David Harris http://wesa.fm en Law Professor David Harris: Ferguson Shooting is More Complicated Than It Appears http://wesa.fm/post/law-professor-david-harris-ferguson-shooting-more-complicated-it-appears <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Much of the nation’s attention has been focused on the <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/14/us/missouri-teenager-and-officer-scuffled-before-shooting-chief-says.html">unrest in Ferguson, Mo</a>. The fatal shooting of Michael Brown, a young African American man, by a police officer has led to riots, looting and tension between law enforcement officials and the citizens of Ferguson.</span></p><p>Pitt Law Professor <a href="http://law.pitt.edu/people/full-time-faculty/david-a-harris">David Harris</a> evaluated the police department’s response to the incident.</p><p>“What you have here is not just the killing of one person by another, but the killing of a person by an agent of the state, a police officer."</p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Because of these stipulations and "the possibility</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;that the police officer went beyond his&nbsp;duty to protect with reasonable force while depriving the person of their 'constitutional right to life without due process,'"</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Harris said there</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;"> is a possibility of both state and federal court cases.</span></p><p>If the officer is charged, which Harris said is "a big if", the court case would still be a long process. Harris pointed out that a police officer has the right to use force to effectuate the job.</p><p> Thu, 21 Aug 2014 19:49:23 +0000 Essential Pittsburgh 34636 at http://wesa.fm Law Professor David Harris: Ferguson Shooting is More Complicated Than It Appears Contradictory Court Rulings on Expert Witnesses http://wesa.fm/post/contradictory-court-rulings-expert-witnesses <p></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">The Pennsylvania Supreme Court <a href="http://www.post-gazette.com/local/region/2014/06/15/Pennsylvania-court-rulings-differ-on-expert-witnesses/stories/201406150097">could not make up its mind</a> on the usage of expert testimony in criminal cases, handing down two contradictory decisions recently. </span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">In the first case, on eyewitness testimony, a majority changed the longstanding rule that no experts on the problems with eyewitness testimony were allowed; from this point forward, the Supreme Court ruled, trial courts in PA may permit experts. </span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">But in the other case, the court ruled the exact opposite, stating expert testimony can create a false confession.</span></p><p>Pitt Law Professor David Harris believes he can help clarify the cases.</p><p> Thu, 19 Jun 2014 00:51:56 +0000 Essential Pittsburgh 31145 at http://wesa.fm Contradictory Court Rulings on Expert Witnesses Mandatory Interrogation Recording Could Improve All Sides of Law Enforcement http://wesa.fm/post/mandatory-interrogation-recording-could-improve-all-sides-law-enforcement <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">The U.S. Department of Justice has </span><a href="http://failedevidence.wordpress.com/2014/05/22/u-a-d-o-j-fbi-dea-atf-will-record-questioning-of-individuals-in-custody/" style="line-height: 1.5;">decided</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;"> law enforcement agencies including the FBI, DEA and ATF must electronically record interrogations of people in custody. What could this mean for the future of law enforcement since some of these agencies have been resistant to this change in the past?</span></p><p>University of Pittsburgh Law Professor <a href="http://law.pitt.edu/people/full-time-faculty/david-a-harris">David Harris</a> said many local and state law enforcement agencies have already been using recordings for interrogations.&nbsp;</p><p>“They know there’s a better way. Once you’ve tried doing this, once you’ve used recordings in court. It’s crazy not to, because it improves the process.”</p><p> Thu, 29 May 2014 20:09:44 +0000 Essential Pittsburgh 30050 at http://wesa.fm Mandatory Interrogation Recording Could Improve All Sides of Law Enforcement How Cell Phone Search And Seizure Could Radically Affect Privacy http://wesa.fm/post/how-cell-phone-search-and-seizure-could-radically-affect-privacy <p></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Last week the U.S. Supreme Court heard two </span><a href="http://www.scotusblog.com/case-files/cases/united-states-v-wurie/" style="line-height: 1.5;">cases</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;"> with outcomes that could have a big impact on the future of information privacy.