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Posts tagged "Felonies"

The criminal justice system is not interested in your innocence

The one mistake many criminal defendants make is one of believing the criminal justice system will protect an innocent defendant. If you happen to be truly innocent of the crime you have been charged with, the system will probably double down on you, because you may be perceived as being recalcitrant or unrepentant for not accepting responsibility for what you have done.

A parole officer's thoughts

If you are convicted of a crime in Iowa or virtually any other American jurisdiction, with some exceptions of particularly violent crimes, it is very likely your sentence of jail time will include some period of parole. Parole is becoming increasingly popular with most state governments, as the high cost of incarceration is forcing them to adopt less expensive alternatives.

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.

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.

Mason City man charged with drug crimes after apparent overdose

When people seek medical attention, it’s generally frowned-upon for medical professionals to share their confidential health information with anyone. In fact, in most cases it’s illegal. Doctors and other medical professionals can cite doctor-patient confidentiality to avoid providing patient information to police, or even as evidence in court -- and that’s good public policy. In order for people to feel comfortable seeking the medical attention they need, doctors and hospitals must be save places to do so.

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.

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