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Monthly Archive: March 2012

March 23, 2012

3rd Circuit Upholds 30-year Sentence in Child Pornography Case

In U.S. v. Hardy, the Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit upheld the thirty year prison sentence handed down by the United States District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania when defendant Kelly Hardy pleaded guilty to three child pornography offenses. 2011 U.S. App. LEXIS 24475. On April 16, 2009, law enforcement officers conducted a search of Hardy's home and seized numerous "pairs of soiled young girls' underwear" and a large amount of electronic equipment, "including 14 desktop computers, three laptop...

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Posted in: Internet Crime

March 21, 2012

Supreme Court Reiterates the Duty of the Prosecution to Disclose All Potentially Exculpatory Evidence

The Supreme Court of the United States decided the landmark case of Brady v. Maryland in 1963. 373 U.S. 83. While the Brady doctrine stemming from this case is nuanced and has been addressed many times over the past few decades - at its core, Brady imposes a duty upon the prosecution to turn over to the defense in a criminal trial all evidence which tends to cast doubt upon a defendant’s guilt. In the 2012 case of Smith v. Cain, the Court both restated and reaffirmed the Brady holding. Smith v. Cain, 132 S. Ct. 627 (2012). In Smith v. Cain, Defendant Smith was charged with killing five...

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Posted in: Uncategorized

March 20, 2012

Defendant in Child Pornography Case Ordered to Pay Restitution to Child Depicted in One of His Images

Ricky Lee Daniel was convicted in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia of possession of child pornography in violation of 18 U.S.C.S. §§ 2252A(a)(5)(B) and 2256(8)(A). United States v. McDaniel, 631 F.3d 1204 (2011). The district court ordered the defendant to pay restitution to a child depicted in one of the images, and defendant appealed. A jury convicted McDaniel of possession of child pornography, finding that he possessed 600...

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Posted in: Internet Crime

March 12, 2012

Police Must Have Probable Cause that a Crime is Being Committed in Order to Seize a Vehicle While Waiting to Obtain a Search Warrant

Commonwealth of Pennsylvania v. Trayvon Nmn Joseph, 34 A.3d 855, was an appeal from a Judgment of Sentence in the Court of Common Pleas. Joseph appealed his convictions for persons not to possess, use, manufacture, control, sell, or transfer firearms, in violation of 18 Pa.C.S. § 6105(c)(2), and firearms not to be carried without a license, in violation of 18 Pa.C.S. § 6106(a)(1). Appellant had been pulled over by a Pennsylvania State Trooper who claimed that there were four types of drug paraphernalia in appellant’s vehicle:...

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Posted in: Drug Crimes

March 9, 2012

Fourth Amendment Protects Homes From Warrantless Drug Dog “Sniff Tests”

The Supreme Court of Florida has decided the case of Joelis Jardines, Petitioner, v. State of Florida, Respondent, No. SC08-2101, 2011 WL 1405080 (April 14, 2011). In this matter, police conducted a warrantless "sniff test" by a drug detection dog at defendant's home and discovered live marijuana plants inside. The trial court granted defendant's motion to suppress, the district court reversed, but the Supreme Court stated that the warrantless "sniff test" that was conducted at the front door of the residence was an unreasonable...

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Posted in: Drug Crimes