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Criminal Defense Archives

Cell phone tracking and the warrant requirement

Many California residents use cell phones to communicate with friends, family members and employers every day. Laws have changed to keep up with changing technology over the years. One question before the U.S. Supreme Court is whether or not law enforcement can use location information stored regularly by cell phone providers to track suspects.

Study shows that race strongly influences criminal sentencing

The bulging prison population in California illustrates the high incarceration rate within the United States, which has risen by 500 percent in 40 years. A study from the U.S Sentencing Commission revealed how race impacts the length of sentences. An analysis of sentencing data from 2012 to 2016 indicated that judges gave sentences to black men that were 19.1 percent longer than sentences for white men for the same crimes.

Study shows that blacks are treated worse than whites in court

In California, statistics have shown that black individuals are much more inclined to be charged with crimes despite the fact that they are no more likely to commit criminal offenses than white people are. A new study shows that this differential treatment of criminal defendants based on race extends to the treatment given to them by prosecutors and the courts within the criminal justice system.

California might reform its bail system

Those who are taken to jail in California may be able to bail themselves out with cash payments. However, critics of the practice say it keeps poorer residents in jail longer while wealthier people are more likely to obtain their freedom. The chief justice of the California Supreme Court thinks that assessing whether or not someone is a danger to society should replace cash bail when determining a defendant's potential release.

Ankle monitoring for youths may do more harm than good

If your child is in the California juvenile justice system, you may be like many other parents who feel their children's situations are getting worse instead of better. While the purpose of juvenile justice is to save children from a life of crime and redirect them to a more positive future, the system often sets up children for failure, and some youth advocates believe the system itself is flawed.

The right to counsel and the right to remain silent

Among the constitutional rights of California residents are the Fifth Amendment right to protection against self-incrimination and the Sixth Amendment right to counsel in criminal proceedings. Police officers are required to make people aware of these rights prior to custodial interrogation. The admonitions typically given are known as Miranda rights.

Civil rights groups unite to oppose law enforcement hacking

California residents are likely aware that several high-profile whistleblowers have come forward to expose massive surveillance programs operated by federal agencies such as the National Security Agency, but they may not know that about a technique being used by government agents known as law enforcement hacking. The Fourth Amendment protects Americans against unreasonable searches and seizures, and civil rights advocates claim that law enforcement hacking violates these rights by allowing federal agents to monitor the online activities of thousands of U.S. citizens after obtaining just one search warrant.

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