Newsletter - Current Newshttp://www.apainc.org/default.aspx?act=newsletter.aspx&category=Current Newsen-us2014-04-24T13:48:31.450625-05:00New Law Allows Children To Use Therapy Dogs In Oklahoma Courtshttp://www.apainc.org/default.aspx?act=newsletter.aspx&category=Current News&newsletterid=28304/24/2014 12:00:00 AMTULSA, Oklahoma - A new law signed by Governor Fallin will bring changes to courtrooms across Oklahoma. If requested, judges must allow registered therapy dogs in the courts to comfort abused children as they struggle with taking the stand.DA to Pass on Prosecuting Low-Level Marijuana Caseshttp://www.apainc.org/default.aspx?act=newsletter.aspx&category=Current News&newsletterid=28294/24/2014 12:00:00 AMBrooklyn District Attorney Kenneth Thompson said he plans to enact a new policy under which the office would not prosecute low-level marijuana possession cases for people with no criminal record or a "very minimal" one, according to an office memo.&nbsp; "It makes no sense for the criminal justice system, including the district attorney's office, to devote its scarce resources to lengthy case processing," said the April 10 memo, which explained the still-to-be implemented plans.Cellphone thefts surge across region, nationhttp://www.apainc.org/default.aspx?act=newsletter.aspx&category=Current News&newsletterid=28314/24/2014 12:00:00 AMOver five randomly chosen days this month, a cellphone was taken from a woman on Rockville Pike in Montgomery County, a man on Westway Lane in Prince William County, a man on West Glebe Road in Arlington County, and a woman on I Street NW in the District.&nbsp; A recent Consumer Reports survey suggests that those four Washington area robberies are part of a huge upsurge in the number of such crimes across the country.Supreme Court upholds California police search based on 911 tiphttp://www.apainc.org/default.aspx?act=newsletter.aspx&category=Current News&newsletterid=28274/23/2014 12:00:00 AMWASHINGTON &#8212; The Supreme Court on Tuesday upheld the authority of police officers to stop cars and question drivers based on anonymous tips to hotlines.&nbsp; In a 5-4 decision, the justices ruled that such stops do not amount to an unreasonable search or seizure, even if the arresting officer did not observe the vehicle speeding or swerving.Area prosecutors concerned about NM Supreme Court rulinghttp://www.apainc.org/default.aspx?act=newsletter.aspx&category=Current News&newsletterid=28284/23/2014 12:00:00 AMClovis, NM - Area prosecutors are concerned after the New Mexico Supreme Court ruled the state's child porn law ambiguous.&nbsp; The court's ruling on Monday said the law is unclear on if prosecutors can bring multiple charges against someone for possessing more than one image or video of child porn.7th arrest in kidnapping of N.C. prosecutor's fatherhttp://www.apainc.org/default.aspx?act=newsletter.aspx&category=Current News&newsletterid=28244/22/2014 12:00:00 AMRALEIGH, N.C. - Authorities have made a seventh arrest in the kidnapping case of a North Carolina prosecutor's father, reports CBS affiliate WSPA.Feds create unit to combat Chicago violencehttp://www.apainc.org/default.aspx?act=newsletter.aspx&category=Current News&newsletterid=28254/22/2014 12:00:00 AMWhen U.S. Attorney Zachary Fardon took his post six months ago amid pressure to curtail Chicago&#8216;s relentless street violence, he was clear that federal authorities were not going to be able to swoop in and make arrests that would suddenly solve the intractable problem.Cuyahoga Prosecutor: Unit will review innocence claimshttp://www.apainc.org/default.aspx?act=newsletter.aspx&category=Current News&newsletterid=28264/22/2014 12:00:00 AMCLEVELAND -- Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Timothy J. McGinty has created a Conviction Integrity Unit that will review the claims of prisoners who present credible new evidence of their innocence.Prosecutors Using Cooperating Witnesses to Convict Defendants Accused of Lesser Chargeshttp://www.apainc.org/default.aspx?act=newsletter.aspx&category=Current News&newsletterid=28214/21/2014 12:00:00 AMOn the sixth floor of the federal courthouse in downtown Brooklyn, prosecutors rolled out a rare and risky legal strategy in two trials that took place across the hall from each other.