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The Kane County Sheriff has announced that he will be revising his policy about bringing food into the Kane County Courthouse after discussing the matter with officials of the American Diabetes Association.  The policy change will allow flexibility for people with a medical condition while keeping food and drink out of the courtrooms.  The policy change was brought about by an incident which occurred in May of this year.  A complaining witness who had been subpoenaed to come to court to testify was stopped by courthouse security when he tried to bring a granola bar and 3 sodas into the courthouse.  This young man tried to explain to security that he was a diabetic and had to test his blood at least 12 times a day and was insulin dependent.  He was not allowed to bring the items into the courthous...

Now that the Supreme Court has ruled that the police must obtain a warrant before attaching a GPS device to a citizen’s vehicle, the Justice Department has let it be known that the new preferred method for spying on people is to track a person’s location via their cell phone.  The issue was raised earlier this month when a congressional panel held hearings to discuss the need to conduct such cell phone tracking without the need to obtain a warrant.  The Justice Department argued that requiring a warrant before tracking a persons location via their cell phone would “cripple” law enforcement.  It turns out that America’s cell phone companies are cooperating with law enforcement and handing over this information without hesitation.  They have even set up special divisions and even prep...

Technological advancements have led to new products which police are using all over the country to fight crime. Police television shows have introduced many of us to cool new gadgets but while the TV shows are make believe, the real world also offers many new and interesting bits of information.  Here’s just a few of them: The Robotic Camera:  When its too dangerous to have a police officer go check out a scene, the police can just send in a remote control car with a camera that can be used to check out what is happening.  In the old days the police would send in a police dog, but that could cause the dog to be killed.  The robotic camera can be used outside, such as to be sent underneath a vehicle to see if a bomb has been placed underneath.  Or inside such as when the police want to make sure ...

The United States Supreme Court has agreed to hear an especially interesting 5th Amendment Double Jeopardy case.  Not especially interesting because of the legal issue, but especially interesting because of how clear the 5th Amendment violation was.  Now the facts of the case are not very pleasant.  Alex Blueford had been charged in Arkansas with the murder of his girlfriend’s 19 month old child.  Prosecutors alleged that Blueford hit the 19 month old so hard that his eyes bled and brain swelled so much that he died.  Blueford admitted that he had struck the child with his elbow but only by accident after the child startled him from behind. He also admitted that he lied to hospital personnel because he was afraid that they would not believe him....

Kevin Keith is set to be executed by lethal injection in Ohio on September 15.  Keith is claiming that he is innocent.  While there’s nothing unusual about his proclamation, what is unusual is the growing support in the legal community for his claims.  Prosecutors allege that on February 13, 1994, Keith murdered three people because he believed that they had informed on him to police investigating his illegal drug sales.  One of the murder victims was a 4 year old girl.  Several witnesses testified against Keith at trial and his attorneys did not produce any mitigating evidence at his sentencing hearing and he was sentenced to the death penalty.  A closer look at Keith’s case offers some good reasons why a new trial or commutation of his de...

Efforts are underway in Illinois to change the way DNA evidence in rape cases is processed.  The Chicago Tribune conducted an exhaustive investigation of the problems associated with the Illinois State Police Crime Lab and discovered that many rape kits were not being tested.  A rape kit allows a nurse or a doctor to collect semen, saliva and other potential sources of DNA samples from victims.  The process of securing the DNA evidence can take up to 8 hours but the results can be very powerful.  The results may link an offender to a crime or even exonerate a suspect.  Even when rape kits are submitted to the crime lab, the lab sometimes refused to conduct any testing and returned them to the police agency. ...

Attorney Sergei Lemberg is a nationally recognized expert in consumer law who has earned a reputation as a tireless consumer advocate.  Mr. Lemberg is an expert in lemon law (www.lemonjustice.com), fair debt collection practices (www.stopcollector.com), and other areas of consumer law (www.lemberglaw.com)  As a service to our readers and our clients, we have invited him to post the following blog:In today’s economy, bill collectors are out for blood, doing everything they can to squeeze every last dime out of consumers.  Like vultures, debt collectors know that you are vulnerable, and they circle around, waiting for an opening to strike.  A bill collector will use a variety of tactics – some legal and some illegal – to break a person’s spirit, to incite panic, and to make him or her ta...

This week, the United States Supreme Court announced which cases it will be considering in the upcoming Fall Term. In the backdrop of this announcement is the fact that a new Justice, Judge Sotomayor, will be taking her seat, and speculation that Justice John Paul Stevens could be retiring at any time. We first posted a post discussing the speculation surrounding his retirement on September 2, 2009. To read that post click here. The addition of Sotomayor is not expected to change the philosophical balance on the court.  But the expectations for this term surround the cases that the Supreme Court has agreed to decide. Below you will find a brief synopsis of the interesting cases the Supreme Court has agreed to consider. Guns and the ...

This week, the United States Supreme Court announced which cases it will be considering in the upcoming Fall Term. In the backdrop of this announcement is the fact that a new Justice, Judge Sotomayor, will be taking her seat, and speculation that Justice John Paul Stevens could be retiring at any time. We first posted a post discussing the speculation surrounding his retirement on September 2, 2009. To read that post click here. The addition of Sotomayor is not expected to change the philosophical balance on the court.  But the expectations for this term surround the cases that the Supreme Court has agreed to decide. Below you will find a brief synopsis of the interesting cases the Supreme Court has agreed to consider. Guns and th...