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Criminal Defense Archives

Eighth Circuit reaffirms: Swearing at cops is protected speech

"With limited exceptions not relevant here, even profanity is protected speech," explained a judge for the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals. "Criticism of law enforcement officers, even with profanity, is protected speech."

African-Americans more critical of criminal system than whites

How big a problem is race in our criminal justice system? It depends on who you ask -- and that could be a crucial insight. In the United States, African-Americans and other people of color routinely complain that the criminal justice system is biased against them at every level. Whites are less likely to see bias against minorities.

Iowa man says criminal charge violated his First Amendment rights

Should criticizing the police get you charged with criminal harassment? Not if you didn't make any threats, according to the ACLU and an Adams County man. Nevertheless, the man was charged with harassment in the third degree when he criticized the behavior of an Adams County Sheriff's deputy.

Sports betting still needs regulation before bets can be placed

As you may know, Governor Kim Reynolds signed a law last week that allows certain types of sports betting in Iowa by gamblers 21 and older. Although the law technically went into effect upon Reynolds' signature, the State Racing and Gambling Commission still has to draft regulations to make the betting fully legal.

Official misconduct, bad forensic evidence cause false convictions

The National Registry of Exonerations recently issued its 2018 annual report. One hundred fifty-one people were exonerated in the U.S. last year after having been wrongfully convicted of various crimes ranging from traffic offenses to homicide. Together, the exonerees lost 1,639 years of their freedom.

Facial recognition could get you broadly banned after shoplifting

Sometimes, the non-court consequences of criminal activity are as serious as the consequences of a conviction. These "collateral consequences," however, have traditionally come as the result of criminal prosecution. Most of the time, society doesn't inflict serious consequences on people who have never been convicted.

AP review shows the stunning consequences for felons who vote

According to some Iowa prosecutors, it doesn't matter if it was a mistake. It doesn't matter if they asked for a provisional ballot. The only thing that matters is that they were a former felon and they voted or attempted to vote.

SCOTUS unanimously rules states can't impose excessive fines

Did you know that your property can be seized simply because you have been accused of a certain crime? You don't even have to be convicted. When police decide your money or property is connected to criminal activity, they can seize it in what is called a civil forfeiture proceeding.

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