&nbsp; In both cases, the government used cooperating witnesses&#8212;"big fish"&#8212;who admitted to more serious crimes than the charges faced by the people they were testifying against.Police, DA, join together for Cape Cod Consent to Search programhttp://www.apainc.org/default.aspx?act=newsletter.aspx&category=Current News&newsletterid=28224/21/2014 12:00:00 AMIn the true spirit of collaboration and community, the Cape &amp; Islands District Attorney's Office and all fifteen Barnstable County police departments (plus Nantucket) have joined together to create and implement the Cape's first Consent to Search program. The program would allow for a member of law enforcement to search the room of a minor for a firearm with the expressed consent of the minor's parent or legal guardian.District Attorney Jackie Lacey Launches Environmental Crimes Programhttp://www.apainc.org/default.aspx?act=newsletter.aspx&category=Current News&newsletterid=28234/21/2014 12:00:00 AMLos Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey announced on April 17 her office has launched a new program to dispatch investigators and prosecutors to industrial incidents involving occupational deaths and environmental threats.&nbsp; The OSHA and Environmental Crimes Rollout Program will direct District Attorney staff to the sites of the most serious industrial incidents immediately after they are reported to enhance the preservation of evidence and ensure that witness accounts are documented.Prosecutors confronting marijuana law’s challengeshttp://www.apainc.org/default.aspx?act=newsletter.aspx&category=Current News&newsletterid=28204/16/2014 12:00:00 AMANNAPOLIS, Md. &#8212; A new law that will decriminalize marijuana in October involves some ambiguities that police and prosecutors are just beginning to confront.D.A. creates new unit to review homicide convictionshttp://www.apainc.org/default.aspx?act=newsletter.aspx&category=Current News&newsletterid=28194/16/2014 12:00:00 AMIn announcing the creation of a new office to investigate claims of wrongful convictions, District Attorney Seth Williams proclaimed yesterday: "Philadelphians want us to charge the right people with the right crimes - nothing more and nothing less."&nbsp; His newly-minted Conviction Review Unit, headed by veteran homicide prosecutor Mark Gilson, will begin reinvestigating disputed homicide convictions that have "legitimate" claims of new evidence and declarations of innocence, Williams said at a news conference at his office.&nbsp; "The very legitimacy of the criminal-justice system comes when the populace believes that those who have violated laws are held accountable, and those that are truly innocent are set free," said Williams, who cautioned that the new unit is no "get-out-of-prison-free card."<br><a href="http://www.philly.com/philly/news/20140416_D_A__creates_new_unit_to_review_homicide_convictions.html" target="_blank">philly.com</a>Man guilty of plot to decapitate judge, prosecutorhttp://www.apainc.org/default.aspx?act=newsletter.aspx&category=Current News&newsletterid=28184/15/2014 12:00:00 AMNEW YORK - A con man already imprisoned in a collectible coin scam has been sentenced to life in prison for a failed plot to decapitate a New York judge and prosecutor.&nbsp; Another judge in Brooklyn imposed the sentence on Monday against Joseph Romano, 50.Court OKs Warrantless Animal Rescue When 'Appropriate'http://www.apainc.org/default.aspx?act=newsletter.aspx&category=Current News&newsletterid=28174/15/2014 12:00:00 AMMassachusetts' highest court has ruled that officials may enter private property without a search warrant to rescue animals &#8220;in appropriate circumstances.&#8221;&nbsp; Ruling on an issue of first impression for the state&#8217;s high court on Friday in Commonwealth v. Heather M.Kansas shooting suspect to face hate-crime chargeshttp://www.apainc.org/default.aspx?act=newsletter.aspx&category=Current News&newsletterid=28164/15/2014 12:00:00 AMOVERLAND PARK, Kan. - Never one to keep his hatred to himself, Frazier Glenn Cross for decades sought out any soapbox to espouse his white-supremacist beliefs, twice running for federal office with campaigns steeped in anti-Semitism.Md. prosecutors urge veto of pot leniency billhttp://www.apainc.org/default.aspx?act=newsletter.aspx&category=Current News&newsletterid=28144/14/2014 12:00:00 AMFREDERICK, Md. &#8212; The Maryland State&#8217;s Attorneys Association is urging Gov.New FBI fingerprint technology key to resolving Illinois cold casehttp://www.apainc.org/default.aspx?act=newsletter.aspx&category=Current News&newsletterid=28134/14/2014 12:00:00 AMNew FBI technology &#8212; including a sharper fingerprint identification system &#8212; is helping police resolve cold cases, such as the 1997 slaying of a teenage runaway from the northwest suburbs whose alleged killer was charged with the crime just last week.