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March 2011 Archives

Legal challenges to wiretaps in white collar cases

The federal government has recorded thousands of taped phone conversations that they have been using in their case against white collar defendants. However, a federal judge criticized white collar investigators for their often-sloppy wiretap management in the case against Craig Drimal, proving that this type of evidence can pose challenges in the courtroom.

Western Pennsylvania cell phones seized in sexting investigation

Technology in the 21st Century has made it easier for people to communicate and share information. Unfortunately, 21st Century technology has also made it easier for people to get into trouble with the law. The story of two Western Pennsylvania high school students illustrates this principle.

Federal court of appeals overturns corruption conviction

In a criminal case, it often appears that the deck is stacked in favor of the prosecution. After all, the prosecution tends to have greater access to evidence and witnesses than the defense. One of the ways our system tries to level the playing field is by requiring prosecutors to give defendants access to evidence that might help exonerate them. This type of evidence is often referred to as exculpatory evidence.

Pitt tops SI list of top 25 teams with criminal charges

According to Sports Illustrated, four football players at the University of Pittsburgh were arrested for separate crimes from July to September 2010. These players were accused of committing crimes, including aggravated assault, aggravated assault with a vehicle, driving under the influence and harassment. While some of these charges were later reduced, they resulted in the dismissal of at least one member of Pittsburgh's football team. While the University of Pittsburgh football team has had some high-profile incidents, it is not alone.

Galleon hedge fund insider trading trial begins this week

Broadly defined, insider trading is trading stocks based on material, non-public information. Insider trading is both a crime and a civil offense and the Securities and Exchange Commission can elect to enforce the insider trading laws by seeking fines as well as prison time. Insider trading, like most white collar crimes, is a felony that carries the possibility of a lengthy prison sentence.

Federal weapons charges filed against auctioneers

Not all weapons crimes are violent crimes or involve a felon in possession of a firearm. Many weapons crimes are a matter of paperwork and disclosure. Recently, a federal grand jury indicted three individuals operating an auction business on charges of selling firearms without a license and conspiracy.

Supreme Court decides dying words can be used to convict

The Confrontation Clause of Sixth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution requires that the accused has the right to be confronted by the witnesses against him in all criminal prosecution. In essence, this means that a defendant has the right to have his accusers testify before him, and the defendant has the right to cross-examine his accusers under oath. Recently, the U.S. Supreme Court carved out an exception to this rule that may have profound implication for people accused of crimes in this country.

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