The Scarlet Letter and Other Roadblocks to Redemption for Female Offenders

  Does redemption exist in today’s criminal justice system? Conceptually, redemption stems from the Judeo-Christian belief that forgiveness shall be given for past misdeeds or sins.  In the context of law—once one has atoned for their sins,  misdeed, paid their debt to society, served time, moreover, has turned the corner …

US Supreme Court Reviewing Cell Phone Searches and Seizures, With Judge Eugene Hyman, Santa Clara, California

The U.S. Supreme is reviewing privacy interest in the context of cell phones, after spending time previously reviewing cases involving computers and GPS systems.  Generally, things can be searched incident to an arrest but the question is if you can’t search, can you seize? Retired Superior Court Judge, Eugene Hyman, …

Supreme Court Gives Police Authority to Turn Tips into Traffic Stops, With Judge Eugene Hyman, Santa Clara, California

In a closely divided Supreme Court ruling, the Supreme Court has given police the authority to turn anonymous tips into traffic stops and possible arrests.  Given the imminent danger a vehicle possesses and because the situation is fluid, the Court decided on a more liberal approach as compared to tipsters …

Olympian Bode Miller’s Custody Dispute, With Judge Eugene Hyman, Santa Clara, California

The custody battle involving Olympic skier Bode Miller raises the question of whether a pregnant woman should be legally obligated to live near the unborn child’s father. California’s laws came about because of surrogacy, to prevent a person who’s being paid to be a surrogate and then change the rule …

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The Scarlet Letter and Other Roadblocks to Redemption for Female Offenders

July 1, 2014 Uncategorized No Comments

 

Does redemption exist in today’s criminal justice system? Conceptually, redemption stems from the Judeo-Christian belief that forgiveness shall be given for past misdeeds or sins.  In the context of law—once one has atoned for their sins,  misdeed, paid their debt to society, served time, moreover, has turned the corner and is living crime free—is a crime ever really forgiven, much less forgotten?

Read more at the Santa Clara Law Review

US Supreme Court Reviewing Cell Phone Searches and Seizures, With Judge Eugene Hyman, Santa Clara, California

April 30, 2014 Uncategorized No Comments

The U.S. Supreme is reviewing privacy interest in the context of cell phones, after spending time previously reviewing cases involving computers and GPS systems.  Generally, things can be searched incident to an arrest but the question is if you can’t search, can you seize?

Retired Superior Court Judge, Eugene Hyman, of Santa Clara, California, says the answer is yes and then the officer can apply for a search warrant to see if there’s probable cause to believe the cell phone is evidence of a crime.  If the magistrate believes so, then the search warrant is issued and the police can search it.

Nowadays, cell phones are mini computers and if a police officer needed a search warrant to search a computer taken from a home, the why wouldn’t they need a search warrant if it’s taken from your car, Hyman asks.

The California Supreme Court held that since it’s incident to an arrest, especially in the context of a vehicle, then that is enough to allow officers to search cell phones without the necessity of obtaining a search warrant, according to Hyman.

A vehicle is different from a home in that a vehicle is mobile and the concern is that things can disappear or get damaged, explains Hyman, who further adds that the general rule, historically, for warrant-less searches is there’s a great deal more leeway with vehicles.

Hyman believes the case is very important because it’s going to test the limits on what “historically, has been open season.”  In this case, they will decide if a cell phone truly is so personal to require additional protections or whether the general historical rules apply, he explains.

Honorable Judge Eugene Hyman has received numerous awards and recognition for his work with families and children and has appeared on numerous television news shows. For more information, visit www.judgehyman.com. He is also a featured commentator on The Family Law Channel and The Legal Broadcast NetworkThe Legal Broadcast Network is a featured network of the Sequence Media Group.

Supreme Court Gives Police Authority to Turn Tips into Traffic Stops, With Judge Eugene Hyman, Santa Clara, California

April 30, 2014 Uncategorized No Comments

In a closely divided Supreme Court ruling, the Supreme Court has given police the authority to turn anonymous tips into traffic stops and possible arrests.  Given the imminent danger a vehicle possesses and because the situation is fluid, the Court decided on a more liberal approach as compared to tipsters calling on situations involving drugs in homes.

A tip wouldn’t be enough for a search warrant when it involves the selling of drugs out of a house because the tipster has to be a reliable informant and by going into the tipster’s history, the judge would need to determine if the tipster is reliable, says Eugene Hyman, a retired Superior Court Judge out of Santa Clara, California.  The reliability factor, with respect to the tipster involving a vehicle is a lot lower, he adds.

By calling in a tip involving a vehicle and providing the make of the car and license plate number and the fact that it’s in progress leads to a more reasonable event with respect to stopping that vehicle in question.

In the case before the Supreme Court, what Judge Hyman found interesting was that the police followed the vehicle for a couple of miles and saw no evidence of bad driving, but still stopped the vehicle based on the tip and the Supreme Court said this was allowed.

Honorable Judge Eugene Hyman has received numerous awards and recognition for his work with families and children and has appeared on numerous television news shows. For more information, visit www.judgehyman.com. He is also a featured commentator on The Family Law Channel and The Legal Broadcast NetworkThe Legal Broadcast Network is a featured network of the Sequence Media Group.

