Issues to Watch

Facial Recognition Technology: First and Fourth Amendment Implications


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Facial Recognition Technology: First and Fourth Amendment Implications

Ashley Triplett*

On October 18, 2016, the Georgetown Law Center on Privacy & Technology released a report regarding the use of facial recognition technology in law enforcement agencies throughout the country.  Clare Garvie et al., The Perpetual Line-Up: Unregulated Police Face Recognition in America 1 (2016), https://www.perpetuallineup.org/sites/default/files/2016-12/The%20Perpetual%20Line-Up%20-%20Center%20on%20Privacy%20and%20Technology%20at%20Georgetown%20Law%20-%20121616.pdf.  According to the report, over 117 million American adults are subject to face scanning programs with their picture in a law enforcement database.  Id.  The report highlights the risks of such programs and calls for legislative oversight at the state and federal level.  See id. at 1–6.

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Issues to Watch

Should a Bright-Line Rule Control Taser Deployment?


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Should a Bright-Line Rule Control Taser Deployment?

Janet Franklin*

The Fourth Circuit’s recent decision in Armstrong v. Village of Pinehurst, 810 F.3d 892 (4th Cir. 2016), cert. denied, 2016 WL 2839881 (S. Ct. Oct. 3, 2016), which established a bright-line rule in regards to taser deployment by law enforcement officers, effectively limits the scope of the “reasonable officer” standard for evaluating excessive force.

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Issues to Watch

Could Harsher Penalties Deter Prosecutors from Tampering with Exculpatory Evidence?


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Could Harsher Penalties Deter Prosecutors from Tampering with Exculpatory Evidence?

Richard Byrne III*

Any practicing attorney, law student, or layperson knows that tampering with evidence is one of the worst misdeeds an attorney can commit. Not only does the tampering of evidence often result in otherwise incorrect rulings, it completely undermines the judicial system’s primary function of dispensing justice. This rings especially true in criminal cases where the ultimate result of evidence tampering may cost defendants precious years of their lives, if not life itself. Despite such injustice, overzealous prosecutors seeking an easy trial or a high conviction rate might feel inclined to conceal, tamper with, or even destroy evidence that could quite possibly exonerate a defendant.

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Issues to Watch

The Ed O’Bannon Case: How It Has Affected the NCAA and the Future Prospects of Paying Student-Athletes


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Samuel Draper*

INTRODUCTION

Ed O’Bannon led the UCLA Bruins basketball team to a 31-2 regular season record and a national championship in 1995. Matt Simenstad, The Ed O’Bannon Class Action Lawsuit–A New Paradigm For College Sports, 45 Colo. Law. 31, 31 (2016). He was also named the tournament’s Most Outstanding Player and received the John R. Wooden Award for being the best college basketball player in the country. Id. It should be noted that O’Bannon was receiving no compensation, other than his athletic scholarship, while playing for UCLA. O’Bannon then went on to have an unsuccessful professional career and is now a car salesman in Las Vegas. Id. Meanwhile, the NCAA continued to benefit from his time at UCLA, including re-broadcasting his games and licensing the right to video game companies to feature his 1995 Bruins team that won the national championship. Id.

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Issues to Watch

Taxing & the Internet: Is It Time to “Reevaluate” National Bellas Hess, Inc. v. Department of Revenue of Illinois?


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Taxing & the Internet: Is It Time to “Reevaluate” National Bellas Hess, Inc. v. Department of Revenue of Illinois?

Gregory Waterworth*

Marylanders pay taxes on purchases from Amazon.com, but do not pay taxes when shopping at Overstock.com. This arbitrary phenomenon stems from one source, National Bellas Hess, Inc. v. Department of Revenue of Illinois.  386 U.S. 753 (1967). Years ago—before the Internet, smart phones, or the ability to have an online order delivered within an hour—the Supreme Court drew a line in the sand.

Bellas Hess determined when a state can require a retailer to collect and remit taxes. Id. Bellas Hess, a clothing retailer based in Missouri, challenged an Illinois law that required out-of-state companies, such as Bellas Hess, to collect and remit taxes for in-state consumers. Id. Illinois argued that because the retailer advertised in the state and delivered orders via common carriers and mail, it had enough of a presence in the state to justify taxing. Id. at 754. The Court disagreed. Id. at 759–60. To the Court, Bellas Hess was an issue of interstate commerce and the ever popular dormant Commerce Clause. Id. The Court reasoned that allowing Illinois to require out-of-state sellers to collect taxes would be the equivalent of inviting every other locality nationwide to do the same. Id. Further, the Court warned that to do so would “entangle [Bellas Hess’s] interstate business in a virtual welter of complicated obligations to local jurisdictions with no legitimate claim to impose a fair share of the cost of the local government.” Id. at 759. Thus, the Court created a bright-line rule: no taxing, unless physical presence. Id. at 760. So why do Marylander’s pay taxes on purchases from Amazon.com, as opposed to Overstock.com? The answer is an Amazon.com warehouse on 2010 Broening Highway in Baltimore. (more…)