Sunday, July 28, 2013

Suspended Suspension for ADA Mary Kellett's Misconduct

ADA Mary Kellett
Last week the Maine Board of Bar Overseers imposed sanctions on assistant district attorney Mary Kellett for Prosecutorial Misconduct. You can read the Judgment of the Board of Bar Overseers here. I have written before about this case, first when Kellett's Misconduct hearing began in October of 2012 and again in December when the grievance panel recommended that Kellett be suspended and referred the case for a Disciplinary Hearing. That hearing was held 7/15/13 and ADA Kellett has now been suspended. But kinda not, since the suspension itself was suspended and will almost certainly never be imposed. Today, she continues to work as a prosecutor in the same office.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Presumed Innocent but Already Sentenced: 72 Hour Hold for Prisoners

48, 72, what's the big deal? Image: kangotrageler via flickr
Current Maine Law says that prisoners can't be held for more than 48 hours before seeing a judge. At that hearing, the judge will review the evidence to determine if there is probable cause to believe the person committed a crime and will set bail. In some areas, jails and courts have been unable to comply with the 48 hour rule and so prisoners have been detained longer than allowed, some have even been released since continued detention was illegal. Naturally, Maine's Judicial apparatus is scrambling to fix the problem. You might expect that procedures will change and funding will increase to ensure that every defendant gets a hearing within 48 hours. Unfortunately, you'd be wrong. Instead, the proposal is to change the rule and allow for detention of up to 72 hours without a hearing.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Warrant Now Required to Collect Maine Cell Phone Location Data

Maine now requiers warrants for cell phone location tracking
Nicola since 1972 via flickr
On 7/9/13 the Maine Legislature passed LD 415 and Maine joined Montana as one of only two states requiring police to get warrants before collecting cell phone location data. The Public Law, now SP0107 is summarized in this earlier post. The law provides important protections for citizens who can currently be tracked at the request of police.