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Articles by David M. Reutter

Idaho Supreme Court: Telephonic Testimony Violated Defendant’s Sixth Amendment Right to Confrontation

by David M. Reutter

The Supreme Court of Idaho held that an expert’s telephonic testimony violated a defendant’s Sixth Amendment right to confrontation. The Court found the error was not harmless and remanded for further proceedings.

Tyler Clapp was stopped on July 6, 2018, after being observed “spinning cookies” in ...

Ohio Supreme Court: Constitutionality of Indeterminate Sentence Under Reagan Tokes Law May Be Challenged on Direct Appeal

by David M. Reutter

The Supreme Court of Ohio held that the constitutionality of an indeterminate sentence imposed under the Reagan Tokes Law, R.C. 2967.271, ripens at sentencing and that the law may be challenged on direct appeal. 

Eddie Maddox entered guilty pleas on September 30, 2019, to two counts ...

Supreme Court of Iowa: Sentence Vacated Because Prosecution Failed to Follow Spirit of Plea Agreement Requiring Recommendation of Suspended Sentence

by David M. Reutter

The Supreme Court of Iowa vacated a defendant’s sentence after finding the prosecution failed to honor the spirit of a plea agreement requiring that it recommend a suspended sentence.

Shane Michael Davis pleaded guilty on November 25, 2019, after reaching a plea agreement with the prosecutor. ...

Seventh Circuit: Incompetent Advice to Reject Plea Offer Requires Evidentiary Hearing

by David M. Reutter

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit held a district court erred in failing to grant an evidentiary hearing on a claim that counsel rendered ineffective assistance by advising him to reject a favorable plea agreement without having reviewed the case file.

David L. Day, Jr., was charged in September 2013 with conspiracy to commit wire fraud and making false statements in loan and credit applications. In 2012, Day participated in a fraudulent scheme disguised as a “credit repair service.” Day sold misappropriated Social Security numbers to his “customers” with instructions on how to use their new “credit profile number” to apply for new retail loans.

Originally represented by federal defender Monica Foster, the Government in June 2014 offered a plea deal that provided for Day to plead to the conspiracy count and dismissal of the other count. It also agreed to an offense level and criminal history category that put Day into a Guidelines range of 51 to 63 months in prison. Foster believed the Government may agree to a downward departure to 40 months due to Day’s substantial assistance. She advised Day to accept the offer because he had no viable defense, ...

Ohio Supreme Court: Ineffective Assistance of Counsel Analysis Applies to Failure to Seek Waiver of Court Costs

by David M. Reutter

The Supreme Court of Ohio held that when trial counsel fails to request a waiver of costs on behalf of a defendant who has previously been found indigent, the reviewing court must make a prejudice determination under the ineffective assistance of counsel analysis.

The Court’s decision ...

Michigan Supreme Court: Defendant Entitled to Self-defense Jury Instruction

by David M. Reutter

The Supreme Court of Michigan held a trial court erred in denying a defendant’s request for a self-defense instruction on the basis that a defendant who claims another person committed the homicide is not entitled to a self-defense instruction. It also held it was improper ...

Expert’s Burn-Pattern Conclusions Flawed

by David M. Reutter

The admission of expert opinion based on science is powerful evidence that is supposed to assist the jury in determining the truth surrounding an event. When a flawed opinion comes into play, the scales of justice become tilted.

Those scales were titled when Dr. Matthew Cox ...

Law Review Article Zeros in on Roadblocks to Plea Bargain Fairness and Effectiveness

by David M. Reutter

More light must be shed on the plea-bargaining process, concludes a law review article published by Texas A&M University School of Law. 

Transparent data is needed to “promote negotiation effectiveness, competence in representation, and procedural justice.”

The article was written by Andrea Kupfer Schneider, law ...

Seventh Circuit Vacates Guilty Pleas Based on Misinformation of Mandatory Minimum

by David M. Reutter

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit vacated the sentences imposed via plea agreements of two defendants due to errors regarding the mandatory minimum sentences they would have faced. The Court held that their prior state convictions were not prior drug convictions under federal ...

Iowa Supreme Court: Officer’s Delay of Traffic Stop to Investigate Other Matters Unconstitutional

by David M. Reutter

The Supreme Court of Iowa reversed a motion court’s denial of a motion to suppress. The Court held a police officer failed to develop a reasonable suspicion of other criminal activity before unreasonably prolonging a traffic stop.

Johnson County Sheriff Office Deputy Cody O’Hare was responding ...



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