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inquirer.com

Meek Mill’s lawyers and Philly DA’s Office tell Pa. appeals court that he deserves a new trial

inquirer.com Meek Mill’s legal journey took another step Tuesday afternoon, but it will take time to determine how much closer that step moved the celebrity rapper toward his long-desired goal of removing a decade-old conviction from his record.

newsmax.com

Pennsylvania to Better Track Guns Used in Crimes as Violence Soars

"Speaking at a news conference in Erie, Attorney General Josh Shapiro said he wants police departments to enter serial numbers from every gun used in a crime or seized by police into a law-enforcement database so that its original seller can be identified and the information shared with other departments."

newsmax.com The Pennsylvania attorney general's office launched an effort Thursday to improve the use of firearms databases, so law enforcement can better track guns used in crimes and, ultimately, clamp down on gun violence.The move comes amid a surge in such violence in Philadelphia....

pennlive.com

Probation in Pennsylvania keeps people trapped in the cycle of incarceration | Opinion

"Those on probation are subject to near-constant government surveillance and supervision. Pennsylvania is also one of just a handful of states that fails to impose a cap on the length of the probation sentences. Pennsylvania judges have the discretion to dole out probation sentences that can last years, even decades."

pennlive.com Those on probation are subject to near-constant government surveillance and supervision. Pennsylvania is also one of just a handful of states that fails to impose a cap on the length of the probation sentences.

Sommer Law Group, P.C.

"Fireworks laws and regulations are not simple and they vary greatly from state to state. As we head into the Fourth of July, midsummer fireworks season, here's what you need to know about fireworks in Pennsylvania."

northcentralpa.com

Senate approves new phase of criminal justice reforms

"Over the past six years, the inmate population in state prisons has been reduced by more than 4,000, and the crime rate has decreased by approximately 18 percent, saving $400 million in projected costs to taxpayers."

northcentralpa.com HARRISBURG, Pa. – The State Senate approved a bipartisan package of criminal justice reforms recently to reduce prison and probation costs, better protect crime victims and strengthen public safety, according

post-gazette.com

30 million criminal cases will be sealed in Pa. starting Friday

"Starting Friday, an automated computer process will begin wiping cases from public databases. These include charges that were dropped or where individuals were found not guilty, as well as summary convictions and other nonviolent crimes that occurred more than 10 years ago."

post-gazette.com Pennsylvania’s Clean Slate law is the first in the nation to automatically seal some criminal records via technology.

post-gazette.com

Pa. pardons board votes 5-0 to grant clemency to Robert Wideman in 1975 murder

"On Thursday, Judge Manning spoke in favor of Wideman’s release, though he focused more on technicalities in the law than on the malpractice suit. He has long been critical of the state’s felony murder law and the mandatory life prison sentence that comes with it, saying it leaves no room for consideration at sentencing."

post-gazette.com Author John Edgar Wideman’s brother is serving a life sentence for a 1975 murder. Prosecutors and the victim’s family oppose commutation.

papost.org

Technical parole violations cost PA about $100 million a year: Report | PA Post

"On any given day, more than 7,000 people are incarcerated in Pennsylvania for some kind of supervision violation, according to the report from the Council of State Governments Justice Center."

papost.org Focused on Pennsylvania's public policies, politics and statewide issues

ydr.com

Some Pa. DUI cases could be thrown out after sobriety checkpoints examined by court

"In Commonwealth v. Hlubin, the court ruled on May 31 that local governments generally must each adopt an ordinance to hold sobriety checkpoints with police officers from multiple jurisdictions."

ydr.com Local governments must generally adopt ordinances to hold sobriety checkpoints with police officers from multiple jurisdictions, the court ruled.

wgbh.org

Federal Judge Rules People Can Secretly Record Police In Public Spaces

"A federal judge ordered the Boston Police Department and the Suffolk County District Attorney to notify their officers and prosecutors that people have the right to secretly record police, as long as the police are on-duty and in public."

wgbh.org “We were finding that people were being arrested and being charged with secretly recording police officers who were performing their duties in public,” Segal said, “and we believed that those arrests and those prosecutions were improper and unconstitutional.”

ydr.com

Here's how York's mayor is addressing police officers' controversial Facebook posts

"The Plain View Project examined Facebook comments and posts from current and retired police officers in York; Philadelphia; Dallas; St. Louis; Phoenix; Twin Falls, Idaho; Denison, Texas; and Lake County, Florida. Researchers flagged posts that they believed could erode public trust and confidence in law enforcement."

ydr.com "We're not going to have it here in York city," Mayor Michael Helfrich said of the police officer's Facebook post that he found most concerning.

pennlive.com

Calls for criminal justice reform in Pa. are gathering broad support

"Charles came to the Pennsylvania Capitol on Monday to join with an array of Republican and Democratic lawmakers as well as representatives from a broad spectrum of community organizations to participate in a news conference highlighting the importance of re-entry and re-integration programs."

pennlive.com Re-entry into society can be tough for an ex-offender and now Pa. lawmakers are focused on easing the path to re-entry into society.

reuters.com

Ohio doctor charged with 25 counts of murder for giving fatal...

