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Articles by Dale Chappell

NYPD Creating Petty Crimes to Lock People Up

by Dale Chappell
What would you do if you found an “abandoned” bag containing valuables and cash? Would you pick it up? Back in 2006, at least 220 people did just that and found themselves arrested on charges of petty theft. It was all a scheme by the New York ...

Man Freed Who Sat in Prison Nearly 30 Years While Prosecutors Withheld Evidence of Innocence

by Dale Chappell

A man who sat in prison for almost 30 years because prosecutors and police withheld evidence that someone else committed the crime was set free July 16, 2019, after a Philadelphia judge said he was “likely innocent.”

In 1993, Chester Hollman III was convicted and sent ...

High Bail Amounts Lead to Sharp Increase in Franklin, PA, Jail Population

by Dale Chappell

In Franklin County, Pennsylvania, a rural area with about 154,000 residents, high bail amounts are forcing people who can’t afford to purchase their freedom to plead guilty just to get out of jail for what are typically small-time misdemeanors.

Take, for example, the case of Tiana ...

California Supreme Court Holds Discovery Statute Requiring ‘Good Cause’ Not Applicable When Evidence Held by Court

by Dale Chappell

Must a habeas petitioner in California show “good cause” under the habeas discovery statute to obtain evidence held by the court, just like he must do if the State held the evidence? No, a unanimous Supreme Court of California held, ordering the habeas court to reconsider releasing ...

South Carolina Supreme Court Grants New Trial Based on IAC Because of Botched Alibi Defense

by Dale Chappell

A unanimous Supreme Court of South Carolina held that trial counsel was constitutionally ineffective for failing to present specific details of an alibi defense that the Court said undermined the confidence in the outcome of the trial and remanded for a new trial.

The case started when ...

Tell Me What I Want to Hear, Not What I Need to Hear: How Confirmation Bias Causes Wrongful Convictions

by Dale Chappell

What if I invited you to a conference at a fancy hotel where experts would present solid evidence that questions the validity of something you strongly believe, like maybe climate change? Would you come? What if those experts instead were to speak in support of your views ...

Roadmap for Filing a Second or Successive § 2255 Motion Under Davis

by Dale Chappell

The U.S. Attorney’s Manual passed out to federal prosecutors just after the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act (“AEDPA”) was passed in 1996 had an interesting observation: “Under the AEDPA, federal prisoners will rarely be able to file second or successive motions.” But then came ...

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 ...


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Disciplinary Self-Help Litigation Manual


Federal Prison Handbook