Monthly Archives: February 2014

Hall v. Florida and Intellectual Disability

On March 3, 2014, the United States Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in Hall v. Florida. In Atkins v. Virginia (2002), the Supreme Court ruled that the execution of the mentally retarded (now referred to as “intellectual disability) violated the Eighth Amendment. Atkins allowed the states to formulate their own definitions of intellectual disability. What has actually happened is that the states have arrived at their own tests, some based upon accepted psychological standards and some not. Some state place heavy burdens upon the Defendant.

At issue in Hall v. Florida is Florida’s use of a bright line IQ score without the consideration of a standard deviation. Florida’s test takes into account the three standard elements in Atkins, but sets the IQ cut off at an IQ of 70, without consideration of the standard deviation of IQ testing. Such a standard is contrary to accepted clinical standards.

We … Read the rest

Divorce: Being Prepared

The decision to seek a divorce is normally based upon several factors. While the main reason is often the emotional situation between the parties, others include finances, issues surrounding children, and general discontentment.

If a person is considering a divorce, there are some things he or she should consider doing in preparation. The first is to create an emergency financial fund since divorces can create problems concerning living arrangements, bill paying, and attorney’s fees.  It is important that the fund contains enough money to pay the current mortgage, or rent, on a new residence in case he or she is the one who will move out.

If there are children of the marriage, consideration should be given to paying temporary child support or potentially needing to support the children alone until a temporary order can be put into place.  The ability to pay existing financial obligations, as well as any … Read the rest

Eufaula Man Wanted on Capital Murder Charge

Authorities are still looking for Marques Ivory, 23, who is wanted on a capital murder charge in connection to a fatal shooting in Eufaula that took place around 10:45 p.m. on January 30th.  The 20-year-old victim of the shooting, Darrian Scott, was taken by private vehicle to Medical Center Barbour and later transferred to Southeast Alabama Medical Center by Eufaula Rescue where he was pronounced dead.  The incident was initially labeled as just a shooting but has since been upgraded to capital murder.

The shooting took place near State Docks Road where police confirm that Scott was shot in the back of the head while riding as a passenger in a vehicle.  Authorities believe the gun shot that killed Scott came from within the vehicle Scott traveled in.

Several law enforcement agencies continue to aggressively look for Ivory including the Fugitive Task Force and the United States Marshall … Read the rest

Man Convicted in Graduation Party Shooting

Kamaluddeen Raheem Russaw, 22, has been convicted by a Houston County jury on two attempted murder charges for his involvement in a shooting that took place at a graduation party last summer.  Circuit Court Judge Larry Anderson scheduled a sentencing hearing for April 11, 2014 after prosecutors asked for a pre-sentence report to be completed.  Russaw will face a maximum penalty of 20 to 99 years or life in prison for each charge.

Russaw was one of four individuals that were charged by Dothan Police in connection to a graduation party shooting at a home on East Washington Street on May 23, 2010.  The prosecuting attorney, Assistant Houston County District Attorney Banks Smith, said that the incident took place after a man at the party told a passing motorist to slow down.  Russaw allegedly had a conversation with the man before a beer can was thrown and shots were fired.  … Read the rest