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Eyewitness errors involved in wrongful convictions

For many people in Pennsylvania who maintain their innocence despite being convicted of a crime, mistaken identity and wrongful identification could be a critical issue. DNA testing has helped to prove the innocence of a number of people across the country who were convicted of serious crimes like rape and murder in which modern-day technologies have allowed new discoveries to be made in old cases. In a number of the convictions overturned through DNA tests, eyewitness misidentification of the person responsible has been a significant factor.

Drivers of rental cars entitled to privacy, Supreme Court rules

Pennsylvania residents who borrow a rental car from a family member or friend should be aware that, according to a Supreme Court decision, they are entitled to the same protections against illegal police searches. This decision, which was handed down on May 14, came after the Trump administration argued that those not named on a rental agreement should be able to be searched without the person's consent.

Study links pretrial detention with higher conviction rates

Individuals facing criminal charges in Pennsylvania and around the country who are unable to afford bail are far more likely to be found guilty, according to a team of researchers from Harvard, Stanford and Princeton universities. After studying administrative court and tax data, the researchers found that criminal defendants who are granted pretrial release are 14 percent less likely to get convicted and 10.8 percent less likely to enter into negotiated plea arrangements.

Supreme Court hears case about cellphone location tracking

As smartphones have become nearly ubiquitous in Pennsylvania, law enforcement officers have used some of the technology behind the phones to track people and their movements. The Supreme Court of the United States recently heard arguments in a case involving the use of cell phone location data in order to pinpoint a defendant's location in relation to some robberies that had happened.

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