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Protecting You Health & Safety Litigation Guide

Articles by Dale Chappell

U.S. District Judge Blows Open ATF Fake Stash-House Stings, Wants to Know Why They Only Target Minorities

by Dale Chappell

“Psst ... Wanna make some easy money? I got this drug dealer who owes me big time. You help me rob him, and I’ll split it all with you — drugs, money, everything. You in? Good. Meet me at the High School at 10. Oh, and bring ...

Nevada Supreme Court: Duress Defense May be Used for Non-Death Penalty Charges, Even When Connected to Charges Punishable by Death

by Dale Chappell

The Supreme Court of Nevada held on December 26, 2019, that the defense of duress — as codified in NRS 194.010(8) but is not available in connection with any crime that’s punishable by death — can be asserted as a defense to a crime that is ...

Pennsylvania Supreme Court Holds Retention of Defendant’s ID Card Constitutes ‘Seizure’ for Fourth Amendment Purposes

by Dale Chappell

The Supreme Court of Pennsylvania held on January 22, 2020, that the retention of a person’s identification card by law enforcement constituted a “seizure” under the U.S. Constitution, triggering the protections of the Fourth Amendment’s prohibition on unreasonable seizures.

The case came before the Court after Harold ...

Third Circuit Holds ‘Bare’ Arrest Record Insufficient to Support Higher Sentence

by Dale Chappell

In a case that reiterated the limits a federal sentencing judge may consider at sentencing, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit held that when a sentencing judge relies on “bare” arrest records in a defendant’s criminal history to justify imposing a higher sentence, it ...

Seventh Circuit Holds Brain Injury May Allow Equitable Tolling to File Late Habeas Petition

by Dale Chappell

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit held on February 12, 2020, that a brain injury resulting from a stroke may be an “extraordinary circumstance” that could allow “equitable tolling” of the one-year clock for filing a petition for habeas corpus.

DeWayne Perry filed a ...

Sixth Circuit Adopts ‘Naked Eye Test’ for Altered Firearm Serial Number Enhancement

by Dale Chappell

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit adopted a “naked eye test” in holding that a firearm’s serial number is not “altered or obliterated” for a sentencing enhancement if a person must “squint” to view the number, but it’s still readable, overturning a district court’s ...

Kim Kardashian Keeps Going, Helps Release D.C. Prisoner

by Dale Chappell

If Kim Kardashian’s efforts to help people get released from prison were just a stunt, as some said, then she’s become a full-time stuntwoman in her own right. This past October, Kardashian helped yet another prisoner – a man who had been locked up nearly 23 years ...

Study Confirms Immigrants Sentenced More Harshly in Non-Immigrant Areas

by Dale Chappell

A recent Penn State University study confirmed that negative perceptions of immigration and immigrants have affected sentencing in geographic areas not traditionally known for being destinations for immigrants.

Prior to the 1990s, Hispanics traditionally immigrated to areas like California, Florida, and Texas. But since then, they have ...

Vermont Supreme Court Rejects ‘Blanket Rule’ Requiring Fingerprinting in Misdemeanor Cases

by Dale Chappell

The Supreme Court of Vermont rejected a trial court’s order that a misdemeanor defendant had to be fingerprinted merely because the State participates in a national crime database. The Court said such a rule created an impermissible “blanket rule” that the law does not require.

Timothy Grant ...

Mississippi Supreme Court Abolishes ‘Pre-Arming’ Jury Instruction

by Dale Chappell

The Supreme Court of Mississippi held on January 9, 2020, that a pre-arming jury instruction was wrongfully given in a shooting death case and further held that no court in the state may ever again issue a pre-arming instruction to a jury preventing a self-defense with a ...


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