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Articles by Anthony Accurso

Seventh Circuit Vacates Sentence for Failure to Explain Extreme Departure of Guidelines Range

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit vacated a defendant’s sentence because the district court failed to explain its reasoning for a 160 percent upward departure on remand where the original sentence involved only a 10 percent upward departure.

Jesse J. Ballard pleaded guilty to ...

Wyoming Supreme Court Finds IAC Where Counsel Failed to Challenge Prolonging of Traffic Stop After Citation Completed

The Supreme Court of Wyoming held that a defendant’s counsel was ineffective for failing to challenge the extension of the traffic stop that eventually uncovered evidence resulting in his conviction on multiple drug-related charges.

On July 10, 2017, Deputy Kyle Borgialli received notification from DCI agents regarding ...

California Supreme Court: Defendant Doesn’t Forfeit Claim for Failing to Object to Expert’s Testimonial Hearsay at Trial That Occurred Before Sanchez Was Decided

The Supreme Court of California held that an appellate claim of a confrontation clause violation based on an expert’s testimonial hearsay is not forfeited due to defense counsel’s failure to object where the trial occurred before People v. Sanchez, 374 P.3d 320 (Cal. 2016), was decided. ...

Nevada Supreme Court: 26-Month Delay Between Charges and Arrest Constitutes Speedy Trial Violation

by Anthony Accurso 

The Supreme Court of Nevada held that a district court did not abuse its discretion after the State’s “gross negligence” caused a 26-month delay between charges filed and arrest.

Rigoberto Inzunza was living with 9-year-old E.J.’s mother in Las Vegas in 2008. During this time, Inzunza ...

Colorado Supreme Court Announces Implied Bias the Same as Actual Juror Bias, Requiring Automatic Reversal

by Anthony Accurso 

The Colorado Supreme Court announced a rule, which holds that when a defendant raises a for-cause challenge to an impliedly biased juror under 16-10-103(1), C.R.S., a structural error arises when that juror serves on the jury. The Court instructed that “a juror who is presumed by ...

Racial Disparity at Sentencing on the Rise

by Anthony Accurso 

A new Council on Criminal Justice report shows disturbing trends in worsening sentencing disparities for black and Latinx people, even as the U.S. softens its stance on non-violent and drug crimes, The Appeal reports.

The report aggregated data from the years 2000 and 2016 and compared ...

Louisiana Supreme Court: State Abused Charging Authority by Dismissing and Reinstituting Charges to Circumvent Adverse Court Ruling

by Anthony Accurso 

The Supreme Court of Louisiana held that the district attorney’s office abused its charging authority when it dismissed, then immediately refiled, charges against a defendant to circumvent the trial court’s decision to exclude the State’s expert witness. 

In December 2016, Fred Reimonenq was indicted ...

Jury Nullification as a Cure for Prosecutorial Overreach

by Anthony Accurso

An article published by seeks to educate the public about the history of jury nullification and how reversing statutes and case law that prevent juries from knowing a defendant’s possible sentence could help curb prosecutorial overreach. 

Jury nullification is the term applied when a jury ...

New Lie Detectors Are On the Way, But Are They Better Than the Old One?

by Anthony Accurso 

New “lie detectors” are being marketed as viable replacements for the aging, debunked polygraph and are being tested in environments where the polygraph never penetrated. But questions remain whether such devices are any improvement on the old one. 

Many people are familiar with the classic ...

Reform-Minded Prosecutors Use Charging Discretion to Benefit Communities

by Anthony Accurso 

Now that the nation is evolving from “tough on crime” to “smart on crime” tactics, reform-minded prosecutors are making big changes by exercising their discretion on how and when to prosecute low-level offenders. 

At the highest levels of government, politicians in both parties have been ...



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