52 votes

A man killed my son and married one of the witnesses. Can the witness's statements still be used in court against him?

Short Answer SIMPLIFIED AND UPDATED BASED ON ADDITIONAL INFORMATION IN THE QUESTION: The marriage is valid, but their marriage will not allow the girlfriend to refuse to testify as a witness in the ...
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37 votes
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In the US, can the courts intervene if an extremely destructive (but constitutional) law is passed?

Generally, the legislature is not restricted to passing laws that are a good idea. This has been remarked on by the Supreme Court (in Justice Stevens's concurrence, emphasis added): But as I recall ...
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  • 9,556
25 votes
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What if an American state ratified an article to its constitution that blocked judicial review?

Under Article VI of the US Constitution, the federal constitution and valid federal laws are the supreme law of the land, and judges in every state are bound to apply them regardless of anything in ...
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24 votes

Government's standing in criminal trials

So what relevance if any does standing have in criminal trials? E.g., are there any examples of criminal cases/charges dismissed for lack of standing, by which I mean that the court decided the ...
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  • 134k
22 votes
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Can prosecutors change or add additional charges once you plead guilty?

Under the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure (Rule 11(b)(1)), a federal court may not accept a guilty plea without first addressing the defendant personally in open court. During this address, there ...
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  • 20.7k
15 votes

Ahmaud Arbery defendants invoke Georgia State Law as a Defense in Federal Court

Be careful: from the Wikipedia article, it appears that there is a state criminal trial and there will be a federal criminal trial. In addition, there is a federal civil suit which incorporates some ...
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  • 24.9k
14 votes

Gorilla glue, when does a court decide to permit a trial

If a plaintiff brings a civil suit against another party (aka say the Gorilla glue hair suit), what role does the court play in whether to permit a trial, how has that role changed over the decades, ...
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13 votes
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Can lawyers ask about, and discriminate based on, iPhone ownership during a case involving Apple?

The question of whether they can ask these questions will be left to the trial judge. If the parties can make any kind of reasonable argument that consumers of one product or the other are likely to ...
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13 votes

Government's standing in criminal trials

The Answer in Question The answer on politics.se supported its claims by citations and links to the Wikipedia article on Standing and the LII page. But the Wikipedia article while not specifically ...
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  • 92.8k
11 votes
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Gorilla glue, when does a court decide to permit a trial

American courts generally go through two main stages of pretrial review. First, the parties file their initial pleadings. The plaintiff files a complaint laying out his allegations and identifying the ...
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11 votes

In the US, can the courts intervene if an extremely destructive (but constitutional) law is passed?

I am not convinced that all of the examples are indeed valid laws. There are also conceivable grounds to invalidate a law (at least as applied to particular circumstances) beyond the law being ...
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  • 134k
10 votes

A man killed my son and married one of the witnesses. Can the witness's statements still be used in court against him?

According to https://www.baezlawfirm.com/can-your-spouse-be-forced-to-testify-against-you/ Section 90.504 of Florida’s Evidence Code includes the privilege to exclude "marital communications" from the ...
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  • 92.8k
10 votes

What if an American state ratified an article to its constitution that blocked judicial review?

A US state could prevent its own courts from overturning laws for violations of the state constitution. But the supremacy clause in Article VI, Paragraph 2 of the U.S. Constitution reads: This ...
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  • 92.8k
9 votes

Government's standing in criminal trials

Governments have automatic standing as the sovereign to enforce its laws, be it criminal or civil. One of those background principles is the concept that a sovereign government must have standing to ...
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9 votes

Government's standing in criminal trials

Standing is critical in criminal cases, but the government always has it. Article III gives federal courts jurisdiction only over "cases or controversies." The Supreme Court has interpreted ...
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8 votes
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How should I prepare in terms of dress and language to testify at a bail hearing?

What are the things that I should prepare for this session, in terms of order of dress, language, content? Dress In an actual court room, suit and tie is preferred for men and formal dress for ...
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8 votes
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What law grants life tenure to federal judges in the US?

Your interpretation is correct. The constitution says that judges stay in office "until and unless they are impeached." That means that congress cannot impose a time limit on any judge's term of ...
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8 votes

In the US, can the courts intervene if an extremely destructive (but constitutional) law is passed?

The courts can't intervene, period. If someone files a suit or an appeal related to a law, then the courts might have jurisdiction and do something, but somebody else has to get the ball rolling. That ...
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  • 160k
8 votes
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Default judgement when the court can't provide the requested relief

A federal court may dismiss a complaint sua sponte (i.e. without a request to do so from a party) if it is beyond its subject matter jurisdiction (a category of defenses including lack of standing) or ...
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8 votes
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Do any published cases exist grant a mistrial or new trial because of internet issues, computer issues, or other technical troubles?

One such case is People in interests of EB, 2022COA8 (Colo. App. 2022). The official syllabus of the case states: In this dependency and neglect proceeding, father appeals the juvenile court judgment ...
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7 votes
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Why does the District of Columbia have its own Court of Appeals?

Because cases challenging actions of almost any Federal agency or department are typically filed at the head office of that agency or department, which is usually in DC. Similarly, national ...
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  • 92.8k
7 votes
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AG's and indictments

Yes. The U.S. AG can decline to prosecute an indictment at any time until jeopardy attaches when a jury is sworn in to consider the charges at trial. The AG can also abandon a prosecution mid-trial ...
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  • 134k
6 votes

What happens if Federal Courts contradict each other?

To answer the more general question in the title: What happens if federal courts contradict each other? It depends on the context. In some cases, like this, the outcome is the same. If one ...
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  • 24.9k
6 votes

Can a federal judge impose a higher sentence than the prosecutor proposed in the US?

After a defendant is convicted at trial in a federal court and when the death penalty is off the table (if it's on the table there's a different process), a sentencing process starts. This process is ...
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  • 20.7k
6 votes

Does accused always plead not guilty in federal court?

It is certainly not the case that all accused plead not guilty. Some plead guilty, often as part of a plea bargain. Some plead "no contest" meaning that the accused does not admit guilt, but ...
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  • 92.8k
6 votes
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Would this stand the test of the Constitution?

Barela was convicted of robbery affecting interstate commerce and faces a sentence of up to 20 years and $250,000 in fines. I assume your issue is that you think this is too high (although I don't ...
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  • 20.7k
6 votes
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Citing federal court cases as authorities in state court

That depends what the issue is. On constitutional issues, and on issues of federal law (which do come up in state cases) , they are binding precedent, at least in that circuit for an appeals court ...
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  • 92.8k
6 votes

Ahmaud Arbery defendants invoke Georgia State Law as a Defense in Federal Court

The answer to your direct question is that you are mixing things up: a state law like a Citizen's Arrest statute would only be a valid defense in a state trial. A federal trial would require a federal ...
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6 votes

Why does the Ninth Circuit court include so many states?

Basically, it is a historical accident with a healthy mix of partisan politics thrown into the mix. The history is recounted here. Circuits were much less important until the intermediate U.S. Court ...
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