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Articles by Anthony Accurso

First Circuit: Prosecutor Not Entitled to Absolute Immunity When Performing Purely Administrative Duty

by Anthony Accurso

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit held that when a prosecutor performs a purely administrative function in relation to a criminal prosecution, she does not enjoy absolute prosecutorial immunity from suits brought under 42 U.S.C. § 1983.

Rolando Penate was charged with drug-related offenses ...

Delaware Supreme Court: Where Defendant Competent to Plead ‘Guilty but Mentally Ill,’ He May Revoke Plea Before It Is Accepted

by Anthony Accurso

The Supreme Court of the State of Delaware held that when a defendant has been declared competent to plead guilty he retains the right to revoke his plea of “guilty but mentally ill” before the court accepts it.

Martin Taylor was found with knife wounds on his ...

Fourth Circuit Holds Appeal Waiver Does Not Preclude Retroactive ACCA Claim

by Anthony Accurso

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit held that retroactive ACCA claims are not barred by a defendant’s appeal waiver, and defendant’s 1976 Georgia burglary conviction is no longer a valid ACCA predicate.

Randall Cornette was convicted of being a felon in possession of a ...

9th Circuit Finds IAC for Failure to Investigate Mitigating Factors During Penalty Phase of Capital Case

by Anthony Accurso

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit vacated and remanded the defendant’s death sentence for first-degree murder because defense counsel failed to investigate mitigating evidence of cognitive defects that would have resulted in a “reasonable probability that the outcome of sentencing would have been different” ...

Debunked Shaken-Baby Syndrome Leads to Reduced Sentence

by Anthony Accurso

An Ohio man who spent 27 years on death row for the 1991 murder of his daughter Domika—based largely on now-debunked shaken baby syndrome—had his conviction overturned and has accepted a plea deal for a life sentence with the possibility of parole after 30 years. Genesis Hill ...

Seventh Circuit Rules Failure to Issue Summons or Warrant Means Supervised Release Not Tolled While Merely in Custody

by Anthony Accurso

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit ruled that, where a defendant is detained prior to the expiration of his supervised release, he must be released when his supervision expires unless the court orders a warrant or summons, not merely a detention order.

William Block ...

California Supreme Court Reverses Attempted Murder and Explains Elements Required For Kill Zone Theory Instruction

by Anthony Accurso 

The Supreme Court of California clarified that the use of force that merely endangers everyone in an area is insufficient to support a kill zone theory instruction for attempted murder. 

Defendants KeAndre Windfield and Michael Canizales were charged with murder and two counts of attempted ...

Sixth Circuit: Prosecutor’s Numerous Improper Comments Constitute Flagrant Misconduct Depriving Defendants of a Fair Trial

by Anthony Accurso

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit vacated the conviction of two defendants on possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine charges because the prosecutor’s numerous improper comments amounted to flagrant misconduct.

Luis Morales-Montanez and Jessica Acosta pleaded guilty to charges involving marijuana, cocaine, and guns ...

Montana Supreme Court Rules Leaving a Brewery Doesn’t Provide Particularized Suspicion of DUI

by Anthony Accurso

The Supreme Court of Montana held that facts leading up to the traffic stop at issue do not amount to the particularized suspicion required to initiate a lawful stop under Montana law.

On the afternoon of January 14, 2017, Missoula County Sheriff’s Deputy Tyler Terrill observed Billy ...

Report: Google Can Track You Even When Your Phone’s Off

by Anthony Accurso 

An article recently published on highlights various ways the U.S. government and corporations track one’s everyday movements through his or her cellphone and singles out Google’s Sensorvault project for scrutiny. 

Between the revelations of whistleblower Edward Snowden, the efforts of organizations like the Electronic ...



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