Police & You: The recent events in a Richland County, South Carolina high school where a uniformed law enforcement officer forcibly removed a student from her desk and placed her in handcuffs should serve as a vivid reminder to parents and students alike that whether you agree with the officer's tactics or not, uniformed law enforcement officers are routinely in America's schools and are undoubtedly not going anywhere.
Expect new developments this year regarding the Police & You. On Friday, January 17, the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear two cases regarding the authority of police to search the contents of an individual's cell phone without a warrant. The Court has agreed to review Riley v. California and United States v. Wurie. Both cases involve information found in the defendant's cell phone that was used as evidence to convict.
In The Justice System, Prosecutors have an enormous amount of discretion in a criminal case. As a former prosecutor in the State of New York, and the Federal System in Detroit, I had the ability to decide who should be charged with a crime, what felony and misdemeanor charges should be filed, and when charges would be filed. Like all prosecutors, I also had the ability to negotiate plea bargains, dismiss charges, and recommend downward departures at sentencing. However, prosecutors cannot engage in conduct that amounts to selective or vindictive prosecution. For ethical prosecutors, this is not a problem. Unfortunately, some prosecutors cross the line. A recent google search for "prosecutorial misconduct cases" yielded over 150,000 results in .28 seconds.
Police & You: Things to Remember When Confronted By Police
Unsurprisingly, one of the leading Teenage and Juvenile Crime involves alcohol. Although illegal at the time, teenage drinking for those of us who grew up in the 1980s was hardly the big deal it is in today's criminal justice system. "Back in the day", police officers exercised discretion and either poured it out, or (I assume) took it back to the station for after the shift. If you were really unlucky in the 80s, the police took you home and you had to face your parents.