Scientists and legal scholars study ‘moral luck’

What can the structure of the human brain teach us about criminal law? Psychologist Fiery Cushman asks us to consider the following. Hal and Peter drink together in a bar. After becoming intoxicated from consuming identical amounts of alcohol, they drive separate cars home. Each man loses control of their car on an icy road. Hal’s car runs into a tree. Peter’s car hits a little girl and kills her. Hal will face some driving-related sanctions. Peter, on the other hand, has committed a homicide and will probably serve some time in prison. Why should two accidental outcomes of identical … [Read more...]

Technology and its impact on the Fourth Amendment

By Timothy P. O'Neill Let's set the Wayback Machine to 1983. You are in a law school classroom and are discussing a brand new U.S. Supreme Court case, U.S. v. Knotts, 460 U.S. 276 (1983). The professor says, "This case holds that police use of a beeper to track a suspect's car to a drug lab is not a search under the Fourth Amendment. In order for police activity to constitute a search, it must intrude on the person's reasonable expectation of privacy. Here the car was always on public streets; theoretically, any person could have viewed the suspect's movements. Use of the beeper only aided … [Read more...]

Court takes on Fourth Amendment exclusionary rule

September 9, 2011 By  Timothy P. O'Neill Timothy P. O'Neill is a professor at The John Marshall Law School. He was a finalist for the 2010 "Peter Lisagor Award" for Exemplary Journalism in the area of Commentary. Let's talk about "The Biggest Loser." No, not the TV show. I want to talk about what Linda Greenhouse referred to as "The Biggest Loser" of the 2010 term of the U.S. Supreme Court: the Fourth Amendment. From a defense perspective, the result was scorched earth. For openers, the government won all three Fourth Amendment cases. Justice Samuel Alito wrote two of the majority … [Read more...]

How a Tennessean Helped Shape the Casey Anthony Trial

A forensic scientist in East Tennessee provided the prosecutors in the Casey Anthony trial key evidence which gave some indication as to how Caylee Anthony died and assisted the prosecutors in attempting to establish pre-meditation, even if ultimately unsuccessful. Dr. Arpad Vass and a group of scientists at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in East Tennessee were provided with air samples from the trunk of a car where prosecutors contended Casey stored Caylee’s body following her death. Dr. Vass analyzed the air samples using a technique intended to identify body vapors which are typical of … [Read more...]

Nashville Criminal Attorneys Explain Vehicular Homicide

The criminal offense of vehicular homicide often ends tragically for everyone involved, included the person allegedly responsible for the death. With a victim’s family often heavily interested in the prosecution, the pressure is on the prosecutor to provide a swift and harsh punishment. It is important that the person charged understand all available options, including fighting the criminal charge at trial. Our Nashville criminal attorneys offer free case consultations for all vehicular homicide cases. What is Vehicular Homicide in Tennessee? Vehicular homicide is the reckless killing of … [Read more...]

Nashville Criminal Attorneys Explain: Entrapment in Tennessee

Entrapment is now a valid defense in Tennessee, based on the premise that “public policy demands a purity of government and its processes which does not exist when law enforcement, in effect, manufactures the crime and the criminal as opposed to preventing the crime and apprehending the criminal.” (See State v. Jones, 598 S.W.2d at 216; State v. Shropshire, 874 S.W.2d at 638.) The defense of entrapment did not exist in Tennessee until the 1980 Tennessee Supreme Court Decision in State v. Jones.  In 1989 the Legislature set out the defense of Entrapment in Tenn. Code Ann. § 39-11-505 as … [Read more...]

Nashville Criminal Attorney Explains: New Search Warrant Law in Tennessee

Tennessee law previously required that the execution of search warrants by police officers follow a certain set of simple yet strict rules. If those rules were not followed precisely, it could result in the implementation of what is known to Nashville criminal defense attorneys as the exclusionary rule. The exclusionary rule provides that any evidence which is obtained in violation of an individual’s constitutional rights is subject to being suppressed entirely and not available to prosecutors for use at a criminal trial. A new law in Tennessee, which will go into effect July 1, 2011, will … [Read more...]

Nashville Criminal Lawyer Explains Your Rights as a Criminal Defendant

Both the United States and the State of Tennessee’s Constitution guarantees defendants in a criminal case certain rights which are critical to the defense of your case. 1. Right against Self Incrimination. It’s the ‘right to remain silent’ of Miranda. It’s also your right to testify, or to not testify at trial. Because of this right it can’t be held against you if you choose not to testify. 2. Right to a Criminal Attorney. Whether you can, or can’t afford one, you are entitled to a criminal defense attorney to assist in the defense of your criminal case. 3. Right to Call Witnesses and … [Read more...]

Nashville Criminal Lawyers Explain: Your Miranda Rights in Tennessee

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Nashville Criminal Lawyers Provides Discount for Active Military

For our soldiers stationed at Fort Campbell, or any other active military we now offer a 25% discount off for our services. Don’t let drinking and celebrating a night out in Nashville ruin your military career. If you find yourself in trouble, contact our Nashville DUI lawyers immediately. Communications always remain confidential and we will make every effort to resolve the situation as swiftly and favorably as possible. We also offer free consultations for criminal cases, DUI cases, personal injury, and domestic cases. Call us today with any questions at (615) 829 - 8259. It’s the … [Read more...]

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