One of the most trending news stories aside from the recent hurricane devastation is the curious case of the University of Utah Hospital nurse named Alex Wubbels. She was arrested after refusing to let a police officer draw blood from a patient. The patient was unconscious, and the nurse refused because she said that drawing blood from the individual would violate the hospital’s policy. A video showing the nurse’s arrest has been circulating social media sites and has since gone viral.
Why Was Alex Wubbels Arrested?
According to the audio dialog in the video, the nurse was arrested for not cooperating with an officer to collect a patient’s blood sample. In the video, viewers can hear Ms. Wubbels calmly explaining the hospital’s three provisions for police to collect blood, which include:
When the patient consents
When the patient is under arrest
When there is a warrant
The nurse was on the phone with the hospital administrator during part of her conversation with the police officer. She was confused about why the officer was trying to force her to violate the hospital’s policy that she was bound to uphold. At one point, he asked her if he would be unable to collect a blood sample, and she told her colleague on the phone that she had no idea why he was “blaming the messenger.”
Why The Arrest Was So Disturbing
When Ms. Wubbels did not directly answer his question, the officer lunged at her in the video and told her that he was done and she was under arrest. In the video, viewers can see the nurse having her arms forced behind her back and her wrists being cuffed. The officer continues to tell her that they are done as she cries and begs for someone to help her. According to an outline of the story on NPR, the nurse’s attorney said that her client was shocked at the officer’s actions.
Ms. Wubbels was an Olympic skier and a celebrated nurse at the hospital. The police officer who arrested her is facing the possibility of an assault conviction. When interviewed, Police Chief Mike Brown said that he was shocked and saddened by the incident since he values good relationships with the nurses who assist police officers with drawing blood. The accused officer is currently on administrative leave.
The tables have turned on the Salt Lake City Police Department after video became public of one of their own arresting a nurse at the University of Utah’s hospital. Law enforcement officer Jeff Payne became irate after nurse Alex Wubbels refused to draw blood from an unconscious patient. The police department didn’t have a warrant for the man’s blood, and the police had not placed the man under arrest.
The trouble began in the middle of a police chase. The man who was later unconscious in a hospital bed was a victim of the chase. The fleeing individual clipped the man’s truck during the chase. The suspect died in the crash.
Even though the police had no suspicion that the unconscious man had done anything wrong, they directed nurse Wubbels to draw the man’s blood. Wubbels explained to officer Payne that nurse protocol and a prior agreement between the hospital and the police prevented them from doing that without a warrant. Wubbels went so far as to show the officer a copy of the written agreement. She also got a supervisor on the phone who confirmed the policy.
At that point, Payne chased the nurse and performed a take down maneuver. He put the woman and handcuffs and dragged her to a police car as she screamed and sobbed. The police accused her of interfering with a law enforcement investigation. More than one officer justified the arrest.
At first, the Salt Lake City Police Department declined to put officer Payne on leave. They took him off the blood draw program. They explained that the incident caused a rift between the hospital employees and the police. It wasn’t until the video became public that they decided to place Payne on administrative leave. They now say that they’re conducting a criminal investigation into the officer’s conduct.
After about 20 minutes of arrest in a law enforcement cruiser, Payne let Wubbels go. She does not face criminal charges. The hospital released a statement commending Wubbels for following policy. In addition, the unconscious man’s employer also issued a statement thanking Wubbels for protecting the privacy of their employee. Wubbels said that she was just doing her job.
Wubbels says that she feels angry and confused. Police claim that they wanted the blood in order to protect the trucker even though they haven’t accused him of any wrongdoing. Wubbels says she hopes the incident can begin a civil discourse and prompt the police to do the right thing.
The State Bar of Texas issued a notice on its website on August 31st indicating its legal hotline would assist low income people seeking pro bono legal services in the aftermath of devastating flooding which has impacted many parts of Texas. The organization also requested volunteer assistance from attorneys, law students, or paralegals interested in donating their time on behalf of this effort.
