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Prisoner Education Guide

Articles by Dale Chappell

California Court of Appeal: Prior Felony Does Not Convert “Wobbler” Into Felony

by Dale Chappell

The fact that a defendant admitted he had prior qualifying felonies for a Cal Pen Code § 665(a) enhancement does not convert his current “wobbler” into a felony, and the trial judge retained authority under section 17(b) to reduce the wobblers to misdemeanors, the Court ...

First Circuit: Plain Error Standard Met When Trial Court Emphasized Erroneous Jury Instruction

by Dale Chappell

The trial court’s repeated inclusion of an erroneous element in the jury instructions amounted to a “plain error,” which led the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit to vacate the defendant’s conviction.

Jose Lattore-Cacho was convicted by a jury in U.S. District ...

Fifth Circuit: “Fugitive from Justice” Enhancement Requires Intent to Avoid Prosecution

by Dale Chappell

The government must show that a defendant had the “express intent” in fleeing to avoid prosecution to prove he was a “prohibited person” under the “fugitive from justice” definition with respect to owning a semiautomatic firearm capable of accepting high capacity magazines, the United States Court of ...

Court of Criminal Appeals of Texas: Holds Trial Objection Enough to Preserve Issue for Appeal

by Dale Chappell

When counsel objects at trial to a particular issue—even if it had failed to raise it in a pre-trial written motion—that objection is enough to “preserve” the issue for review on appeal, the Court of Criminal Appeals of Texas held.

During an armed robbery of a mobile ...

$2 Million to Disabled Syracuse Man Tased by Cops

by Dale Chappell

The city of Syracuse, New York agreed to settle a lawsuit and pay $2 million to Brad Hulett, a disabled man Tased by city cops after he refused to sit down on a bus.

Video from the May 3, 2013 incident showed Hulett being ordered by two ...

Hawaii Supreme Court: Defendants Entitled to Hearing Within 2 Days

by Dale Chappell

There is a “strong presumption” a defendant held in custody beyond two days without a preliminary hearing (or other method to show probable cause), absent “compelling circumstances,” must be released, the Hawaii Supreme Court held on November 21, 2017.

When Si Ufaga Moana and Jayvan Curioso ...

California Court of Appeal: Prejudice “Presumed” Where Jury Discussed Defendant’s Decision Not to Testify

by Dale Chappell

A jury’s multiple discussions about why a defendant chose not to testify, despite the court’s warnings not to consider them, were sufficient misconduct to presume prejudice, the Court of Appeal of California for the Fourth Appellate District held November 16, 2017.

Francisco Solorio was charged with first ...

Massachusetts Supreme Court: Permanent Ban on Sealing Record of Sex Offender Unconstitutional

by Dale Chappell

In 1995, Kristi Koe was convicted of rape and abuse of a child. The underlying acts occurred in 1990. The Sex Offender Registry Board (“SORB”) recommended she be classified as a level two sex offender, and she accepted. Her obligation to register commenced in 2003.

In 2013 ...

Survival Tip: Don’t Call Cops If You’re Disabled

by Dale Chappell

Because police are trained to shoot first and ask questions later, calling on them to defuse a situation involving someone with special needs should be a last resort. The problem is that when cops are trained to be military warriors instead of peace officers, we’re all viewed ...

Ohio Supreme Court: Dismissal Without Prejudice Is a Final and Appealable Order

by Dale Chappell

Counts in a multicount indictment that are dismissed without prejudice do not prevent a judgment of conviction on other counts from being “final and appealable,” the Ohio Supreme Court held.

Andrew Jackson was indicted on counts of kidnapping, aggravated robbery, and grand theft. He proceeded to ...




 

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