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Prisoner Education Guide

Articles by Dale Chappell

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

Kansas Supreme Court Holds Prosecutor’s Blatant Lies to Jury During Closing Argument Constituted Prosecutorial Misconduct Requiring Reversal of Murder Convictions

by Dale Chappell

A prosecutor’s lies amounted to prosecutorial misconduct requiring a new murder trial, the Supreme Court of Kansas held in a lengthy opinion exposing at least seven major errors by the prosecution.

The Court began its opinion with the following admonishment: “In a criminal prosecution, the State’s obligation ...

Maryland Court of Appeals Announces Proper Procedure for In Banc Review

by Dale Chappell

In a case where in banc review was improperly granted to review a circuit court’s ruling, the Court of Appeals of Maryland took the opportunity to clarify when in banc review can be granted.

After the circuit court granted Bashunn Phillips’ pretrial motion to exclude evidence from ...

Massachusetts Supreme Court Holds Seven-Year Delay and Inability to Receive Sex Offender Treatment While Awaiting SDP Trial Violates Due Process

by Dale Chappell

“While substantive due process permits limited confinement after a probable cause determination, it does not permit the Commonwealth to hold an individual indefinitely while repeatedly seeking a finding of sexual dangerousness,” the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts said in holding that a seven-year delay in finding ...

New Jersey Supreme Court Holds DNA Exception Tolling Statute of Limitations Applies Only to Suspect Directly Identified by DNA

by Dale Chappell

Tolling of the statute of limitations under the DNA statute applies only to the “actor” directly linked to the crime by the DNA, and not to others involved in the crime, the Supreme Court of New Jersey held. The Court interpreted the word ‘actor’ to mean only ...

Louisiana Supreme Court Holds Counsel’s Failure to Challenge ‘Stark Contrasts’ in Witness ID and Defendant’s Appearance Constituted IAC

by Dale Chappell

Counsel’s failure to challenge the “stark contrasts” between witness descriptions of a suspect and the defendant clearly affected the jury’s conclusion, the Supreme Court of Louisiana held, remanding for a new trial.

With the help of law enforcement, two robbery victims identified Leroy Jackson as one of the men who robbed them. One witness said Jackson “looked a lot like” the robber, and another said he was not sure because “all black people look alike to him.” The details given by the witness to police described a man with a distinct hairline who was larger than Jackson. Jackson was not only smaller, but he was completely bald. Defense counsel ignored these discrepancies and never challenged the witness identifications in court. Jackson was convicted of robbery and sentenced to 50 years in prison. The court of appeal affirmed, and the Louisiana Supreme Court denied Jackson’s writ.

When Jackson filed for collateral review claiming ineffective assistance of counsel, the district court noted the problems with cross-racial identifications and found that Jackson’s counsel was ineffective for failing to challenge the witness identifications. Jackson was granted a new trial, but the court of appeal overturned the district court’s ruling, holding ...




 

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