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Monday, March 23, 2015

Federal Child Pornography Law Costing States Real Money, by Sonya Ziaja

Federal Child Pornography Law Costing States Real Money

The aim of the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act of 2006 is to protect children by forcing sex offenders to register, and making the sex offender registry publicly available. In the case of juvenile sexting, though, the “victim” and the “perpetrator” can be the same person. Registering teens as sex offenders and subjecting them to public shame further victimizes these kids.

This result is not something that anyone wants. But, there is money involved. So the decision to protect teens from harsh penalties for sex offenses becomes more difficult in cash strapped states.

States that do not comply with the federal law suffer a 10% loss of law enforcement grant money from the federal government. How much money is that?

- Maryland stands to loose approximately $2 million
- California lost over $3 million; and,
- Texas lost over $2 million

Similarly, Florida receives almost $2 million for complying with the federal law.

Compliance comes at a cost though. The federal law requires states that wish to receive grant money to register juveniles as sex offenders for life, if they have committed an aggravated sex offense. This requirement includes registering children as young as 14.

Considering the diminished capacity of minors, the consequences of being registered as a sex offender, and the possibility of rehabilitation, the federal law is extreme.

To date, only four states have complied with the federal law: Florida, Ohio, Delaware, and South Dakota.

This February, South Dakota took a proactive approach that might allow them to keep the federal grant money without having to register teens for sexting. The legislature there considered a bill that distinguishes aggravated sexting from a lesser offense, and prohibits the state from registering minors as sex offenders “solely for committing the offense of juvenile sexting or aggravated juvenile sexting.”

Whether South Dakota’s approach would allow it to remain in compliance with the federal law is yet to be seen. If it works, that legislation might be adopted by other states, as they weigh concerns about funding against the futures of teens.

Incoming search terms for the article:

Ef´Čücient Tagging of Remote Peers During Child Pornography Investigations; Marc Liberatore, Brian Neil Levine, Clay Shields, Brian Lynn

What to Watch Out For, When You Remain Silent and Ask to See a Lawyer

Just Cause Law Collective : What to Watch Out For, When You Remain Silent and Ask to See a Lawyer

When you’re in custody, once you say I’m going to remain silent. I would like to see a lawyer, the police are not allowed to question you—but you actually have to remain silent. You can’t talk to the police about anything, not the weather or sports or movies. You can’t ask simple questions, like “When do I get my phone call?” 1 Don’t make small talk. Don’t make jokes. Silent really means silent.

The only exception to remaining silent is giving your name and address. You will have to provide that information if you want to be “released on promise to appear” (the promise to appear is a document, usually a ticket, telling you when to come to court—Sample Promises to Appear). Do not give any other information, such as your social security number, the names of family members, employment data, etc. This is important, because one of the most effective police interrogation techniques is to relax the subject by posing safe, normal questions—the kind that come up on countless forms and applications. The cop will seem bored and business-like, just “getting through all the paperwork.” An experienced officer will then move very gradually into questions about the people and incident under investigation, without any pause or change of tone. So don’t let them get you on a roll, obediently answering “safe questions.” Instead, mentally rehearse exactly what information you’re going to give: you’re going to say only your name and address, nothing else. If you don’t set that limit ahead of time, you’ll find yourself answering all sorts of questions, some of which are bound to hurt.

If you’ve been arrested and you break your silence to give your name and address, immediately follow-up by repeating the Magic Words: I’m going to remain silent. I would like to see a lawyer. This restores your constitutional protection, making it illegal for the police to question you further.

There are two common misconceptions when it comes to remaining silent:

Misconception 1: Many people assume that if they say I’m going to remain silent, I would like to see a lawyeror “I take the fifth,” then nothing they say afterward can be used against them. That’s a ghastly mistake. Saying the Magic Words merely keeps the police from questioning you after arrest, and only as long as you stay silent. If you break the silence by saying anything at all—whether it’s a statement or a question—your words can be used against you you’ll have destroyed the effect of the Magic Words. You’ll have to say them again to be protected from questioning.

