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Blog Published By Kenneth Padowitz, P.A.

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Child-Abuse Testimonies: Not Covered By the Confrontation Clause

When undergoing litigation, criminal defendants are given the power to invoke and use their constitutional right to cross-examine accusers. This is a right that is specifically stated in the Confrontation Clause. This clause is quite logical since it is understood that when an individual is put on trial, his future and freedom are at risk of being lost. Of course, the contents of the Confrontation Clause aren’t only valid for witness testimonies. The clause covers any type of material that can be used to incarcerate an individual who is being charged. Such materials must pass the criteria of having relevance, reliability, and material existence. True Purpose of the Confrontation Clause In the process of court trial, it is a known fact that out-of-court-statements cannot be recognized as valid proofs of guilt of the accused. This is because the Constitution’s Confrontation Clause is in effect. Such statements are declared as mere idle talk and have no bearing on the case in question. A criminal defendant’s out-of-court-statement is therefore not a basis for final decisions made by a judge or a jury. Exceptions Under the Confrontation Clause… Read More

Embezzlement On Hollywood Insurance Company, Two Nabbed

Two women from a Hollywood insurance company were arrested for stealing more than $24,578. Giovanna Corina Rodriguez, 31 years old from Hollywood and Nadelie Haston, 41 years old from Pembroke Pines were accused of stealing money that was meant for A AAACE Underwriters Inc. and were arrested last Wednesday. The police said that the two were accepting cash premium payments from customers. They also found out that they have been doing it since May 2014. The police also added that these two women, after receiving the payments, gained access into the insurance company’s computer system. After acquiring access, they falsified the information in the database and indicated that the payments had been received by the insurance company while pocketing some of the money. However, the deposit amounts fell short compared to the recorded amounts, the detectives said. To prove whether they were guilty or innocent, an investigation had been conducted. The police asked several customers of the A AAACE Underwriters Inc. Insurance Company who made payment to the two women accused as a part of the investigation. According to some of the customers, they gave… Read More

Prison Escapees and the Right to Use Deadly Force

An incident involving two convicted New York prisoners who escaped from a maximum security jail brought much attention to the issue on how far an enforcer’s right to use deadly force against escapees could go. Out of the two escapees mentioned above, one ended up dead after being shot by the pursuing officers. The other escapee was captured a couple of days after the incident. He was found bleeding because of a gunshot wound. Now, the big question is: “Are law enforcement officers really given the right to use deadly force when dealing with escaped convicts?” Proper Treatment of Convicts Based on American Bar Association Standards The ABA (American Bar Association), the group responsible for the creation and implementation of humane standards for treating convicts, has a very clear answer to the question above. Yes, deadly force can be used against a convict attempting to escape but this should be under special circumstances only. “Escaping” means leaving the enclosed areas of the prison without due permission from the authorities. Jail guards or other law enforcers are required to issue a loud verbal warning or other… Read More

Jailhouse Informant Testimony: Issues on Evidence Admissibility

When defendants are declared guilty of committing a capital crime, they are either sentenced to live the rest of their lives in prison, or they are quite literally killed by the state. There is so much at stake involved in capital crimes. A jury must therefore exercise utmost care in pronouncing a defendant guilty, especially in cases where the death penalty may be imposed. The Problem with Jailhouse Informant Testimony The question is: how much weight should be given to jailhouse information evidence? Is it fine to give more importance to jailhouse information testimonies than to the account of an eyewitness or to an alibi presented to the court? Data is suggesting that the preferential treatment received by jailhouse informants leads to unfair sentences. About 50% of wrongful convictions are caused by misleading testimonies, many of which from jailhouse informants. This fallibility is further exacerbated by the fact that 153 death row absolutions were imposed, after it has been found that the jailhouse information offered was not wholly dependable. What Makes Jailhouse Information Believable? It is a known fact that police agencies are limited in… Read More

Is There a Need for Internet Access in Prisons?

Without access to the internet, convicts released from their prison sentence find it hard to integrate themselves back to a community that continued to exist without them. Their participation in the civilian community is put in jeopardy because they are made so unaware of changes in the world. Deprived of the online world, these prisoners are held back to relatively older methods of communication, like snail mail. Out of all the states, only four allow some form of limited internet access, a striking statistic. A large number of people argue that internet access counts as a basic human necessity, much like food and water, and the denial of it is a rejection of human rights. This argument was only made stronger when a certain prisoner named Michael Santos, who finished his 25 year prison sentence three years ago, said that individuals from the outside should have access to firsthand account of life inside prison itself. Without access to the internet, prisoners are completely shunned from the “outside world”, denying them even merely an exposure to it online. Not only does this disrupt chances for proper… Read More

