Not long before Don Holman’s son Garrett died from an overdose in February, he learned his 20-year-old had his drugs delivered directly to their Virginia home in the mail, in packages from foreign countries, reports the Wall Street Journal (https://www.wsj.com/articles/when-the-mailman-unwittingly-becomes-a-drug-dealer-1498469403). “Your drug dealer today is your mailman,” said Holman.
A Prosecutor Perspective
Upon learning that a local law enforcement agency was preparing to deploy body worn cameras, as prosecutors we had to wonder what this new evidence would mean to our presentation of cases in court. Would this mean more or less work? More or less trials? Better trial outcomes?
Social media plays a large role in American life. Every minute users post 216,000 photos on Instagram, tweet 277,000 times, and share almost 2.5 billion pieces of content on Facebook.1 Social media’s importance also coincides with criminal prosecutions and investigations.
As the Department of Justice continues its efforts to fulfill President Trump’s commitment to reducing violent crime in America, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced today that 12 cities are joining the Department’s newly organized National Public Safety Partnership (PSP). The announcement came during the opening session of a national summit organized by the Attorney General’s Task Force on Crime Reduction and Public Safety.
District Attorney Andrew Womble says he is stepping up efforts with local law enforcement agencies to confront overdose deaths in the region by more severely prosecuting narcotics dealers.
Last week, a Roanoke Island man was charged with second-degree murder after a June 10 overdose death in Wanchese.
Drug trafficking is an inherently violent business. If you want to collect a drug debt, you can’t, and don’t, file a lawsuit in court. You collect it by the barrel of a gun. For the approximately 52,000 Americans who died of a drug overdose in 2015, drug trafficking was a deadly business.
As police departments across the United States embrace the use of police body-worn cameras (“BWCs”), it is imperative that prosecutors be involved in the process as early as possible. The cameras will inevitably capture a great deal of evidentiary material that will be used in every type of criminal prosecution.
While the battle between the FBI and Apple over whether the government could force the tech giant to hack into one of its phones in the service of an investigation made big headlines, the tug-of-war between technology companies and the government over encryption wages every day with local cops complaining incessantly about technology they don’t like. Going forward, should the government force technology companies to build exploits to device encryption to allow law enforcement to crack it — or at least to allow the government to force the manufacturer to crack it for them?
OWH July 5, 2017
Supporters of a program designed to protect youths brought into the U.S. illegally are criticizing Nebraska’s attorney general for asking the Trump administration to reverse its earlier decision to allow those youths to stay legally in the country.
Attorney General Doug Peterson joined nine other Republican attorneys general last week in asking the Trump administration to phase out the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program by refusing to renew or issue any new program permits.
Diversion programs that gained popularity in the 1970s are now experiencing a resurgence, as many states respond to tough-on-crime policies by reducing nonviolent felonies to misdemeanors. Run by courts, prosecutors and sometimes law enforcement, the programs channel offenders into services meant to address the root causes of their conduct, such as substance abuse or mental illness, allowing them to avoid conviction.
Nebraska County Attorneys Association
P.O. Box 80044
Lincoln, NE 68501