&nbsp; The federal agency's Next Generation Identification system sounds like the name of a futuristic crime show &#8212; and in some ways, it resembles one, with cutting-edge advances rolled out over the past few years.New York Prosecutors Open Another Front of Scrutiny for Port Authorityhttp://www.apainc.org/default.aspx?act=newsletter.aspx&category=Current News&newsletterid=28124/14/2014 12:00:00 AMManhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. subpoenaed a broad range of records last month from the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, a person familiar with the matter said, seeking information on some of the agency's highest-profile projects and correspondence among its top officials.Prosecutors Push Legislation to Combat Human Traffickinghttp://www.apainc.org/default.aspx?act=newsletter.aspx&category=Current News&newsletterid=28114/11/2014 12:00:00 AMProsecutors from around the state spoke out this week in support of a bill -- drafted by the Riverside County District Attorney's Office -- aimed at cracking down on human traffickers while at the same time saving taxpayer dollars.&nbsp; "Senate Bill 939 ...Prosecutor's dad kidnapped in 'elaborate' plot; FBI rescues himhttp://www.apainc.org/default.aspx?act=newsletter.aspx&category=Current News&newsletterid=28104/11/2014 12:00:00 AM(CNN) -- An elaborate kidnapping plot that targeted a Wake Forest, North Carolina, man ended with his dramatic rescue in Atlanta by an FBI hostage squad about midnight Wednesday, law enforcement said Thursday.&nbsp; Frank Arthur Janssen is receiving medical treatment but is safe after being held captive for five days by five people who face federal kidnapping charges, according to law enforcement officials who held a news conference in Wake Forest.Santa Clara County DA website launches sections on cold-case murders, consumer tipshttp://www.apainc.org/default.aspx?act=newsletter.aspx&category=Current News&newsletterid=28094/10/2014 12:00:00 AMThe Santa Clara County Office of the District Attorney on Wednesday took its resurrected cold-case unit digital, hoping to enlist the public's assistance in solving old crimes.&nbsp; The office also began posting a "Consumer Corner" to help people avoid being victimized by scammers.State’s Attorney Alvarez: Caseload ‘staggering,’ funding shrinkinghttp://www.apainc.org/default.aspx?act=newsletter.aspx&category=Current News&newsletterid=28084/10/2014 12:00:00 AMHer office is struggling to keep up with the court system&#8217;s enormous crime and violence caseloads under countywide budget cuts, Cook County State&#8217;s Attorney Anita Alvarez complained to the City Club of Chicago on Tuesday.&nbsp; However, the county&#8217;s top prosecutor in her keynote also said she is buoyed by the success of new crime-fighting tools such as the state&#8217;s anti-racketeering and weapons laws targeting gangs, and is seeking to better battle sexual and domestic abuse crimes.Prosecutor will appeal need for warrant for GPShttp://www.apainc.org/default.aspx?act=newsletter.aspx&category=Current News&newsletterid=28074/9/2014 12:00:00 AMThe Franklin County prosecutor will ask the Ohio Supreme Court to take up the issue of whether police can use GPS devices to track vehicles without a warrant.&nbsp; Ron O&#8217;Brien said he will make the request as an appeal of last week&#8217;s ruling by the Franklin County Court of Appeals, which upheld a judge&#8217;s decision to suppress evidence in a burglary case.Minnesota cops, prosecutors object to immunity in heroin billhttp://www.apainc.org/default.aspx?act=newsletter.aspx&category=Current News&newsletterid=28064/9/2014 12:00:00 AMDrug users who overdose and those who call 911 for help would be immune from prosecution under a bill that breezed through the Minnesota Senate on Tuesday by unanimous vote.&nbsp; But the measure, crafted as a response to the surge of heroin overdoses in the state, is triggering alarm among prosecutors and law enforcement officials, who say the immunity provision could protect drug dealers and other criminals.