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April 2013 Archives

N.Y. v. Quarles and Miranda's Public Safety Exception

In the Boston bombing case, authorities have claimed that the public safety exception to Miranda allowed them to question Dzhokhar Tsarnaev without first reading him his Miranda rights.

Tsarnaev's questioning by the High Value Interrogation Group was conducted days before the 19-year-old suspect was read his Miranda rights on Monday, The Huffington Post reports.

The public safety exception to the general rule of Miranda comes from the N.Y. v. Quarles case, and its use in the upcoming Tsanaev case may broaden its scope.

SCOTUS: Warrant Needed for DUI Blood Test, Maybe

As we all know, laws are incredibly dynamic. Just a few months ago, we went over the possibility of forced blood draws of DUI suspects and how it's probably a bad idea to refuse a test. This week, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that police usually have to get a search warrant before they can order blood tests for drunken-driving suspects.

The vote was 8-to-1, with Justice Clarence Thomas dissenting by his lonesome.

U.S. Supreme Court Turns Down Case on Gun Law in New York

After the Newtown tragedy, the gun law debate is charged with emotions, and conflict. Tougher gun laws have divided lower courts across the country. And yet, despite all the buzz on the topic, the Supreme Court isn't weighing in on a restrictive gun law in New York state.

If the justices had decided to hear the case, they would've taken on a major Second Amendment question: Can states bar or strictly limit the carrying of guns in public for self defense?

New York, Occupy Wall Street Settle Books Lawsuit for $232k

NYC librarians can quietly rejoice as Occupy Wall Street's "People's Library" settled a federal lawsuit with the city over the destruction of 2,800 books during a police raid on Zuccotti Park in late 2011.

The $232,000 Occupy settlement has raised a few eyebrows because of where the bulk of the money is going.

$2.5B in Damages Possible for Worst U.S. Hepatitis C Outbreak

A Las Vegas jury is in deliberations over punitive damages totaling $2.5 billion against Nevada's largest health management organization and another provider for the worst U.S. outbreak of hepatitis C. The plaintiffs' attorneys, The Associated Press reports, want the stunning punitive damages to send a strong message to corporations and Wall Street: No more putting profits ahead of patient safety.

The jury last week awarded $24 million in compensatory damages -- but do the punitive damages go too far?

In a major music download lawsuit, Capitol Records has won a ruling against ReDigi Inc. claiming ReDigi violated the company's digital music copyrights.

A federal judge in New York found that ReDigi was not allowed to let users buy and sell "used" digital music files on its website, reports Reuters. These songs had originally been purchased through Apple's iTunes.

The lawsuit is significant, as several companies have been making headway in creating a marketplace for used and unwanted digital works like music and ebooks. This is similar to how second-hand record and book stores resell used physical copies of records and books, but with one critical difference.