FindLaw Blotter - The Findlaw Crime and Criminals Blog

FindLaw Blotter - Crime Blog - Crime News - The FindLaw Crime and Criminals Blog

Two girls accused of stabbing a friend because of a belief in "Slender Man" have been found competent to stand trial.

Anissa Weier, 13, and Morgan Geyser, 13, allegedly attempted a sort of ritualistic murder to please "Slender Man" -- a fictional, shadowy figure that began as an Internet meme. According to ABC News, the victim, a then 12-year-old friend of Weier and Geyser, was stabbed 19 times with a large kitchen knife last May, but thankfully survived.

What does competency to stand trial mean for these girls in the "Slender Man" trial?

Fourteen people are facing federal criminal charges after a 2012 meningitis outbreak that killed 64 people nationwide.

Those indicted include the co-founders, pharmacists, and pharmacy technicians of the New England Compounding Center in Framingham, Massachusetts, reports The Associated Press. They are accused of failing to follow proper safety standards, and in some cases, acting with "wanton and willful disregard" of the possible risks posed by allowing drugs to become tainted with mold and bacteria.

Contaminated steroids from NECC caused more than 750 people in 20 states to become ill, some with a rare form of meningitis.

What Is Constructive Possession?

Constructive possession is often thrown around in criminal cases where a person is charged with the illegal possession of something that wasn't in his or her actual possession.

The distinction can be hard to ferret out at times, but constructive possession is, in many cases, just as effective as actual possession in obtaining a conviction.

So what are some examples of constructive possession?

The federal spending bill recently passed by Congress may have a dramatic impact on the government's enforcement of federal laws criminalizing marijuana even in states that have legalized medical use of the drug.

The bill is currently awaiting President Obama's signature, reports the Los Angeles Times. But if he signs it as expected, the bill will bring an end to the federal government's prohibition on medical marijuana in states where it's been legalized.

But while the bill signals a new level of tolerance for medical marijuana at the federal level, an amendment still pushes back on Washington, D.C.'s recent passage of a law legalizing recreational use of marijuana.

As the dust settles on the Supreme Court's ruling in Heien v. North Carolina, privacy and civil rights advocates are worried about how "mistakes of law" could allow officers to abuse suspects.

The Washington Post reports that although the basic reasoning of the case is simple, "it leaves some complications." The basic ruling: Officers can have reasonable suspicion to stop a vehicle based on a reasonably mistaken view of the law.

As for the complications, here are five things to know about the Supreme Court's "mistake of law" ruling:

Police don't have to arrest you to get you to talk. Often they simply ask you to come down to the station for questioning.

Here's the funny thing about our legal system: This "request" is considered just as legally binding as an invitation from your neighbor to come gossip about the new house across the street. And correspondingly, police need not read you your Miranda rights, arrest you, or tell you to call a lawyer if you decide to come in and speak with them.

So can you say "no" to a police request for questioning?

Dollree Mapp, the appellant in a groundbreaking case, Mapp v. Ohio, which fundamentally strengthened our Fourth Amendment rights, has passed away.

Despite being in a landmark Supreme Court case, it took about a month after Mapp's death for the media to take notice. The New York Times reports that Mapp was believed to be 90 or 91 when she died October 31 in or near Conyers, Georgia.

In remembrance, let's review the Mapp case and all it has done for civil rights.

Scientists at Washington State University are reportedly developing a marijuana breathalyzer device that would allow law enforcement to test drivers for marijuana intoxication.

Breathalyzers are currently one of the methods used to test the blood alcohol concentration of a driver suspected of DUI. But Washington State University scientists believe that same technology can be repurposed to allow for the officers to determine marijuana intoxication, reports The Seattle Times.

What should you know about this marijuana breathalyzer and marijuana DUIs in general? Here are five things to keep in mind:

A jail guard for New York City's Rikers Island unit was arrested Monday in connection with the overheating death of a mentally ill prisoner earlier this year.

Carol Lackner, 34, was stationed in a special jail unit for mentally ill inmates and has been accused of falsifying records to make it seem as if she was checking on inmates when she wasn't. Lackner was tasked with checking on ex-Marine Jerome Murdough, 56, every half-hour in February, when he roasted to death inside his 101-degree cell.

What criminal charges is Lackner facing for Murdough's death?

A Kansas airman accused of knowingly exposing his sexual partners to HIV is facing review by the nation's highest military court.

The Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces is set to determine Tuesday whether David Gutierrez was properly punished for aggravated assault and for violating an order to notify partners of his HIV status and use condoms. As The Associated Press reports, Gutierrez argues that since HIV is now treatable and exposure risk from heterosexual intercourse is low, aggravated assault wasn't an appropriate charge.

How does this military case reflect on HIV transmission laws in general?