Three Criminal Law Rulings You Need to Know About Now

Share Article interviews Professor Rory Little of the U.C. Hastings College of Law, about three lesser-known U.S. Supreme Court cases that affect all Americans. spotlights three recent U.S. Supreme Court criminal law decisions that have a major impact on your rights:

  • Big Brother has been using GPS tracking devices to keep an eye on citizens.
  • A person can be strip-searched for any arrestable offense, even for failing to wear a seat belt.
  • Children are being sent to prison for life. Editor-in-Chief Larry Bodine interviews Rory Little, a professor at the University of California’s Hastings College of Law about lesser-known court decisions that affect the protections Americans expect to have under the law.

Professor Little explains that until recently, law enforcement could legally place a GPS tracking device on a peson's car without proving they had a reason to do so. The U.S. Supreme Court has put a stop to this practice, declaring it was a violation of the right to privacy. See U.S. v. Jones.

However, the Supreme Court didn’t see fit to guard U.S. citizens against strip searches. The court ruled that although a peson might have been arrested for the most minor infraction, the law affords no protection from this gross indignity. A person can be strip-searched for not wearing a seatbelt. See Florence v. Board.

Professor Little reports the the justices reached a more humane decision in the case of mandatory life sentences for juveniles who have been charged as adults. The Supreme Court declared that this was a cruel and unusual punishment, in effect forcing 27 states to change their laws. See Miller v. Alabama.

Read about other Supreme Court decisions and how they affect people, or learn more about criminal law and locate an attorney in your area on

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