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October 2011 Archives

Registered sex offenders face restrictions on Halloween

Registered sex offenders in many states around the country are restricted in their movements on Halloween. As discussed in a blog post at this time last year, New Jersey sex offenders have a curfew of 7 p.m. and are required to turn off lights and are prohibited from answering the door or giving out candy.  

DEA bans chemicals in designer drug bath salts

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration has banned the designer drug known and sold as "bath salts," or sometimes "plant food." The DEA has banned the three chemicals most commonly included in the products: mephedrone, MDPV and methylone. The ban is a temporary ban for a year, but could be extended for another six months.

Supreme Court to decide whether strip searches in prison illegal

The U.S. Supreme Court is currently considering a case that questions whether all people who enter the prison population should be strip searched. The justices are considering whether routine and invasive strip searches violate an arrested person's constitutional rights against unreasonable search and seizure.

New Jersey assistant principal charged with drug crime

An assistant principal employed in New Jersey was arrested last week and charged with drug possession on school property. The assistant principal was arrested on the campus where he works and was accused of buying the drugs on school grounds.

Soulja Boy arrested on drug charges

The rapper, Soulja Boy, was arrested and charged with drug possession and weapons possession on Tuesday night. The rapper was pulled over by law enforcement officers who observed a broken tail light. Once the officers pulled over the SUV, they said that they smelled marijuana. They then searched the vehicle and allegedly found $46,000 case and more than five ounces of marijuana.

Austin Powers actor suspected of murdering sex offender cell mate

As reported in a previous post, an actor who played a bit role on "Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery" was recently sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole for his part in the kidnapping, gang rape and torture of a woman 1990. Joseph Hyungmin Son was not charged with the violent sex crime until 2008 after he violated his parole for a felony vandalism charge and was required to submit a sample of his DNA to authorities.

Justice Department charges 30 with mail fraud in Holocaust fund scam

Eight more people have been charged with mail fraud in connection to a scheme to collect money from a fund meant for Holocaust victims through submitting fraudulent claims. The FBI has been investigating employees at the Conference on Jewish Material Claims against Germany and the alleged fraud since 2009.

Federal white collar crimes easier to prove with erosion of mens rea: Part 2

As discussed in the previous post, the list of federal crimes has continued to grow as provisions for proving that a person willfully or even knowingly committed that crime have decreased. Many of these changes have most affected the area of federal white collar crimes.

Federal white collar crimes easier to prove with erosion of mens rea: Part 1

Congress has been adding new laws to the federal penal code every year since the country was formed. In 1790, there were 20 federal crimes on the books, while today there are more than 4,500. During the same time that federal crimes have continued to increase, there has been an erosion of provisions that say that a person must have had a "guilty mind" when they committed the crime.

Amanda Knox murder conviction overturned today, free from prison

The case of American foreign exchange student Amanda Knox took an exhilarating turn today for her family and many supporters when an appeals panel overturned her murder conviction. Knox was convicted after a yearlong trial in 2009 of murdering her roommate while they were exchange students in Perugia, Italy.

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