Skip navigation
The Habeas Citebook Ineffective Counsel

Articles by Dale Chappell

Tens of Thousands of Sentencing Decisions Are Hidden Within PACER, Hindering Access by Lawyers and Defendants

by Dale Chappell

Thanks to technology, judges’ decisions in the thousands of sentences they impose each year get isolated in an unsearchable database called PACER — Public Access to Court Electronic Records. While the public may be able to access a judge’s sentencing decision on PACER, they can only do ...

Chicago PD Creating Files, Background Checks on Citizens Who Speak at Police Disciplinary Meetings

by Dale Chappell

A public records request by the Chicago Tribune found that the Chicago Police Department has been doing background checks and creating files on citizens who speak at weekly meetings of the city’s police disciplinary board. A police spokesman admitted it goes back to at least 2018.

Documents ...

First Circuit Rules Appeal Waiver Does Not Relieve Counsel of Duty to Consult About an Appeal

by Dale Chappell

In a case applying a newly minted U.S. Supreme Court decision, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit held that an appeal waiver in a plea agreement did not relieve counsel of his duty to consult with his client about filing an appeal.

When the ...

U.S. District Court Holds Residual Clause of Federal Three-Strikes Law Unconstitutional

by Dale Chappell

The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California granted postconviction relief on June 12, 2019, to a federal prisoner serving a mandatory life sentence, holding that the so-called “residual clause” of the federal three-strikes law is unconstitutional.

The case came before the Court in a ...

Eleventh Circuit Holds Time on Appeal Counts When Considering If Sentence Was Imposed Under Residual Clause

by Dale Chappell

In a case that may have lowered one of the hurdles erected by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit to stop the flow of relief being handed to federal prisoners under Johnson v. United States, 135 S. Ct. 2551(2015) (“Johnson 2015”), the Court held ...

SCOTUS Declares Portion of Federal Supervised Release Statute Unconstitutional

by Dale Chappell

A sharply divided Supreme Court of the United States narrowly held on June 26, 2019, that the revocation provision of the federal sex offender supervised release statute is unconstitutional because it violates the right to trial by jury under the Fifth and Sixth Amendments – so a ...

Second Circuit Holds NY Sodomy Not ‘Prior Sex Conviction’ for Purposes of Federal Statute Mandating Life Sentence for Repeat Sex Offenders

by Dale Chappell

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit held that a prior conviction for sodomy under New York law is not a valid prior sexual offense conviction under the categorical approach to mandate a life sentence as a repeat sex offender under 18 U.S.C. § 3559(e). ...

Florida Supreme Court Holds Sentencing Statute That Allows Judge to Determine Dangerousness Triggering Upward Depar-ture of Maximum Sentence Unconstitutional

by Dale Chappell

A Florida sentencing statute that allows a judge to find aggravating factors to impose a higher sentence violates the Sixth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, the Supreme Court of Florida held.

When Laverne Brown was convicted of a third-degree felony, she scored a total of 16.4 points, ...

Minnesota Supreme Court Clarifies That State Has Burden to Prove Competency to Stand Trial

by Dale Chappell

The State and not the defendant has the burden to prove that a defendant is competent to stand trial, the Supreme Court of Minnesota held, clarifying the rule on the issue of determining competency to stand trial.

After two doctors evaluated Edwin Curtis when defense counsel raised ...

Colorado Supreme Court Announces Sniff by Drug Dog Trained to Detect Marijuana Now Constitutes a ‘Search’ Requiring Probable Cause

by Dale Chappell

Now that marijuana is legal in several states, does a sniff by a drug dog trained to detect marijuana (and other drugs) constitute a “search,” since it can now reveal something that is lawful to possess (small amounts of marijuana)? The Supreme Court of Colorado ruled that ...



Federal Prison Handbook - Side
Advertise Here 3rd Ad
Prisoner Education Guide side