Misconception 2: Sometimes people get confused and think that informal conversation is okay, as long they don’t “make a statement” or “give a confession.” That’s dangerously wrong. Anything you say—anything at all—can be used against you, even questions, casual remarks, and jokes. It doesn’t matter whether your words are written down or spoken, or whether you’re in custody or free to go. And your statements can easily be twisted, taken out of context or misquoted. It’s impossible to predict all the things that could go wrong once you start talking. So the only safe course is to remain silent. Here are some examples, based on real cases, of people who talked their way into prison:

Example: Sue and Sally were arrested together in a drug case. At the police station, they were kept in separate holding cells, out of earshot of each other. The detective investigating the case questioned them individually about the crime. Neither of them answered these questions. However, Sue chatted with the detective, just making small talk—she told him where she went for dinner the night before, where she was planning to go for vacation, etc. Later on, the detective went to Sally and fooled her into thinking that Sue snitched on her. Sally wouldn’t have believed the detective, except that he mixed in the trivial information Sue had given him earlier, and those tidbits of truth made his story very convincing. Once Sally was persuaded that Sue had told on her, Sally angrily insisted it was all Sue’s doing. The detective then took Sally’s statements to Sue, who was outraged, and promptly ratted on Sally. So in the end, both suspects were suckered into snitching on each other.2

When law enforcement officers are questioning you, it’s completely legal for them to lie about the evidence and even create false documents in order to fool you into talking! Since you cannot be sure that the officers you’re dealing with are telling the truth, the only safe thing to do is to stay silent. As the saying goes, “a fish won’t get caught if it keeps its mouth shut.” 3

1. You should be allowed to make a phone call within a few hours of arrest, usually soon after you arrive at the police station or jail. Normally, you're put in a holding cell that has a telephone in it, though these phones are often rigged so that you can only make collect calls. The authorities are allowed to listen in on your calls from jail, so you must not talk about the incident for which you were arrested or any other illegal activities in which you might have been involved. It's best not even to talk about other people, because they might be investigated or questioned. The importnat thing to communicate is that your friends or relatives should get you a lawyer and/or a bail bondsman. If you haven't been given access to a telephone, say: "I would like to call a lawyer." This has the same legal effect as saying, "I would like to see a lawyer," so it doesn't wipe out the protection you get from saying the Magic Words.

2. For another example of this technique, see Rat Jacket.

3. Attorneys have been giving this particular piece of advice for hundreds of years. Back in 1614, an English lawyer named John Hoskyns (who was, at the time, locked up in the Tower of London for being disruptive) wrote to his young son:
Sweet Benjamin, since thou art young,
And hast not yet the use of tongue,
Make it thy slave, while thou art free;
Imprison it, lest it do thee.
The Columbia World of Quotations, s.v., "John Hoskyns,"

Just Cause Law Collective : Dealing With Search Warrants

Just Cause Law Collective : Dealing With Search Warrants

Dealing With Search Warrants

Search warrants allow law enforcement agents to search a particular place (or vehicle or person) and seize items that might have evidentiary value. To obtain a search warrant, an officer must show a judge that there’s probable cause that a crime has been or is being committed. The officer’s “affidavit,” or statement of probable cause, is usually submitted to the court in writing, but sometimes an officer gives her affidavit orally, usually when calling from a crime scene to request a warrant. (For an example of probable cause, see Arrest)

The general rule is that the police are required to “knock and announce” when serving a search warrant, as in: [knock, knock] “Ma’am, this is the police. We have a search warrant for these premises.” If you then refuse to let the officers in, they have the right to force the door open.

The police are allowed to skip the knock and announce part when they reasonably believe that officers would be endangered or evidence destroyed, should the occupants have any warning.1 Even when they do knock and announce, they may only wait a few seconds before bursting in.

If police knock on your door and state that they have a search warrant, step outside and close the door behind you, then ask them to give you the warrant so you can read it. (If you stand inside with the door open, the police may just push past you before you can react.) Make sure you actually get your hands on the warrant so you can read it properly. Don’t let the officer just wave it in front of you.

You’re looking for three things, to be sure it’s a valid warrant:
• the address
• the date
• the judge’s signature

Address: checking that the warrant really does have your address on it is the most important thing. Police frequently search the wrong house or apartment, and claim it was just a mistake. Note that a warrant can’t be for a whole apartment building or floor—it has to be for a specific apartment.
Date: the date should not generally be older than two weeks. There isn’t a precise number of days that warrants are good for. They can be served as long as a reasonable officer would expect to find the items listed in the warrant. Some judges have held that a particular warrant was valid even after a month or two, but these were rare cases. For simplicity’s sake, most police departments just make a rule for themselves about how many days the officers can wait before serving a search warrant—usually it’s seven or ten days.

Signature: it’s pretty unusual for a warrant to lack a judge’s or magistrate’s signature2, but it could happen.

Warrants come in a wide variety of formats. Take a look at the sample search warrants, and see how quickly you can spot the address, date, and signature. (While you’re looking for these items, imagine that you’re standing in front of your door, with police officers breathing down your neck.) The address is hardest, because it’s often in the middle of a paragraph. The date and signature will be at the end.

