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Articles by Dale Chappell

Ninth Circuit: IAC Under Strickland Satisfies Rhines’ ‘Good Cause’ Standard to Stay Federal Habeas Petition, Allowing Exhaustion of State Court Remedies

by Dale Chappell

Finding that the U.S. District Court for the District of Nevada applied the incorrect standard in denying a state prisoner’s request to stay his federal habeas petition while he returned to state court to exhaust his state post-conviction remedies, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth ...

Seventh Circuit: Prosecutor’s Comments Not Supported by Evidence Denied Defendant Fair Trial, Affirms Habeas Relief

by Dale Chappell

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit held that a prosecutor’s closing comments about the State’s own witness were so harmful to the defendant that it affirmed the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois’s grant of habeas corpus relief in a murder ...

Federal Judge: ‘Offense of Conviction’ Under Guidelines Excludes Relevant Conduct for Sentencing

by Dale Chappell

In a case where a defendant admitted to selling drugs that previously led to an overdose-death but was only convicted of selling drugs that did not result in a death, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia held in a published sentencing decision ...

Seventh Circuit: Cronic Doesn’t Provide Exclusive Situations for its Application, Finds Attorney Abandonment at Sentencing Despite Counsel Being Physically Present

by Dale Chappell

In a case where a defendant’s lawyer was present at sentencing but did “absolutely nothing” to help him, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit granted habeas corpus relief to an Indiana state prisoner, ruling that attorney abandonment does not always mean that the attorney ...

First Step Act Knocks Corrupt Baltimore Officers' Sentences from 454 Years to 20

by Dale Chappell

Two former Baltimore police officers sentenced to a combined 454 years in federal prison had their sentences reduced to just 20 years each in May after their sentencing judge agreed that the First Step Act authorized a reduced sentence in light of their stacked gun sentences.

William ...

The Federal Habeas Corpus: Government’s Response and Your Reply

After working hard to set out the claims in your federal habeas corpus petition, along comes the person having custody over you and files a response in court that recharacterizes your claims and makes you look like someone who needs to spend the rest of his life ...

The Many Roads to Relief Under Borden

In yet another case, the Supreme Court of the United States (“SCOTUS”) whittles away at the Armed Career Criminal Act (“ACCA”), this time narrowing what qualifies as a “violent felony” to impose the harsh 15-year minimum penalty for possessing a firearm as a felon.

On June 10, ...

FBI Subpoenas Media Outlets for Information on Readers of Stories Criticizing Government

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (“FBI”) recently subpoenaed USA Today seeking information on readers of a story about a botched FBI raid in Florida that killed two agents and wounded three other agents. It asked the news outlet to keep the subpoena quiet, but instead, the newspaper ...

Refusing Cop's Request for ID Wasn't Cause for Arrest

by Dale Chappell


A Stafford County, Virginia, ordinance requiring someone to show their ID to a police officer if requested did not allow an arrest if the person refused to show his ID. That was the court's conclusion in a federal lawsuit filed after a Stafford County Sheriff's Deputy ...

U.S. District Court Grants Compassionate Release Based Entirely on Nearly Three-Decade-Old Sentencing Error, Reduces Life Sentence



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