The investigation of the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department continues to unfold. Over the summer, the News Tribune reported that the Pierce County Prosecutor was refusing to work with accused Pierce County Sheriff’s drug unit members who were recently placed on a “potential impeachment” list. Several members of the unit are being investigated for possibly violating…

In May, we shared a blog post about police bias and dishonesty. At the time, the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department Drug Unit was under investigation. As reported by the Tacoma News Tribune, the majority of officers assigned to the Drug Unit of the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department had recently been reassigned so that an outside…

On March 3, 2020, Manuel Ellis was contacted by Tacoma police after being observed attempting to open doors of occupied vehicles. According to reports, there was a struggle between Mr. Ellis and officers. Mr. Ellis was placed into handcuffs and detained. In a police radio recording of the incident, Mr. Ellis can be heard yelling,…

In all criminal cases, prosecutors are required to turn over any evidence that might help exonerate a defendant. This requirement exists because of a U.S. Supreme Court decision known as Brady v. Maryland. Exculpatory evidence that falls under this category is referred to as “Brady” material. An example of this type of evidence would be…

If you’ve ever been arrested for DUI, you might be familiar with the machine that awaits you back at the police station. This machine measures the blood alcohol concentration in a person’s breath when they blow into the machine. These devices play a huge role in prosecutors’ cases against people charged with DUI. For every…

The Clashing of Hailey’s Law and the WA State Constitution In a recent unanimous decision from the Washington Supreme Court, Hailey’s law was ruled unconstitutional. Hailey’s Law required the mandatory impoundment of a car driven by someone arrested for DUI. Passed by the state legislature in 2011, Hailey’s Law stemmed from an incident in 2007…

“Self-defense is Nature’s eldest law.” – John Dryden. Self-defense is a term that most people know, even those people who are not in the legal field. If someone hits you, you are justified to hit them back. What does self-defense means in terms of criminal law though? Self Defense as an Instruction to a Jury…

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