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Articles by Anthony Accurso

Eighth Circuit: Defendant Who Pleaded Guilty to State Felonies Didn’t Know He Couldn’t Possess Firearms Prior to Sentencing Because He Didn’t Know He Had Been Convicted

by Anthony Accurso

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit held that a defendant didn’t “know” he had been convicted of a felony under Iowa law after entering a guilty plea but before his sentencing to a deferred judgment and thus vacated his federal conviction for being a ...

Washington Supreme Court: Failure to Pay Fines Don’t Increase Sentencing Score

by Anthony Accurso

The Supreme Court of Washington held that time spent in jail for failure to pay court fines does not count against an offender at sentencing for a new crime.

Matthew T. Schwartz pleaded guilty to failure to register as a sex offender in 2017 after failing to ...

Eighth Circuit Vacates Sentence for Improper Supervision Length After ACCA Enhancement Removed

by Anthony Accurso

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit held that after the defendant’s ACCA enhancement was struck his sentence must be vacated because the court lacked jurisdiction to impose more supervision than allowed by statute. 

Travis Ryan Raymond was convicted on possession with intent to ...

‘Changes Are a Comin’

by Anthony Accurso

It seems like everyone is talking about criminal justice reform these days. Cross-partisan reforms are happening throughout the county as politicians of nearly all stripes seem to have emerged from a lock’em up binge into the next morning hangover of mass incarceration.

Most of the attention has ...

Defendant’s Flight From Police’s Illegal Frisk Doesn’t Render Improperly Obtained Evidence Admissible in Maryland

by Anthony Accurso 

The Court of Appeals of Maryland held that a defendant’s flight during an illegal stop and frisk did not attenuate the link between the officers’ misconduct and the discovery of evidence to justify the court’s denial of the defendant’s suppression motion. 

Tamere Thornton was sitting ...

Ninth Circuit Rules IAC for Failure to Investigate Mitigating Evidence During Penalty Phase of Capital Trial

by Anthony Accurso 

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit held the California Supreme Court was objectively unreasonable when it denied defendant’s claim that his lawyer provided ineffective assistance of counsel for failing to investigate or present any mitigating evidence at the penalty phase of his capital ...

Fifth Circuit Vacates § 924 Convictions Based on Davis

by Anthony Accurso 

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit held that the defendants’ convictions under 18 U.S.C. § 924 could not stand because they likely relied on the residual clause of § 924(c) that was voided for vagueness in United States v. Davis, 139 S. ...

9th Circuit Says Inadvertently Placing Closed Folding Knife on Teller Counter Not Armed Bank Robbery

by Anthony Accurso

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit held that inadvertently placing a pocket knife on the counter during a robbery did not constitute “use” of a dangerous weapon during a robbery and overturned the defendant’s plea for lacking the proper factual basis to support his ...

Connecticut Supreme Court Rules 5 Days Past Due on Rent While Incarcerated Does Not Deprive Defendant of Expectation of Privacy in Home

by Anthony Accurso 

The Supreme Court of Connecticut held that the lower court erred in denying defendant’s search of his apartment where the police failed to obtain a warrant and defendant had a reasonable expectation of privacy in his home, despite being a mere five days past due on ...

7th Circuit Announces SORNA Requires Hybrid Approach in Comparing Underlying Conviction to Determine Tier Classification

by Anthony Accurso

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit joined the Fourth and Tenth Circuits in holding that tier classification under the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (“SORNA”) compels a hybrid approach to classifying a defendant’s crime, which underlies a charge of failing to register.

In ...



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