Schwartz & Powell

Articles in "Criminal Law Issues"

Cell Phones as Evidence in Criminal Cases

by Steven D. Powell Attorney at Law

Many of your most private thoughts may be stored in your cell phones. Cell phones not only connect you to others, but to the extent you use yours to email or text others, your cell phone may reveal your opinions, intentions and actions regarding a wide variety of subjects.

Governor Blagojevich Wonders “What Happened?”

by Steven D. Powell Attorney at Law

Many people don’t know that his first “hung jury” doesn’t prevent retrial except in very discrete and unusual ways. Double Jeopardy doesn’t bar second prosecution because first prosecution didn’t end with a verdict.

Death Penalty: $4 Billion Cost and Rising?

by Steven D. Powell Attorney at Law

California’s death penalty system costs a bloody fortune to sustain. Arguably, the system does not provide much bang for its buck. California taxpayers paid over $4 billion dollars from 1978 on to maintain the system.

Criminal Defense of Juveniles: No Laughing Matter

by Steven D. Powell Attorney at Law

California has abandoned the notion that juvenile offenders in serious matters should be treated differently than adults. Now, for serious crimes, children of 14 years old can be tried as adults and suffer the same penalties as adults.

Criminal Defense: But It’s Only Marijuana

by Steven D. Powell Attorney at Law

Everybody knows that California’s Compassionate Use Act, a State not Federal law, allows usage of marijuana if a physician prescribes it for a bona fide medical purpose. Possession of less than an ounce is an infraction if for personal use.

Death Penalty: Abolition Vote Nears

by Steven D. Powell Attorney at Law

The public’s dissatisfaction with the the death penalty continues. For various reasons, spending $4 billion to execute 13 people since 1978 doesn’t seem like such a good deal to many folks out there anymore.

Selecting Your Criminal Defense Lawyer: “I Couldn’t Believe the Fee!”

by Steven D. Powell Attorney at Law

Well, of course you couldn’t. A $2,500.00 fee for a serious but primarily plain vanilla felony seems to be a fabulous deal until you realize you hired a marginal lawyer to plead you guilty with no appreciable benefit or value added.

California’s Prison Sentences: Voters Don’t Want to Pay

by Steven D. Powell Attorney at Law

California’s voters, according to a Los Angeles Time’s poll, don’t want to pay the cost of increased prison sentences the voters so eagerly embraced just a few years ago.

Civilian Criminal Defense of Enemy Combatants: An Idea Worth Forgetting?

by Steven D. Powell Attorney at Law

Every now and then the light bulb goes off in some politician’s mind that it would be a great idea to try enemy combatants in civilian criminal courts.

Death Penalty: Disparate Racial Impact

by Steven D. Powell Attorney at Law

Is anybody surprised to learn that racial minorities receive the ultimate sentence more than others convicted of the same type of homicides?

Death Penalty: On the Way to Voters to Decide

by Steven D. Powell Attorney at Law

The Death Penalty may be on the ballot in November for an electoral thumbs up or down. Under California’s initiative process, the question to abolish or maintain the Death Penalty will be left to voters to decide.