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Articles by Dale Chappell

Nevada Supreme Court Clarifies, Narrows Nonhearsay Rule Under NRS 51.135(2)

by Dale Chappell

An out-of-court statement is not hearsay only if the person making the statement is subject to cross-examination concerning the statement, the Nevada Supreme Court instructed, clarifying and narrowing the application of when nonhearsay statements are admissible at trial.

After Kirsten Kinard identified Dvontae Richard as the man ...

Sixth Circuit Rejects Qualified Immunity Claim in Malicious Prosecution Suit for Wrongful Arrest and Conviction Involving Multiple Lies by Police

by Dale Chappell

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit upheld the denial of summary judgment filed by Detroit police in a lawsuit alleging malicious prosecution and false arrest, after police lied in order to obtain a conviction. The Court’s decision allows the lawsuit to move forward in ...

Ninth Circuit Holds Juror Who Wouldn’t Unequivocally State She Could Be Impartial Should Have Been Excused; New Trial Ordered Because Biased Juror Can’t Be Harmless Error

by Dale Chappell

In a case where a juror did not unequivocally state that she could be unbiased because she had previously been a victim in a similar crime, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit held that the juror should have been excused for actual bias and ...

Government Snitches: Incentivized Witnesses Are the Leading Cause of Wrongful Convictions

by Dale Chappell

Every year, innocent people go to prison, or even death row, because of government informants who lie to get a good deal in their own criminal case. The problem, studies show, is the fact that this horse-trading between the informants and the government is largely informal, unregulated, ...

Facebook Tells Law Enforcement to Quit Using Phony Accounts

by Dale Chappell

Facebook recently told law enforcement to stop using fake accounts as a ruse to bust people on its service. The social media giant also shut down several law enforcement accounts that violated its policy against phony accounts.

The fake accounts came to light in a ...

NY Election Websites Tell Parolees They Can’t Vote, Even Though They Can

by Dale Chappell

Months after New York Governor Andrew Cuomo granted voting rights to most of the state’s parolees, state election websites still say they cannot vote.

More than half the board of elections’ websites expressly state parolees in general cannot vote. In the list of disqualifications on the sites, ...

Montana Supreme Court Overrules Its Precedents Confusing Venue and Jurisdiction, Announces Venue Is Waivable But Cannot Waive Jurisdiction

by Dale Chappell

Overruling its precedent, the Supreme Court of Montana held that venue is not a jurisdictional element and may be waived by a defendant. However, it also confirmed that the State is still required to prove jurisdiction beyond a reasonable doubt, which is not waivable.

Ryan Frankforter was ...

Sixth Circuit Holds Tennessee Burglary Not Violent Felony Under ACCA, Overturning Previous Controlling Authority in Light of SCOTUS’ Mathis Opinion

by Dale Chappell

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit held that Tennessee third-degree burglary, as interpreted by the Tennessee Supreme Court, cannot qualify as generic burglary under the Armed Career Criminal Act (“ACCA”), granting 28 U.S.C § 2255 relief and vacating an 18-year ACCA sentence. In doing ...

Maine Supreme Court Rules Double Jeopardy Bars Re-Use of Evidence at Second Trial After Acquittal Based on Same Evidence at First Trial on Different Charges

by Dale Chappell

The Supreme Judicial Court of Maine held that double jeopardy barred the use of the same evidence used in a first trial that resulted in an acquittal on other charges during a second trial on a different charge.

John Weckerly was indicted in 2012 on, among other ...

Minnesota Supreme Court Clarifies Rule Against Judicial ‘Participation’ in Plea Negotiations

by Dale Chappell

The Supreme Court of Minnesota clarified the rule barring judicial “participation” in plea negotiations, overturning decades of decisions by the court of appeals, which had applied the wrong rule of law in such cases.

When Jetaun Wheeler was accused of murder, the State offered a plea to ...



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