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What will criminal justice reform look like in Iowa?

This session of the Iowa legislature will consider issues involving criminal justice reform. Changes to the criminal justice system are always controversial and subject to a wide variety of opinions within the legislature. This year, they are expected to consider matters involving sentencing, mental illness, medical marijuana and use of fines in criminal cases.

The cologne gave him away

We often discuss the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. The amendment protects the people against unreasonable search and seizure. It does this by demanding that law enforcement obtain a search warrant from a judge prior to allowing a search of a person, their home or their papers.

Expungements for dismissed charges are reasonable

A criminal conviction carries a stigma in Iowa and elsewhere throughout this country. While jail and prison sentences are the primary punishment for these convictions, anyone convicted of a criminal charge may wear a virtual scarlet letter that may mark them long after their sentence has been completed and they have reentered society.

A year in solitary for a Facebook post?

In the criminal justice system, when it comes to punishment, there is typically what is known as the concept of proportionality. We all know that some crimes receive relatively light punishment. A drunk driving conviction may result in some jail time, substance abuse classes, a fine and perhaps a ignition interlock in your vehicle.

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