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The Government Can Seize Your DNA – Even if You Are Not a Defendant

Posted on August 2, 2014 in
It has long been established that the government can seize personal information from criminal defendants, from fingerprints to items (such as hair, saliva, or blood) to obtain a DNA profile.  But what happens when the government wants to obtain a DNA profile from a third party? (more…)
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Former Massachusetts Probation Commissioner Convicted of Racketeering

Posted on July 24, 2014 in
Former Massachusetts Probation Commissioner John O’Brien was convicted today in federal court of racketeering, mail fraud, and conspiracy for his involvement in a scheme in which politically-connected job applicants were given preferential hiring treatment over other candidates.  O’Brien was the probation commissioner from 1998 until his resignation in 2010.  Federal prosecutors alleged that O’Brien...
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Police Lacked Probable Cause to Search Rental Car Two Days After Shooting

In Commonwealth v. Korey Jordan, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruled this week that police officers exceeded their authority in stopping a rental car that had been involved in a shooting two days earlier. (more…)
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Limited Scope of Searches “Incident to Arrest” Affirmed by SJC

When police officers make an arrest, they are permitted to search the person being arrested along with his immediate surroundings.  Such a procedure is called a “search incident to arrest.”  In United States v. Robinson, the United States Supreme Court ruled that the police may search for weapons, contraband, or evidence of a crime. ...
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Photos of Naked Children Found in Prisoner’s Cell were not Child Pornography

In an important ruling issued this week, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court clarified the types of photographs that qualify as child pornography.  The defendant in Commonwealth v. Rex is a convicted rapist who is serving a state prison sentence.  In 2011, prison officials searched the defendant’s locker and discovered an envelope containing seven photocopies...
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