If you listen to the news each day, you might think that Minnesota is drowning in crime. It seems that every day brings a new murder or assault, but what's the real picture? We know news outlets cover violent crimes because they shock us and grab our attention, but how well do these stories inform our understanding of what's actually happening?
What constitutes a “violent” crime is not as straightforward of a matter as one might assume. This is what a recent review of state laws here in the U.S. by the Marshall Project underscores.
Many things come with a major sporting event. This often includes an increased law enforcement presence. This can be seen in police preparations for the upcoming weekend’s NCAA Final Four in Minneapolis.
Recently, a report looked at trends in violent offense rates throughout the nation. It reviewed 2017 crime data on the states and hundreds of major metro areas.
Again today we demonstrate why it is important to put forward a violent crimes defense. Our client was charged with domestic assault and interfering with an emergency phone call. Our evaluation of the case was that he would likely be convicted by a jury of the interfering with a phone call. However, it was very important to not be convicted of a domestic assault. That conviction would eliminate gun rights the second amendment be damned. We were able to resolve the case without the spectre of a conviction for a domestic, in a way that will result in NO CONVICTION of any kind on his record. We prepared vigoursly for trial and were ready to go with a valid defense argument on the assaults, but the 911 call was a potential problem. Our client was very happy to have a strong violent crimes defense team on his side. One has to remember that there are a number of defenses that can be raised at trial. Aggressively approaching the case with a defense in mind can help to get an outcome that is acceptable or an acquital at trial. The violent crimes defense team at Giancola-Durkin explores all the possiblities in these typs of case.
Here in Minnesota, intentionally injuring someone, trying to injure someone, or taking threatening action against someone to put that person in fear of immediate injury or death is assault. Being accused of such conduct can lead to criminal charges.
We live in a world where the criminal justice system has focused on putting away as many criminals as possible for as long as possible. While being "tough on crime" may be popular, it has resulted in real problems. For one, many people have been subjected to harsh, mandatory minimum sentences that are often far out of proportion with the underlying crime. And, long sentences have contributed to our current mass incarceration crisis.
The federal Armed Career Criminal Act (ACCA) acts pretty much like a three-strikes law, although it counts any violent felony or serious drug conviction as a strike, whether it resulted in a federal or state conviction. Federal law generally prohibits felons from possessing firearms, but the ACCA goes further. For people who have been convicted of three qualifying felonies, a gun conviction results a mandatory 15-year sentence in federal prison.
A recent story by NPR highlighted some issues with the National Integrated Ballistics Information Network (NIBIN), a huge ballistics database operated by the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. It contains high-resolution images of the marks left on bullets and shell casings fired by specific firearms. The idea is to allow users to match those bullets and casings to each other and, sometimes, to match them to a specific gun.