Did you know that on Cinco de Mayo, you are celebrating the Mexican Army’s defeat over the French at the Battle of Pueblo?! In reality, Cinco De Mayo has become a day to celebrate Mexican heritage, and for many, to consume margaritas. As many of you have learned the hard way, tequila can lead to some poor decision making. After...
The Killing of George Floyd and the Criminal Charges the Officers Face Have Been in the News Over the Last Year
You may be wondering why former officers, Tou Thao, J. Alexander Kueng, and Thomas Lane, are still facing criminal charges when Derek Chauvin has already been found guilty of killing George Floyd. It’s because the former officers have been charged with “aiding and abetting” Derek Chauvin. In other words, the prosecution is attempting to convict these men for “helping” Chauvin...
As the jury heads into deliberations, one cannot help but wonder what legal standard is to be applied. How do you determine what is “reasonable?” Is there only one “reasonable” standard? The standard that is applied in police use of force incidents is known as the “reasonable officer” standard. This means that officer’s actions must be evaluated from the perspective...
Many people may believe that an arrest is only legal if a police officer has a warrant to arrest the person or if the police officer sees the person commit a crime. However, this is not always the case; warrantless arrests are allowed under limited circumstances depending on the offense. For example, if the crime at issue is a misdemeanor,...
In all jury trials, the general format is the same. First, there is jury selection and then opening statements where the Prosecution goes first, and the Defense follows. After opening statements, the Prosecution presents their side of the case. This is done by calling witnesses, taking their testimony, and introducing evidence. In the death of George Floyd case, also known...
As fans of The Office will recall, Jim Halpert once attempted to convince Dwight Schrute that Marijuana is a memory loss drug, meaning it erases your memories. If Jim was telling the truth and being honest with Dwight (a big “if”, we know) then it would make sense you forgot there was marijuana in your motor vehicle. Even if marijuana...
Many people, specifically Minnesotans, recall George Floyd’s death this last May. Nearly 10 months later, the criminal trial of former Minneapolis Police officer Derek Chauvin, who is accused of causing George Floyd’s death, is underway. So, what is really going on in that trial? First, it is important to know what Mr. Chauvin has been charged with. Although the charges...
Right now, the State (prosecution) is presenting their case in chief. This means they call witnesses to testify and present evidence. When a side calls a witness, that side must “direct examine” the witness by asking open-ended questions. Once that side has no further questions, the other side gets to “cross-examine” the witness. During cross-examination, attorneys are allowed to ask...
In movies, books, television shows, and conversations with friends, the words “jail” and “prison” seem to be used interchangeably, but they are far from the same. Jails and prisons are different establishments that serve different purposes in the criminal justice system. Jails: Jails are smaller than prisons and are under the jurisdiction of the specific city, county, or district within...
Have you ever gone into a store and saw a sign indicating that no guns are allowed on the premises? If you have a handgun permit you may wonder what effect this sign has on your ability to carry a concealed weapon within that store. In Minnesota, “no gun” signs do not have the force of law, unless they are...
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