Can a court order a suspect to use the suspect’s fingerprint to unlock his or her smartphone? Or would that violate the suspect’s Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination? I wrote about that issue here. This post updates the previous one with two new cases and some additional discussion.
This session, the General Assembly made some changes to the statute governing the fingerprinting of criminal defendants. Inside and outside the School of Government, people are divided about whether the statute now requires officers to arrest, rather than cite, individuals for misdemeanor marijuana possession offenses.
From time to time, an officer or a magistrate asks how to respond when a defendant who is properly subject to fingerprinting under G.S. 15A-502 refuses to be fingerprinted. There are at least three good ways to address this situation: First, the magistrate can make fingerprinting a condition of release. This is probably permitted under … Read more
Several stories of interest to readers of this blog have appeared over the last several days. First, the Winston-Salem Journal, in an editorial available here, is asking the General Assembly to take a close look at the death penalty, and to impose a moratorium while it does so. Of course, as the editorial notes, we … Read more
An interesting article appeared yesterday in the New York Times. You can read it here, but the gist of it is that the federal government and about 15 states are now collecting DNA from people who are charged with certain crimes, usually felonies, even if the individuals are not convicted. As the article observes, this … Read more