legal brief dickerson

October 5th, 2010

Charles T. Dickerson v. United States U.S. Supreme Court No. 99-5525. June 26, 2000.

Facts: Dickerson was indicted for bank robbery, conspiracy to commit bank robbery, and using a firearm in the course of committing a crime of violence according to Title 18 of the United States Code. Dickerson moved to suppress a statement he gave to the FBI on the grounds he did not receive “Miranda warnings” before the interrogation. District Court approved the motion. On appeal, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit found that the decision in Miranda was not a constitutional holding, and Congress could by statute have the final say on the question of admissibility.

Procedural History: Government took an interlocutory appeal to the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. Court of appeals reversed the District Court’s decision. Dickerson appealed to the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court granted cert.

Issue: Whether Congress has the constitutional authority to supersede the Supreme Court’s holdings in Miranda.

Holding: No

Reasoning: Congress can only create rules that supersede judicially created rules of evidence and procedure that are not required by the Constitution. The protections announced in Miranda are constitutionally required because the rules the Miranda put in place were made to protect citizens from circumstances that did not meet constitutional standards for protection. Since the nature of police interrogation provides risk of violating someone’s right against self-incrimination, the Court decided that the traditional totality-of-the-circumstances test was lacking. Therefore, the Court thought it a necessity to guard citizens’ constitutional rights by creating the Miranda rules.

Legal Brief Dickerson

October 5th, 2010

Charles T. Dickerson v. United States U.S. Supreme Court No. 99-5525. June 26, 2000.

Facts: Dickerson was indicted for bank robbery, conspiracy to commit bank robbery, and using a firearm in the course of committing a crime of violence according to Title 18 of the United States Code. Dickerson moved to suppress a statement he gave to the FBI on the grounds he did not receive “Miranda warnings” before the interrogation. District Court approved the motion. On appeal, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit found that the decision in Miranda was not a constitutional holding, and Congress could by statute have the final say on the question of admissibility.

Procedural History: Government took an interlocutory appeal to the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. Court of appeals reversed the District Court’s decision. Dickerson appealed to the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court granted cert.

Issue: Whether Congress has the constitutional authority to supersede the Supreme Court’s holdings in Miranda.

Holding: No

Reasoning: Congress can only create rules that supersede judicially created rules of evidence and procedure that are not required by the Constitution. The protections announced in Miranda are constitutionally required because the rules the Miranda put in place were made to protect citizens from circumstances that did not meet constitutional standards for protection. Since the nature of police interrogation provides risk of violating someone’s right against self-incrimination, the Court decided that the traditional totality-of-the-circumstances test was lacking. Therefore, the Court thought it a necessity to guard citizens’ constitutional rights by creating the Miranda rules.

legal brief Draper

October 5th, 2010

Draper v. United States 358 U.S. Supreme Court, January 26, 1959.

Facts: Federal narcotics agent Marsh had 29 years of experience. Marsh had been receiving information from a “special employee” of the Bureau of Narcotics at Denver about narcotic related crimes. The special employee had repeatedly proved himself reliable and his information accurate. The employee told Marsh that James Draper was dealing heroin to several addicts and he went to Chicago to pick up more heroin that he was planning to bring back and sell. The employee gave a accurate description to Marsh and he apprehended Draper. Draper argued that the information given by Hereford to Marsh was hearsay thus not legally competent information and that Marsh’s information obtained from Herford was insufficient to show probable cause.

Procedural History: Defendant filed a motion to suppress in the trial court. Trial court denied the motion to suppress and he was convicted. He appealed to the United States Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit, and the 10th Circuit upheld his conviction. He requested review by the Supreme Court and cert was granted.

Issue: Whether knowledge of the related facts and circumstances gave Marsh probable cause within the meaning of the Fourth Amendment, and reasonable grounds to believe that petitioner had committed or was committing a violation of the narcotic laws.

Holding: Yes

Reasoning: Since Hereford was a employee of the Bureau of Narcotics at Denver and his information was repeatedly found to be credible it would have been contrary of the obligations of Marsh if he did not use the information use the information to pursue Draper. Since the information provided by Hereford was accurately applicable to Draper at the time of the crime, it was on reasonable grounds that Marsh should have apprehended Draper. Therefore, the arrest was lawful and the search and seizure was lawful as well. Also, Draper’s claim that the search and seizure was caused by hearsay and should as a result suppress the evidence is invalid because hearsay only applies to proving guilt not proving probable cause.

legal brief stamper

September 28th, 2010

Walter R. Stamper v. Commonwealth of Virginia: Supreme Court of Virginia

Facts: After suspicion of Stamper accepting contraband as payment for his legal services, two law enforcement officers persuaded a drug suspect to solicit Stamper for his services. The two officers gave 3.88lbs of marijuana to the suspect to offer Stamper as a mode of paying for legal fees. The officers instructed the suspect not to specifically ask to pay Stamper with the contraband and the suspect complied. The two officers recorded and took photographs of the meeting between the suspect and Stamper where Stamper willingly accepted the contraband as a retainer. The police officers later found the 3.88lbs of marijuana in Stamper’s car after Stamper tried to evade the police in his vehicle. On the day of the arrest, Stamper won a case in court where the judge presiding over Stamper’s eventual court case heard the case. Stamper was convicted of possession and intent to distribute 3.88lbs of marijuana. On appeal Stamper raised issues which included, an error in citation of the statutory subsection in the indictment, entrapment, an argument that the trial judge should have recused himself sua sponte, that evidence of diminished mental competency should be allowed despite not pleading insanity, and that the judge attempted to punish him for appealing by denying motions to suspend sentencing and for probation.

