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Articles by Anthony Accurso

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 ...

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 ...



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