Pro Bono Assistance
The hotline will match callers with pro bono service providers in their local area. The free service offers assistance in English, Spanish or Vietnamese. Last week, Hurricane Harvey struck the Texas coast several times. It caused some fatalities, and produced extensive property damage. The heavy rains which accompanied the storm contributed to flooding in some locations.
In the aftermath of the disaster, officials anticipate many people will contact the legal services hotline requesting answers to a wide array of questions. Areas of concern will likely extend from the disaster relief process and documentation requirements for obtaining assistance, to inquiries concerning storm cleanup and landlord-tenant issues. Consumer protection issues relating to contractor services may also figure prominently as a topic.
Disaster Relief For Impacted Attorneys And Law Firms
The Texas State Bar also has sought to help attorneys and law firms within disaster areas obtain ready access to resources such as shelter, cleanup assistance and access to temporary office space. The widespread flooding disrupted many Texas legal practices. The website has posted a lengthy list of courthouse closures and delays in impacted communities.
The recent flooding did not create hardships in some cities in Texas. However, it caused massive disruptions in others. The storm left extensive flooding in its wake in coastal areas. Some estimates indicate the total loss of between 30,000 and 40,000 homes in Houston alone, for instance. In Beaumont, the storm left 120,000 people without water. The full scope of the crisis in some areas may only become fully apparent in coming weeks and months.
A Long Term Recovery Process
While many Texans residing in flood plain areas do carry federal flood insurance, some experts believe 80% of the state’s population lacks this coverage. Some houses sustained water damage in areas which have not witnessed flooding in the past. Attorneys seeking to follow the response of the legal profession in Texas to the natural disaster can find updated information posted by the Texas State Bar.
The Texas Supreme Court recently released a favorable emergency order that allows out-of-state lawyers to provide pro bono assistance to victims of the fatal Hurricane Harvey. The order has been enforced for the next six months and is applicable in two main ways. First, legal practice is legalized through a pro bono program that provides crucial services to Hurricane Harvey victims. However, interested lawyers must fill a temporary registration form outlining their intention to the bar.
Secondly, licensed lawyers are allowed to provide legal services to Texas if residents are displaced from their native home due to Hurricane Harvey. The Texas Supreme Court also enforced two other orders in line with Hurricane Harvey. The first order allows for radical changes to procedures and deadlines to courts adversely affected by the Hurricane. The second order focuses on suspending limitation in civil cases in the event claimants can prove catastrophic conditions resulting from Hurricane Harvey. In relation to this, Saundra Brown, a prominent manager at the disaster response unit at Lone Star Legal Aid, insisted that the legal assistance would be beneficial to thousands of victims in need.
While most lawyers from the firm work remotely, senior members from the team are stationed at Texarkana after the company’s Houston headquarters had been damaged in a deceptive fire explosion. In such a situation, lawyers have been tasked with reporting for disaster appeals with FEMA to ensure that people secure income for home repairs, deal with insurance claims and obtain temporary housing.
According to Saundra Brown, the newly drafted lawyers can play an integral role in assisting with the FEMA appeals, while also providing legal assistance to victims at the National Disaster Legal Aid Resource Center. To promote service delivery, the Division has provided hotline numbers for both Louisiana and Texas as follows (800)504-7030 and (800)310-7029. The relief webpage contains precise information regarding volunteer recruitment.
As the Director of YLD’s Disaster Legal Service Program, Andrew VanSingel is tasked with selecting competent lawyers from the vast list of emails that has flooded his inbox. Each lawyer selected will be brought up to speed on how they should assist Hurricane Harvey victims.
Before selection can be done, interested lawyers must be referred to the State Bar of Texas to uniquely present their proficiency in handling pro bono legal aid. Furthermore, interested out-of-state lawyers can also donate money to groups such as the Southeast Louisiana Legal Services, Texas Rio Grande Legal Aid and the Lone Star Legal Aid.
