. Alito Jr. and Clarence Thomas indicated on Monday that they may be willing to accept a case challenging the way states give notice before seizing unclaimed property.
Alito concurred in the denial of certiorari in a California case raising the issue, citing its “convoluted history.” But his concurrence, joined by Thomas, said the constitutionality of current state escheat laws may merit review in a future case.
“In recent years,” Alito wrote, “states have shortened the periods during which property must lie dormant before being labeled abandoned and subject to seizure.” States such as New York, Michigan, Indiana, New Jersey, and Arizona have shortened the dormancy periods from as long as 15 years to merely three years, he said.
At the same time, some states “still rely on decidedly old-fashioned methods” of notice such as blanket newspaper notification.
“This trend—combining shortened escheat periods with minimal notification procedures—raises important due process concerns,” Alito said. “As advances in technology make it easier and easier to identify and locate property owners, many states appear to be doing less and less to meet their constitutional obligation to provide adequate notice before escheating private property.”
The case is Taylor v. Yee.
Hat tip to How Appealing.
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ENTENCING / POST-CONVICTION

Jury awards $175K in false imprisonment case against private probation company


Jack Long
Attorney Jack Long represented Kathleen Hucks in her suit against Sentinel Offender Services. (File photo by Stan Kaady.)
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An Augusta, Georgia, jury on Friday found that a private probation company repeatedly jailed a probationer for simply not being able to pay its fees. The jury awarded her $50,000, plus attorney fees of $125,000, the Augusta Chronicle reports.
The trial in Richmond County Superior Court was the first of more than a dozen Georgia cases brought against Sentinel Offender Services, which runs private probation operations in a number of states.
During the five-day trial, lawyers for Kathleen Hucks argued that Sentinel was interested only in money, not the rehabilitation of probationers.
For example, when Hucks tested positive for marijuana use during her probation, Sentinel did not get an arrest warrant for her. But later, when she didn’t pay Sentinel’s fee, she was jailed, attorney Jack Long of Augusta told the jury.
Long’s efforts against Sentinel and privatized probation in general were highlighted in an ABA Journal feature story in 2014.
That feature details how private probation companies offer to relieve courts of the burden of paying a staff of probation officers, and collect fees and fines for the courts. At the time, Georgia was one of more than a dozen states to use the service for misdemeanors. Jailing people for inability to pay fees or fines raised questions about a revival of debtors’ prisons.
Long said today in an interview with the ABA Journal that he begins another jury trial tomorrow, and intends to change one approach. Some members of the Hucks jury told lawyers after the verdict that they would have awarded more money to her, but feared it might bankrupt the probation officer, who was named as Sentinel’s co-defendant. Next time, Long said, he will seek a jury instruction on apportionment of damages that will assuage such concerns.
Hucks was sentenced in April 2006 to two years of probation for a DUI, driving on a revoked license and possession of marijuana. She was hospitalized repeatedly from 2006 to 2012 for seizures and a heart problem, according to testimony, the Augusta Chronicle previously reported.
When she was arrested in September 2012 after failing to pay her Sentinel monthly fee of nearly $300, Hucks’ husband took her medication to the jail, which refused to accept it. He then called Sentinel to seek her release and was told he would have to pay the fee, the Chronicle reported earlier in the trial.
Kathleen Hucks subsequently had a seizure in jail and spent nearly three weeks there before receiving a hearing with a judge, who ordered her release because her sentence had expired four years earlier, in 2008. Also in 2008, her sister had paid off the full $3,256 Hucks owed the court, but Sentinel employees testified that Hucks remained under Sentinel’s control because she had not completed a risk-reduction class or shown proof of drug and alcohol treatment, theChronicle reported on another day of the trial.
Hucks testified that she was disabled and unable to work, but did not receive disability payments. Sentinel’s office manager in Augusta, Gina Childs, testified that probation offices had not asked Hucks about her ability to pay or suggested converting the probation fees to community service because “she never asked for it.”
Later, Sentinel co-owner Mark Contestabile said during cross-examination that responsibility rested on Hucks. “She could have had that changed at any time,” Contestabile said.

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JUVENILE JUSTICE

Virginia middle schooler is criminally charged for making threats with emoji


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A 12-year-old is being charged with making threats against her school using emoji, the Washington Post reported Saturday.
The girl is from Fairfax, Virginia, and her name was not given because she’s a minor. Police say she made an Instagram post in December that said, in part: “Killing [gun emoji] meet me in the library Tuesday [gun emoji] [knife emoji] [bomb emoji]”
In mid-December, a school resource officer from Sidney Lanier Middle School subpoenaed the IP address of the person who posted the message. That led to the girl, who admitted making the posting under another student’s name. The school found the threat not credible, but the student was charged with computer harassment and threatening the school.
The girl’s mother told the newspaper that it was a reaction to being bullied and that she doesn’t think criminal charges are appropriate. It’s not clear whether the case has been resolved, the Post said, because juvenile proceedings are closed to the press.
If the proceedings do continue, the Post said, authorities will have to work out what exactly the emoji mean. That’s currently not clear, since emoji are pictures with no dictionary definition and their meanings might vary between contexts.
This has been an issue in other criminal cases, including one that landed at the U.S. Supreme Court last year. Elonis v. United States asked whether Internet threats against the defendant’s former wife, former boss and an FBI agent were “true threats.” Attorneys for Anthony Elonis argued in part that his use of a :-p emoticon indicated that he was joking. The case was remanded without directly addressing the emoticon issue.
In another case, a New York grand jury had to decide whether emoji of a police officer and three guns, along with “N—a run up on me, he gunna get blown down,” consisted a true threat. It ultimately declined to indict the 17-year-old who’d posted that, the Post reports.
Attorney Fred Pratt told the Post that kids are often posturing, not making serious threats, but “something is definitely lost in translation.”
See also:
ABA Journal: “What’s the evidentiary standard for emojis?”


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Virginia middle schooler is criminally charged for making threats with emoji

Feb 29, 2016, 2:55 pm CST



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