If you do find a flaw in the warrant, show it to the police and tell them that you don’t consent to their coming in. For example, you might say:

• This warrant is for a different address: it’s for 1965
Montgomery St., and my house is 1966 Montgomery.
I don’t consent to your coming in.
• This house has apartments in it. Your warrant doesn’t say
whether it’s for Unit A or Unit B, so it’s no good. I don’t
consent to your coming in.
• This warrant is four months old. It’s not valid anymore. I don’t
consent to your coming in.
• This warrant doesn’t have a judge’s signature, so it’s not valid.
I don’t consent to your coming in.
• This is a laundry receipt, not a search warrant. I don’t consent
to your coming in.

Now, just because you point out a mistake in the warrant and withhold consent, that doesn’t mean the officers won’t come in and search. The police may decide to ignore your statements; or the warrant may, in fact, be valid. Your job is simply to create ammunition for your lawyer to defend you with later on, by showing that the police didn’t “make an honest mistake” in relying on that warrant. Memorize what the police say in response to your showing them the error in the warrant—especially if it’s something like, “I don’t give a shit what your address is.”

There are other parts to a search warrant that may be relevant during the course of defending a criminal case, but they’re not as useful while the police are right at your door. For example, search warrants must specify what is being looked for and which parts of your home, vehicle, etc. can be searched. However, as you can see in the samples, search warrants usually have a whole long list of things to look for and places to look in. This gives the police plenty of room to maneuver. Nonetheless, you should make notes (written notes if possible, otherwise mental notes) about where the officers search and what they move.

Normally, search warrants must be executed during daylight hours, unless the warrant includes specific permission for the officers to serve it at night.

While executing the search warrant, the officers are allowed to detain anyone who happens to be present. The police can pat down the people they’re detaining,3 but cannot search any of them more intrusively, unless the warrant specifies that particular person by name. (The second of the sample search warrants includes a person to be searched, as well as a place.) However, it’s not unusual for police who are searching pursuant to a warrant, to discover things that give them probable cause to arrest some or all of the people present—and once a suspect’s been arrested, the officers can search her clothing, body, etc.

Some search warrants include permission for the officers to answer your telephone while they’re on the premises searching. The police pretend to be you, or someone who’s a part of your household, business, etc. They try to get the caller to say things that can be used against you (or against the caller) in court.

Most searches are very destructive. Your property is likely to be thrown about and damaged. So after the police have gone, take three or four dozen photographs of the place, before doing any clean-up. These may be useful in defending against criminal charges and/or in suing the police. Make sure you’ve got good enough lighting that the photos will come out well.

1. If the police kick the door in and point guns at you, screaming, "Police! Down on the floor, nobody move," you can skip attempting to read the warrant, and instead just keep your hands in view and hold very still.
2. A magistrate is a subspecies of judge.
3. During a detention (as opposed to an arrest), the police are allowed to pat down the suspect, in order to protect themselves from hidden weapons. This search is limited to feeling the surface of clothing, and does not include emptying the suspect's pockets or undressing the suspect. See Detention.

Child pornography in peer-to-peer networks; Chad M. S. Steel

Child pornography in peer-to-peer networks; Chad M. S. Steel

Computer search and seizure issues in Internet crimes against children cases; Kreston, Susan S.

Computer search and seizure issues in Internet crimes against children cases; Kreston, Susan S.

New Jersey Computer Evidence Search & Seizure Manual Department of Law & Public Safety Division of Criminal Justice

Sample Standard Pretrial and Trial Defense Motions, by Victoria Lee

Sample Standard Pretrial and Trial Defense Motions by Victoria Lee

Defending Possession of Child Pornography; Rick Albee

Defending Possession of Child Pornography; Rick Albee
Defending Possession of Child Pornography; Rick Albee

EnCase Legal Journal Second Edition

EnCase Legal Journal by kimchee88

A New Way to Detect Digital Child Pornography?; By KI MAE HEUSSNER

A New Way to Detect Digital Child Pornography?; By KI MAE HEUSSNER
A New Way to Detect Digital Child Pornography?; By KI MAE HEUSSNER

Digital Forensics in Child Pornography Cases; Larry E. Daniel

Electronic Crime Scene Investigations; U.S. Dept. of Justice

Dodging the Bullet Cross Examination Tips for Computer Forensic Examiners; Craig Ball

Cross Examination of the Computer Forensic Expert; Craig Ball