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Saturday, Sep. 20, 2014
Expunging a Criminal Record is Like Unringing a Bell
Posted Wednesday, August 20, at 1:22 AM
I commend to you the article "As Arrest Records Mount, Consequences Last a Lifetime" by Gary Fields and John R. Emshwiller, in the August 19, 2014, Wall Street Journal. According to the article, over the past 20 years, authorities in the United States have made more than a quarter of a billion arrests. The result? The FBI has 77.7 million people in its database. Between 10,000 and 12,000 new names are added each day. 57 people were booked the other day in Ferguson, Illinois, alone...

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Police Must Obtain A Search Warrant Before Searching Cell Phones
Posted Wednesday, June 25, at 10:13 PM

In a unanimous opinion filed today (June 25, 2014) The United States Supreme Court has ruled that a warrant is required before police may search information on a cell phone even when the cell phone was seized incident to arrest. The opinion, Riley v. ...

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Our liberties we prize and our rights we will maintain. Put THAT on your license plate!
Posted Wednesday, May 14, at 12:45 AM

The Daily Reporter's May 13th column "The license plate game" quoted a state trooper, a sheriff, and a police chief for their opinions about a recent Iowa Supreme Court case, "State v. Harrison" 12-0139 (filed May 2, 2014). The 5-2 opinion in Harrison upheld a traffic stop of a citizen by police based upon the license plate holder covering the name of the county on the plate. ...

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CIA Code Names, JFK, and Guantanamo Bay
Posted Thursday, November 28, at 10:24 PM

It has been a long time since I posted to the blog. For excuses I'll go with these: Problems with routers and computers at home, a great football season, and too many blogs and articles to read. According to the Associated Press the CIA has, for the last ten years, been grooming a percentage of the Gitmo detainees in a camp a few hundred yards away from the main prison. ...

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Attorney General Says Mandatory Minimums & Recidivist Enhancements Are Not The Answer
Posted Saturday, August 24, at 1:39 PM

On August 12, 2013, United States Attorney General Eric Holder issued a "Memorandum To The United States Attorneys And Assistant Attorney General For The Criminal Division" (Holder Memo). I invite you all to read the memo....if you can't find it by a web search shoot me an email and I will send it to you in a PDF...

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Why Are Two Million People Behind Bars In Our Country?
Posted Saturday, May 25, at 9:00 PM

Professor Douglas A. Berman publishes his blog "Sentencing Law And Policy". http://sentencing.typepad.com/ He recently posted a link to a speach by Attorney General Eric Holder given on April 4, 2013. Here is an excerpt of A.G. Holder's speach: ...The sheer number of Americans contending with these challenges is staggering. ...

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Gideon Meets The Sequester
Posted Thursday, April 18, at 11:56 PM

This spring was the 50th anniversary of the Supreme Court's opinion in Gideon v. Wainwright, a case which held that states had to provide court-appointed counsel for indigent criminal defendants facing felony charges. Many legal beagles chimed in about what a great decision "Gideon" was (and it was!). ...

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Update on Earlier Drone Killing Blog
Posted Sunday, January 20, at 9:46 PM

Here is another article that is a follow-up to an earler post. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/15/us/senator-wyden-asks-john-brennan-for-legal-opinions-on-killings-of-americans.html?ref=todayspaper&_r=0

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Secrecy of Memo On Drone Killing is Upheld
Posted Thursday, January 3, at 10:21 AM

Here is a link to an article on a legal service I get that I found interesting. We have probably all seen videos of drones bombing the vehicles of suspected terrorists in Mid-East countries. Some of these suspected terrorists are United States Citizens...

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Warrantless Search of Cell Phones By Police
Posted Tuesday, December 4, at 9:23 AM

Similar to the practice of placing a GPS monitoring device on a suspect's car without a warrant (which was prohibited last year by the US Supreme Court---I think I blogged about that), Courts are now wrestling with the issue of whether or not the police should be able to search through information stored on an arrestee's phone...

