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Constitutional rights Archive



by Edmond Geary

Government Spying — Big Brother has truly arrived

The U.S. Department of Justice has been assembling a nation-wide database of vehicles for tracking their owners and movements. They scan and store license tags in the hundreds of millions, and also record faces. The Drug Enforcement Administration began the tracking of citizens’ license plates so they could seize property gained from drug trafficking.  They…

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by Edmond Geary

When a Plea is not Voluntary

A plea of guilty must be entered freely and voluntarily, “without coercion or compulsion of any kind ” All criminal defense attorney in Oklahoma know these words by heart.  These words must be read by all who wish to enter a guilty plea to a felony. No wonder, then, that Thomas Cofer was allowed to…

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by Edmond Geary

Search protection for citizens’ electronic privacy

Whenever police arrest someone, they routinely seize any telephone carried on the person or in the person’s vehicle.  Does the arrested person have a right to privacy in the information stored there?  Should the police be required as a predicate to such a search of establishing probable cause and secure a search warrant.  The United…

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by Edmond Geary

Michael Skakel and the American Rights to a Fair Trial

Everyone believes Americans have a right to a fair trial.  Included in the right to a fair trial is the particular right to be effectively represented, to be represented by competent counsel. It is a right under the 6th amendment.  As a constitutional right, when violated, the remedy must be substantial. Michael Skakel just received…

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by Edmond Geary

Police Stop-And-Frisk Campaign Ruled Illegal

To address the abundance of street crime in high crime areas of New York City, the police devised an aggressive stop-and-frisk approach.  They called it TAP, acronym for  Trespassers Affidavit Program.  It used to be known as Operation Clean Halls.  The police approached anyone outside certain housing projects, engaged them, search them, question them and…

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by Edmond Geary

Big Brother Protects Us

Since the attacks of September 11, 2001, a vast system has grown up to collect information about Americans has grown up.  No one knows how many programs exists within it or even who many people it employs or how much it costs.  It is the largest, most technologically advanced in our history.  It is designed…

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by Edmond Geary

Chicago Gun Laws Follow Supreme Court

The United States Supreme Court recently decided that citizens have a constitutional right to possess a firearm in their home, and that Second Amendment right applies to the states.  That means cities like Chicago have to change their laws regulating the possession of guns. Four days after the Supreme Court decision invalidating Chicago’s gun ban,…

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by Edmond Geary

Evidence of Other Crimes

Evidence of other crimes introduced at a trial is so clearly poisonous that the rules of evidence generally prohibit such evidence.  Intuitively, an observer knows the impact such evidence would make on a jury – regardless of the strength of the evidence of guilt offered for the charges being faced.  Such evidence would have a…

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by Edmond Geary

Constitutional Rights in Supreme Court: South Dakota v. Opperman

The Supreme Court of South Dakota ruled a violation of the 4th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, a police search when they conducted a routine inventory search of an automobile lawfully impounded by police for violations of municipal parking violations. After incurring two overtime parking citations in the same morning, a car was towed by…

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by Edmond Geary

Right to Remain Silent-Diminished

When you are arrested, you have the right to remain silent. Everyone knows that.  But if you simply maintain silence, the police can continue to question you until you finally talk.  That is the recent ruling from the United States Supreme Court.  If you want to protect your right to remain silent, you must, interestingly,…

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