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Articles by Anthony Accurso

Interpreting Emojis as Court Evidence

Emojis on cellphones and other digital devices have advanced their popularity as a way to express emotion. It should be no surprise then that their ubiquity has brought them into court cases. However, the accepted meanings of the emojis has not caught up to their ubiquity. Enter ...

Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court Clarifies Standards for Exit Order and Patfrisk

The Supreme Judicial Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts affirmed the suppression of evidence resulting from a patfrisk that was conducted after the defendant had exited his vehicle unprompted by police, and twice looked back into it during his encounter with officers.

Manuel Torres-Pagan (“Torres”) was pulled ...

First Circuit: Securing a Weapon Not Used in Offense Is Not Exigent Circumstance Permitting Warrantless Entry and Search of Suspect’s Home

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit reversed a district court’s order denying a defendant’s motion to suppress on the basis that exigent circumstances did not exist solely because officers wanted to secure the defendant’s service weapon, absent the weapon’s proximate use to the crime ...

California Supreme Court: Refusing to Testify Insufficient to Constitute Accessory After the Fact

The Supreme Court of California held that a defendant with alleged knowledge of a crime cannot be prosecuted under Penal Code § 32 as an accessory after the fact to the crime for refusing to testify when presented with a valid subpoena.

In 2006, Starletta Partee allowed ...

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 ...



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