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Federal RDAP Program Relaxes Requirements

Posted by Phoenix Harris | Jul 18, 2016 | 0 Comments

The possibility of getting a one-year reduction in sentence through completion of the Federal BOP (Bureau of Prisons) RDAP (Residential Drug Abuse Program) was previously limited to federal inmates without convictions for violent offenses or 924(c) (gun) convictions. That policy has now changed, ...

Will Cuba Begin Extradition of Fugitives to US?

Posted by Jessica Carmichael | Jun 20, 2016 | 0 Comments

The United States and Cuba have restored diplomatic relations after more than 50 years of tension between the two countries. Travel restrictions have loosened, and a number of U.S, airlines will soon begin operating increased flight options between the U.S. and Cuba. However, Cuba remains a count...

Challenging the Massive DEA Wiretapping Program

Posted by Phoenix Harris | Apr 20, 2016 | 0 Comments

Law enforcement officers looking to install wiretaps and eavesdrop on phone calls are supposed to seek judicial approval first. Wiretaps are regulated by federal statutes, and officers have to establish probable cause for a federal judge to approve a wiretap. However, just because a wiretap is ap...

President Obama's Clemency Campaign

Posted by Yancey Ellis | Mar 29, 2016 | 0 Comments

On April 23, 2014, the Obama Administration announced a new clemency initiative to encourage federal prison inmates to have their sentences reduced or commuted by the President. Former Deputy Attorney General James M. Cole announced the program, with Deborah Leff to head the Office of the Pardon ...

Social Media Posts Violate Restraining Orders

Posted by Phoenix Harris | Mar 22, 2016 | 0 Comments

While many of us struggle to keep up to date with the latest social media trends, the legal system often lags even further behind. A woman in New York may have violated a protective order when she tagged another woman in a Facebook post. Maria Gonzalez was ordered to cease contacting another wom...

Government Using Malware to Invade Privacy

Posted by Jessica Carmichael | Mar 08, 2016 | 0 Comments

Anyone who uses a computer or smartphone on a regular basis is concerned about the threat of hackers using viruses or malware to access your personal information. Through cleverly crafted codes, hackers can get into our webcams, steal files from our computers, or find out where we live and work, ...

Law Enforcement Urges Congress to Pass Sentencing Reform

Posted by Phoenix Harris | Mar 02, 2016 | 0 Comments

In the latest update on the momentum of sentencing reform legislation in Congress, an encouraging development!  Former Attorney General Michael Mukasey, who served under President George W. Bush, wrote a notable op-ed published by The Hill.  In the headline, he proclaims that "Federal Sentencing ...

Bowe Bergdahl's Court Martial Case

Posted by Yancey Ellis | Feb 26, 2016 | 0 Comments

When many people first heard the story of Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl walking away from his post, and into the hands of the Taliban, their thoughts immediately turned to labeling him a traitor. However, as followers of the popular Serial podcast have heard over the past couple of months, the true stor...

Where is Congress on Sentencing Reform?

Posted by Phoenix Harris | Feb 17, 2016 | 1 Comment

With all the news and progress surrounding federal sentencing reforms, including major Supreme Court decisions and draft legislation, prison sentencing reform should not be far behind. However, as prison reform advocates and family members wait for Congress to act, the laws appear to be stalled i...

Sentencing Reform and Welch v. United States

Posted by Jessica Carmichael | Feb 09, 2016 | 0 Comments

As we noted before, prison sentencing reform is a major topic among lawmakers across the political spectrum. After years of families and advocates pushing for changes to mandatory minimum sentencing, public opinion is shifting towards a more measured approach. Instead of treating prison sentencin...

Armed Career Criminal Act (ACCA) and Career Offenders

Posted by Phoenix Harris | Feb 08, 2016 | 0 Comments

In the peak of the “get tough on crime” years, the Comprehensive Crime Control Act of 1984 was signed into law by President Ronald Reagan. This was the biggest overhaul of the criminal code in decades. One provision included the Armed Career Criminal Act, or ACCA. The ACCA created enhanced penalt...

Johnson v. U.S. and the End of the Residual Clause

Posted by Yancey Ellis | Feb 04, 2016 | 0 Comments

Samuel Johnson was being monitored by the Federal Bureau of Investigation related to his involvement with a white-supremacist organization. During the investigation, an undercover agent said Johnson talked about counterfeiting money, producing napalm and other explosives, and showed the agent an ...

LIFE, LIBERTY, AND THE PURSUIT OF NOT BEING TASED

Posted by Yancey Ellis | Jan 29, 2016 | 0 Comments

The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in Armstrong v. Village of Pinehurst that the use of tasers by police can be excessive force under the Fourth Amendment.  Specifically, the Fourth Circuit found that the Pinehurst police department's use of a taser on a mentally ill man who was exercising...

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