Convicted serial killer Gary Lee Sampson is taking one last shot at avoiding execution for his crimes. A federal jury handed Sampson the conviction in 2001. They agreed with federal prosecutors that Sampson carjacked and murdered Jonathan Rizzo.
At the time, Rizzo was 19 years old and a college student. Sampson was 57 years old. The jury believed that it was fair for Sampson to die for his crime. Sampson has spent the last 16 years trying to challenge the execution.
In addition to his 2001 conviction for carjacking and murder, Sampson is also serving a life sentence for killing Philip McCloskey. McCloskey was a 69-year old plumber. The murder occurred in Massachusetts. His third killing occurred in New Hampshire. In that case, Robert Whitney was the victim.
Sampson committed the Rizzo and McCloskey murders using a similar pattern. He coaxed each victim into allowing him to ride in their car. Then, he told the men to drive to a secluded area. Once they were there, he stabbed them to death. In the Whitney case, he strangled his victim with a rope.
The convicted serial killer recently filed a new appeal after previous efforts failed. Most of the substance of his appeal is against the death penalty. Sampson’s lawyers say that he’s not completely culpable for his crimes because he had brain damage at the time of the killings.
A U.S. District Court judge shot down Sampson’s previous request to overturn his death penalty conviction. Judge Leo T. Sorokin based his ruling on the brutality of the crimes. He said that the murders of the three men were incomprehensible, and that Sampson’s death sentence was not unjust given the seriousness of the crimes.
Although Sampson received his conviction in 2001, the courts didn’t hand down the death sentence until 2003. Since that time, Sampson has engaged in a serious of appeals. At one point, a judge reversed his death sentence. However, court procedures then remanded the matter for a second trial. Sampson then chose to plead guilty. That’s when a federal jury decided to sentence Sampson to death.
The court overturned the first death sentence because of a jury irregularity. They said that the juror should have disclosed more information about her personal history in order to make sure that the jury was fair. If Sampson continues to pursue his case, the matter could end up in front of the U.S. Supreme Court.
Judge Richard Posner of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit learned the hard way that writing jury instructions is more difficult than it looks. In February of 2016, Posner presided over the United States of America v. Enkhchimeg Uliziibayar “Eni” Edwards, a criminal trial heard in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Eastern District. Edwards, a naturalized U.S. citizen, faced two charges each of witness tampering and making false statements on an official questionnaire for federal employment.
The jury convicted Edwards on all four counts. Edwards subsequently appealed all of her convictions. A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit upheld the two making false statements on an official questionnaire for federal employment convictions. The appellate court overturned Edwards’ two witness tampering convictions.
Edwards challenged her witness tampering convictions based on the fact the jury instructions omitted an element of the offense. Witness tampering requires a finding by the jury that the defendant acted corruptly. Before the start of the trial, prosecutors presented Posner with jury instructions that substantially followed extant Seventh Circuit witness tampering instructions. Posner objected to the inclusion of the standard language stating that it had too much “legal jargon” and insisting, “You don’t need ‘corruptly.”
Defense counsel objected, stating, “by eliminating some of this technical language which has been approved by the Seventh Circuit … it will weaken the burden that the government must meet in a criminal case.” Posner overruled the objection and presented the jury instructions without the corruptly element to the jury. A required element of the crime was therefore absent from the jury instructions.
The appellate court overturned the defendant’s two witness tampering convictions due to the court’s failure to adequately instruct the jury on the intent element of the crime. According to the appellate court, the instructions,”failed to inform the jury about an essential element of the witness tampering charges—the corrupt mental state that distinguishes unlawful from innocent interference with an investigation.”
Posner often writes his own jury instructions when sitting as a trial judge in the Seventh Circuit’s district court. He’s a strong proponent of appellate judges getting experience with the demands placed on trial judges. It turns out being a trial judge might be a bit more complicated than Posner expected.
