The amount of personal information we all carry around in our pockets is quite remarkable, yet too few people appreciate the liabilities associated with owning a smartphone. Thankfully, in the summer of 2014, the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously ruled that, in most cases, law enforcement agencies must obtain a warrant before searching the cellphone of an arrested individual.
Life is full of frustrations, big and small. And even the most mild-mannered of us sometimes lose our cool when things don't go our way. As just one example, consider the "self-checkout" stations at most grocery and big-box stores these days. They appear to be a time-saver, but are often so picky and prone to malfunction that they can take longer than waiting in line for a human cashier.
Racial profiling has long been a problem in the United States. But it has been an especially hot-button issue in the past year or so. Many African-American men are understandably nervous about even routine interactions with police for fear that they might be harmed or killed by officers who shoot first and ask questions later.
Last week, we began a discussion about the appeals process in criminal cases. As we noted in our first post, a defendant must have a legitimate reason for appealing his conviction. Most often, cases are appealed on the grounds that a serious error was made during the initial trial - serious enough to affect the outcome of the case.