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criminal defense Archives

Prisoners exonerated in 2018 spent 1,639 years behind bars

South Carolina residents have likely read media stories about prisoners who were exonerated after spending years behind bars when witnesses recanted or DNA evidence proved their innocence. The National Registry of Exonerations keeps track of these cases, and its latest annual report reveals that the 151 prisoners exonerated in 2018 were incarcerated for a total of 1,639 years. This works out to about 11 years behind bars per exonerated prisoner and is the highest number observed since the organization began tracking this data in 1989.

Black defendants may face additional burdens in court records

Racial discrimination can affect many aspects of the criminal prosecution, trial and sentencing of people in South Carolina. One often-overlooked aspect of racial disparities in the criminal justice system involves the mistaken recording and understanding of Black English in the courtroom. One study examined court stenographers in Philadelphia, finding that they made errors in two-fifths of the sentences spoken in Black English grammar and accurately paraphrased only a third of the content.

Constitutional issues raised by the information age

Judges in South Carolina and around the country take the protections guaranteed by the Fourth and Fifth Amendments seriously. That's why evidence gathered during warrantless searches or coercive interrogations is unlikely to withstand scrutiny unless the police officers involved have compelling arguments. However, the law has sometimes been slow to respond to challenges raised by new technology. Most cellphones contain extremely sensitive information about their owners, but the degree to which the U.S. Constitution protects this data remains uncertain.

How police are guarding against inaccurate identifications

Scholarly work has suggested that people in South Carolina and elsewhere can make errors when picking a person out of a lineup. In some cases, an individual will pick up on a cue given by a police officer. Research also suggests that a person has a hard time recognizing someone of a different race. Over time, an individual may be manipulated into feeling more confident in his or her choice, and he or she may actually offer testimony at trial.

Supreme Court rules police need warrant to access CSLI

On June 22, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that law enforcement agencies must generally obtain a warrant before accessing someone's cell site location information, or CSLI. Legal experts say the 5-4 decision modernizes the Fourth Amendment and provides important new privacy protections for all U.S. citizens, including the residents of South Carolina.

Subset of drivers most likely to drive dangerously

According to an estimate from the National Safety Council, there were more than 40,000 traffic deaths in 2017. Furthermore, 36 percent of all trips resulted in distracted driving on South Carolina roads and others throughout the country according to Cambridge Mobile Telematics. As a general rule, research shows that older drivers tend to focus on the road better than younger drivers. Those who drive for a living also tend to be safer than those who don't.

Unauthorized drivers of rental cars have privacy rights

Some people in South Carolina allow their friends or family members to drive rental cars for which they are not the authorized drivers. When unauthorized drivers are stopped by the police, the police might search the cars. The Supreme Court issued a ruling on May 14 that law enforcement officers cannot search rental vehicles that are being driven by unauthorized drivers without having a warrant or probable cause to believe that the cars contain evidence of crimes.

What is civil forfeiture?

People who face conviction for a crime in South Carolina know they can expect criminal penalties that may include imprisonment, fines and more. What many do not realize is that getting arrested can also result in losing some types of property through a process called civil forfeiture.

Doctors: 3 ways medical billing fraud charges can come about

Medical identity theft can take a long time to come to light, and physicians are as much at risk as patients. Once someone discovers a fraudulent scheme, an investigation may ensue, and a doctor's career and reputation could be in jeopardy.

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William G. Yarborough Attorney at Law
522 N. Church St.
Greenville, SC 29601

Toll Free: 800-469-3658
Phone: 864-326-3026
Fax: 864-370-0022
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William G. Yarborough Attorney at Law