</span></p><p><a href="http://www.scotusblog.com/case-files/cases/riley-v-california/" style="line-height: 1.5;">These cases </a><span style="line-height: 1.5;">question the Fourth Amendment exception, which lets police to search any items on a person at the time of arrest, including cell phones. </span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Yet many argue that cell phones should be treated differently. University of Pittsburgh Law Professor David Harris explained why many say cell phones are more akin to a diary than a wallet and should require a warrant for search and seizure.</span></p><p> Wed, 07 May 2014 19:27:58 +0000 Essential Pittsburgh 28835 at http://wesa.fm How Cell Phone Search And Seizure Could Radically Affect Privacy The History of Minors Being Tried As Adults http://wesa.fm/post/history-minors-being-tried-adults <p>Alex Hribal, the 16 year-old student apprehended during a stabbing rampage at his high school last week, was charged as an adult. What is the history behind this decision? How did the idea manifest itself in practical terms? We posed these questions and more to our legal expert, Pitt Law Professor David Harris.</p><p>Prior to the late 1980’s, children were only tried as adults after they went through the juvenile court system. If a judge decided that they were unable to be rehabilitated, the case was passed along to adult court.</p><p> Thu, 17 Apr 2014 20:15:41 +0000 Essential Pittsburgh 27718 at http://wesa.fm The History of Minors Being Tried As Adults Context Controls Decision in Jordan Miles Trial http://wesa.fm/post/context-controls-decision-jordan-miles-trial <p>Four years after an altercation between three Pittsburgh police officers and CAPA High School student Jordan Miles, eight jurors <a href="http://wesa.fm/post/jury-reaches-mixed-decision-jordan-miles-suit">reached a split verdict</a>&nbsp; Monday.</p><p>The officers were found guilty on the charge of false arrest of Miles, but not guilty in the charge of excessive force.</p><p>Miles was awarded monetarily for his injuries, but many are still concerned about the result of the trial.</p><p>University of Pittsburgh law professor David Harris explained one of the most confusing elements the verdict -- if Miles was falsely arrested, shouldn’t <em>any </em>force be considered excessive?&nbsp;</p><p> Tue, 01 Apr 2014 21:18:52 +0000 Essential Pittsburgh 26839 at http://wesa.fm Context Controls Decision in Jordan Miles Trial In the Case of Nate Harper, Does the Punishment Fit the Crime? http://wesa.fm/post/case-nate-harper-does-punishment-fit-crime <p>Roughly one year ago <a href="http://wesa.fm/post/harper-out-pittsburgh-police-chief">Nate Harper resigned</a> from his post as Pittsburgh Police Chief. Soon after his resignation, Harper was indicted with conspiracy charges and failing to file tax returns.</p><p>Yesterday US District Judge Cathy Bissoon sentenced Harper to 18 months in prison as well as repayment of the $31,986 for the slush fund that he spent on himself.</p> Wed, 26 Feb 2014 20:46:29 +0000 Essential Pittsburgh 25038 at http://wesa.fm In the Case of Nate Harper, Does the Punishment Fit the Crime? Interpreting the Fourth Amendment in the 21st Century http://wesa.fm/post/interpreting-fourth-amendment-21st-century <p>Last month judges in New York and Washington DC issued two different opinions on the controversial bulk metadata collection program being done by the NSA.</p><p>In light of these <a href="http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/view_from_chicago/2013/12/judge_pauley_got_it_right_the_nsa_s_metadata_program_is_perfectly_constitutional.html?wpisrc=burger_bar">conflicting decisions</a>, many wonder if the Supreme Court will take up the issue.</p><p>David Harris, Distinguished Faculty Scholar and Professor of Law University of Pittsburgh School of Law says the opposite rulings were products of the environments where the judges preside, as well as the radically different views of the Fourth Amendment. Thu, 09 Jan 2014 20:22:40 +0000 Essential Pittsburgh 22593 at http://wesa.fm Interpreting the Fourth Amendment in the 21st Century The Dark Side of Social Media: Criminal Activity Displayed Online http://wesa.fm/post/dark-side-social-media-criminal-activity-displayed-online <p>People share so much of their lives on social media, from vacation photos to music and book choices. This over-sharing of information has extended to the bold and casual admittance of <a href="http://www.trutv.com/library/crime/blog/article/criminal-activity-social-media-why-did-you-just-like-that-photo/index.html" style="line-height: 1.5;">criminal activity</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;">. </span></p><p><strong style="line-height: 1.5;">David Harris</strong><span style="line-height: 1.5;">, Distinguished Faculty Scholar and Professor of Law University of Pittsburgh School of Law</span> says the rape case in <a href="http://www.post-gazette.com/hp_breaking/2013/11/25/AP-4-indicted-including-superintendent-in-Steubenville-rape-case/stories/201311250150">Steubenville, Ohio</a> is an example of how ever-present<a href="http://triblive.com/state/pennsylvania/5083140-74/social-media-erie#axzz2lgeiTcsN"> social media</a> can play an important role in criminal cases. Mon, 25 Nov 2013 20:02:59 +0000 Katherine Blackley 20372 at http://wesa.fm The Dark Side of Social Media: Criminal Activity Displayed Online The Low Income Legal Dilemma http://wesa.fm/post/low-income-legal-dilemma <p>It may come as a shock to those who think that there are too many lawyers, but many Americans cannot get their legal needs met. That's because many can not afford legal representation and don’t qualify for legal services.</p><p>In fact, according to <a href="http://www.law.pitt.edu/">University of Pittsburgh Law</a> Professor David Harris, 80% of Americans who have legal needs can not find help.</p><p>“Even if you just look at the people who come into legal services offices, for every one person served, one person is turned away."</p><p>While the issue of cost of legal representation is well known, Barbara Griffin, coordinator for <a href="http://www.pittsburghprobono.org/">the Pro Bono Center</a> of the <a href="http://www.acbf.org/">Allegheny County Bar Foundation</a>, points out that due to funding cuts in community legal service centers, and the present economy, there are more people in need of aid than lawyers to serve them. Mon, 07 Oct 2013 18:42:06 +0000 Nick Frost 17760 at http://wesa.fm The Low Income Legal Dilemma The U.S. Constitution 224 Years Later: Why it Endures http://wesa.fm/post/us-constitution-224-years-later-why-it-endures <p>Some people underestimate just how influential the <a href="http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/charters/constitution.html">Constitution of the United States</a> has been to the world.</p><p>Constitution Day is <a href="http://www.constitutionday.cc/">September 17</a> and the US Constitution remains the key document used in deciding important Supreme Court cases. But University of Pittsburgh law professor, David Harris notes that the Justices have very different views on how the Constitution should be read. Mon, 16 Sep 2013 21:12:55 +0000 Nick Frost 16641 at http://wesa.fm The U.S. Constitution 224 Years Later: Why it Endures The Future of Law Enforcement and Sentencing http://wesa.fm/post/future-law-enforcement-and-sentencing <p>Opponents of the New York City Police Department’s controversial “stop-and-frisk” policy have long accused the program of having a racial bias. On Monday, their accusations were validated, as U.S. Judge District Shira Scheindlin <strong><a href="http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324085304579008510786797006.html">ruled </a></strong>that the city’s implementation of such searches violated both the 4th and 14th Amendments of the US Constitution.</p><p>According to University of Pittsburgh law professor David Harris, this ruling does not mean that there will be an end to the city’s stop-and-frisk policy. Instead, the policy must be altered so that it can fall in line with pre-existing standards for civilian searches. Tue, 13 Aug 2013 19:28:53 +0000 John Lavanga 14790 at http://wesa.fm The Future of Law Enforcement and Sentencing The Legality of DNA Swab Testing After Arrest http://wesa.fm/post/legality-dna-swab-testing-after-arrest <p></p><p></p><p>In a <a href="http://www.cnn.com/2013/06/03/justice/supreme-court-dna-tests">5-4 majority</a>, the United States Supreme Court concluded suspects can be subjected to a police <a href="http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-250_162-57587331/supreme-court-says-police-can-take-dna-swabs-after-arrest/">DNA test</a> after arrest and before trial and conviction. DNA samples would go into a national database and could possible be used to solve "cold cases."&nbsp;However, it calls into question the issue of personal privacy vs. public safety.