No License? No Problem: Maryland Identification Cards Go Digital

On April 18, 2019, Governor Larry Hogan approved House Bill 180, authorizing the Motor Vehicle Administration to issue electronic credentials in addition to a license or an identification card.[1] An electronic credential is an electronic representation of a license, an identification card, or a data field.[2] The electronic credential would be a second form of a license or identification but will not replace the traditional, hard copy, license or identification card.[3]

To access the digital identification, Maryland residents do not need to go to the Motor Vehicle Administration, they just download the “Motor Driver’s License” app available on smartphones.[4] Through the app, residents can then provide a digital version of their identification.[5]  Residents will then be put into three categories of identification: “Under 18”, “Over 18/Under 21” or “Over 21”.[6]  Additionally, the app will only show the information that is necessary for the person requesting to see someone’s identification.[7]  For example, a retailer will only be shown a person’s name, photograph and the category of identification the person falls under; while law enforcement will have access to the more private information that is shown on normal licenses, such as an address and date of birth.[8] The app will use Quick Response codes, or QR codes, in which a person requesting the information can use a smartphone to quickly scan the QR code associated with the person’s license and the information they are requesting will appear.[9] So why should Maryland residents care about this new feature?

First, law enforcement will now be able to quickly identify someone just by using their phone.[10]  Many people travel without a wallet or identification, but most people do not leave their house without their smartphone. With there being about 5.5 million car accidents in the United States each year, having the opportunity to quickly identify someone can be extremely beneficial.[11] Additionally, having electronic identifications will be convenient for residents because they will now be able to quickly pull up their identification, rather than having to waste time digging through their purse or wallets to find their physical identification card. Digital identifications will also provide more security and protection to residents, as it is more difficult for counterfeiters to fake compared to physical identification cards.[12]

On the other hand, Maryland residents and businesses should be cautious when using electronic credentials. For example, many Maryland alcohol retailers have already invested in scanning technologies to check resident identification, however, those scanning technologies may not actually be able to scan the new digital licenses.[13] Electronic identifications will also make it more difficult for someone to see if the person has any previous criminal charges.[14] Furthermore, the state transportation agency stated that some older smartphones may not be able to download the app.

There are still some issues with the electronic identifications, which is why Maryland has not yet completely replaced normal licenses. Hopefully, Maryland will work the kinks out of the app and eventually adopt an only electronic form of identification.


Brittany

Brittany Feinberg is a third-year law student at the University of Baltimore and an Associate Editor for Law Forum. Brittany is currently a law clerk at Schlachman, Belsky, and Weiner, P.A. in Baltimore, Maryland, handling personal injury and medical malpractice cases. Brittany will graduate in May 2020 and will be clerking for The Honorable Dennis Robinson at Baltimore County Circuit Court in the fall.

A Grave Decision: Eternal Damnation or a Prison Sentence?

Think of a decision in your life that you later lived to regret. Now imagine going back to when you made that decision and having the opportunity to watch yourself choose again. But this time, instead of working through that choice alone, there are two systems in place. The first system is designed to help you work through that decision, and come to a solution that is favorable to you. The second system is the opposite. It offers no such support, but rather punishes you if you make the wrong decision. Which system would you prefer?

In February 2018, a man in Caroline County made a decision with that second system in place.[1] The 56-year-old man took an offered plea deal and plead guilty to the common law crime of attempted suicide.[2] As a result, this man was sentenced to three years in jail, coupled with two years of probation. [3] Imagine feeling helpless and hopeless, so much that you choose to take your own life. After making that decision, the system that is in place does not allow you to receive the help you need, but rather you are punished and sentenced.

Individuals contemplating suicide require mental health care by trained professionals, rather than punishment for their related actions. Recently, Maryland took a step to affirm this position by passing House Bill 77.[4] Effective October 1, 2019, attempted suicide is no longer a crime punishable in the State of Maryland.[5] By enacting this bill, Maryland is dismantling the system that punished the Caroline County man, while simultaneously opening room for an alternative system of support to take root. The Bill was short and simple, yet powerful. It changed the criminal law statute to add a section which removed attempted suicide as a crime in Maryland.[6] While it was not explicitly recognized as a statutory crime before, attempted suicide was a common law crime that was still recognized.[7] In the past five years, attempted suicide has been charged ten times in the District Court, resulting in the one conviction mentioned above.[8] Now codified in law, convictions for attempted suicide, like the one that occurred in February of last year, can never happen again.[9] Hopefully House Bill 77 will set a trend for state lawmakers to continue to improve the mental health care for the citizens of Maryland.