"He became the latest in a wave of U.S. doctors charged for their role in a public health crisis that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said led to a record 47,600 opioid-related overdose deaths in 2017."

reuters.com An Ohio doctor was charged with 25 counts of murder for administering high and s...

phoenixvillenews.com

Major criminal justice reform bill sponsored by Killion passes Senate

"SB501 would streamline the placement of offenders in drug treatment programs and other intermediate punishment programs, and improve and expedite the parole process for non-violent offenders."

phoenixvillenews.com CHADDS FORD — Senate Bill 501, sponsored by Senator Tom Killion and part of a bi-partisan package of criminal justice reform legislation, unanimously passed the Pennsylvania Senate Wednesday.

post-gazette.com

Good moral character? In Pa., drunken driving and other crimes don't mean you can't teach

"The state almost always turns down would-be school employees with histories of inappropriate contact with minors, but violent crime and drunken driving don’t necessarily preclude applicants from getting educational certificates in Pennsylvania."

post-gazette.com

mcall.com

In Allentown case, state Supreme Court says police can’t search suspects just because they’re armed

"The court ruled a police officer’s knowledge that a person is carrying a gun no longer constitutes reasonable suspicion to detain and investigate whether they’re licensed to do so."

mcall.com In a decision throwing out the conviction of Michael J. Hicks of Allentown, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court on Friday overturned a longstanding legal doctrine allowing police to stop and search a suspect solely for carrying a concealed weapon.The court ruled a police officer’s knowledge that a pers...

post-gazette.com

Pa. prisons to extend medication-assisted treatment for drug addiction to incoming inmates

"Currently, the only medication-assisted treatment for drug addiction that is available at all 25 of the state’s prisons is offered to inmates as they prepare to be released."

post-gazette.com

triblive.com

Bret Grote: The travesty of the Allegheny County Jail

"A 2016 study found that as many as 81% of those held in the jail have not been convicted of a crime, 20% higher than the national average."

triblive.com Nelson Mandela said, “It is said that no one truly knows a nation until one has been inside its jails. A nation should not be judged by how it treats its highest citizens, but its lowest ones.” By every measure, the Allegheny County Jail fails this test. Meant to be

whyy.org

Pa. touted as criminal justice reform model, but officials say there's more to do

"Pennsylvania has among the most people on probation and parole in the country, and so far, efforts to ease the laws that keep them there have failed. The commonwealth also hands out more life-without-parole sentences than any other state".

whyy.org As Washington lawmakers debate a proposal to ease harsh federal sentencing guidelines, Pennsylvania is being cited as a role model.

blogs.findlaw.com

Not Quite the Happiest Place on Earth: Grandmother Arrested at Disney - FindLaw

"The Happiest Place on Earth ... Unless You Have CBD Oil..."

blogs.findlaw.com Was a grandmother really arrested for CBD oil possession at Disney World? Find out more in FindLaw's Legally Weird Blog.

penncapital-star.com

Ex-offenders in Pa. can be denied professional licenses because of old convictions. Bipartisan lawmakers want to change that | Pennsylvania Capital-Star

"Sixty-one percent of people released from Pennsylvania prisons are rearrested within three years of their release, often because they cannot find employment, said Stephen Bloom, president of the Commonwealth Foundation, a conservative research and advocacy organization that supports the licensing reform.'The only way to lower the recidivism rate is to increase the employment rate,' Harris said."

penncapital-star.com One year after Pennsylvania passed its landmark Clean Slate Law, which shields certain criminal records from the view of employers, lawmakers hope to eliminate yet another barrier to employment for ex-offenders.

mcall.com

Marijuana legalization: Social equity becomes a key question in New Jersey, other states

"Some states and cities have started post-legalization initiatives to expunge criminal records and open doors in the cannabis business for people with pot convictions. California, for instance, passed a sweeping expungement law last year affecting hundreds of thousands of drug offenders."

mcall.com Advocates for legalizing marijuana have long argued it would strike a blow for social justice after a decades-long drug war that disproportionately targeted minority and poor communities. But social equity has been both a sticking point and selling point this year in New York and New Jersey, among o...

forbes.com

New York And Pennsylvania Will No Longer Suspend Driver's Licenses Over Drug Crimes

"Previously, any drug offense in either state (no matter how minor) triggered a mandatory license suspension of at least six months, even if the crime had nothing to do with driving."

forbes.com Previously, any drug offense (no matter how minor) triggered a mandatory suspension of at least six months, even if the crime has nothing to do with driving.

philly.com

Could Pa. Supreme Court ruling in Philly man’ s DUI affect hundreds of criminal cases?

