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Felonies Archives

Was your crime infamous?

According to the Iowa Constitution, those convicted of an "infamous" crime can be denied the right to vote. The state has defined that to include all felonies and some misdemeanors. Recently, the Iowa Supreme Court ruled that the definition of infamous crimes did not cover misdemeanors and only some felonies are infamous.

Are federal judges "anchored" to their sentences?

Federal district judges have a great deal of discretion. The presumption is the that the district judge, who in effect, is the trial judge for the majority of federal criminal cases, is in the best position to evaluate the defendant, the witnesses, the evidence and the credibility of all those who appear in his or her courtroom.

How often do they use a MRAP in Iowa?

Until recently, few people in Iowa, or anywhere else, were aware of the 1033 Program. That, of course, changed after the events in Ferguson, with the police on display with an mine-resistant ambush protected vehicle (MRAP) and riot gear that looked like pictures of the Eastern Bloc or China, and not mid-America.

Is there a gender gap in exoneration for violent crimes?

Even though the criminal justice system is supposed to have checks and balances, the sad reality is that individuals are wrongfully convicted. In some of these cases, law enforcement officials act inappropriately and others were settled based on inaccurate or incomplete evidence. At the same time, the advent of DNA testing has proved to be a powerful ally in demonstrating innocence by providing clear scientific evidence.

Restoration of voting rights in jeopardy after Iowa ruling

Earlier this year, we covered a major issue in the world of criminal rights: voters' rights restoration. Many states, including Iowa, revoke a person's right to vote if he or she is convicted a felony. Although the current governor has taken a hard line against restoring the ability of many to vote, a recent state supreme court ruling has potential to move things in a different direction.

Feds call on Iowa to lift voting policy for felons

Readers probably know that being charged with a felony should always be taken seriously. In addition to the very real possibility of being sentenced to time behind bars, those who are convicted of a felony may lose certain privileges. Iowa law imposes a voting ban for anyone serving on felony charges.

Man pleads not guilty in case of 1997 Iowa City murder

Criminal charges often have a statute of limitations attached to them. This means that there are time constraints for when charges can be filed. However, other types of charges do not include a statute of limitations, including murder. As a result, a person can face charges no matter how many years ago the purported crime occurred.

Police: Iowa City 21-only ordinance cut felonies, alcohol crimes

With a referendum on Iowa City’s 21-only ordinance coming up in November, the police just released data indicating a number of crimes have dropped since the ordinance was first passed. An earlier repeal effort was only narrowly defeated, and organizers hope support from the police and city council will firmly settle the issue.

Special prosecutor: Sorenson may have made felony misstatements

Even after his resignation on Wednesday after the Iowa Senate Ethics Committee special prosecutor filed his report, former State Senator Kent Sorenson could still face legal repercussions from allegations that he accepted money from U.S. Representative Michele Bachmann’s presidential campaign. The special prosecutor’s report determined there was probable cause to believe that he knowingly made misstatements about the money, which could result in felony charges.

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