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New California Criminal Laws in 2017

Let’s get right to it. We already covered three of them in prior posts. One was Proposition 64, which legalized recreational marijuana. Another was Proposition 57, which expanded parole eligibility for nonviolent felons and cut back on prosecuting kids as adults. A third was Assembly Bill 1909, which made it a felony for prosecutors to commit Brady violations in bad Read More

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Lies, Damned Lies, and Sex Crimes

If you thought the case from last week was bad, here’s another one that’s worse. This time, the supposed victim hasn’t stepped forward to admit she lied, so the man she accused of child molestation sits in prison, as he has for seventeen years, and the system seems powerless to stop it. What happened? The jury never saw medical records Read More

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Cyber Search Warrants Are Going to the Dogs

It’s true, and reportedly, even the recent search of Jared Fogle’s home involved a Labrador who found a thumb drive of potential evidence. The dog is one of a handful or two nationwide that’s trained to sniff out electronics and their component parts based on a chemical that’s common to all of them. Law enforcement won’t identify the chemical, but after a few Read More

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Child-Pornography Possession in State and Federal Court

Among the common offenses for which people must register as sex offenders is possession of child pornography. Under California law, possession of child pornography is a felony, though it may be punished by imprisonment either in the county jail for up to one year or in state prison for 16 months, two years, or three years. Pen. Code § 311.11(a). If you possess Read More

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Our Ballooning Sex-Offender Registries

California’s not the only state having trouble with its sex-offender-registration regime. In New York, the prisons are holding people past their release dates because they can’t find anywhere to live, and nearly 95% of the homeless shelters are off-limits, too. The problem is that we don’t pass these laws on the basis of reason and evidence but Read More

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Homeless Outside a Homeless Shelter

Hold on to your hats. Two weeks ago, the California Supreme Court unanimously struck down a provision of Proposition 83—commonly known as Jessica’s Law—that had barred all registered sex offenders from living within 2000 feet of any school or park. The Court held the provision was unconstitutional to the extent that it applied automatically across the board to every registered parolee in San Read More

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Why We Defend Child Molesters

Here’s one reason. Last week, a federal court of appeals reversed the conviction of an 18-year-old boy who had confessed to molesting another 8-year-old boy. That may sound like an open-and-shut case of a predator or monster we should throw the book at, but hold on. The older boy had an IQ of 65, and the court reversed his conviction because it held that his so-called confession was Read More

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