Earlier this month the Supreme Court heard arguments in an unusual case arising from a criminal prosecution concerning a woman who tried to poison her best friend and was later convicted of a federal crime for her actions. The case is a test of whether the federal government can use treaties as a basis to prosecute Americans, something that the justices appeared to be skeptical of. The origins of this case go back to 1998 when the government passed a law that banned the use of chemical weapons for anything other than a “peaceful purpose.” The law was derived from a treaty signed in 1993, which represented an international agreement on the subject. The goal of the accord was to prevent terrorist groups from getting their hands on weapons of mass destruction, arguably not to target spurned microbiologists. Read moreGoogle+
In a strange development in the criminal defense world, experts say that brain scans and other scientific data is increasingly being used in criminal trials, with defense attorneys citing MRIs as proof that their clients ought to be set free or at the least receive special considerations.
Experts familiar with the matter say that lawyers have begun turning to scientific studies, as a criminal defense strategy, to minimize the extent to which their clients ought to be held responsible or punished for certain crimes. Some estimate that as many as five percent of all murder cases now include neuroscience evidence, a surprising development that has exploded in the last few years. Read moreGoogle+
A recent study released by the Traffic Injury Research Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to increasing public awareness of traffic safety issues, discovered that drunk driving has increasingly become an equal opportunity crime, with vastly more women being arrested today for driving drunk than in the past. According to the study, the number of women who have been arrested or charged with DUI has doubled over the past three decades. Though drunk drivers are still more likely to be male, the percentage of female drunk drivers has risen substantially. Today, around 25 percent of those who are arrested for drunk driving in the U.S. are women. The Bureau of Justice says this represents a large increase from the nine percent of drunk driving arrests that women made up back in 1980. Read moreGoogle+
Newspapers were full of headlines this summer, much more than usual, of NFL players behind bars. The recent offseason was one of the worst in history in terms of the total number of players arrested or charged with crimes. Since the Super Bowl in early February, NFL players have been arrested 37 times, including 10 players who have been arrested for drunk driving and another, Aaron Hernandez, who is accused of murder. Read moreGoogle+
A man in Surprise, Arizona says he’s being unfairly targeted by police officers due to his unusual sleep/work schedule and is now suing the department for $500,000 after a recent incident where he was arrested for drunk driving despite having a BAC of 0.00 percent.
The man, Jessie Thornton, is a retired firefighter that lives in Arizona with his wife, a nurse who works the night shift. Thornton says in an attempt to spend more time with her, he shifted his own sleep habits so that he was in bed during the day and up running errands at night. The problem with this approach is that his appearance outside late at night has attracted a lot of attention from the Surprise Police Department. Thornton says he has been pulled over 10 times and received four tickets since moving to the area several years ago.Google+