Missouri Removes Certain Juveniles From Sex Offender Registry

On behalf of The Marks Law Firm, L.L.C. posted in Sex Offender Registry on Friday May 31, 2013

The General Assembly passed on the last day of its session an important bill that relieves juveniles who commit offenses that require lifetime registry as a sex offender from the registry. The bill now awaits signature by the Governor.

Prior to the new bill, any juvenile who committed any sexual offense that would be subject to registration as a sexual offender would have to comply with the registry requirements for life, and his or her name would be on the sexual offender registry available to the public.

As a result of the new bill, all persons who committed the registrable offense while …

Equitable Exception To Aedpa For Actual Innocence

On behalf of The Marks Law Firm, L.L.C. posted in Criminal Law on Thursday, May 30, 2013

We have seen over the last two decades, in part thanks to the incredible efforts of the Innocence Project, that many individuals on death row awaiting execution are actually innocent of the crime for which they were convicted. A growing number of states, in light of the risk of executing an innocent individual, have declared a moratorium on the death penalty. In spite of these steps to guard against an injustice no one could undo, many others continue to push for streamlining the review of capital cases by limiting successive appeals in state and federal court. One of the most significant barriers to full review …

Cell Phones And Distracted Driving – Always A Crime?

On behalf of The Marks Law Firm, L.L.C. posted in Traffic on Friday, May 3, 2013

A recent article in the Los Angeles Times relates the saga of Steven Spriggs, a law-abiding, law-respecting librarian who received a ticket for unlawfully using a cell phone while driving. He was not texting. He was not talking (you can talk and drive if you use a hands-free device). He looked at his phone to check his map app. A police officer saw the lighted cell phone in the dark and pulled him over. No erratic driving, no proof he had used the phone improperly. He lost in court and on appeal, with the judges taking a very strict liability approach to the …