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Rock And Roll In General And Bruce Springsteen In Particular
Posted Thursday, November 15, at 10:02 PM

I just finished the book "Bruce Springsteen And The Promise of Rock 'N' Roll" by Marc Dolan. It was on display at the Spencer Library and I thought I would read it since I have been a fan of "The Boss" since I first saw him in concert at Hancher Auditorium in Iowa City on June 13, 1978...

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Don't Throw Justice Under The Bus
Posted Thursday, September 27, at 12:07 AM

Most everyone would agree that the best justice system is one in which justice cannot be bought. For years Iowa has had a system of appointing judges by a process of merit selection. In some states, judges have to run for election and solicit contributions to fund their campaigns. Who would want his case decided by a judge he did not help elect---especially if his adversary had contributed to that judge's campaign? Merit selection is by far the better approach...

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Runners & Bikers: Let's Get Together In Blue Zone Spirit
Posted Tuesday, August 21, at 10:45 PM

I like to run and bike. So do a lot of citizens in and around Spencer. An "app" I use when I run or bike is "mapmyrun". It tells me how fast (OK---how slow) I am running or biking and then maps the route taken. It is a pretty cool app and free but I am not trying to promote it. I did, however, use it to search for subscribers near Spencer, Iowa, and found quite a few. So I sent everybody a note/"friend request" saying:...

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SHS's new track should be named: David A. Brown Track
Posted Monday, August 20, at 10:04 PM

If you have not seen the new track and stands at Spencer's high school you should take a look. The stands, brick walls, and gating at Dale Norton Field are spectacular. The facility's style is like Kinnick Stadium---completely classey. The track is first class, too. ...

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Fly Our Flag High
Posted Friday, August 10, at 11:48 PM

Does anyone else feel that that we fly our flags at half-mast too often? Who makes this call? The governor? The president? Is there a website or resource where one can find out why Old Glory is not at full staff on any particular day?

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Warren Buffett, Trading Places, & the Endangered Middle Class
Posted Monday, June 25, at 6:12 PM

I have never met Warren Buffett, the Oracle of Omaha, whose net worth according to "Forbes Magazine" is 44 billion dollars. But I know a little about Buffett from a mutual friend who died in 2000 at the age of 96. The mutual friend was Joe Rosenfield, who was an incredibly wonderful human being and philanthropist...

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RIP Goober and the Skell Diner
Posted Monday, May 7, at 11:16 PM

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Thank You Bob Rose!
Posted Monday, April 2, at 11:04 PM

Last Friday afternoon I stopped by the Clay County Events Center to pay tribute to Bob Rose and to thank him for his service to the community. The advertising catch-phrase used by Mid-America Energy is appropriate to describe Bob Rose's relationship with the City of Spencer. For as long as I can remember, Bob has been obsessively, relentlessly, at our service...

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March Madness
Posted Sunday, March 18, at 10:08 PM

All my favorite teams lost today. The Hawkeye men and women both fell, as did the Creighton Bluejays and the UNI Panthers. The blow was softened by nine holes of golf in short pants and short sleaves. Now THAT is March Madness! The Cyclones had a run in their game against Kentucky yesterday that was simply incredible. Basketball in the state of Iowa appears to be on the upswing...

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News Sources
Posted Monday, March 5, at 11:20 PM

It is an age of media overload. (Or was that so "twenty seconds ago"?) Twitter, Facebook, You Tube, and other internet-based sources of information and news are threatening newspapers with extinction. And newspapers and radios are joining the world wide web in an "adapt or die" survival reaction...

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JP Greer
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Description: JP's take on legal (and other) issues which interest him. Biography: Born in Spencer Iowa, February 6, 1957; Graduated Spencer High School 1975; University of Iowa (B.B.A. 1979); Creighton University School of Law (J.D. 1984); American Jurisprudence Award: Debtor/Creditor Relations; Assistant State Attorney, Florida, 12th Judicial Circuit, 1986-89; Assistant Clay County Iowa Attorney, 1989-93; Iowa State Bar Association: Volunteer Lawyers, 1993- ; American Citizenship Committee, 1994-98; Bridge the Gap Committee 1991-94; Criminal Justice Act Panel Member, 2002- ; National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, 2004- ; Iowa Association for Justice, 2004- ; American Bar Association, 1984- ; Florida Bar Association, 1986- .