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Category Archives: Constitutional Rights

Can You Be Forced to Decrypt Your Computer?

Can You Be Forced to Decrypt Your Computer?

According to an article posted on CNet, a federal judge in Colorado ruled in January that American citizens can be ordered to decrypt their hard drives to allow police room for more thorough investigations when acting on search warrants for cases that involves things like wire fraud or child pornography. This ruling could truly set precedents in terms of privacy and is encouraging people to argue the Fifth Amendment. The Fifth Amendment in Question According to the article, Judge Robert Blackburn ordered a Colorado woman accused of being involved in a mortgage scam to decrypt the hard drive of a laptop computer. She was charged with bank fraud, wire fraud, and money laundering in an attempt to falsify court documents to illegally gain titles to homes near Colorado Springs. Blackburn,… […]

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What is the Difference Between a Sting Operation and Entrapment?

What is the Difference Between a Sting Operation and Entrapment?

A sting operation is defined as a deceptive, carefully researched and well-executed operation designed to catch a person committing a crime. Usually a police officer or willing member of the public will play the role of a criminal or victim and give another criminal an opportunity to commit a crime. Many times, the person playing the role is actually a criminal who is participating in a deal in order to have their charges dropped. These sting operations are extremely common in the United States but are actually considered illegal in other countries such as Sweden and the Netherlands. They are effective because they often circumvent the need to obtain the suspect’s confession. It is enough evidence for prosecution. Ethical Concerns Sting operations are a hot topic for debate because they… […]

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Constitutional Battle Between the First and Fourteenth Amendments

Constitutional Battle Between the First and Fourteenth Amendments

What Constitutional Right prevails, when the First Amendment of the United States Constitution and the Fourteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution collide? This question was recently answered by the Florida Appellate courts in Long v. State, -So.3d- , 2014 WL 5462459 Fla. App. 1st DCA 2014. Long was convicted of two counts of lewd and lascivious molestation and one count of sexual battery, by a person in familial or custodial authority. Long argued on appeal that because the trial judge allowed, over Long’s objection, burly men wearing jackets embroidered with “Bikers Against Child Abuse;” a freedom of expression guaranteed under the First Amendment, to be present near the courtroom and therefore in the presence of jurors, prior to the commencement of his trial, violated his Fourteenth Amendment Right to… […]

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