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Articles by Dale Chappell

Colorado Supreme Court Holds Ameliorative Amendments Apply Retroactively to Non-Final Convictions

by Dale Chappell

The Supreme Court of Colorado held that amendments to statutes favorable to defendants apply retroactively to non-final convictions, unless the statute contains language that expressly provides it applies only prospectively, resolving a conflict between statutes and its own precedent.

John Stellabotte owned a towing company, illegally towed ...

New York Court of Appeals: Excited Utterance Must Be Based on Personal Observation to Be Admissible as Exception to Hearsay Rule

by Dale Chappell

The New York Court of Appeals reversed a conviction in which an “excited utterance” overheard in the background on a 911 call ostensibly identifying the shooter was used as evidence against a defendant because it could not be established that the person making the utterance personally observed ...

Kentucky Supreme Court Declares Law Defining Intellectual Disability Unconstitutional, Overturns Death Sentence

by Dale Chappell

The Supreme Court of Kentucky held that the state statute determining intellectual disability for disallowing imposition of the death penalty was unconstitutional under the Eighth Amendment after recent U.S. Supreme Court decisions, overturning the death sentence of a man on death row for over 20 years.

Robert ...

Pennsylvania Supreme Court Holds FTA Does Not Affect Independent Speedy Trial Violation by Prosecutor

by Dale Chappell

The Supreme Court of Pennsylvania held that a defendant’s failure to appear (“FTA”) for trial after the prosecution had already violated its duty to provide a speedy trial did not excuse the prosecution’s violation, requiring dismissal of the charges with prejudice.

Daniel Barbour was charged in two ...

Colorado Supreme Court Announces ‘Preponderance of the Evidence’ Standard for Determining Voluntariness of Consent to Search

by Dale Chappell

The Supreme Court of Colorado held that the burden of proof in determining whether a person voluntarily consented to a warrantless search is a preponderance of the evidence, rather than the higher clear and convincing evidence standard, thereby clarifying a misapplication by the lower courts over the ...

Judge orders Tacoma to pay fines, attorney fees over stingray records

by Dale Chappell

A Pierce County judge hit the City of Tacoma, Washington, with nearly $300,000 in fines and fees for violating the state’s Public Records Act (“PRA”), when it failed to turn over records on its use of stingray devices.

The court said the city deliberately withheld documents that ...

First Circuit Holds Sixth Amendment Speedy Trial Clock Starts Upon Original, Not Superseding, Indictment When Based on Same Act or Scheme

by Dale Chappell

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit held that a superseding indictment based on the same conduct as the original indictment does not reset the Sixth Amendment speedy trial clock and affirmed the district court’s dismissal of the charge in the indictment.

In March 2011, ...

Nevada Supreme Court Announces Testimony at Probation Revocation Hearing Inadmissible in Later Criminal Proceeding

by Dale Chappell

Announcing a new rule to protect the constitutional rights of criminal defendants who face both probation revocation and new criminal charges, the Nevada Supreme Court held that testimony and evidence from a probation revocation hearing cannot be used against a criminal defendant at a later criminal proceeding, ...

D.C. Circuit Holds Generic Appeal Waiver Does Not Bar IAC Claim During Sentencing

by Dale Chappell

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit ruled that a “generic appeal waiver does not affect a defendant’s ability to appeal his sentence on yet-to-arise ineffective-assistance-of-counsel grounds.”

An unnamed defendant in a sealed case signed a plea agreement, on counsel’s advice, that included a generic ...

Ninth Circuit Affirms $4 Million Verdict for Couple Shot by L.A. County Deputies During Warrantless Entry into Their Home

by Dale Chappell

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit upheld a verdict, after remand by the U.S. Supreme Court, awarding $4 million to a couple who were shot by Los Angeles County Sheriff’s deputies during a warrantless and unlawful entry of their home.

While Angel and Jennifer ...



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