Category Archives: Orwellian Threats to Rights

Texas Police Excessive Force: Concern Isn’t Just the Police Officer, It’s the Entire Police Department

For the past two nights, there has been rioting in Ferguson, Missouri, in the aftermath of the grand jury determination not to bring charges against a police officer who used lethal force. That’s Missouri; what about police and lethal force here in Dallas and North Texas? Good question. 1. Dallas Web Site: Police Department’s Lethal…

Trusting Prosecutors With Forensic Lab Evidence? Consider Harris County District Attorney: Notices Sent of 100s of Wrongful Convictions

Here in Dallas County, the District Attorney’s Office is getting its very own forensics evidence lab set up smack dab in the courthouse. So convenient, right? We’ve posted on this development here (read the post) and others have voiced their concern over having the prosecutor so very-very-close to the evidence lab. Well, here’s more to ponder…

Dallas County Opens Digital Crime Lab: DA Snoops Your Cell Phone

There was an important news update out of Craig Watkins’ office that may have been overshadowed yesterday, what with all the November 2014 Election coverage and the scoop that Watkins lost his job to Republican challenger Susan Hawk. After all, there’s lots to ponder in Dallas criminal justice circles about what Hawk’s transition into the…

Texas Police Can Get Your Phone Records From Phone Company Without a Warrant: Ford v. State

This week, there’s lots of concern about cell phone security and phone privacy rights. Why? Thousands of celebrity nude photos have been posted online by a hacker for all to see (with the promise of more to come). Now the FBI has begun investigating how the cell phone pix were stolen (hacked) from private accounts…

Prosecutorial Misconduct in Texas: Continuing Injustice

For criminal defense lawyers in Texas, the idea that prosecutors are human and sometimes do very bad things isn’t news. It’s something to be monitored during every case and almost every day you ask yourself the question: is the prosecutor trying to pull a fast one here? Real life isn’t like TV shows, albeit even…

Seal Broken by Judge Today and Now We Know How The Police Are Eavesdropping on Public With Stingray Devices

For a long while, criminal defense lawyers along with civil rights activists as well as citizens who have been arrested by law enforcement in Police Departments all over the country have known that police have been using new technology to eavesdrop on phone calls and text messages. That’s not news. It’s been a real big…

Navarette v. California: Supreme Court Okays Anonymous Tip for Traffic Stop — We’ve All Lost Something Today

Back in January, we warned about what happened today: the United States Supreme Court has okayed police pulling people over to search their vehicles based upon an anonymous tip in the case of Navarette v. California. In February, we were still reeling from the SCOTUS decision in Fernandez, where they found it legally permissible and…

Client Communications With Criminal Defense Lawyers – Keeping Your Lawyer and Client Communications Safe From Eavesdroppers and Hackers

This week, the director of the National Security Agency responded to the demand letter sent by the American Bar Association (see details on the ABA letter including its full text here) and what Director General Keith Alexander had in reply shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone: the NSA has told the ABA not to worry,…

THE CRUEL REALITY OF CRIMINAL EVIDENCE: IT’S JUST NOT THAT RELIABLE

EVIDENCE IN CRIMINAL CASES CANNOT BE BLINDLY TRUSTED: TEXAS CRIMINAL EVIDENCE ISN’T LIKE IT IS ON TV On television, an amazing number of cop shows succeed in drawing large audiences: series and spin-offs where handsome men and beautiful women work hard in scientific labs to produce iron-clad evidence that convicts the bad guy. They rival…

U.S. Supreme Court Will Make Big Decisions on Your Privacy Rights from Police this Year: the Boundaries of Law Enforcement Intrusion

Yesterday’s State of the Union address is still the talk of many today, with many discussing the extent of the executive branch’s power and exactly what “checks and balances” means. However, for many criminal defense practitioners there’s more to be considered in 2014 than what the President or Congress may be doing up in Washington,…