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Stories by cwalker

What Happens When Cops Plant a GPS Tracker on Your Car Without You Knowing? [FEATURE]

The law on police placing GPS tracking devices on vehicles is being tested.

How the 6th Amendment Helped a Texas Man Overturn His Meth Trafficking Conviction [FEATURE]

If the feds want to use testimony from a snitch, the least they can do is actually have him appear in court.

Bad Precedent: When the Fourth Amendment Doesn't Apply [FEATURE]

The 7th Circuit rules that drugs recovered during an illegal raid are still admissable as evidence under a little known legal doctrine elaborated by Antonin Scalia.

Court Finds Prosecutorial Misconduct Led to a Drug Conspiracy Conviction, But Lets 30-Year Sentence Stand Anyway [FEATURE]

A public defender's failure to object in a timely fashion to prosecutorial misconduct cost Oscar Sosa dearly.

In Drug Case, Supreme Court Holds That Unauthorized Rental Car Drivers Have Rights, Too

The 4th Amendment applies to rental car drivers -- even if they're not listed on the rental form.

Stingray: Privacy, Surveillance, the War on Drugs, and Your Phone [FEATURE]

The cops have a nifty little tech toy that can track your phone to within a few feet. Should they need a search warrant first?

Video Killed the Drug Conviction: Chicago Narcs Busted Lying Through Their Teeth [FEATURE]

Police perjuring themselves to prosecute the drug war is nothing new, but managing to nail them for it is remarkable. Joseph Sperling did just that.

Santa Muerte Goes to Court: The Curious Case of the Narco Saint's Prayer [FEATURE]

A woman recites a prayer during a traffic stop turned drug bust. Is that evidence of drug trafficking? The US 10th Circuit Court of Appeals doesn't think so.

Did Miami Police Wrongfully Execute Four, Including Their Informant? [FEATURE]

A 2011 fake drug house rip-off scheme in Miami that ended up with four people dead, including the police informant, has raised lots of questions about police tactics and accountability.

Will Supreme Court Cell Phone Search Ruling Apply Retroactively? [FEATURE]

In a historic ruling in June, the US Supreme Court held that police must obtain a warrant before searching cell phones and smart phones. But what about the people already convicted on the basis of those searches?

ATF's Operation Gideon Raises Questions of Fairness, Justice, and Race [FEATURE]

Operation Gideon, in which the ATF,and sometimes, the DEA, set up fake drug stash house robbery stings, is raising questions about entrapment and racially-targeted law enforcement. Here's part one of a series on it from Clarence Walker.

The Corruption Files: Camden's Dirty Cops [FEATURE]

Camden, New Jersey, was the scene of one of the nastiest police corruption scandals in recent history. Investigative reporter Clarence Walker takes a look at some cops who would have made the dirty cops in Training Day blush.

The Crooked Cop and the Case of the Vanishing Guilty Plea [FEATURE]

When can you get a guilty plea overturned in federal court? When the cop who busted you is crooked, that's when.

The Fall and Rise and Fall of a "Death to Meth" DA [FEATURE]

Jon Alexander went from tweaker to DA in a remote Northern California county, but his misconduct has him on the ropes again.

Serial Offender: Miami Fed. Prosecutor Called on Misconduct in Drug Cases [FEATURE]

A federal prosecutor in Miami seems to have real problems practicing her profession within the rules of the game, particularly if drugs are involved.

Louisiana Drug Lifer Struggles For Freedom... Someday [FEATURE]

Louisiana has sentenced hundreds of people to life without parole as habitual offenders, even if the triggering offense was a minor drug offense. Jody Butler is one of them. He'd like to go home someday.

Sex, Lies, and a Georgia Drug Frame-up [FEATURE]

Clarence Walker presents a Southern gothic tale of lust, judicial privilege, retaliation, planted drugs, and crooked cops.

The IRS War on Medical Marijuana Providers [FEATURE]

The IRS's use of an obscure provision to deny standard exemptions to medical marijuana dispensaries is causing pain to patients and providiers, and inspiring some creative thinking among law professors.

Are We Really "Going Dark"? -- The DEA and Apple's iMessage [FEATURE]

A recently leadked DEA memo suggested that the feds couldn't crack the encryption on Apples's iMessage communications system. There's both more and less to it than meets the eye.

