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Criminal Justice News This Week (week of 09-07-20)

Surveillance program that gathered Americans’ phone data was illegal, court finds "A federal appeals court ruled Wednesday that a controversial government surveillance program that had collected millions of Americans’ phone records violated the law — and that claims made by FBI and other national security officials in defense of the program were not accurate."

On Balance: What’s to Come in the New SCOTUS Term  "The U.S. Supreme Court's new term may not be as dramatic or historic as last years, but this docket is full of potential major challenges involving health care, the intersection of religion and LGBT discrimination, grand jury materials in Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation, and the Google and Oracle showdown."

Jury Trials Face Unprecedented Challenges Amid Pandemic  "Whether a trial is in person with social distancing, completely virtual or a combination of both, trial attorneys will encounter new challenges in jury selection."

Prosecutors Are Using Gang Laws To Criminalize Protest "Prosecutors in states ranging from New York to Utah are using decades-old gang laws to target participants in the largest uprising against police brutality in U.S. history."

Bill to decriminalize marijuana at federal level up for House vote next month"The MORE Act would remove marijuana as a Schedule I substance.")

How a Trial Lawyer Survived a 14-Hour Zoom Hearing  "'I’ve never even heard of this happening,' said Chicago lawyer Eugene E. Murphy Jr., of the marathon session with the Chicago Zoning Board of Appeals, which ultimately ended in a rare ruling barring a pot dispensary from opening in the city's upscale Gold Coast neighborhood."

The Marital Communications Privilege in White Collar Cases "In his Corporate Crime column, Evan Barr re-acquaints defense practitioners with the basic parameters of the marital communications privilege."

True Lies: How to End Abuses of Police Interrogation "But they need to spend as much energy and time in changing abusive or coercive interrogation practices that lead to the conviction of innocent individuals and undermine community confidence in the justice system, according to a former Washington, D.C. detective."

Lawyering Remotely in the Age of COVID "Mark A. Berman, a partner at Ganfer Shore Leeds & Zauderer and editor of a book on virtual lawyering, spoke with the New York Law Journal about practicing law in the era of Skype calls and remote work."

NSA surveillance exposed by Snowden was illegal, court rules seven years on “In a ruling handed down on Wednesday, the US court of appeals for the ninth circuit said the warrantless telephone dragnet that secretly collected millions of Americans’ telephone records violated the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act and may well have been unconstitutional.”

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