A teenage girl who escaped abuse and oppression in Afghanistan and Pakistan suffered sexual abuse at the hands of her Michigan foster father. Walker resident Nathan Bosma faces several counts of abuse and criminal sexual conduct charges as they relate to the teenage girl. Although he maintains his innocence, he’s reached a plea agreement with prosecutors for the State of Michigan.
The victim lived in dire conditions in Afghanistan before fleeing to Pakistan. There, her father arranged her marriage to a 70-year-old when she was only twelve. The girl fled her family and ran to the Benazir Bhutto Center for Women in Islamabad. They arranged to send her to foster care in the United States. Bethany Christian Services was the U.S. social service organization that arranged for her travel to the United States and placement with Bosma in his upscale home.
42 year old Nathan Chad Bosma said he believed the girl initiated the contact herself. Even so, Bosma accepted guilty pleas to two counts of criminal sexual conduct in the fourth degree. This is a much lighter pair of charges than Bosma faced initially. State prosecutors first charged Bosma with eight different criminal sexual conduct counts each relating to unlawful sexual conduct with the teenage victim.
He finds out his sentence on September 19. He faces no more than one year in a county jail. The victim’s new foster mother says that the sentence is too light for the crime. She says it amounts to a “slap on the wrist.”
The victim’s new foster mother criticizes Bosma for his hypocrisy. She says that he claimed Christian values and forced the child to pray. Allegedly, he even assaulted her once during what was supposed to be prayer time. She said that Bosma went through Bethany Christian Service’s screening process and was well aware of her history when he chose to abuse her. Despite the organization’s screening process, they approved Bosma and sent the girl to her home.
The girl’s new foster mother says that the girl is emotionally traumatized by the abuse especially since she was sent to the United States for her safety. She said that despite Bosma’s claims that the girl may be older than 16, the girl is emotionally a child, and she was put in Bosma’s care for her safety and well being. The girl’s new foster mother said that she can live safely in her home for as long as she needs to.
A Florida judge on Friday dismissed a class action lawsuit brought by supporters of Bernie Sanders against the Democratic National Committee for its handling of the 2016 presidential primary there. Federal Judge William Zloch, in a scathing rebuke of the suit’s plaintiffs, said the plaintiffs “had not presented a case that is cognizable in federal court.”
According to The Washington Post, the lawsuit grew out of hacked emails from DNC computers that were then published on Wikileaks. The plaintiffs claimed they proved the DNC plotted behind the scenes to ensure the success of Hillary Clinton’s candidacy and “actively concealed its bias [thereby] defrauding its donors, and exposing them to harm.”
In dismissing the suit, the judge said even if the accusations could be proven, the plaintiffs “have no standing nor have they demonstrated any recognizable injury.” After saying the case was basically without merit, he then strongly suggested the plaintiffs redress their grievances “through the ballot box, the DNC’s internal workings, or their right of free speech — not through the judiciary.”
Of course, Clinton won the Florida primary, went on to win the democratic nomination for president then lost to Donald Trump in the general election. This clearly irked Sanders” supporters who thought a democratic, populist candidate would have had a better chance of defeating the republican, populist candidate than did traditional candidate Clinton.
The Bernie-backers alleged they made donations to the DNC because they believed it was a “neutral” organization that did not favor one candidate over another, that they were victims of fraud, and that they deserved retribution. The judge disagreed, lashing-out at the group bringing the suit, essentially saying it had wasted the court’s time.
In a 28-page ruling, Judge Sloch wrote: “The Plaintiffs asserting each of these causes of action specifically allege that they donated to the DNC or to Bernie Sanders’s campaign. But not one of them alleges that they ever read the DNC’s charter or heard the statements they now claim are false before making their donations. And not one of them alleges that they took action in reliance on the DNC’s charter or the statements identified in the First Amended Complaint (DE 8). Absent such allegations, these Plaintiffs lack standing.”