Olympian Bode Miller’s Custody Dispute, With Judge Eugene Hyman, Santa Clara, California

February 28, 2014 Uncategorized No Comments

The custody battle involving Olympic skier Bode Miller raises the question of whether a pregnant woman should be legally obligated to live near the unborn child’s father.

California’s laws came about because of surrogacy, to prevent a person who’s being paid to be a surrogate and then change the rule and back out.  As a result, a procedure was established in California where even pre-birth you can establish parentage and there can be pre-birth rules with respect to the child, says Judge Eugene Hyman, retired from the Superior Court in Santa Clara, California.

Bode Miller is using those laws for a completely different purpose in his situation and what he’s doing is allowed under law, says Hyman.  Unfortunately, New York went overboard in their application, he adds.  As the case plays out, it’s interesting to understand that anyone can have these jurisdictional disputes and it’s true that once a procedure is started in one state, assuming that the state has initial jurisdiction to begin, the fact that one participant moves to another state doesn’t necessarily mean proceedings move to another state, Hyman says.  He adds that what’s unusual in this case is that while there were proceedings to establish parental abilities with respect to California, prior to being born, the mother moved to New York to attend graduate school at Columbia University.

The New York judge that was drawn decided to view this as she was trying to kidnap a fetus and deny Bode Miller his parental rights and that’s where things went horribly wrong, says Hyman.

Honorable Judge Eugene Hyman has received numerous awards and recognition for his work with families and children and has appeared on numerous television news shows. For more information, visit www.judgehyman.com. He is also a featured commentator on The Family Law Channel and The Legal Broadcast Network.  The Legal Broadcast Network is a featured network of the Sequence Media Group.

Bieber Refuses Offer From Court, With Judge Eugene Hyman, Santa Clara, California

February 28, 2014 Uncategorized No Comments

After charges stemming from a DUI arrest, Justin Bieber refuses an offer from the court and decides to take the case “to the box.”  Retired Superior Court Judge Eugene Hyman, of Santa Clara, California, does not think this is a good idea.  Based on what Hyman’s read in the media, the evidence is somewhat overwhelming with respect to his guilt and he thinks that maybe because of his notoriety, Bieber thinks he stands a chance if not only a not guilty verdict, at least a hung jury and come out okay.

Clearly, a judge couldn’t give a person a more harsh sentence because that person has assisted on availing themselves of their constitutional rights and they can’t be punished for exercising that right, says Hyman.  However, a judge is not obligated to give a pre-trial offer to someone who has taken their case to adjudication with respect to guilty or not guilty.  The judge can take into consideration if that person lied during testimony and consider all the other factors not known during the time the pre-trial offer was made, Hyman says.  “This could have immigration consequence that we’re unaware of at this time,” adds Hyman.

Honorable Judge Eugene Hyman has received numerous awards and recognition for his work with families and children and has appeared on numerous television news shows. For more information, visit www.judgehyman.com. He is also a featured commentator on The Family Law Channel and The Legal Broadcast Network.  The Legal Broadcast Network is a featured network of the Sequence Media Group.

Sperm Donor Lawsuit in Kansas, With Judge Eugene Hyman, Santa Clara, California

January 30, 2014 Uncategorized No Comments

All states are concerned with the best interest of the child when it comes to child support and sperm donation and the rules and laws have been developed around this to make sure these children are economically supported. Judge Eugene Hyman, retired from the Superior Court of Santa Clara, California, says that in California, if a sperm donor mistakenly pays child support, after two years, he will have to continue until the child is 18 because of the social policy to make sure the child is supported.

In a case in Kansas, where a home-grown transfer was completed after a sperm donor answered a Craiglist ad, Hyman says it was the method of transfer not done in a clinical setting, which doesn’t provide the independence that’s required in terms of eliminating the legal responsibility of becoming financially responsible for the child.

Before entering into an arrangement, Hyman advises checking the state’s statutes and contacting a licensed sperm bank. When doing it person to person, you are giving up the confidentiality that sperm banks guarantee, says Hyman.

Honorable Judge Eugene Hyman has received numerous awards and recognition for his work with families and children and has appeared on numerous television news shows. For more information, visit www.judgehyman.com. He is also a featured commentator on The Family Law Channel and The Legal Broadcast Network.

Gay Jurors Cannot Be Kicked Off Panel Just Because They’re Gay, With Judge Eugene Hyman, Santa Clara, California

January 30, 2014 Uncategorized No Comments

A federal district court in Oakland had ruled that sexual orientation doesn’t rise to the same level as race or gender in terms of jurors getting striked off of a panel. The 9th Circuit, which covers California and the western states recently ruled the trial judge in the federal district court was wrong, saying that sexual orientation does rise to the same scope as race and gender, whether it’s a criminal case or civil case, says Eugene Hyman, retired Superior Court Judge in Santa Clara, California.

