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Felonies Archives

Court strikes down Barry Bonds' obstruction of justice appeal

Back in 2003, baseball great Barry Bonds was given immunity from prosecution in exchange for his agreement to testify before a grand jury. The case came after a raid of a steroid manufacturer called the Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative, or BALCO, by federal agents. Bonds was to testify about his knowledge of BALCO and a professional trainer the government said had provided steroids to Bonds and a number of other professional athletes.

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.

Criminal charges can have far-reaching consequences

Iowa City readers may be aware that undocumented or unauthorized immigrants charged with certain criminal offenses might also find themselves in a deportation proceeding -- regardless of whether those criminal allegations result in a conviction or prove unfounded.

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