Florida attorneys Jared and Elizabeth Beck originally filed the lawsuit In July of 2016. Hundreds of other disgruntled Bernie backers have joined them in forming the class.
California-based mortgage company Cherry Creek Mortgage faces a federal lawsuit that alleges they denied health insurance coverage to the same-sex partner of one of their employees. Judith Dominguez filed the complaint in the US District Court for the Central District of California. The claim says that failing to provide the insurance violates equal protection and discriminates against same-sex couples.
Dominguez signed her spouse up for health insurance. For a year, she believed insurance company UnitedHealthcare was providing the insurance according to plan. The next year, Dominguez tried to re-enroll her spouse in the health insurance program. She claims that the company denied the re-enrollment because the spouse didn’t fit the definition of a married couple. Dominguez says the explanation that she received was that a legal union only qualifies if it’s between a man and a woman.
Dominguez complained to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. In exchange, she says Cherry Creek Mortgage demoted her to a branch that was about to close. She says that they fired her shortly thereafter.
A representative from Cherry Creek mortgage said that they can’t comment on pending litigation. Health insurance company UnitedHealthcare says that they were just acting at the direction of Cherry Creek Mortgage. In addition to refusing to allow Dominguez to re-enroll her spouse, they also retroactively cancelled her insurance for the previous year.
Dominguez’ spouse used the health insurance in order to pay for treatment for two recent heart attacks. She requires ongoing care to monitor her health. Dominguez says that since UnitedHealthcare retroactively cancelled her insurance, they’ve received bills of more than $40,000 for care that should have been covered. They say that they’re sick of bill collectors calling.
Attorneys for the couple say that the company is claiming their Christian values prevent them from providing the insurance. The attorneys say that it’s unfair for the company to use religion as a way to deny health care. Dominguez also points out that the company has no problem selling mortgages to same-sex couples. She said they even train employees for how to keep records of mortgages to same-sex couples.
Dominguez says that even after they fired her, they continued to use her name on their website along with a forged signature. The Dominguez lawsuit is one of many that are currently pending across the United States on the issues of LGBTQ rights. Dominguez and her wife worry about their ability to meet their medical needs in the future.
A legal service organization based in Boca Raton, Florida has launched a new website, which helps reinforce the firm’s objective of preventing the elderly from becoming victims of financial fraud.
According to a press release published Thursday (August 24th) via PRWeb.com, the Silver Law Group just started a website called elderfinancialfraudattorneys.com. This digital platform was designed to protect seniors from those who use the internet to prey on them with the intent to financially exploit. The site also helps people get help who have been victims of rogue stockbrokers and investment advisors that take advantage of people.
Financial fraud against the elderly is a crime that is becoming increasingly more prevalent as the American population continues to grow older. However, the big problem with the gross financial exploitation of seniors is that it goes unreported in a sizable percentage of all criminal cases.
This creates a major cause for alarm when it comes to the aging public and the loved ones who are responsible for their care. According to the Adult Protective Services (APS), a measly one out of 44 incidents of financial fraud against the elderly are reported to law enforcement agencies and APS on an annual basis.
Additionally, around one out of 20 members of the elderly population can attest to being financially defrauded in some shape, way, form, or fashion in recent history. Scott L. Silver is a Managing Partner of the Silver Law Group. His organization’s new website has obviously been formed at a time when these kinds of protections for seniors are desperately needed.
“Elder financial fraud has grown into a social crisis, with seniors losing roughly $37 billion dollars a year because of it,” Silver said in a statement, according to PRWeb.com.
“Licensed members of the financial services industry are partially responsible, and many victims don’t know that there are legal ways to seek justice and possibly recover lost money. Our firm is changing awareness of the issue and putting pressure on unethical financial advisors and brokers,” he continued.
