The Latest News

25
Jan

EXECUTIVE JAILED FOR MARKETING TOXIC HUMIDIFIER CLEANERS

Last year, hundreds of people in South Korea sued British company Reckitt Benckiser after news broke that the company avoided required safety tests on a line of humidifier cleaners. Those cleaners, “targeted at families with children using humidifiers in South Korea’s dry climate,” according to Time, were pulled from the market in 2011 after regulators […]

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25
Jan

Prison Laborers Exposed to Asbestos in Pine Bluff

Pine Bluff, Arkansas has a couple of big problems: a growing prison population and a crumbling downtown. Multiple Pine Bluff downtown buildings have collapsed in recent years, damaging nearby structures and blocking roads. The Mulligan Road Project proposed to simultaneously solve both problems. Qualifying inmates could reduce their sentences and gain work experience by demolishing […]

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25
Jan

New Report: Much Conventual Evidence Is Junk Science

If television is to be believed, the most cutting-edge forensic technology can definitively prove a criminal defendant’s guilt. But, inside the courtroom, it’s a different story. Over the past several years, forensic science presented during trial has come under severe scrutiny. In September, the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) issued a […]

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17
Aug

ARKANSAS CONTINUES FIGHT TO EXECUTE INMATES

Contributed by Mason Boling The Arkansas Supreme Court, in a 4-to-3 decision, recently reversed a 2015 order by Pulaski County Circuit Judge Wendell Griffen that had found the state’s execution law unconstitutional. Most notably, that law, Act 1096, contains a “secrecy clause” that keeps the source of the state’s execution drugs confidential—even from the inmates […]

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12
Aug

This $2 Drug Test Is Turning Innocent People into Felons

A $2 drug test may be to blame for thousands of false drug convictions across the country. According to an article by ProPublica, police officers arrest more than 1.2 million people a year on charges of illegal drug possession with the help of an unreliable field drug test that has seen little change since 1973. […]

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28
Jul

Supreme Court Okays Charges for Refusal to Submit to Warrantless Breath Tests

Contributed by Mason Boling Earlier this year, the Supreme Court upheld most state laws that make it a crime for motorists suspected of drunk driving to refuse alcohol tests, while places some limits on the form of testing. The Court, in a 7-to-1 decision, held that the Fourth Amendment permits warrantless breath tests incident to […]

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28
Jun

United States Supreme Court Allows Evidence Taken During Illegal Police Stops

A recent Supreme Court decision will allow evidence found by police officers after illegal stops to be used against defendants in court. The Court, in Utah v. Strief, ruled that even if police violate the Constitution by stopping someone without suspicion, an outstanding arrest warrant entitles them to conduct a search. The case involved a […]

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09
Jun

Is Solitary Confinement Unconstitutional?

Every incarcerated person is separated from the outside world in some sense—their freedom is restrained, their contact with friends and family is severely limited. Inmates in solitary confinement (often referred to euphemistically as “segregation” or “restrictive housing”) are sent deeper into this lonely nightmare, cut off even from other inmates and guards, their days and […]

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06
Nov

If I’m not under arrest, can I walk away from the officer?

Not necessarily. First, remember that no matter if you’re under arrest or just passing a cop on the street, you always have the right to remain silent. Often, you are also “free to leave” the presence of the officer. But even if you haven’t been arrested, there are certain situations in which an officer has […]

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22
Oct

The police told me that answering questions would only help me. Can they use my statements against me?

Yes. A common interrogation technique is for an officer to tell an individual that the conversation is “just between you and me,” or that the prosecutor will go easy on them if they cooperate. In most cases, those lies are legal. For example, in a case called Frazier vs. Cupp, a police officer falsely told […]

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