Nicholas Tomso

Nicholas A. Tomso is a 3rd year day student and Associate Editor for Law Forum at the University of Baltimore School of Law. Nicholas works at an estate planning law firm in Towson, MD, where he is in charge of writing and drafting a variety of legal documents. These documents range from simple court petitions to complex testamentary trusts. Nicholas will graduate in May 2020 and continue to work in the estate planning field.

Did You Suffer An Injury In Your Home? Injuries Sustained At A Home Worksite May Now Be Compensable.

Technological innovation is revolutionizing our modern work environment. Cell-phones have given employees the ability to work from anywhere in the world while simultaneously running errands. But what happens if you are injured at your home while checking a work email? How wide is the scope of compensability?

In Schwan Food Co. v. Frederick, the Court of Special Appeals held that injuries sustained at a home worksite can now be compensable.[1] In this case, Ryan Frederick (“Ryan”), worked as a customer service representative for Schwan Food Company. [2] Ryan’s job involved traveling to various grocery stores and running deliveries for each of his accounts.[3] On the morning of January 28, 2016,  Ryan downloaded his work-route for the day on his employer-provided computer. [4] His plan was to drop off his son at daycare on the way to his first work account. Unfortunately-before leaving-he slipped on ice in front of his home and injured his leg. [5]

Although this case is ultimately remanded because material facts remain in dispute, the court concluded that an employee’s home can now qualify as a worksite if it complies with a three-pronged test. [6] The test requires the jury to weigh (1) the quantity and regularity of work carried out at home; (2) the presence of work-related equipment at home; and (3) the special circumstances of the employment that render working from home necessary. [7] The jury should also consider whether the employer knew or should have known that the employee was routinely using the home as a work-site. [8]

So what kind of implications will this have on Maryland employees and employers? For employees, there is a new avenue for compensability. For example, one could imagine a scenario where an employee is responding to work emails on his/her phone and falls going down the stairs. If that injury occurs at a home worksite, in the course of employment, it may now be compensable. On the other hand, there is an increased burden for the employer. The employer may now be responsible for compensating injuries that occur in an employee’s home-a place outside of the employer’s control.

Nevertheless, the door is not wide-open for employees. Employees who are working from home for their own convenience rather than necessity will not be covered by Workers’ Compensation.[9]  As follows, whether the effect of this decision is considerable or trivial will fall heavily on the lower courts’s interpretation of the three-pronged test.


Isa

Isabel Jorrin Garcia is a 2L at the University of Baltimore School of Law. She is a staff editor for the UB Law Forum, President of the Latin American Law Student Association, and law clerk at Franklin & Prokopik, PC. Her legal interests include commercial and civil litigation.

“There is No god but Allah and Mohamad is the Messenger of Allah.” A Recitation of the Shahada in a World History Class is not a violation of the Public-School Student’s First Amendment Rights.

During the 2014-2015 school year, Wood was an eleventh-grade student at La Plata High School, a public high school in Charles County, Maryland.[1] As part of Wood’s eleventh-grade curriculum, they were required to take a world history course covering the period of 1500 A.D. to present.[2] The course covered topics ranging from the Renaissance to the Industrial Revolution, to World War I and World War II.[3] The smallest section of this curriculum was the five-day unit entitled “The Muslim World.”[4] As part of this section, Wood was shown a PowerPoint with a comparative faith statement: “Most Muslim’s faith is stronger than the average Christian.”[5] Additionally, Wood was required to write out the five pillars of Islam, a portion of which is known as the shahada, which declares “there is no god but Allah and Mohamad is the messenger of Allah.”[6] Wood’s father objected to the use of these statements, demanded that his daughter not be indoctrinated in Islam, and that his daughter should be given an alternate assignment.[7] However, the father’s objections fell on deaf ears and so he directed Wood not to answer any question related to Islam, which did not affect Wood’s final letter grade, only her percentage in the class.[8]

