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November 2018 Archives

Child endangerment charges often triggered by other allegations

Iowa Code §726.6 provides nine specific definitions of child endangerment. Overall, however, child endangerment could be described as: 1) knowingly exposing a minor to substantial risk of physical, mental or emotional harm; 2) intentionally causing such harm; 3) depriving a child of the basic necessities of life; 4) abandonment; or 5) failing to provide adequate supervision in specified circumstances.

High visibility OWI enforcement expected beginning this week

The holiday season, beginning with Thanksgiving and continuing through the rest of the year, is among the busiest times for drunk driving. So many celebrations offer alcohol, and many people end up over the limit without even realizing it. For that reason, many law enforcement agencies engage in what's called "high visibility enforcement," or HVE, at this time of year.

Is it time to end the war on marijuana?

Marijuana arrests make up over half of all drug arrests in the U.S., and approximately 88 percent of marijuana arrests are for possession. Enforcing our state and federal marijuana laws costs the U.S. about $3.6 billion every year, yet doing so has had virtually no measurable impact on the availability of marijuana. It also ensnares hundreds of thousands of people in the criminal justice system.

US Supreme Court to consider racial bias in jury selection

When prosecutors and defense attorneys choose jurors from a pool, they are allowed to reject some jurors, either for good cause or in what is called a "preemptory challenge." Jurors can be removed for cause, for example, when they are unqualified to serve, have a conflict of interest, or admit that they cannot put aside their biases. Each side gets a limited number of preemptory challenges that can be used to strike jurors without a specific cause.

What degree of evidence is required for the terrorism watch list?

The question of what standard should be used when placing someone on terrorism watch list is currently before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. While Iowa is in the Eighth Circuit, the ruling could be significant nationwide because much of the evidence against watch-listed people is submitted by state and local law enforcement.

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