</p><p> Thu, 20 Jun 2013 12:03:00 +0000 Katherine Blackley 11743 at http://wesa.fm The Legality of DNA Swab Testing After Arrest Standing Your Ground in Pennsylvania http://wesa.fm/post/standing-your-ground-pennsylvania <p></p><p>The killing of Florida teen Trayvon Martin brought attention to stand your ground laws last year. A number of states have laws which dramatically expand the definition of self defense, often including personal property. So what do the self defense laws look like here in Pennsylvania? University of Pittsburgh Law Professor David Harris is currently part of an American Bar Association <a href="http://www.abajournal.com/news/article/aba_hears_testimony_on_stand_your_ground_laws/">National Task Force</a> on stand your ground laws, looking into their overall impact on society. Fri, 31 May 2013 23:35:19 +0000 Heather McClain 10593 at http://wesa.fm Standing Your Ground in Pennsylvania How Much is Too Much? Should Bars Be Responsible For Irresponsible Drinkers? http://wesa.fm/post/how-much-too-much-should-bars-be-responsible-irresponsible-drinkers <p></p><p><a href="http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/local/neighborhoods-city/owners-of-south-sides-hofbrauhaus-settle-in-girls-death-for-156-million-686644/" style="line-height: 1.5;"><strong>Two weeks ago</strong></a><span style="line-height: 1.5;"> </span>Hofbrauhaus<span style="line-height: 1.5;"> in the South Side agreed to pay $15.6 million in a settlement after one of their patrons consumed copious amounts of alcohol and proceeded to kill a seven year old girl while driving drunk down Carson Street. When a bar patron has too much to drink resulting in an accident who is ultimately at fault? And when it comes to serving drinks, how do you know when a patron has had too much. How do you handle the situation?</span></p><p> Tue, 21 May 2013 13:44:16 +0000 Heather McClain 9924 at http://wesa.fm How Much is Too Much? Should Bars Be Responsible For Irresponsible Drinkers? Watergate's Legacy and Legal Ethics (Web-Extra) http://wesa.fm/post/watergates-legacy-and-legal-ethics-web-extra <p>Our legal contributor, University of Pittsburgh law professor <strong>David Harris</strong> talks about the lessons attorneys learned from the Watergate era and why lawyers must now consider more than just attorney client privilege.</p><blockquote><p><strong>"Before John Dean, a lawyer had two choices, keep his or her mouth shut or quit. And that was it."</strong></p></blockquote><p></p><p> Tue, 30 Apr 2013 16:27:37 +0000 Heather McClain 8739 at http://wesa.fm Watergate's Legacy and Legal Ethics (Web-Extra) Miranda Rights and the Boston Marathon Bombing Suspect http://wesa.fm/post/miranda-rights-and-boston-marathon-bombing-suspect <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;&nbsp;</span>&nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p>A great deal of news coverage has been reported about the decision <a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2013/04/21/178254784/miranda-rights-and-tsarnaev-ashcroft-says-u-s-move-is-the-right-one">to read or not to read</a> the Miranda Rights statement to Boston Marathon bombing suspect, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. According to our legal contributor, University of Pittsburgh Law Professor <a href="http://law.pitt.edu/people/full-time-faculty/david-a-harris"><strong>David Harris</strong></a>, much of the coverage has been off base. He joins us to discuss what Miranda rights do, in general, and specifically how they apply to this case. We'll also talk about the current Supreme Court case, Salinas v. Texas, which begs the question, how much protection should we get from our "right to remain silent?" Wed, 24 Apr 2013 01:00:00 +0000 Heather McClain 8359 at http://wesa.fm Miranda Rights and the Boston Marathon Bombing Suspect Breaking Down the Steubenville Verdict http://wesa.fm/post/breaking-down-steubenville-verdict <p></p><p>On Sunday, a verdict was announced in the rape case of two high school football players in Steubenville, Ohio. University of Pittsburgh law professor, <strong>David Harris</strong> breaks down the details of the verdict and the role of social media in the case.</p><p> Mon, 18 Mar 2013 17:39:58 +0000 Heather McClain 3505 at http://wesa.fm Breaking Down the Steubenville Verdict Failed Evidence http://wesa.fm/post/failed-evidence <p></p><p>Pitt Law Professor <strong>David Harris</strong> discusses his latest book, <a href="http://failedevidence.wordpress.com/"><em>Failed Evidence</em></a>, which challenges police and prosecutors to embrace science when investigating crimes, in order to prevent miscarriages of justice.</p><p><em>This segment originally aired on Essential Pittsburgh September 11, 2012</em> Fri, 15 Mar 2013 09:00:00 +0000 Heather McClain 3349 at http://wesa.fm Failed Evidence