Wood argued that the shahada portion of the assignment forced her to deny the very existence of God.[9] Additionally, Wood argued that the challenged materials lacked any secular purpose and had the effect of “promoting and endorsing Islam.”[10] The Fourth Circuit disagreed with Wood’s arguments and her appeal for certiorari to the Supreme Court was denied.[11] The basis for the Fourth Circuit’s opinion stemmed from the three-prong test for Establishment Clause claims that was set forth in Lemon v. Kurtzman.[12] In order to withstand First Amendment scrutiny under this test, “government conduct must be (1) driven in part by a secular purpose; (2) must have a primary effect that neither advances nor inhibits religion; and (3) must not excessively entangle church and State.”[13] If any one of these factors is violated, the government has violated the Establishment Clause.[14]

The Fourth Circuit did not take the challenged statements in isolation, rather they looked at the context of these statements in relation to the world history course’s curriculum as a whole.[15] Under the first prong, the court found that there was a secular purpose in comparing religions and the statements were merely intended to test the student’s knowledge.[16] Similarly, the court found under the second Lemon factor that the shahada statements were a very small part of the world history class as a whole, were a part of the curriculum and were directly relevant to the secular lessons being taught.[17] Viewing these statements under the context of the whole class, the court held that the statements could not be reasonably believed to favor one religion over another.[18] Finally, the court held that the challenged materials did not excessively entangle the church and State, because there was no advancement or inhibition of religion.[19] As such, Maryland public schools are permitted to include a teaching of religion that differs from the beliefs of some of the students and does not prohibit testing a student’s knowledge through a requirement of writing a profession of faith.


Thad

Thaddeus C. Sheehy, Jr. is a 3L at the University of Baltimore and will graduate in December 2019. Thaddeus is a second-year staff editor on Law Forum. Thaddeus is from Anne Arundel County and currently resides there. Thaddeus currently works at Medifast, Inc. located in Baltimore City.

Prison inmates may be getting a clean break from the opioid epidemic

No matter which way you look at the drug issue in the country, one thing is clear, drug overdoses are at an all-time high. Statistics show 130 people on average die every day from an overdose of opioids.[1] Currently, Maryland ranks within the top five states “with the highest rates of opioid-related overdose deaths at double the national average.”[2]

With the rise in opioid use, as of October 2019 Maryland has implemented a new law which will require correctional facilities to assess individual inmates in a screening process to determine whether an inmate is suffering from an opioid addiction; and if so what the best method of treatment and rehabilitation will be for that specific individual.[3] Correctional facilities will have medications available as well as providing withdrawal management services to inmates who are diagnosed with opioid use disorder.[4]

According to the U.S. Department of Justice, close to half of state and federal inmates suffer from some variation of opioid use disorder.[5] With that being said, it should not come as a surprise, drug use in prison is extremely common; however, there are hardly any statistics to show the actual drug use by inmates. A 2017 report by the Bureau of Justice Statistics similarly found that nearly 75% of people in state prison and serving sentences in jail regularly used drugs.[6] Once an inmate is released, their risk of death is “ is more than 12 times that of other individuals, with the leading cause of death being a fatal overdose.”[7] Specifically in Maryland, “people recently released from detention are 8 to 10 times more likely to die from overdose than the general population.”[8]

The World Health Organization has made their position on this issue very clear stating inmates should be able to acquire adequate healthcare while in prison to help with their opioid withdrawal.[9] By implementing this law, Maryland joins states like Colorado, Kentucky and Pennsylvania who have already had success with substance use disorder laws within the correctional facilities.[10] The ultimate goal of this law is to save lives and begin to decrease the opioid overdose trend.[11] Allowing inmates to have this option of treatment will create great strides with inmate rehabilitation and will provide support during the process of withdrawal – something a majority of inmates might have never had before.


Jess Rubin

Jessica Rubin is a third-year law student at University of Baltimore and will graduate in May 2020. Jessica got her bachelor’s degree in criminology and psychology from Florida State University. During her time at University of Baltimore, Jessica was a student attorney with the Mental Health Clinic where she represented patients in involuntary civil commitment hearings at the Sheppard Pratt psychiatric hospital. Jessica currently works as a criminal defense law clerk at Bates & Garcia LLC in Baltimore City.

A Constitutional Concern for Your Choice Candidate

The next presidential election will take place on Tuesday, November 3, 2020, but the electoral race has already begun! Candidates for President of the United States of America have already announced themselves: from the current President, Donald Trump, to those on the leftwing, including Bernie Sanders.[1] With current impeachment proceedings taking place, more than ever, people are talking about who should be president.[2] One of the most common ways to announce a person’s political stance has been to post a political campaign sign in their yard. Most have probably seen those cardboard signs plastered around the country, but you may have a harder time finding them in Baltimore City. At least for now.

