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Articles by Dale Chappell

Third Circuit Announces New Rule for Amending § 2255 Motions on Appeal

by Dale Chappell

In a ruling that further divides the circuits on how and when a motion under 28 U.S.C. § 2255 can be amended, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit held on July 5, 2019, that an amendment filed while the motion is ...

Alabama OKs Chemical Castration for Some Sex Offenders

by Dale Chappell

Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey signed into law May 30, 2019, a new law that requires certain categories of sex offenders to undergo chemical castration before they can be released from prison. The new law puts Alabama, once again, up against the Constitution and has critics questioning the ...

Hundreds of Missouri Prisoners May Be Released Under New Sentencing Reform Law

by Dale Chappell

Missouri Governor Mike Parson signed into law in early July reforms to the state’s sentencing and parole laws that may help hundreds of prisoners obtain early release. The new measures allow prisoners convicted of nonviolent offenses the chance for earlier parole and could make some prisoners eligible ...

U.S. District Court Grants Savings Clause Petition, Vacates Mandatory Life Sentence

by Dale Chappell

After the case had been sitting in the courts for seven years, the U.S. District Court for the Western District of North Carolina granted relief under the “savings clause” of 28 U.S.C. § 2255, vacating a mandatory life sentence.

Ian Persaud filed his savings ...

Fifth Circuit Reiterates Diligence Under AEDPA Requires Consideration of Actions Both Before and After Filing of Habeas Petition

by Dale Chappell

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit held on August 2, 2019, that the failure of a state court to notify a petitioner that his state habeas petition was denied tolls the one-year clock for filing his federal habeas corpus petition, excusing an 18-month ...

Fourth Circuit Grants Habeas Relief to Pre-Trial State Prisoner on Double Jeopardy Grounds

by Dale Chappell

Finding that a South Carolina state court violated a state pre-trial defendant’s right against double jeopardy by granting a mistrial when the State wasn’t prepared for trial, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit granted federal habeas relief on June 21, 2019, barring retrial ...

Tens of Thousands of Sentencing Decisions Are Hidden Within PACER, Hindering Access by Lawyers and Defendants

by Dale Chappell

Thanks to technology, judges’ decisions in the thousands of sentences they impose each year get isolated in an unsearchable database called PACER — Public Access to Court Electronic Records. While the public may be able to access a judge’s sentencing decision on PACER, they can only do ...

Chicago PD Creating Files, Background Checks on Citizens Who Speak at Police Disciplinary Meetings

by Dale Chappell

A public records request by the Chicago Tribune found that the Chicago Police Department has been doing background checks and creating files on citizens who speak at weekly meetings of the city’s police disciplinary board. A police spokesman admitted it goes back to at least 2018.

Documents ...

First Circuit Rules Appeal Waiver Does Not Relieve Counsel of Duty to Consult About an Appeal

by Dale Chappell

In a case applying a newly minted U.S. Supreme Court decision, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit held that an appeal waiver in a plea agreement did not relieve counsel of his duty to consult with his client about filing an appeal ...

U.S. District Court Holds Residual Clause of Federal Three-Strikes Law Unconstitutional

by Dale Chappell

The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California granted postconviction relief on June 12, 2019, to a federal prisoner serving a mandatory life sentence, holding that the so-called “residual clause” of the federal three-strikes law is unconstitutional.

The case came before the Court in ...




 

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