(J)uris (P)rudence by JP Greer http://www.spencerdailyreporter.com/blogs/jurisprudence/ en-us California Drones On http://www.spencerdailyreporter.com/blogs/jurisprudence/entry/59847 According to the 9/30/14 issue of The Wall Street Journal, California Governor Jerry Brown recently vetoed a bill that would have required police to obtain warrants before using drones for surveillance. That article reports that some 20 states have already enacted legislation concering rules for drone use, thirteen of which place restrictions on how police can use the technology. The California Police Chiefs Association says it is "incongruous" that restrictions on using drones would be... Tue, 30 Sep 2014 22:07:09 -0500 Expunging a Criminal Record is Like Unringing a Bell http://www.spencerdailyreporter.com/blogs/jurisprudence/entry/59297 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. The... Wed, 20 Aug 2014 01:22:31 -0500 Police Must Obtain A Search Warrant Before Searching Cell Phones http://www.spencerdailyreporter.com/blogs/jurisprudence/entry/58696 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. California, authored by Chief Justice Roberts, declined to follow the reasoning of United States v. Robinson, 414 U.S. 218 (1973) (in which a cigarette pack found on Robinson after his arrest was searched and drugs were found). "Digital data... Wed, 25 Jun 2014 22:13:55 -0500 Our liberties we prize and our rights we will maintain. Put THAT on your license plate! http://www.spencerdailyreporter.com/blogs/jurisprudence/entry/58193 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. I encourage all those who really do value their liberties and rights to read the opinion including the dissent, in... Wed, 14 May 2014 00:45:41 -0500 CIA Code Names, JFK, and Guantanamo Bay http://www.spencerdailyreporter.com/blogs/jurisprudence/entry/56077 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. The government's goal was to turn these prisoners into double agents to spy on al-Qaida. These suspected terrorists... Thu, 28 Nov 2013 22:24:08 -0600 Attorney General Says Mandatory Minimums & Recidivist Enhancements Are Not The Answer http://www.spencerdailyreporter.com/blogs/jurisprudence/entry/54518 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. In his memo, Mr. Holder formally states what everyone associated with the criminal justice system has known for a long time. "Long sentences for low-level, non-violent drug... Sat, 24 Aug 2013 13:39:07 -0500 Why Are Two Million People Behind Bars In Our Country? http://www.spencerdailyreporter.com/blogs/jurisprudence/entry/53291 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. Well over two million people are currently behind bars in this country. As a nation we are coldly efficient in our incarceration efforts. One in 28 children... Sat, 25 May 2013 21:00:47 -0500 Gideon Meets The Sequester http://www.spencerdailyreporter.com/blogs/jurisprudence/entry/52747 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!). I cannot join the back-patting revelry, though, because the "Sequester" presently has a stranglehold on our court system---including the Federal Public Defender Offices (which have been... Thu, 18 Apr 2013 23:56:49 -0500 Update on Earlier Drone Killing Blog http://www.spencerdailyreporter.com/blogs/jurisprudence/entry/51311 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 Sun, 20 Jan 2013 21:46:54 -0600 Secrecy of Memo On Drone Killing is Upheld http://www.spencerdailyreporter.com/blogs/jurisprudence/entry/51092 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. Interested parties are trying (thus far unsuccessfully) to find out about the process by which our government identifies these citizens as terrorists and decides to kill them. Here is the link. What do you think about... Thu, 03 Jan 2013 10:21:55 -0600 Warrantless Search of Cell Phones By Police http://www.spencerdailyreporter.com/blogs/jurisprudence/entry/50643 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. The following is an article about this from the New York... Tue, 04 Dec 2012 09:23:44 -0600 Rock And Roll In General And Bruce Springsteen In Particular http://www.spencerdailyreporter.com/blogs/jurisprudence/entry/50370 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. As the youngest of six, I grew up listening to a variety of music, from Sinatra and Bennett to Dave Mason and Jethro Tull. I was in 8th grade when I saw my first live concert with my family in Des... Thu, 15 Nov 2012 22:02:19 -0600 Don't Throw Justice Under The Bus http://www.spencerdailyreporter.com/blogs/jurisprudence/entry/49681 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. Judges must make... Thu, 27 Sep 2012 00:07:59 -0500 Runners & Bikers: Let's Get Together In Blue Zone Spirit http://www.spencerdailyreporter.com/blogs/jurisprudence/entry/49132 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: "I just did a search of folks on map my run near Spencer, Iowa... Tue, 21 Aug 2012 22:45:22 -0500 SHS's new track should be named: David A. Brown Track http://www.spencerdailyreporter.com/blogs/jurisprudence/entry/49111 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. When I was in high school (1971-75) our track coach, David A. Brown, made a pitch for an eight-lane, all-weather track. The old all-weather track was eventually built but with only seven lanes. The new track should be named... Mon, 20 Aug 2012 22:04:42 -0500 Fly Our Flag High http://www.spencerdailyreporter.com/blogs/jurisprudence/entry/49003 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? Fri, 10 Aug 2012 23:48:20 -0500 Warren Buffett, Trading Places, & the Endangered Middle Class http://www.spencerdailyreporter.com/blogs/jurisprudence/entry/48350 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. Anyhow, this story (or comment) is about an article I read in the June 9th Sioux City Journal... Mon, 25 Jun 2012 18:12:32 -0500 RIP Goober and the Skell Diner http://www.spencerdailyreporter.com/blogs/jurisprudence/entry/47613 Mon, 07 May 2012 23:16:18 -0500 Thank You Bob Rose! http://www.spencerdailyreporter.com/blogs/jurisprudence/entry/47098 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. As a student-athlete at Spencer High School thirty years ago, I came to know Bob on the sidelines. He worked every home football... Mon, 02 Apr 2012 23:04:45 -0500 March Madness http://www.spencerdailyreporter.com/blogs/jurisprudence/entry/46869 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. Sun, 18 Mar 2012 22:08:38 -0500