Police Roadside Stop Hell – Not so Fast says U.S. Supreme Court

Intentionally Prolonged police traffic stops so they can wait for drug-sniffing dogs were a nice try but not kosher if you are following the United States Constitution. The U.S. Supreme Court called a Foul for law enforcement to engage in prolonged vehicle stops on the side of the road, which is equivalent to an arrest without probable cause – the bare legal minimum for an arrest. In Rodriguez v. United States, Justice Ruth Ginsburg wrote for the majority in a 6 to 3 vote: “A police stop exceeding the time needed to handle the matter for which the stop was made violates the Constitution’s shield against unreasonable seizures,” The police overreach began on a midnight ride through the quaint state of Nebraska. Dennys Rodriguez driving his Mercury Mountaineer allegedly veered onto the shoulder of a state highway, unfortunately into the watchful gaze of Nebraska’s finest. Officer Morgan Struble pulled the car over, otherwise known as performing a routine traffic stop. Such a stop included running a records check and questioning the driver and passenger. Mr. Rodriguez was then issued a written warning. The stop was… Read More

Justice System Punishment In The Toilet

 The Corrections system is Broken. Mandatory Minimum Sentences are a bad idea. Total Incarceration does not work. – So Says Two U.S. Supreme Court Justices. Two United States Supreme Court Justices, Stephen Breyer and Anthony Kennedy, gave testimony before a House Appropriations subcommittee on March 23rd, 2015. Justice Kennedy called the corrections system in many respects “broken”. He found lawyers to be ignorant on this corrections or punishment aspect of the justice system. “I think, Mr. Chairman, that the corrections system is one of the most overlooked, misunderstood institutions we have in our entire government. In law school, I never heard about corrections. Lawyers are fascinated with the guilt/innocence adjudication process. Once the adjudication process is over, we have no interest in corrections. Doctors know more about the corrections system and psychiatrists than we do. Nobody looks at it. California, my home state, had 187,000 people in jail at a cost of over $30,000 a prisoner. compare the amount they gave to school children, it was about $3,500 a year. Now, this is 24-hour care and so this is apples and oranges in a way.… Read More

People v. LaValle

People v. LaValle | Facts of the Case Background On Sunday, May 31st 1997, Cynthia Quinn while taking her morning jog, allegedly found Stephen LaValle urinating by the side of the road and yelled at him. This action completely angered LaValle who then followed her into the woods where he raped and murdered her with a screw driver he apparently found on her during the offense. He stabbed her 73 times before leaving the scene of the crime. He was arrested two days later because the samples found on Quinn’s body matched his DNA, and an eye witness had placed him as the last person seen with Mrs. Quinn. LaValle, despite having no legal training, defended himself in court because he had previously had a falling out with his two attorneys because they wanted to proceed with the case differently. In his argument, Lavalle stated that juror number 16 was biased and had stated that they would convict him even before the hearing began. He also urged that the emotional testimony given by Cynthia’s husband was inappropriate and only served to sway the jury into… Read More

Crawford v. Marion County Election Bd., 128 S. Ct. 1610 | Case Brief

CASE: Crawford v Marion County Election Board. 553 U.S . 181 (2008) FACTS: An Indiana statute of 2005 required voters voting in person to produce a photo ID on the election day. In case a voter failed to meet this requirement and wanted their votes counted, then they had to cast a provisional ballot and then visit a specified government office (Bureau of Motor Vehicles) within ten days and get one. Another option would be to produce documentation from the Bureau stating that they could not afford a photo ID. For voters who had religious objections to being photographed, they were required to cast a provisional ballot and then sign an affidavit before a court clerk within ten days. HOLDING: (vote 6-3) A statute requiring voters to show their ID before they are allowed to take part in the voting process is constitutional. It is a minimal burden that does not impose undue burden on one’s constitutional right to vote. MAJORITY REASONING: Justice John Paul Stevens, (joined by Chief Justice Roberts and Justice Kennedy) Rule: He was of the opinion that burdens placed on voters… Read More

Sponsored Legislation By The Foundation For Advancing Alcohol Responsibility

The Foundation For Advancing Alcohol Responsibility is an organization that seeks to eliminate drunk driving in America. It is involved in research and policy development regarding underage drinking, teen driver safety and healthy lifestyles. In addition, they hold community events to campaign against driving while under the influence of alcohol. The Foundation also participates in legislation processes and has done so in more than 45 states and even at the federal level. In this regard, the Foundation lists some of the pending legislation regarding driving while under the influence. Pending legislation under the title “Ignition Interlock Devices for Repeat DUI Offenders” seeks to establish a statutory scheme for the issuance of a restricted driver’s license. The scheme would also enable one to get reissued with a driver’s license. It would require such a person to install an ignition interlock device on all the motor vehicles that they own or operate for a stated period of time. The manufacturers of these devices would be issued with specified requirements. Court fees for alcohol and drug assessment programs would also be required. This legislation is currently at the… Read More

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