Elderfinancialfraudattorneys.com has an abundance of helpful information, which can educate families about the different forms of financial fraud that are frequently committed against seniors. The site also keeps the public abreast as it pertains to recent legislative or regulatory changes, which are undertaken by numerous government agencies, including the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Silver is a staunch advocate of the elderly who has appeared on various news outlets to offer expert opinion on this growing issue.
Convicted Modesto murderer Scott Peterson is speaking out from prison. While he sits on death row for murdering his pregnant wife Laci, Peterson is reaching out in order to insist on his innocence. The new information comes as Peterson waits for word on his latest appeal.
Laci Peterson went missing shortly before Christmas. She was 27 years old. Police later found her body on the shores of San Francisco Bay.
Scott Peterson says that he wasn’t the last one to see Laci the day she went missing. Peterson blames police for failing to follow leads from witnesses that saw her walking in the neighborhood after he last reported seeing her. He says that the police didn’t have any DNA evidence against him, and that their case was circumstantial.
Peterson said he expected the jury to find him not guilty. He said that he was surprised and shocked when the guilty verdict came down. He said the verdict affected him physically, and he felt sick to his stomach.
After Laci’s disappearance, news leaked that Peterson was having an affair with Amber Frey. Frey reported that Peterson told her that he wasn’t married. He also told her that he lost his wife. Police described Peterson’s behavior after the disappearance as strange. They say that his dishonesty to Frey was a motive for murder.
For now, Peterson’s case waits on appeal at the California Supreme Court. This appeal is the latest of appeals that Peterson began filing in 2012. If his appeal doesn’t succeed, he’s set to die by lethal injection. He waits in San Quentin State Prison. Attorneys for the State of California have filed a response to the appeal.
The reply from state attorneys calls Peterson one of the worst kinds of offenders. They say that Peterson acted callously when he ignored the welfare of his wife and unborn son. The State’s reply to Peterson’s latest appeal is several hundred pages long. Even though there are more than 700 people on California’s death row, the state last carried out an execution approximately a decade ago.
Specifically, the appeal says that the state left prospective jurors in the jury pool even though they disagreed with the death penalty. The appeal says that the court should have dismissed many jurors that they left in the pool. The appeal also argues that admission of certain evidence was unfair. Specifically, Peterson says that the court shouldn’t have admitted evidence about police dogs tracking Laci’s scent. The appeal says that this evidence is too unreliable to justify a death penalty conviction.
Allegations that a prosecutor had inappropriate contact with a judge have landed one Pennsylvania attorney in hot water. Attorney Stacy Parks Miller is defending herself against allegations that she had unethical contact with a judge. The allegations say that the prosecutor contacted the judge via text. They also say that she had a fake Facebook page. Miller is the District Attorney of Centre County.
Miller prosecuted the high-profile cases of several Penn State fraternity members. It’s alleged that the fraternity members caused the death of a pledge because of their hazing practices. Miller answers to the charges of ethical violations at a hearing on November 29. Since the allegations came to light, Miller lost reelection to a challenger in the primary election.
The ethics complaint alleges that Miller used a Facebook page to scope out information about defendants. They say she became Facebook friends with at least two people facing criminal charges. The people involved didn’t have counsel to represent them. The ethics complaint alleges that she did this in order to build her cases against the charged individuals. The evidence against Miller includes allegations that she told her staff to use the fake profile page to friend defendants and witnesses in order to “snoop.”
The charges also include allegations that Miller had inappropriate conduct with a judge about pending cases. Officials say that Miller texted a judge more than 80 times in a six month period. They say that the texts were about cases. Under Pennsylvania ethics rules, it’s inappropriate for an attorney to have contact with the judge in the case without informing the other party about the contact. Attorney ethics rules say that fairness in court proceedings requires both sides to be able to know what the other says to the court and the judge. An attorney who fails to follow this rule can face discipline.