The Baltimore City code (“The Code”) states that “signs announcing candidates seeking elected public office” may not be placed in yards until “the last day on which a certificate of candidacy may be withdrawn.”[3] This means that February 3, 2020 will be the first day that the City of Baltimore will allow campaign signs to be posted.[4] The code also requires that all signs be removed within thirty days after the primary election day for “unsuccessful . . . candidate[s]” and thirty days after any general election for “all other candidates.”[5] Meaning that if your choice candidate loses, you can no longer show support for them after thirty days.

At this point, something in your head is probably screaming freedom of speech! under the First Amendment to the United State Constitution.[6] After a series of recent complaints to clarify the law, the city finally took action.[7] On November 12, 2019 the Baltimore City Council’s Housing and Urban Affairs Committee met for a public hearing to address the citizens’ concerns.[8] The concern is that the law is confusing, because while included in the code, it is not typically enforced, and should it be enforced it would likely violate the First Amendment.[9] The Housing and Urban Affairs Committee approved the issue for review by the City Council for the purpose of “conforming and clarifying related provisions” of the Code.[10] The issue is still under review by the City Council, and may be addressed at the next meeting of the City Council on December 2, 2019.[11]


Nicholas Tomso

Nicholas A. Tomso is a 3rd year day student and Associate Editor for Law Forum at the University of Baltimore School of Law. Nicholas works at an estate planning law firm in Towson, MD, where he is in charge of writing and drafting a variety of legal documents. These documents range from simple court petitions to complex testamentary trusts. Nicholas will graduate in May 2020 and continue to work in the estate planning field.

Tough on Crime or Tough on Survivors: Maryland Legislature Rejects Human Trafficking Bill

Maryland’s vacatur laws have recently received an “F” grade in a nationwide review of criminal relief laws; the state has the lowest ranking in the nation.[1] The report is co-authored by UB Law’s Professor and Director of the Human Trafficking Prevention Project, Jessica Emerson. This may sound like a surprise to some familiar with vacatur laws – Maryland was the second in the nation to enact a vacatur law in 2011.[2] Although the general assembly passed three other human trafficking related bills in the 2019 legislative session, Maryland still fails to provide adequate judicial remedies to survivors.[3]

Senate Bill 691/ House Bill 782 (True Freedom Act of 2019) failed during the 2019 legislative session.[4] The bill would have created two important changes to Maryland’s scarce human trafficking laws.[5] First, it would have increased the number of criminal offenses eligible for vacatur. Vacatur is the process of vacating a conviction; the court admits there was an error in the original conviction.[6] It differs from expungement, where information regarding a case is removed from certain court and police records.[7] Currently, Maryland’s vacatur law only applies to prostitution convictions stemming from trafficking.[8] The bill would have made more criminal offenses directly related to trafficking eligible for vacatur, like possessing or purchasing a noncontrolled substance, misdemeanor theft, and public assistance fraud.[9] Second, the bill would have removed the current requirement that survivors obtain consent from the State’s Attorney’s Office that originally prosecuted them before filing a vacatur petition.[10] Obtaining this consent can be re-traumatizing for survivors.[11]

Maryland’s weaker penalties for traffickers, and its access to I-95, I-70, and BWI Airport, makes it especially enticing for perpetrators.[12] Although the state has a human trafficking task force, founded in 2007, it must make some serious changes to better protect survivors of trafficking.[13] It must recognize that traffickers can make their victims engage in more criminal activity than prostitution, and the effects of these convictions on survivors can make it much more difficult to heal and move on from their traumatic experiences.

Note: As of January 29, 2020, Maryland legislators have cross-filed the True Freedom Act of 2020. The bill enumerates the same changes as the True Freedom Act of 2019. H.B. 242, 2020 Leg., 441th Sess. (Md. 2020).


Paulina

Paulina Taniewski is a second-year law student and Staff Editor with the University of Baltimore Law Forum. Currently, Paulina is a law intern with the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Maryland. Her interests include human rights law and public service, and she hopes to work for the federal government upon graduation.

