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September 2012 Archives

New bill in Pennsylvania intended to regulate online bullying

We live in a world of dizzying technological change. In just the last ten years, social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and a plethora of dating websites have redefined how we interact with one another. But according to a Pennsylvania congressman, some of our laws regulating that activity have fallen behind the times. A new bill in the Pennsylvania State Congress promises to rectify that imbalance by giving law enforcement officials the ability to punish online bullying.

Pittsburgh airport worker accused of skipping security check

A ramp worker at Pittsburgh International Airport is being investigated by the Transportation Security Administration for allegedly bypassing normal security checks before attempting to board a flight. While no one believes that the woman posed a security risk, she still could be fined by TSA after it completes its investigation.

Police raid students' apartment, arrest roommates

Three students at the Indiana University of Pennsylvania were arrested early in the morning of Sep. 23 after police raided their apartment and said they found marijuana. Few details are available, including the amount of marijuana officers allegedly found or what evidence they had against the students to justify their receiving a search warrant of their home. However, it appears likely authorities will attempt to paint the three, all of whom play on the IUP football team, as co-conspirators in a marijuana distribution scheme.

Plaintiff in wrongful arrest lawsuit asking for new trial

The Pittsburgh man who badly beaten by three police officers after they arrested him for supposedly loitering and resisting arrest is asking the court for a retrial of his civil suit for wrongful arrest. The man's original lawsuit ended with a hung jury in August, leaving the door open for some of the charges to be raised against the officers in a second trial.

Jury overturns 1995 murder conviction, frees defendant

The conviction of a Pittsburgh man on charges that he shot and killed a woman in 1994 was based on the false testimony of a prosecution witness, jurors in the defendant's retrial ruled on Sep. 12. The not guilty verdict means the man will soon be freed from prison for the first time in 17 years.

Assignment of prosecutor to federal tax case troubles experts

A Pittsburgh-area man who is charged with tax fraud is asking the federal court to dismiss the charges against him because the prosecutor assigned to his case was privy to private conversations between himself and a prospective defense attorney. Some outside observers agree that the U.S. Attorney Office's made a "dysfunctional" decision to have the prosecutor take the case despite the apparent conflict of interest.

Search warrant for music festival ruled unconstitutional

A search warrant executed by police on attendants of a Fayette County music festival in 2009 was too broad and violated the Fourth Amendment, a federal judge ruled on Aug. 31. Under the principle of the exclusionary rule, the decision will likely exclude evidence of drugs police allegedly found on the concert goers.

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