For her defense, Miller says that the Facebook account was part of honest police work. She says that the community faces challenges with bath salts, and the account was necessary to do research and carry out law enforcement activities. She also says she wasn’t the one who initiated the contact with the judge. She said it was the judge who initiated the contact.
She says that officials went about getting copies of the texts using illegal means. Miller says that there’s more to the story than officials are saying. She says that she hopes the truth comes out during the ethical proceedings.
There are studies that date back to 1971 that link Johnson to Johnson baby powder. Only a few cases have gone to trial. However, most of the courts have ruled in favor of the plaintiff. In May 2017, a woman in Virginia was awarded $110 million. Another woman was awarded $72 million, but she died before the verdict was reached. Additionally, there was a woman in Sioux Falls, SD who was awarded millions of dollars, but she also died before the verdict was reached.
Eva was too sick to attend court. She made a video detailing how her life had been changed after using Johnson to Johnson baby powder. In the video, she stated that she started using Johnson to Johnson baby powder when she was 11-years-old. She was diagnosed with ovarian cancer.
Eva knows that she probably will not live a long. She stated that she is not doing this for herself. She wants to help women who are dealing with a similar situation. Carol Goodrich is the spokeswoman for Johnson to Johnson baby powder. She stated that she is saddened by the fact that people have been diagnosed with ovarian cancer. However, Johnson and Johnson plans to file an appeal.
Carol stated that there are studies that prove Johnson to Johnson baby powder is safe. She also stated the studies linking baby powder to ovarian cancer have not yielded consistent results. Talc is one of the ingredients in baby powder. It is similar to asbestos, which is a known carcinogen.
For many criminals and suspects, cell phones seized from them by law enforcement agents can easily change from blessing to curse especially if they have incriminating text messages and other evidences. However, in a ruling that is bound to change the law enforcement sector a U.S. Court of Appeals sitting in the District of Columbia held that incriminating text messages cannot be used as evidence if they were obtained in a broadly issued search warrant. The ruling particularly questioned the legality of a search warrant issued with the view of taking advantage of the prevalence of cell phones in homes.
The 18 August 2017 landmark ruling whose legal ripple effects will be felt in cities all across the country for years to come stemmed from a court case involving a convicted felon who had been found guilty of unlawfully possessing a firearm. Ezra Griffith, a convicted felon, had been found guilty by a jury for unlawfully possessing a firearm in 2013. This was as a result of a police raid at his residence using a search warrant issued by a judge.
The warrant allowed law enforcement officers to search Mr. Griffith’s residence and take into their possession any cell phones and electronic devices found. The firearm in question had been thrown out of the felon’s window. The search warrant was requested by the police officers who were investigating a 2011 murder case. Mr. Griffith was suspected to be the driver of the vehicle that was used by the suspected murderers to get away from the scene.
From Admissible to Inadmissible Evidence
Following his conviction, Mr. Griffith’s attorneys appealed the ruling arguing that the search warrant was defective as it broadly focused on cell phones instead of a gun that could have been used to commit the crime. They therefore called on the judges to suppress the gun that used as the primary evidence in convicting Mr. Griffith.
In a 2 – 1 ruling, the U.S Court of Appeals held that the warrant was open-ended and based on the assumption that all suspects own cell phones just because cell phones are prevalent in homes across the country. In a majority ruling read by Judge Sri Srinivasan who was joined by Judge Nina Pillard, the court declared that the warrant was unconstitutional as it speculated that Mr. Griffith owned a cell phone and that the cell phone contained incriminating evidence. However, Judge Janice Rogers Brown held that the gun should have admitted as evidence as it was obtained as the police followed the law in obtaining it.
Most legal topics pertain to highly serious matters, but a few exceptions exist. For instance, people often enjoy reading about the strange laws that legislators have enacted in various states. Pennsylvania has its share of odd rules. They regulate activities ranging from paintball fights to fishing. If you need some entertainment or want to make sure that you don’t break one of these strange laws, you’ve come to the right place.
