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Posts tagged "constitutional rights"

Supreme Court to clarify required elements for federal bank fraud

Interpretation of the federal bank fraud statute's language has brought about a peculiar result in some of the federal circuit courts of appeal. In a Utah case, a man was convicted of bank fraud, identity theft, and possessing stolen mail after he allegedly used stolen checks to buy groceries and merchandise at a local Target store.

Juvenile felony life sentences ruled unconstitutional in Iowa

Last year, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Miller v. Alabama that mandatory sentences of life without the possibility of parole are unconstitutional for juvenile offenders. That was a challenge for Iowa, which had until then required that anyone convicted of first-degree murder -- juvenile or adult -- be given that sentence. In response to the ruling, Governor Terry Branstad immediately used his commutation power to change the sentences of 38 such juvenile offenders to allow parole -- but only after they had served 60 years behind bars.

8th Circuit: yard sign may 'invite' police to search your home

In a somewhat surprising ruling, the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit, which includes Iowa, recently held that an otherwise unlawful police search was legal because the defendant had a “for sale” sign on his lawn. A Kansas City man has now been convicted of illegally possessing a shotgun after a felony conviction -- all because he wanted to sell a motorcycle.

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