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Articles by Dale Chappell

Second Circuit Holds NY Sodomy Not ‘Prior Sex Conviction’ for Purposes of Federal Statute Mandating Life Sentence for Repeat Sex Offenders

by Dale Chappell

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit held that a prior conviction for sodomy under New York law is not a valid prior sexual offense conviction under the categorical approach to mandate a life sentence as a repeat sex offender under 18 U.S ...

Florida Supreme Court Holds Sentencing Statute That Allows Judge to Determine Dangerousness Triggering Upward Depar-ture of Maximum Sentence Unconstitutional

by Dale Chappell

A Florida sentencing statute that allows a judge to find aggravating factors to impose a higher sentence violates the Sixth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, the Supreme Court of Florida held.

When Laverne Brown was convicted of a third-degree felony, she scored a total of 16 ...

Minnesota Supreme Court Clarifies That State Has Burden to Prove Competency to Stand Trial

by Dale Chappell

The State and not the defendant has the burden to prove that a defendant is competent to stand trial, the Supreme Court of Minnesota held, clarifying the rule on the issue of determining competency to stand trial.

After two doctors evaluated Edwin Curtis when defense counsel raised ...

Colorado Supreme Court Announces Sniff by Drug Dog Trained to Detect Marijuana Now Constitutes a ‘Search’ Requiring Probable Cause

by Dale Chappell

Now that marijuana is legal in several states, does a sniff by a drug dog trained to detect marijuana (and other drugs) constitute a “search,” since it can now reveal something that is lawful to possess (small amounts of marijuana)? The Supreme Court of Colorado ruled ...

Tennessee Supreme Court Holds Judge Lacks Authority to Sign Search Warrant for Property Outside Court’s Jurisdiction

by Dale Chappell

The Supreme Court of Tennessee affirmed the tossing of evidence against nearly 100 defendants, after the Court agreed with the lower courts and held that a judge cannot sign a search warrant to search property located outside the judge’s jurisdiction and that the “good faith exception” does ...

Oregon Supreme Court Holds ‘Attempt’ Requires Intent to Personally Participate in the Crime

by Dale Chappell

In order to be found guilty of an attempt to commit a crime, the defendant must have intended to personally participate in the crime, and the attempt to solicit another person to commit the crime is not a true “attempt” under Oregon law, the Supreme Court ...

BOP Finally Implements First Step Act, Officially Releases 3,100 Prisoners Under ‘Good Conduct Time’

by Dale Chappell

The long-awaited extra seven days of good conduct time (“GCT”) is finally being applied by the Bureau of Prisons (“BOP”), which will result in the official release of 3,100 prisoners from BOP custody, according to a July 2019 Department of Justice press release on behalf of ...

NYU Study Shows ‘Predictive Policing Systems’ Promote Bad Data, Bad Policing

by Dale Chappell

A New York University study shows that “predictive policing” does nothing to prevent crime but actually increases bad policing in cities already struggling with corrupt police forces.

This means that in at least 13 cities, predictive policing is helping to propagate more bad police work where cops ...

Column: Obtaining Relief Under 'Davis' in the Wake of 'Johnson'

by Dale Chappell

The good news is that the Supreme Court of the United States has declared yet another residual clause unconstitutional. The not-so-good news is that the last time the Court did this, the lower courts created all sorts of roadblocks to stop prisoners from taking advantage of the ...

Scientific Experts Urge Forensic Experts to Be More Objective

by Dale Chappell

Scientific experts have long relied on objectivity to reach conclusions—the ability to prove repeatedly the outcome of an analysis no matter who’s doing the analysis. Forensics experts, on the other hand, have long relied on subjective analysis to reach conclusions, basing the outcome on personal experience and ...




 

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