Feds' New Cell Phone Spying Device Raising Privacy Concerns [FEATURE]

Meet Stingray, law enforcement's newest high-tech weapon in its fight against crime. Civil libertarians and privacy advocates have some concerns, and they're starting to make their way into the federal courts.

Appeals Court Ruling Throws Wrench in Maritime Drug Prosecutions [FEATURE]

In a case that could have important implications for US drug war tactics abroad, a federal appeals court has thrown out the convictions of four Panamanians tried in the US after being seized on Panamanian territory.

Caswell Motel Case Marks a Victory Against Federal Forfeiture Abuse [FEATURE]

A federal magistrate in Massachusetts has slapped down a federal government effort to seize a motel because of limite drug activity there. That's a blow against asset forfeiture abuse.

Can the DEA Hide a Surveillance Camera on Your Land? [FEATURE]

Acting on a tip, DEA agents went on rural property without a warrant, set up surveillance cameras, and used the evidence obtained to get a search warrant and convict the property owners for growing marijuana. And a US district court judge said that was okay. Is it?

Dr. Shaygan's Saga: Prosecutorial Misconduct in the War on Pain Docs [FEATURE]

When the war on pain docs meets prosecutorial misconduct, watch out. A Florida case potentially headed to the Supreme Court seeks to make prosecutors pay for their misdeeds.

ACLU Fighting Decision in Cell Phone Tracking Case [FEATURE]

A US 6th Circuit Court of Appeals decision saying police do not need a warrant to track people through their cell phones has broad implications. The ACLU is on the case.

No Warrant Needed for Illinois Drug Audio Recordings [FEATURE]

Illinois police now have the right to wiretap or record "drug suspects" without a warrant under a new state law. At the same time, they want to arrest you if you do that to them. Some folks are more equal than others.

Woman Walks After Prosecutorial Perfidy in Tucson [FEATURE]

In the latest installment of his series of investigate reports on prosecutorial misconduct in the war on drugs, Clarence Walker looks into an Assistant US Attorney in Tucson whose dirty tricks cost him the case.

A Festival of Lies: Perjury in a Michigan Cocaine Case [FEATURE]

A trial over a big cocaine bust in Michigan ended up taking out a judge, a prosecutor, and a pair of cops as they constructed a conspiracy of lies to help win their case.

Warrantless Cell Phone Tracking Being Challenged in Courts, Senate [FEATURE]

The police can -- and do -- track your cell phone without a warrant, and they are increasingly resorting to it in the wake of the January Supreme Court decision barring warrantless GPS tracking.

False Testimony: How Prosecutors Leave Justice Behind [FEATURE]

Prosecutors across the country are misbehaving -- and getting away with it. And among the common forms of misconduct are hiding exculpatory evidence and knowingly using false testimony to win convictions.

After Supreme Court Win, Antoine Jones Still Seeks Justice [FEATURE]

Antoine Jones may have won a landmark Supreme Court GPS search and seizure case, but he's still in prison, and he's not too happy about that.

Feds Squeeze Banks in Bid to Freeze Out Medical Marijuana [FEATURE]

The DEA and the Justice Department may have backed off -- somewhat -- on raiding medical marijuana dispensaries, but the feds have other tools in their kit, and now they're going after the banks.

Warrantless GPS Tracking Facing Fourth Amendment Challenges [FEATURE]

State and federal courts have been grappling with the issue of whether police need a warrant to install a GPS tracking device on a vehicle. Now it may be headed for the Supreme Court.

Did CVS Buy Its Way Out of a Meth Indictment? [FEATURE]

While small-time meth criminals face years in prison, a wealthy corporation complicit in the trade walks away with a fine. Is it a case of you can have all the justice you can buy? Or does the system just focus on the easiest victims?

Warrantless GPS Not a Shortcut for Drug Investigators, Judge Panel Finds [FEATURE]

Can the cops put a GPS device on your car and track you for weeks without a warrant? That's what they did to DC club owner Antoine Jones. Now, after a federal appeals court sided with Jones, his case could be headed for the Supreme Court.

President Obama's New Drug War Strategy and the Low-Down on 'America's Trillion Dollar Dope Game'

Personal blogger Clarence Walker lays out where the money went, what it accomplished, and where we could go from here.

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