Procedural History: Appealed to the Circuit Court of Washington County. Circuit Court upheld district court’s decision. Appealed to the Supreme Court of Virginia.

Issues: 1) Whether an error in the citation of a statutory subsection of a indictment results in the dismissal of a indictment or conviction.

2) Whether the actions by the two officers violated entrapment rules.

3) Whether a judge must be disqualified from the case because he heard a case in which the defendant participated in on the day of his arrest and that could affect his judgment of the defendants argument of his mental competency.

4) Whether questions of mental competency can be raised in a case in absence of a insanity defense.

5) Whether the defendants constitutional right to appeal a case was infringed by the court denying motions to suspend sentencing and denying probation.

Holding: 1) No 2) No 3) No 4) No 5) No

Reasoning: 1) The dismissal of a indictment or the reversal of a conviction only occurs when it is found that the error prejudiced the accused in preparing his defense. In this case, the defense knew about the discrepancy five months before hand, that was enough time to adjust or to ask for its amendment.

2) According to Sorrells v. U.S. the definition of entrapment is the “conception and planning of an offense by a officer, and his procurement of its commission by one who would not have perpetrated it except for the trickery, persuasion, or fraud of the officer. In this case, the use of the suspect did not violate this definition because the suspect did not actively offer the contraband as payment. He only said, “some other stuff I could get rid off.” It was solely Stampers decision to make the deal to exchange his legal services for marijuana.

3) Since the defendant did not use an insanity plea, the question of his mental competency on that day has no outcome on the case, therefore the judge’s perception of the defendant on that day would have no effect on the impartial judgment of the case.

4) Since the state of knowledge in the fields of medicine and psychology are constantly changing, the classifications for mental illnesses and conditions are constantly changing. Our common law system cannot allow each case to be decided on different standards of an ever changing fields of study. Instead the courts use a constant standard of mental competence to determine criminal responsibility. Either a person is Sane or Insane according to this standard. Since the defendant did not claim to beyond the borderline of sanity, he is perceived by the court to be sane. His claims of his mental competency do not affect his guilt.

5) The attorney general said that it is within the trial courts discretion to deny suspension of sentencing and to deny probation. Since there is no evidence of the Court doing this to punish the defendant, there is no reason to think that the court denied him his right to appeal. Also, since the defendant was able to appeal his case to the Virginia Supreme Court, a decision on whether he was denied the right to appeal would be moot.

legal brief drug dog

September 28th, 2010

Illinois v. Roy I. Caballes 543 U.S. 405 U.S. Supreme Court January 24, 2005.

Facts: Illinois State Trooper Daniel Gillette stopped Caballes for speeding. While announcing the stop on the radio, Craig Graham of the Illinois State Police Drug Interdiction Team, overheard the transmission and headed to the scene with his narcotics detection dog. The dog found marijuana in the trunk of the car. There were no signs during the routine traffic stop prior to the arrival of the dog to require a search of the car. The state court proceedings determined that the stop was not improperly extended to enable the drug dog to arrive. Caballes was convicted and sentenced to 12 years imprisonment and a $256,136 fine by the trail court.

Procedural History: The case was appealed to the Illinois Court of Appeals and confirmed by the court. The Illinois Supreme Court reversed the decision. The U.S. Supreme Court granted certiorari.

Issue: Whether the use of a narcotic detecting canine during a routine traffic stop without any sign of possession of narcotics is a violation of privacy rights protected by the Fourth Amendment.

Holding: No

Reasoning: A sniff by a narcotic detecting canine during a routine traffic stop does not infringe privacy rights because it in no way would lead to the lawful information being uncovered by the law enforcement officer. The sniff will only uncover contraband in someone’s car and no one has the right to have marijuana.

legal brief

September 28th, 2010

Hudson v. Michigan 04-1360 U.S. Supreme Court June 15, 2006.

Facts: The police obtained a warrant authorizing a search of Hudson’s house for drugs and firearms. The police found drugs and firearms in the house, however, they violated the “knock and announce” rule by only waiting 3-5 seconds before they broke the door. The trial court accepted Hudson’s motion to suppress the evidence found by the police, arguing that the premature entry violated his Fourth Amendment rights. After appeals, Hudson was convicted of drug possession.

Procedural History: On interlocutory review, the Michigan Court of Appeals reversed the trial courts decision. The Supreme Court of Michigan denied appeal. Hudson renewed his fourth amendment objection and appealed to the Court of Appeals. Court of Appeals affirmed the conviction. Michigan Supreme Court declined review. U.S. Supreme Court granted certiorari.

