This term the U.S. Supreme Court will hear at least five cases involving Fourth Amendment searches.  Two involve drug sniffing dogs, one involves warrantless blood draws from DUI suspects, and another involves detaining a person who has left the premises before executing a search warrant.  In Maryland v. King the Supreme Court will decide whether the Fourth Amendment allows states to collect and analyze DNA, without a warrant, from people arrested and charged with serious crimes. 

The State and Local Legal Center (SLLC) filed an amicus brief in Maryland v. King, which CSG signed onto, because this case involves a challenge to the constitutionality of a state statute.  In fact, twenty-eight states and the federal government have adopted DNA arrest laws. 

Crime knows no boundaries.  This session featured a discussion with attorneys general who are working to protect public safety at home by increasing cooperation with their North American counterparts.

As the chief legal officers of the states, commonwealths and territories of the United States, attorneys general serve as counselors to state government agencies and legislatures, and as representatives of the public interest. A large group of new state attorneys general were sworn in at the beginning of 2011, following the November 2010 elections. This year will bring a continued effort to fight financial fraud but attorneys general now have expanded enforcement authority under a new federal law. The National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG) is also making a priority of providing the highest quality legal training for those in state government service.

This Act defines a "cold case" as a homicide or a felony sexual offense that remains unsolved for one year or more after being reported to a law enforcement agency and one that has no viable and unexplored investigatory leads. The Act requires law enforcement agencies create registries of the names of cold case victims, their family members, and their legal representatives. It directs law enforcement agencies to notify such people when the agencies set up the registries.

Law enforcement officers throughout the country regularly respond to calls for service that involve people with mental illnesses—often without needed supports, resources or specialized training. These encounters can have significant consequences for the officers, people with mental illnesses and their loved ones, the community and the criminal justice system. Although constituting a relatively small number of an agency’s total calls for service, these encounters are among the most complex and time-consuming calls officers must address.

Suggested State Legislation: This SSL draft was originally based on legislation proposed by the National Institute of Justice. The bill outlines protocols law enforcement can adopt to handle missing person cases, identify human remains, and provide timely information to families of missing persons about the progress of their family members’ cases.

Suggested State Legislation: This Act requires a law enforcement agency that receives a report of a missing person to take certain steps to locate the missing person. It also requires a coroner having custody of unidentified human remains take certain steps to attempt to identify the remains.

Suggested State Legislation: This legislation allows for the amount of goods stolen to be aggregated into one charge before a defendant goes to trial. The Act also allows grouping multiple offenses together to  meet a threshold that imposes stiffer charges on people who commit organized retail theft. This legislation requires establishments which accept large amounts of items for resale to make a reasonable attempt to determine if the items are stolen.

Suggested State Legislation: This Act is aimed at preventing local governments from designating their localities as sanctuaries for illegal aliens. The Act prohibits local governments from passing any ordinance or policy that limits or prohibits peace officers, local officials, or local government employees from  communicating or cooperating with federal officials about the immigration status of people living in the state.