Baltimore “Hushes” Supreme Court from Ruling on Police Settlement “Gag Orders”

In 2017, the ACLU of Maryland filed a case on behalf of the independent news website The Baltimore Brew and 30 year-old Baltimore resident Ashley Overbey challenging gag orders used in police brutality settlements.[1]The Baltimore Police department penalized Overbey by half of her settlement because she commented on a Baltimore Sun article regarding the facts of her police brutality case, despite being barred from doing so.[2]ACLU asserted, and the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals agreed in their decision on July 11, 2017 the city’s policy of muzzling people who receive cash settlements in police brutality cases is unconstitutional, because it violates the First Amendment’s guarantee to free speech and free press.[3]

The Baltimore City Mayor Young’s Administration will not petition the Supreme Court to review the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals ruling that the non-disparagement agreements added to Baltimore Police Department’s settlements are unconstitutional.[4]The City argued (and still maintains) that restrictions and confidentiality agreements are necessary so both the city and its police force can avoid harmful publicity.[5]However, after the Fourth Circuit issued their decision, the city announced that this issue is essentially moot because the non-disparagement language of police brutality settlements was amended, and allows citizens to speak freely.[6]

The city never mentioned this revision during trial, and the ACLU argues it does not render the non-disparagement clause constitutional.[7] The language still prohibits “a claimant and his or her agents, representatives, and attorneys from ‘any attempt to defame and or disparage the Released parties”.[8]In other words, claimants are still barred from making a statement that could amount to “reputational loss to the City of Baltimore” and still punishes violators with fines.[9] The Mayor has also spoken out against a Baltimore City Council Bill introduced the week after the ACLU won their case.[10]If passed, non-disparagement agreements would be barred from police settlements,[11]but Young claims the bill challenges powers granted to the Mayor by the city charter.[12]

Since 2009, the city has spent $35 million to settle police brutality cases.[13] Ninety-five percent of those settlements include terms barring claimants from speaking to the press, and until recently, from speaking out or sharing their story on social media.[14] The not so new occurrence of police brutality has become an especially acute issue for Baltimore City in recent years, and the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals decision is a glaring comment on Baltimore’s need for police reform.


Cameron Stang is a second-year law student and Staff Editor with University of Baltimore Law Forum. Before attending classes in the evening, Cameron works as a Legal Marketing Editor for The Agora Companies focusing on FTC and SEC compliance and maintaining her clients’ protection under the Publisher’s exemption of the Invest Adviser’s Act of 1940. After graduation in May of 2022 with a concentration in Business Law and Copyright, Cameron intends to expand her role with The Agora Companies and work with local foundations who assist artists in protecting their work and strengthening their businesses.

Do you Smell like Reefer? “No Problem!” Now, A Marijuana Joint and Smell of Marijuana does not Rise to the Level of Probable Cause for Search of a Person Incident to a Lawful Arrest

Around 10:00 p.m. on May 26, 2016, officers noticed a “suspicious vehicle” in a parking lot with its windows down and nowhere near the business itself.[1] One officer testified that when he was “within a foot” of the vehicle, they smelled the odor of freshly burnt marijuana and the other officer said that the smell of marijuana was strong but did not specify how close he was when he could smell it.[2] Mr. Pacheco was sitting in the front seat and complied when the officer asked him to hand over the joint that was in the vehicle’s center console.[3] The officers then ordered Mr. Pacheco to exit the vehicle and conducted a search, where they found cocaine in his front left pocket.[4] Mr. Pacheco was issued a citation for possession of less than ten grams of marijuana and charged with possession of cocaine with intent to distribute.[5]

At trial, Mr. Pacheco moved to suppress the cocaine because the officers’ warrantless search of his person was illegal because they lacked probable cause to believe that he possessed more than ten grams of marijuana.[6] The State countered that the odor provided probable cause to search both the vehicle and Mr. Pacheco.[7] The circuit court held that the officers had probable cause to arrest Mr. Pacheco and conduct a search of his person incident thereto because of Mr. Pacheco’s possession of less than ten grams of marijuana.[8] Mr. Pacheco entered a conditional guilty plea, reserving his right to withdraw that plea upon a successful appeal on the court’s ruling of his motion to suppress.[9] The Court of Special Appeals relied predominately on pre-decriminalization cases and affirmed.[10]

However, the Court of Appeals of Maryland reversed the trial court’s ruling on the motion to suppress.[11] While the court found that the officers had probable cause to search Mr. Pacheco’s vehicle based on the presence of contraband, they did not have probable cause to search his person.[12] The court’s reasoning is that although Mr. Pacheco had a diminished expectation of privacy in his vehicle, he still enjoys a heightened expectation of privacy of his person. In the post-decriminalization era, Marylanders will no longer be subjected to searches of their person based on the possession of less than ten grams of marijuana, where there is not a fair probability that they possess a criminal amount of marijuana.[13] As such, its citizens no longer need to worry that the smell of marijuana alone will give an officer probable cause to search their persons.


