This Week in the Law – Cell Phones, Killing, and Criminal Pregnancies (oh my)


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As loyal readers already know, this legal blog often focuses on contemporary legal issues.  Accordingly, the Friday Afternoon Reads (what I have come to call my weekly posts as they are posted on, well, Friday afternoons when most people’s levels of motivation are not exactly at their highest) often highlight a significant legal development from the past week.  However, this past week has been especially busy and so any post doing it justice will have to discuss at least three things.

First up is the issue of warrantless cell phone searches.  As you might recall, one of this blog’s first posts was about when police can search your cell phone without a warrant (click here to view).  Fast forwarding to this past Tuesday, the United States Supreme Court heard arguments in Riley v. California and United States v. Wurie as to when searches of cell phones should be permissible.  If you would like to learn more about these cases, click here to read the reporting from or click here to read the reporting from the New York Times.  The legal scholars among you will definitely be watching to see where the Supreme Court comes down on these cases.

As a side note, even back in 2012 when the article “Cell Phone Searches” was posted, it was already apparent that pass-code protecting your phone was a good idea.

Next up from this week in the law is the topic of killing, more specifically the execution of an Oklahoma man, also this past Tuesday.  If you need a quick refresher on the status of the death penalty in the United States, click here to read “Florida and the Death Penalty in 2014.”  In short, many citizens oppose the death penalty as being immoral and/or an overly cruel punishment, and those people must be up in arms after the execution of Clayton Lockett this week.  Mr. Lockett was “accidentally killed” in the middle of the state’s efforts to execute him.  I will skip over the gruesome details, but suffice it here to say that Mr. Lockett suffered.  A lot.  Click here to read the reporting on Mr. Lockett’s execution from

And the final topic for this week in the law is what was referred to in this post’s title as “criminal pregnancies.”  As some of you might know, the Tennessee Legislature passed into law a statute making it a criminal offense punishable by up to 11 months and 29 days in jail in certain situations were women use certain drugs while pregnant.  Proponents of this measure seemed primarily driven by a desire to protect unborn children, while opponents seemed primarily driven by the belief that women facing addiction issues will be less likely to come forward for help when they could be convicted.  Click here if you would like to read more on this topic from


The author of TNLawyerLee is Nicholas W. Lee, Esq., an attorney in Knoxville, Tennessee.  If you or someone you know need an attorney, please click herefor Mr. Lee’s contact information and contact him today for a free consultation.  Also, please feel free to visit Mr. Lee’s website, or follow his page on Facebook for updates as to his law practice or new posts to TNLawyerLee by clicking here.

The information on this site is general information and should not be construed as legal advice. Every case is unique and you should consult with an attorney in your state about the specific details of your case. Nothing on this site or in correspondence with Nicholas Lee or his agents shall be construed as forming an attorney-client relationship and information you send prior to the forming of an attorney-client relationship may not be kept confidential. Neither this site nor correspondence with Nicholas Lee or his agents shall be construed as a promise nor as undertaking a duty regarding you or your case. Nicholas Lee and his agents are not retained as your legal counsel unless a valid written Representation Agreement is reached regarding your specific case.

Copyright © 2014. Nicholas W. Lee, Attorney at Law. All rights reserved. This site’s content may not be used without the prior written consent of Nicholas Lee.


2 comments on “This Week in the Law – Cell Phones, Killing, and Criminal Pregnancies (oh my)

  1. TNLawyerLee says:

    Update, the United States Supreme Court has ruled in Riley v. California that warrantless searches of cell phones are generally unconstitutional. Go here to read the full opinion:

  2. […] cell phone searches have been addressed a couple of times by TNLawyerLee (here and here).  But as of today, there is a new development out of the United States Supreme Court, […]

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