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Category Archives: Courts

Domestic Terrorism Prosecutions Outnumber International

Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse: “While terrorism prosecutions involving extremists affiliated with ISIS grab the headlines, international terrorists make up only a small proportion of all terrorism prosecutions that take place each year in the United States. The latest available data from the Justice Department show that during the first eleven months of FY 2017 less than one in four were classified as international terrorism. Even through defendants born in the United States are counted as international terrorists when they act in support of a foreign terrorist organization, there are still many more cases of domestic as compared with international terrorism prosecuted each year. Over the last five years government documents record 404 prosecutions for domestic terrorism as compared with just 223 for international terrorism. Terrorism prosecutions also fell significantly this past year — down 30.1 percent over FY 2016. The Southern District of Florida (Miami) with 20 prosecutions has been the most active during FY 2017. The District of Washington, D.C. ranked second with 14 prosecutions, followed by the Northern District of Oklahoma (Tulsa) and the Eastern District of Virginia (Alexandria) tied for third place with eight prosecutions each. To read the full report, including details on the most common laws prosecuted and the relative role played by various federal investigative agencies, go to: http://trac.syr.edu/tracreports/crim/481/

Appellate court rules tracking cellphones without a warrant unconstitutional

Washington Examiner: “The D.C. Court of Appeals ruled on Thursday [September 21, 2017] that it is unconstitutional for law enforcement to use certain technologies that allow the tracking of a suspect’s cellular phone without a warrant. The ruling reversed a decision of the Superior Court of the District of Columbia that allowed police to use… Continue Reading

Court upholds Illinois biometrics law on use of facial scans

Fortune – “A federal judge this week delivered a key victory for customers who claim the digital scrapbook company Shutterfly violated their privacy by collecting scans of their faces without permission. In a 19-page opinion, U.S. District Judge Joan Gottschall rejected Shutterfly’s argument that an Illinois state law, which restricts how companies can use biometric… Continue Reading

Constitutional Cost of Fees for Access to Electronic Public Court Records

Schultze, Stephen, The Price of Ignorance: The Constitutional Cost of Fees for Access to Electronic Public Court Records (August 25, 2017). Georgetown Law Journal, Vol. 106, No. 4, 2018. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3026779 “The United States federal judiciary maintains a system called PACER, “Public Access to Court Electronic Records.” PACER is the public gateway into… Continue Reading

NY Appellate Division, First Dept. to Broadcast Oral Arguments in Real Time

“Presiding Justice Rolando T. Acosta announced that effective Tuesday, September 12, 2017, oral argument of cases before the New York State Supreme Court, Appellate Division, First Judicial Department will be broadcast live over the internet. The public may watch the webcasts from most internet connected devices, including smart phones and tablet computers, by visiting the… Continue Reading

California Sues Over Trump’s DACA Reversal

FindLaw: “The State of California, along with Maine, Maryland, and Minnesota, has filed a federal lawsuit against the Department of Homeland Security following the Trump administration’s announcement that it would rescind former President Barack Obama’s executive order regarding Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA. The program had provided limited legal protection for individuals brought… Continue Reading

AALL Calls on Federal Courts to Address PACER Fees

News release: “The American Association of Law Libraries (AALL) on September 6, 2017] filed an amici curiae brief with the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, calling on the judicial body to ensure that the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts (AO) makes electronic federal court records freely available “to the greatest extent… Continue Reading

Report – Crime in 2017 – A Preliminary Analysis

Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law: “Based on new data collected from police departments in the 30 largest cities, this report finds that all measures of crime — overall crime, violent crime, and murder — are projected to decline in 2017. Indicators show that 2017 will have the second lowest rates of crime… Continue Reading

Social Explorer’s Andrew Beveridge in Supreme Court Amicus Brief on Gerrymandering

“A challenge to a partisan redistricting plan in Wisconsin goes before the Supreme Court this fall in the case of Gill v. Whitford. In the New York Times article “The New Front in the Gerrymandering Wars: Democracy vs. Math,” Emily Bazelon writes of the significance of the case, “The outcome of the Supreme Court’s decision… Continue Reading

Federal Criminal Prosecutions Fall Under Trump

Transactional Records Access Clearinghous: “Despite tough talk on cracking down on crime from the President and from Attorney General Sessions, actual criminal prosecutions and convictions secured by federal prosecutors have dropped. The latest available data from the Justice Department show that during the first ten months of FY 2017 federal criminal convictions were down 12.3… Continue Reading

NYT Investigative Report – Incarcerated Women Who Fight California’s Wildfires

The Incarcerated Women Who Fight California’s Wildfires By choice, for less than $2 an hour, the female inmate firefighters of California work their bodies to the breaking point. Sometimes they even risk their lives. “California’s inmate firefighters choose to take part in the grinding and dangerous work they do. And they get paid for it,… Continue Reading

Immigration Court Backlog Climbs to 617,527 Cases

Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse: “The latest available case-by-case court records show that as of the end of July 2017, the Immigration Court’s backlog continued to rise, reaching an all-time high of 617,527. For the first time, individuals with pending cases from El Salvador surpassed the numbers from Mexico in the court’s pending workload. There were… Continue Reading