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Articles by Chad Marks

Idaho: ACLU Files Suit That Reveals Officials Misled Public About Costs Associated With Executions In State

by Chad Marks

 The ACLU of Idaho brought a lawsuit after the Idaho Department of Corrections refused to turn over execution-related records to a University of Idaho law professor.

Law professor Aliza Cover was denied execution-related documents after seeking copies of the records relating to two executions that took place ...

Wrongfully Convicted Detroit Man Who Spent 25 Years in Prison Files $125M Suit Alleging Detective Falsified Evidence

by Chad Marks

 The cards were stacked against Desmond Ricks when he went to trial for the 1992 murder of Gerry Bennett outside a Detroit Top Hat restaurant.

Detroit detectives got on the stand testifying that bullets taken from Bennett’s body belonged to the revolver belonging to Ricks’ mother.  Arlene ...

Fourth Circuit Rules Assault on Government Official Under North Carolina Statute Not a ‘Crime of Violence’

by Chad Marks

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit ruled that Tomonta Simmons’ conviction for assault with a deadly weapon on a government official (“AWDWOGO”) under N.C. Gen. Stat. § 14-34.2 is not a crime of violence that can trigger a Grade A supervised release violation, and ...

Prosecutorial Power Used Too Often to Stop Prisoners From Getting Second Chance at Life

by Chad Marks

Alexander Hamilton once described the reasons for the existence of clemency as those of humanity and good policy. Both clemency and parole reflect a commitment to the ancient value of mercy, but many prosecutors use their power to block mercy from becoming a reality.

Prosecutors ...

Fourth Circuit Rules Government Breached Plea Agreement When It Failed to Honor Its Drug Conduct Stipulation at Sentencing

by Chad Marks

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit ruled that the Government breached its plea agreement with the defendant by failing to honor its drug conduct stipulation at sentencing and failing to advocate for acceptance of its agreement after the Government learned its assumption about the ...

Ninth Circuit: Habeas Petitioner Need Only Show That IAC Claims Are Substantial to Excuse Procedural Default Under Martinez

by Chad Marks

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit issued an order remanding a habeas case so that the district court could conduct an analysis of the substantiality of petitioner’s ineffective assistance of counsel (“IAC”) claims.

Kyle J. Rodney petitioned a district court in Nevada for habeas ...

Supreme Court of Delaware: Lawyer’s Mere Presence the Day of Trial Violates Sixth Amendment Under Cronic Standard

by Chad Marks

The Supreme Court of Delaware held that a defendant’s Sixth Amendment right to assistance of counsel was violated by trial counsel’s near-total absence during the pretrial stage of proceedings.

Everett Urquhart found himself on the wrong side of the law when he was arrested for the ...

The Holloway Doctrine and First Step Act: Federal Judge Issues Order Urging Government to Dismiss One of Two 18 U.S.C. §924(c) Stacking Convictions

by Chad Marks

February 4, 2003, forever changed my life. That’s when, at the age of 24, the federal government charged me with numerous federal offenses related to my involvement in a crack-cocaine conspiracy case.

Specifically, the Government charged me with conspiracy to distribute 50 grams or more of cocaine ...

California Police Unions Balk at New Law Requiring Transparency in Officer-Involved Shootings and Use-of-Force Incidents

by Chad Marks

California police unions are bringing their fight against a new transparency law -- Senate Bill 1421 -- to the courts, suing local governments in what looks like a losing battle in their attempt to keep the public from accessing records involving possible misconduct.

January 1, 2019, brought ...

Pennsylvania Supreme Court Rules as a Matter of 1st Impression That Mother’s Use of Opioids During Pregnancy Not Child Abuse

by Chad Marks

On December 28, 2018, the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania ruled as a matter of first impression that a mother cannot be found to be a perpetrator of child abuse for using drugs while she was pregnant.

On January 27, 2017, A.A.R. (“Mother”) gave birth to a child. ...

 

 

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