A couple of weird rules govern weddings performed in the Keystone State. One law prohibits the public from firing cannons, guns or similar weapons during these events. Another statute only applies to ministers. It bars them from helping inebriated people become married. Perhaps this rule could bring into question the legal validity of a drunken partner’s marriage vows.
If they have law-abiding parents, Pennsylvanian children needn’t worry about walking long distances to the bathroom at night. A law states that lavatories must be located within 200 feet of youngsters’ bedrooms. Kids need access to nearby shower stalls or bathtubs as well. Nevertheless, a number of exceptions apply. People with travel trailers or other mobile housing may not need to follow this rule.
If you want to buy hard liquor in Pennsylvania, state law only allows you to purchase it from a government-run store. The Liquor Control Board’s website lets visitors search for the nearest Wine and Spirits shop. Approximately 600 of these stores exist throughout the state. In 2016, an updated law permitted private restaurants and supermarkets to begin selling wine. It also enabled convenience stores to offer beer.
Be careful when you aim your paintball gun in Pennsylvania. A law forbids people from shooting at anyone who isn’t engaged in the sport. The state also maintains a few other rules involving this game. One law seeks to punish any paintball enthusiast who damages someone else’s property. Another rule describes acceptable ways to carry a paintball gun in a car or truck.
If you prefer bullets to paintballs, you’ll need to follow a different set of peculiar laws. For example, the state government doesn’t allow people to hunt animals in graveyards. Another statute only pertains to relatively large beasts. It prohibits hunters from targeting these animals while they swim. If deer could read Pennsylvania’s laws, they’d probably gather in cemeteries near streams.
Anglers also face a few unusual rules. When you run out of bait, think twice before reaching into the aquarium. Pennsylvania’s Fish and Boat Code stipulates that no one may use goldfish, koi, common carp or comets as bait. This rule went into effect in September 2000. Another law lists illegal fishing techniques; don’t let the police find any dynamite in your tackle box!
Several weird rules only exist in certain cities. For instance, Pittsburgh bans trolley passengers from transporting mules or donkeys. It’s not clear how this rule came to be, but the story may have involved some indignant trolley riders and a farmer with livestock. Morrisville, Pa. still has a law requiring women to gain permits before they apply cosmetics.
Some people claim that other strange statutes exist in the Keystone State. However, it’s hard to determine if they truly remain in effect. They include rules against sweeping dust under a rug or sleeping on a refrigerator while outdoors. It’s even possible that Pennsylvania barred anyone who has engaged in a duel from serving as governor.
Before he started working as a lawyer, Karl Heideck underwent extensive education. He enrolled in Swarthmore College and successfully obtained a bachelor’s degree. Heideck primarily attended literature and English classes. Six years later, he finished earning a law degree from Temple University. The aspiring attorney received impressive grades while studying at Temple’s Beasley School of Law.
Karl Heideck has worked in and around Philadelphia during the last seven years. After becoming an associate at the Conrad O’Brien law firm in 2010, he served a variety of businesses and individuals. This experience helped him become a proficient litigator. Heideck performed both pre- and post-trial tasks. He eventually left Conrad O’Brien and began working as a project lawyer at Pepper Hamilton LLP.
Heideck has expertise in numerous areas. They include merchandise liability, corporate litigation, research, employment law, risk management and writing. He authored an online guide that explains how small companies can follow the Keystone State’s employment rules. Heideck strives to help business executives understand and comply with intricate government regulations. He also wrote about the best way to become an attorney.
Karl Heideck currently works as a Hire Counsel contract lawyer. He represents Pennsylvanians who face business-related legal action. The skillful attorney persistently works to ensure that each client achieves the best possible outcome. He provides expert consultations on risk management and regulatory compliance as well. Heideck also continues to write blog entries about various law-related news and issues.