Hyman says that gay activists are happy with this ruling not just because it was decided that gay jurors cannot be removed based solely on sexual orientation but because there’s going to be strict scrutiny in terms of marriage cases having to do with various states prohibiting same-sex couples from getting married. In Utah and Oklahoma in recent weeks, federal judges have stricken down laws that prohibit same-sex marriages and Hyman thinks it will be interesting to see if there’s going to be litigation in other states that haven’t dealt affirmatively with same-sex marriages.

Hyman thinks this will go before the U.S. Supreme Court because of the different rulings between the federal circuits and the 9th circuits and that’s usually when the Supreme Court will step in.

In terms of finding out if a juror is gay, Hyman says that the question of whether or not someone is gay cannot be asked directly, however, questions can be posed to a juror regarding their opinion about things related to the case that might lend itself to one’s sexual orientation.

Honorable Judge Eugene Hyman has received numerous awards and recognition for his work with families and children and has appeared on numerous television news shows. For more information, visit www.judgehyman.com. He is also a featured commentator on The Family Law Channel and The Legal Broadcast Network.

Civil Rights Lawsuit Against New York City, With Judge Eugene Hyman, Santa Clara, California

January 28, 2014 Uncategorized No Comments

After serving 10 years in jail, it was discovered that the New York City Police Department didn’t turn over critical information that deprived a man of a fair trial and thus, his conviction was set aside. The prosecutor’s office in the Bronx was faced with the possibility of prosecuting this man again 10 years later.

Instead, says Judge Eugene Hyman, retired Superior Court Judge from Santa Clara, California, the prosecutors offer him to plead to one charge with the recommendation from them that he’d get credit for one year and he’d be off from probation and parole. While maintaining his innocence, he plead to the charge and was released.

Hyman says the question is whether one can plead guilty while maintaining they’re innocent. The trial court needs to find a factual basis for the plea in order to accept it, so how can the court find a factual basis if someone is maintaining they’re innocent? The answer, says Hyman, is that there’s case law stating that if one is pleading guilty on the recommendation of their attorney and there is some evidence to support the plea, then the court can accept the plea, which is what happened in this case.

The person convicted is now bringing a civil rights action lawsuit under federal law against the City of New York. The City has moved for a summary adjudication, saying he didn’t have the right to bring the lawsuit, as he admitted to committing the crime. The district court has reinstated his civil cause of action and so he can move forward with this case.

Hyman predicts that this will not go to trial, rather settling along with way, most likely with an amount on the small side.

Honorable Judge Eugene Hyman has received numerous awards and recognition for his work with families and children and has appeared on numerous television news shows. For more information, visit www.judgehyman.com. He is also a featured commentator on The Family Law Channel and The Legal Broadcast Network.

U.S. Supreme Court Considering Limits on Cell Phone Searches, With Judge Eugene Hyman, Santa Clara, California

January 28, 2014 Uncategorized No Comments

In California, after a traffic stop and discovering the person had no license, the car was impounded, during which time illegal guns and other things were found in the car, leading to an arrest. After the arrest, the person’s cell phone was seized and evidence on the phone linked him to gang shootings, for which he was eventually convicted. The man appealed with an appellate court on the search and seizure issue and the court ruled in favor of the state, saying the general rule is that you’re allowed to search items that are in your control when lawfully arrested. This man went to the Supreme Court with his case and they refused to hear his case, says Judge Eugene Hyman, retired Superior Court Judge from Santa Clara, California.

In Boston, a person engaged in drug activity is arrested and his cell phone is searched without a warrant, where more incriminating information is found. The person arrested make a move to suppress the case based on not having a warrant and the case is denied at a federal trial court, a circuit court and is now before the U.S. Supreme Court.

Hyman says that the question before the U.S. Supreme Court is should cell phones be treated like mini computers, for which search warrants would be required. Hyman says that “ideology will play an important role and it should be interesting to see what happens.”

Honorable Judge Eugene Hyman has received numerous awards and recognition for his work with families and children and has appeared on numerous television news shows. For more information, visit www.judgehyman.com. He is also a featured commentator on The Family Law Channel and The Legal Broadcast Network.

Could Justin Bieber Lose His Green Card, With Judge Eugene Hyman, Santa Clara, California

January 28, 2014 Uncategorized No Comments

After Justin Bieber’s recent arrest in Florida, stemming from charges related to driving under the influence of both alcohol and drugs, there is the question of whether this will affect his green card status.

While different states have different consequences with respect to licensure, if you’re driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs under the age of 21, in California, his license would be suspended one year from the date of conviction, says retired Superior Court Judge Eugene Hyman, of Santa  Clara, California.  The other issue, he says, involving the charge of delaying and resisting a police officer of a non-violent nature could also impact his green card status.  However, Hyman says that as long as both charges were misdemeanors, his green card probably won’t be affected.

What Hyman says Bieber probably needs is a rehabilitation program, due to his recent erratic behavior, which are classic signs of a substance abuse issue.  Hyman wonders exactly what his handlers are doing, as they are obviously doing a very poor job of controlling him.

Honorable Judge Eugene Hyman has received numerous awards and recognition for his work with families and children and has appeared on numerous television news shows. For more information, visit www.judgehyman.com. He is also a featured commentator on The Family Law Channel and The Legal Broadcast Network.