Previously I blogged about Michigan v. Long.1 The Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) broke new ground under federal law with respect to two issues in Long: SCOTUS review of state court decisions, and Terry searches of cars. With respect to its jurisdiction to review decisions based on adequate and independent state grounds, SCOTUS articulated a “plain statement” rule for state courts to follow. Additionally, with respect to the Fourth Amendment, SCOTUS applied Terry v. Ohio 2 to protective searches of cars, requiring proof of a reasonable belief about the presence of weapons. This blog post will look at Read more
In Terry v. Ohio, SCOTUS crafted an exception to the requirement of a warrant and probable cause, allowing police to protectively search a person.1 But to fall within the exception, the circumstances must provide police with a reasonable suspicion of criminal conduct and a reasonable belief the person poses a danger. Subsequently, SCOTUS determined the police may search incident to arrest an individual’s wingspan without a warrant based on Terry principles.2 Furthermore, SCOTUS expanded the individual’s wingspan to include a recently occupied vehicle, also based on Terry principles.3 Read more
Previously I blogged about New Jersey v. T.L.O. 1 The focus of this post, State of New Jersey v. Best 2 applies T.L.O. to a warrantless car search on school property by a school official. The United States Supreme Court in T.L.O. addressed whether the exclusionary rule applies to evidence seized by a school official without police involvement in juvenile delinquency proceedings. SCOTUS answered this question in the affirmative.
Notwithstanding the State’s position that school officials act as surrogates for the actual parents (in loco parentis), the Court decided they are State Actors. Indeed, by rejecting the State’s position, SCOTUS reasoned the breadth and Read more
In 1984, a juvenile delinquency case from New Jersey went before the Supreme Court of the United States. SCOTUS addressed two questions. First, the Court addressed whether the Fourth Amendment applies to public school officials. Additionally, the Court considered the proper standard to assess searches and seizures by public school officials. The case was New Jersey v TLO.
New Jersey v TLO: Factual History
A Piscataway High School teacher found two girls smoking in the bath room. Since this was against school rules, the teacher took the girls to the Principal’s office. Subsequently, an Assistant Vice Principal questioned the girls Read more
Last week I blogged about the Fifth Amendment, Miranda v. Arizona1, and the right to remain silent. This post will summarize how New Jersey’s privilege against self incrimination applies more broadly than federal law. Additionally, it will look at issues related to federalism.
Before an American court will admit a confession, the State must prove the police informed the individual of her rights. Additionally, the State must prove she knowingly, voluntarily, and intelligently waived her rights before she confessed. Indeed, these warnings negate perceptions related to psychological stress in police-controlled circumstances. This stress might compel a person to speak where she would not have spoken otherwise. Read more
Under what circumstances may the prosecutor file for pretrial detention?
- of the first or second degree enumerated under subsection d. of section 2 of N.J.S.A. 2c:43-7.2
- that subjects the eligible defendant to an ordinary or extended term of life imprisonment;
- if the eligible defendant’s criminal history reflects convictions for two or more offenses for either of the above categories;
- enumerated under paragraph (2) of subsection b. of section 2 of N.J.S.A. 2c:7-2 or crime involving human trafficking pursuant to section 1 of N.J.S.A. 2c:13-8 or N.J.S.A. 52:17B-237 et al. when the victim is a minor, or the crime of endangering the welfare of a child under N.J.S.A. 2c:24-4;
- enumerated under subsection c. of N.J.S.A. 2c:43-6;
- involving domestic violence as defined in subsection a. of section 3 of N.J.S.A. 2c:25-19; or
- for which the prosecutor believes there is a serious risk that:
- the eligible defendant will not appear in court as required;
- the eligible defendant will pose a danger to any other person or the community; or
- the eligible defendant will obstruct or attempt to obstruct justice, or threaten, injure, or intimidate, or attempt to threaten, injure or intimidate, a prospective witness or juror.
Previously I blogged about the Pretrial Detention Hearing Factors under the New Jersey Bail Reform Act. Although the policy of New Jersey’s criminal justice reform favors pretrial release, a prosecutor may move before the court for pretrial detention. In practical terms, a defendant ought not get his hopes up until the court orders the defendant released from custody. Indeed, the court could grant the State’s motion. Consequently, the State would lock up the defendant. If so, in addition to other obligations the court must also calculate speedy trial deadlines.1, 2
But the court may also exclude thirteen thirteen periods in calculating the time for a case to be indicted and tried.3 Read more
Peter Gabriel fights injustice with video
Power & the Rule of Man
In this talk, Peter Gabriel spoke about WITNESS. Begun in 1992, WITNESS enables people to make video documentaries to tell the world about human rights abuses. Gabriel described the individual photographers as brave. Indeed, the violent WITNESS recordings suggests “bravery” is an understatement. Authorities with power know the significance of video documentation. After all, many people understand power corrupts. And there are many more who know it corrupts absolutely.
Understanding The Bobbitt Modalities
Prof. Philip Bobbitt taught different approaches for interpreting Constitutional Law. These modalities include Textualism, Originalism, Judicial Precedent, and Historical Analysis of the U.S. Constitution.
- Textualism – This modality determines word meaning in their immediate context. It is persuasive because the meaning of these words and their meaning are directly and immediately relevant to the court. But one weakness is this ignores other contextual clues.
- Originalism – This modality involves the meaning of words to the people who wrote them. Indeed, Justice Antonin Scalia championed this modality in his jurisprudence. Read more