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Posts tagged "Felonies"

Iowa legislature reduces drug sentences

Criminal justice reform is very difficult. This session, the Iowa legislature has passed the first "significant" sentencing reform in years. The changes to the sentencing laws will allow some drug offenders to be paroled after serving half their term, allowing the parole board greater discretion when reviewing cases.

What is an infamous crime?

The criminal justice system contains many disincentives to commit a crime. There is the potential embarrassment with being arrested by the police, spending time in jail, obtaining bail, going through a trial or plea bargain, and if convicted, spending additional time in prison or on probation.

Stun guns: are you in violation of the law?

Statutory definitions can be very specific or vague, depending on the whim of the legislature. Of course, they cannot be too vague, as that can lead to their being found unconstitutional because of that vagueness. For a law to be meaningfully applied to a person, they should have some possibility of understanding that it applies to them.

Forfeiture bill receives hearing in Iowa Senate Committee

Last year, a report by an Iowa newspaper found issues with the way in which some law enforcement agencies throughout the state were using the criminal forfeiture laws. In some cases, police departments and sheriff's offices were using forfeiture laws as a means of gathering cash to operate elements of their departments, and because of the way these laws function, they could practically "shakedown" citizens they stopped for any cash they discovered in their vehicle.

Study find false confessions can result from sleep deprivation

If you have been arrested by the police, or if you are merely part of an investigation, the police are likely to interrogate you. They may tell you that they would like you to come down to the police station and talk, or they may bring you into custody and engage in a more formal interrogation, complete with Miranda warnings.

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.

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