Thad

Thaddeus C. Sheehy, Jr. is a 3L at the University of Baltimore and will graduate in December 2019. Thaddeus is a second-year staff editor on Law Forum. Thaddeus is from Anne Arundel County and currently resides there. Thaddeus currently works at Medifast, Inc. located in Baltimore City.

Fly Like Paper and Get Spied On By Planes

On September 7, 2019 Antonio Whitfield was found shot to death becoming Baltimore City’s 239th homicide victim this year.[1] The city is on pace to eclipse 300 homicides a year, for the fourth straight year going back to 2015.[2] The unprecedented violence has led to marches and outcry’s from communities and politicians to end the killing. One outcry is for the redeployment of a highly controversial “spy plane” program that the police launched in 2016 without every notifying the public.

The “spy plane” program was originally funded in 2016 by a grant from Texas philanthropist John Arnold.[3] This created an issue because the police department did not have to go to the City Council for funding, thereby not giving the council any notice.[4] That year, the “spy plane” flew for about 300 hours until the public found out and the program was immediately ended.[5] While it was in operation, it did help solve the murder of an elderly couple in the Walbrook community.[6] However, it was also used to track hit and run suspects and individuals suspected of illegal dumping.[7]

Persistent Surveillance System Planes is the company that developed the technology used in the spy planes to originally be used in Iraq to track individuals that planted roadside bombs.[8] Since then it has been used to curb cartel violence along the border and provide a tool to law enforcement in American cities.[9] The “spy planes” are actually Cessna aircraft with a series of cameras attached to its belly.[10] The aircraft is capable of flight up to 10 hours and surveil an area of about 30 square miles, roughly 1/3 of the city.[11] The plane circles around the circles around the city, recording everything below, and saving the recordings on hard drives external to the plane.[12]

When a crime occurs, analysts with Persistent can pull up the crime scene from the saved recordings and watch every vehicle and person leaving the area.[13] However, the cameras can not make out identifiable features on people or the makes and models of cars.[14] The logic behind the technology is to track people in the vicinity of the crime scene knowing one is the killer. Analysts can track a suspects’ travel from the crime scene until they reach a house, then analysts can use Google maps to coordinate the address.[15] Analysts can also coordinate with street level cameras in an attempt to find a clearer image of a suspected killer.[16]

The natural reaction of most people is to reject the proposed intrusive surveillance and rightfully so. The last thing we want is to live in an Orwellian nightmare and have our every move tracked by Big Brother. Society fears the potential slippery slope this technology possesses and do not want to create a Minority Report system. However, Persistent is well aware of the hesitations and has offered a legitimate compromise.[17] The company insists that every keystroke made by analysts is recorded and a documented history of how the technology is used can be produced.[18] They propose that a independent review board be created to monitor the program and for the program be limited to only investigating major crimes.[19]

Despite the new proposal from Persistent, Mayor Jack Young and Baltimore City Police Commissioner Jack Young have publicly stated that they have no intention of re-starting the program.[20] But is that necessarily the best choice? If Persistent is offering full transparency and funding would again come from Mr. Arnold, is it not worth trying again? Having a review board to ensure transparency and uphold citizens rights would limit the technology’s application from issuing jay walking citations and make sure it is being applied as advertised.

Baltimore City is in need of drastic efforts to combat persistent violent crime. Citizens are afraid to testify in fear of retaliation from criminal syndicates, which leads to murders remaining unsolved and killers free. A short-term trial period to see if the “spy plane” technology works and to ensure citizens privacy concerns are not abrogated might be the drastic step the city needs.


Justin Ellis is a third year law student with an anticipated graduation date of December 2020. He has an interest in criminal law and public service, and hopes to become an Assistant State’s Attorney upon graduation. Prior to attending law school, Justin worked for a healthcare company in compliance and auditing. Justin is also a Marine Corps veteran.