Criminal Law Newsletters
In accordance with the Due Process Clause of the United States Constitution, the Government has an obligation to provide a defendant, upon his request, of all evidence in its possession that is favorable to the defendant and material to the case against the defendant. If the Government fails to disclose the requested information to the defendant, a new trial may be required.
In accordance with Article III of the United States Constitution, the federal government has jurisdiction over all admiralty and maritime cases. This means that the federal government has jurisdiction over all criminal offenses that are committed on the high seas, on any other waters within the jurisdiction of the United States, or on any vessel that belongs to the United States, to a United States citizen, or to a corporation, which vessel is located within the admiralty or maritime jurisdiction of the United States and not within the jurisdiction of a state.
A person commits the offense of murder when he or she intentionally or knowingly causes the death of an individual or when he or she intends to cause serious bodily injury to an individual and commits an act that causes the death of the individual.
A necessity may be claimed as a defense when a defendant reasonably believed that his or her criminal act was immediately necessary to avoid imminent harm. The reasonableness of the defendant's act and the harm that was sought to be avoided by the defendant are the essential elements of the defense. The defendant must show that the harm that he or she sought to avoid was greater than the harm that was committed by his or her criminal act. In other words, the defendant must show that he or she was attempting to achieve a "greater good."
The Travel Act was passed in the 1960's in response to organized crime. The Act was intended to assist state and local authorities with limited resources in their efforts to combat organized crime. The Act provides that any individual who travels in interstate or foreign commerce or uses the mail or any facility in interstate or foreign commerce with the intent to distribute the proceeds of any unlawful activity, commit a violent crime to further criminal activity, promote, manage, establish, carry on, or facilitate the promotion, management, establishment, or carrying on of any criminal activity, may be guilty of violating the Travel Act.