Author Archive | Alec Ward

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New D.A. Larry Krasner Cleans House in Philadelphia

In his first days in office, the activist turned prosecutor has dismissed 31 career staff. Alec Ward|Jan. 11, 2018 3:10 pm Richard Garella/Krasner for DA As a candidate for district attorney, career civil rights and criminal defense attorney Larry Krasner promised to shake up Philadelphia’s justice system. On that score, at least, he seems to […]

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Can the ‘Automobile Exception’ Run Over the Fourth Amendment?

Justices hear challenge to Virginia court’s expansion of warrantless vehicle searches. Alec Ward|Jan. 10, 2018 3:30 pm Erich Ferdinand/flickr The Supreme Court has long held that police don’t need a warrant to search a motor vehicle if they have probable cause to think it contains evidence of a crime. But does the so-called “automobile exception” […]

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Punishing Low-Income Drivers for Being Poor

In Michigan, the state suspends your driver’s license if you don’t pay your traffic tickets. But three weeks ago, a federal judge in Flint enjoined that practice when it’s applied to the very poor, ruling that suspending licenses without ascertaining the debtor’s ability to pay is likely a violation of due process. Michigan’s traffic tickets […]

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Victory in the ‘Kettle Falls Five’ Case

Charges dismissed, convictions vacated for family convicted of growing legal medical marijuana Alec Ward|Jan. 4, 2018 3:29 pm Family photoA federal judge has vacated the convictions of three people sentenced to prison for growing state-legal medical marijuana in Washington. Judge Thomas O. Rice’s decision yesterday followed prosecutors’ admission that “the United States was not authorized […]

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