San Fransisco V. Sheehan Opinion Issued

The United States Supreme Court issued its opinion in San Francisco v. Sheehan on May 18, 2015. The case originated from a violent incident between a mentally unstable woman and police officers in a group home in San Francisco in 2008. The woman, Sheehan, threatened a social worker at the home with a knife and locked herself in her room. The worker called 911 for help, and two officers responded. They entered Read More

Deflate Gate Part II

Who has forgotten the infamous deflate gate scandal that arose back in January, so named when it was discovered that the game balls used by the New England Patriots during the first half of the AFC Championship game with the Indianapolis Colts were under-inflated, raising the possibility that they were purposely deflated in order to please quarterback Tom Brady’s known preference for a softer football. (See previous Read More

The Accused Fight Back

In the past several years, public awareness about the problem of sexual assault and misconduct on college campuses has grown (see previous blogs on this subject). The handling of sexual assault claims by schools across the country has been under scrutiny, with many schools changing their policies and procedures to deal more aggressively with those accused of any sexual misconduct. In their haste to protect victims of Read More

Texas Shooting Highlights Importance of Free Speech

On May 3, 2015, the American Freedom Defense Initiative (AFDI) hosted the “Mohammed Art and Exhibit Contest” in Garland, Texas, part of suburban Dallas. According to AFDI President Pamela Geller, the event had on display various depictions of the Prophet Mohammed from the past 1,400 years. The event also sponsored a contest for the best cartoon rendering of the Prophet, with the winner to receive a $10,000 award. Read More

Baltimore Burning

On April 12, 2015, police officers in Baltimore, Maryland arrested Freddie Gray; on that same day he sustained a catastrophic injury and fell into a coma. One week later, on April 19, 2015, he died from that injury. Protests began on the streets of Baltimore, and escalated into violent riots. A night of arson, looting and destruction ended in over 200 arrests, and many officers injured. The National Guard and State Read More

The Reason Walter Scott Ran?

The tragic murder of South Carolina resident Walter Scott by Police Officer Michael Slager has an underlying story with broader implications. While Officer Slager initially pulled Scott over for a minor traffic violation, his family believes that Scott took off running and initiated the pursuit leading to his death over fear of an outstanding warrant. The warrant had been issued for failure to appear at a court Read More

Georgia Legalizes Medical Marijuana

HALEIGH’S HOPE ACT On April 16, 2015, Georgia Governor Nathan Deal signed a bill legalizing low-THC cannabis oil to treat specific medical conditions, including epilepsy, end-stage ALS, Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson’s Disease, and cancer. THC is the primary psychoactive substance in marijuana, and is the chemical that makes people feel “high.” In addition to legalizing medical marijuana the bill promises to create Read More

The Verdict is in: Aaron Hernandez Found Guilty

A 10 week trial, 135 witnesses, over 400 exhibits entered into evidence and 7 days of jury deliberation came to a dramatic conclusion on April 15, 2015, when former NFL star Aaron Hernandez was found guilty of the first-degree murder “by reason of atrocity or cruelty” of Odin Llyod. Hernandez was also convicted of unlawful possession of a firearm and unlawful possession of ammunition. Pursuant to Massachusetts law, Read More

Terror at the Cleveland Zoo

On Saturday, April 11, 2015, visitors to the Cleveland Zoo were treated to a show they did not want to see. A mother was dangling her two-year-old son over the fence to the cheetah exhibit when the toddler suddenly dropped into the pit–with two male cheetahs. The exhibit is surrounded by a ten to twelve-foot high fence, but the mother of the little boy was standing in a spot where she could hold her son over its Read More

Amanda Knox Case Shows Importance of Double Jeopardy Protection

THE LONG AND WINDING ROAD To borrow a phrase from the famous Beetles song, the case of Amanda Knox (and her former boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito) has followed a circuitous path indeed. Knox was first found guilty of the 2007 murder of her then roommate, Meredith Kercher, by a trial court in 2009. In 2011, an appellate court acquitted Knox, and she returned to the United States and her home in Seattle. However, Read More