Issue: Whether violation of “knock-and-announce” rule requires the suppression of all evidence found in the search.

Holding: No

Reasoning: The interests of the “knock and announce” rule do not include suppression of evidence. “Knock and announce” only protects someone’s ability to prepare themselves for police entry, someone’s ability to comply with the law in order to avoid destruction of their property, and prevention of violence as a result of unannounced entry. The exclusionary rule does not apply to this case because suppressing evidence as a result of “knock and announce” rule violation would create social costs which would outweigh the benefits of its deterrence. For example, if evidence were to be suppressed as a result of violation of “knock and announce” violation then there would be a flood of cases dealing with this issue, a weakened ability of policy to obtain evidence, and a greater chance of violence against police officers.

dlaw

September 22nd, 2010

Possible objections or answers to objections.

1) Separation of law and law as it ought to be disregards the problem of penumbra. Pg 65.

2) Blackstone’s idea that judges only find not make law.

3) we can say laws are incurably incomplete and we must decide penumbral cases rationally by reference to social aims. 68

4) insist on the utilitarian distinction is to emphasize that the hard core of settled meaning is law in some centrally important sense and that even if there are borderlines, there must first be lines. 68

5) General propositions do not solve cases. Holmes, 68

6) The obligation to obey the law is a moral obligation. It is implausible to state that the obligation to obey the law is superior to other moral obligations.

legal brief 5

September 14th, 2010

Tyler Chase Harper v. Poway Unified School District 445 F.3d 1166 U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. April 20, 2006.

Facts: Tyler Chase Harper, a high school sophomore, spent a class day in the principle’s office for wearing a T-shirt which contained disparaging statements about the homosexual community. Chase was not suspended or sanctioned in any way.

Procedural History: Chase filed suit in federal court claiming that the school had violated his First Amendment rights to freedom of speech and religion, as well as rights protected by the equal protection and due process clauses under the federal Constitution and the California Civil Code. Chase asked the court for a preliminary injunction and the school asked to dismiss the case. Both were denied. The Court dismissed all of Chase’s claims except the First Amendment claims because of the school‘s qualified immunity. Chase appealed the preliminary injunction decision to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

Issue: Whether forbidding a student in a public high school to wear a derogatory T-shirt violates his or her First Amendment rights to freedom of speech and religion.

Holding: No

Reasoning: Tinker v. Des Moines Indep. Cmty. Sch. Dist. allows school officials to curtail free speech of a student if that speech impinges upon the rights of other students or causes a substantial disruption or material interference with school activities. In this case, Chase’s t-shirt impinges on homosexual classmates right to a education without being psychological or emotionally harassed by other students. As a result, Chase would not receive a preliminary injunction for freedom of speech because it is highly unlikely that that claim will have merit in district court. Lastly, Chase’s claim that the school violated his right to free exercise of religion and his rights protected by the establishment clause is without merit. The school did not violate his right to free exercise of religion because there is no evidence in the ruling to suggest the school burdened his ability to exercise his religion. The establishment clause doesn’t apply because the banning of the t-shirt was not religiously motivated.

legal brief 4

September 14th, 2010

Macomber v. Dillman 505 A.2d 810 Supreme Judicial Court of Maine. February 27, 1986.

Facts: Roxanne Macomber underwent tubal ligation for the purpose of being sterilized. After the surgery she conceived and given birth to a healthy and normal child.

Procedural History: The plaintiffs, Roxanne and Steven Macomber, filed a complaint of negligent and careless failure to comply with the standard of care of medical practice against the defendants, Carter F. Dillman and the Webber Hospital Association. Plaintiffs claimed damages including the cost of raising and educating the child, the medical and other expenses of the pregnancy and child birth, the expenses for the subsequent hysterectomy, lost wages, loss of consortium, the medical expenses related to the failed tubal ligation, physical impairment of Roxanne Macomber, and physical and mental anguish of Roxanne Macomber. Defendants filed motion for dismissal or summary judgment on the grounds that the plaintiff failed to state a claim for which relief could be granted because they could not claim damages for the rearing and educating of a healthy child. The Superior Court denied the defendant‘s claim.. The plaintiffs and the defendants filed a joint motion to have the Supreme Judicial Court of Maine set forth the damages.

Issue: Whether a parent can claim damages for the birth and rearing of a healthy child.

Holding: No

Reasoning: Regarding this case, a parent can claim damages as a result of medical mistreatment by a complaint of negligence. However, the scope of damages does not extend to cover expenses caused after the birth like education of the child. It is in the interest of public policy to deny the claim that giving birth to a healthy child invokes an injury or damages to the parent.

law last P

September 14th, 2010

Reasoning: When Officer Miller and Officer Raskin used overly aggressive tactics to subdue Solomon despite the overall compliance and lack a perceived threat of flight from Solomon, the officers clearly violated her right to be free from excessive force during an arrest. Since the methods they used were grossly out of balance with the crime of trespassing it is clear that the methods the two officers used was unlawful and not reasonable. As a result of the two officers’ methods being a violation of her fourth amendment rights and being unreasonable for the crime, the officers qualified immunity is not granted.