March 17, 1991 |
A federal arbitration panel awarded $5,000 in damages Wednesday to Towamencin resident John Kosow for what he said was an illegal search and seizure carried out by members of the Towamencin Police Department on April 26, 1990. Kosow's attorney, Lisa D. Stern of the firm Miller, Turetsky & Rule of Norristown called the award "a total vindication. " Stern said that police conducted a "warrantless search and seizure" of Kosow's home on Kreibel Road in response to complaints of random gunshots in the area.
May 1, 1991 |
Many aspects of the Reagan legacy can be changed by new legislation, new regulations, new appointments, new social agendas. Some already have been changed. Of particular note here we have the de-emphasis on greed and show. Some will become a part of the permanent fabric of America for years to come. In this latter class, the most outstanding is the composition of the Supreme Court. Its radical and often reactionary bent is showing up almost daily. The acceptance of coerced confessions was bad enough, even when surrounded by supporting evidence, but now we're seeing a greater intrusion by the government not the rights of individuals in the Warren McCleskey and Hodari D. cases.
July 7, 1994 |
Cheltenham Township Police Officer Frederick Benincasa Jr. stopped a car in 1990 and spotted a plastic bag big enough to conceal a weapon. When he opened it, he found cocaine, marijuana and drug paraphernalia. But no gun. The discovery led to the arrest of the owner of the bag, Kevin D. Morris, on drug charges. He was convicted and sentenced to 4 1/2 to 10 years in prison. Morris claimed the discovery of the drugs had resulted from an illegal search. Benincasa had no reason to open the bag without a warrant, he contended.
February 25, 1993 |
The 30 students in Bill McRae's American government class at Springfield High School had a daunting task: create a constitution for the newly formed country of Springfield. Not that they were without help. They had the Bill of Rights, from which they were to pick the five most important rights. And they had Carmen Belefonte - Media attorney, president of the Pennsylvania Trial Lawyers Association and, on this particular day, friendly neighborhood devil's advocate. "How many had the First Amendment as the most important?"
June 2, 1988 |
You have to admire Irvin E. Lawrence's persistence. And understand his frustration. For the last 12 years, Irv, as he is known on the streets of his home town, Chester, has yearned to return to elective office as one of the city's three district justices. Lawrence, who became a magistrate in 1964, and saw the system changed to the current district justice system in 1972, concedes that he misses the spotlight and the challenge of the bench. He said he was crushed when the city's Republican organization failed to renominate him upon completion of his second term in 1976.
September 5, 1996 |
The Daily News and two other newspapers want to know what evidence the FBI used to obtain a warrant to raid the home of a Wilmington attorney linked to the disappearance of Delaware Gov. Thomas Carper's scheduling secretary, Anne Marie Fahey. The News Journal of Wilmington, joined by the Daily News and Inquirer, asked a federal magistrate yesterday to unseal the federal search warrant investigators used July 31 to search the home of Thomas J. Capano, 46, a lawyer who was the last person known to have seen Fahey.
September 15, 1994 |
In an unusual move, federal prosecutors have dropped charges against two reputed heroin traffickers because independent witness accounts contradicted the story given by arresting agents assigned to a state narcotics task force. Assistant U.S. Attorney Frank C. Barbieri yesterday said that although he and other prosecutors had "qualms" about some of the witnesses' statements, "It just became unclear to us what the facts were. " At Barbieri's request, U.S. District Judge Anita Brody dismissed the case "in the interest of justice.
December 3, 2012
The Petraeus affair has helped Americans understand the sweeping power federal authorities have to snoop around in e-mail. Another way Americans may unknowingly expose their personal affairs to law-enforcement eyes is through their cellphones. In 2011, cellphone providers reported handing 1.3 million requests from law enforcement for data about customers, according to the New York Times. You might think that police would need a warrant to get at those records. Not so, at least as far as the U.S. Constitution is concerned.
September 17, 1999 |
The two North Philadelphia residents laughed at the scene: police handcuffing a white man driving a BMW in a predominantly black neighborhood. So they whipped out a video camera and shot away. "They ain't going to do nothing to him," one of the residents is heard saying on the video, made public yesterday by the motorist's lawyers, who filed suit against the Police Department for allegedly violating rules regarding search and seizure. Department officials, saying they could not comment on pending litigation, would not discuss the suit or the tape, which shows two white officers combing the inside of the man's car, opening the trunk, and removing the gas cap. They then searched inside his pants.
January 18, 1998 |
Over the last decade, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court has staked out a tough position - limiting the ability of police to arrest suspects on gun and drug charges. The high court's rulings - stricter even than the U.S. Supreme Court's on the issue - have dismayed prosecutors and police in Philadelphia, where firearms and narcotics continue to ravage neighborhoods. They also have cheered defense lawyers and an unlikely alliance - the gun lobby and the American Civil Liberties Union.