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August 2013 Archives

Improper police investigation can strengthen defense case

Earlier this month, a federal judge in the state of New York struck down a policy in New York City dealing with a police procedure known as “stop and frisk,” citing the city’s use of the procedure as unconstitutional. Stop and frisk, as some of our readers may know, is a procedure whereby officers briefly detain, question and possibly search those they reasonably suspect of criminal activity. The technique is often used in policing for drug crimes.

AG gets rid of mandatory minimums for low-level drug offenders

Mandatory minimum sentences may not be something all of our readers have heard of, but for those who’ve been through the criminal justice system on federal drug charges, it probably is. Mandatory minimum sentences are something the federal government implemented back in the 1980s during the so-called “war on drugs.” The intent was to curb judges’ discretion as to prison sentences for convicted drug offenders.

Chicago woman accuses officers of framing her in 2009 drug arrest

Our readers may have heard about the Chicago woman, formerly from a South Side housing development, who is suing three police officers for allegedly kicking her apartment door in and placing bags of crack cocaine outside her window back in 2009. The woman was acquitted of drug charged at trial after the incident, but she took the matter further by pursuing the officers.

Federal judge calls into question ATF sting operations

Our regular readers will remember that we wrote, last month, a set of posts on investigation tactics used by the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF). As we pointed out in those posts, the agency has been criticized for its use of sting setups, in which suspects are drawn into agreements to rob drug stash houses that, unknown to them, do not exist. The fact that the crimes are fictional and that the agency relies on confidential informants has been called into question before.

Illinois may soon allow medical marijuana

Governor Pat Quinn is expected to sign into law today a measure that would legalize medical marijuana in Illinois. The bill, which would take effect in January, calls to the creation of a pilot program in which qualifying patients would be able to use up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana on a biweekly basis. To qualify for the program, patients would have to obtain a note from their doctor and must be diagnosed with at least one of a number of qualifying medical conditions.

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Law Offices of Damon M. Cheronis
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