"Prior to 2013, it was permissible for a Philadelphia defendant’s summary offense to be heard in Traffic Court and misdemeanor and felonies offenses to be heard in Municipal and Common Pleas Courts. But since folding Traffic Court into Municipal Court, lawyers contend, Philadelphia prosecutors should be trying all of a defendant’s summary and more serious offenses together."

philly.com The state Supreme Court rules that a man already convicted of a traffic offense cannot be tried at a second trial for the DUI charges from the same stop. State law requires that a defendant be tried at the same time for all offenses that arise from the same incident.

fox43.com

Bill proposed to eliminate conceal carry permit requirement in PA

"If passed, the 'Constitutional Carry' legislation, introduced by state representative Aaron Bernstine, will allow gun owners who have already completed a criminal background check to conceal and carry without a permit."

fox43.com HARRISBURG, Pa. -- A state lawmaker is proposing a bill that will change Pennsylvania conceal carry permit requirements. If passed, the 'Constitutional Carry' legislation, introduced by state representative Aaron Bernstine, will allow gun owners who have already completed a criminal background check...

post-gazette.com

Rivers Casino fined $90,000 for underage gambling, drinking

"The Rivers Casino was fined $90,000 by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board Wednesday for seven instances in which individuals younger than 21 gained access in order to gamble and consume alcohol."

post-gazette.com State gaming board imposes fine on North Shore casino for seven violations.

blogs.findlaw.com

Marking Tires for Parking Enforcement Ruled Unconstitutional - FindLaw

“In Taylor v. City of Saginaw, the U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals said the chalking/tracking violates the Constitution. The unanimous court said the practice violates the right to be free from unreasonable searches. It's like entering property without a search warrant, the appeals panel said.”

blogs.findlaw.com Turns out, that chalk mark on your tire is unconstitutional. Find out why on FindLaw's 6th Circuit Blog.

wtae.com

New law ends Pennsylvania driver's license suspensions for non-driving offenses

“Wolf's administration says the law means the state will no longer automatically suspend some 20,000 licenses annually.”

wtae.com Gov. Wolf says the new law removes a roadblock for someone who needs a driver's license to find and keep a job, especially where public transportation isn't accessible.

blogs.findlaw.com

Giving Cops the Finger Is Protected Speech

"As the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals explained, in fantastic fashion, giving cops the finger is protected speech. Sure, you can't obstruct them from doing their jobs, or act menacing towards them, but court after court has found that middle finger is expressive, protected First Amendment speech. Quoting the court, it's 'crude, but not criminal.' "

blogs.findlaw.com Usually when a cop cuts you a break by issuing a lesser violation after pulling you over for whatever it was that you were doing, most of us are in such shock that we're almost thankful for the ticket. Then...

Sommer Law Group, P.C.

COURT CLOSURES TOMORROW, JANUARY 30, 2019

Cannabis Legal Counsel

"The new bill filed in the House on Wednesday by Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) is titled the Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol Act. If passed, it would remove cannabis from the federal Controlled Substances Act."

[12/23/18]   PSA: the courts are closed for the holiday on Monday and Tuesday, so if you’re arrested, you’ll be sitting in jail until Wednesday ⚖️🏛

Happy Holidays!

Cannabis Legal Counsel

“Hemp, like marijuana, already is legal in some states. Approval at the national level brings a host of benefits that the pot industry has yet to see.”

blogs.findlaw.com

Are the Cops in Your Nest? How Smart Home Devices Are Turning Into Surveillance Tools

"According to Nest's own transparency report, law enforcement has requested data at least 300 times over the past three years... Nest admits to handing over some data in response to about 30 percent of the requests it received."

blogs.findlaw.com There is a rule of thumb in the data security realm that advises against hooking anything up to the internet that doesn't need to be, the idea being that internet connectivity is a door through which most every hacker finds...

blogs.findlaw.com

Murder Victim's Fitbit Data Is Relevant

blogs.findlaw.com It's usually pretty darn obvious that the significant other did it in most murder mystery television dramas. Sometimes, real life resembles TV drama, like when data from a Fitbit ends up being the critical piece of evidence in proving...

blogs.findlaw.com

Does Dementia on Death Row Matter?

"The big question boils down to whether a person with dementia, who cannot remember his crime(s), should be executed."

blogs.findlaw.com The case of Vernon Madison was just argued before the Supreme Court again. However, this time, there might be a bit of a catch 22, or perhaps, a catch 8, seeing as how the Court is one justice shy...

blogs.findlaw.com

Could You Be Tricked Into Unlocking Your iPhone With Your Face?

blogs.findlaw.com Apple's iPhones appear to be getting more secure: they've moved from passcodes to fingerprints, and again from fingerprints to facial recognition. But while this may keep your iPhone safer from hackers, it may not keep it safer from law enforcement....

blogs.findlaw.com

Banana Boxes Donated to Texas Prison Contain $18M of Cocaine

blogs.findlaw.com At a prison in Texas, banana boxes were used to smuggle $18 million of cocaine. Read more on FindLaw Legal Blogs.

[09/04/18]   Long weekends and holidays often show an uptick in traffic-related violations. Questions about a run-in over the weekend? We're in the office all day!

cnn.com

California eliminates cash bail

"California will end the cash bail system in a sweeping reform for the state. Rather than requiring defendants to pay in order to be released before trial, their release will hinge on an assessment of their risk to public safety."

cnn.com California will end the cash bail system in a sweeping reform for the state. Rather than requiring defendants to pay in order to be released before trial, their release will hinge on an assessment of their risk to public safety.

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Pittsburgh, PA
15222

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