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Articles by David Reutter

New York Court of Appeals: Forensic Findings Establishing Possible Alternative Cause of Injuries in Sex-Crime Prosecution Admissible Under ‘Interest of Justice’ Exception to Rape Shield Law

by David M. Reutter

The New York Court of Appeals held a trial court erroneously applied New York’s Rape Shield Law to exclude forensic evidence proffered by the defendant to demonstrate that someone else caused the complainant’s injuries.

Sergio Cerda, who was 60 at the relevant time, was charged with ...

The Diminishment of Miranda Is Leading to False Confessions and Conviction of Innocents

by David M. Reutter

False confessions are a problem as old as policing. The Supreme Court of the United States (“SCOTUS”) promulgated rules in 1966 with its holding in Miranda v. Arizona, 384 U.S. 436 (1966), that were designed to create a coercion-free interrogation room. SCOTUS rulings over the last ...

Kentucky Supreme Court: Trial Court Abused Discretion by ‘Rehabilitating’ Juror Who Indicated Could Not Be Impartial and Failing to Strike Juror

by David M. Reutter

The Supreme Court of Kentucky concluded a trial court abused its discretion by failing to find a juror had evinced “a reasonable ground to believe he or she will be partial.” The Court reversed the defendant’s conviction and remanded for a new trial.

Before the Court ...

Federal Sentencing Guidelines Undergo Substantial Amendments

by David M. Reutter

The United States Sentencing Commission (“Commission”) adopted nine amendments to the Federal Sentencing Guidelines (“Guidelines”) that became effective on November 1, 2023. It’s the first action by the Commission since it lost a quorum in early 2019. After it regained a quorum in 2022, the Commission ...

Second Circuit: Money Concealment Guilty Plea Vacated for Lack of Evidence to Support Factual Finding of Required Mens Rea

by David M. Reutter

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit vacated a defendant’s conviction because the required mens rea for concealment money launderingwas not supported by the evidence or plea record. The sentences for both counts at plea were also vacated.

The facts of the case showed ...

Oregon Supreme Court Announces Overruling of Precedent on ‘Attempted Transfer’ of Drugs

by David M. Reutter

The Supreme Court of Oregon held that “attempted transfer” does not apply “to a person who possesses a large quantity of a controlled substance and takes steps consistent with an intent to transfer it in the future but who has not yet made any effort to ...

Sixth Circuit: District Court Committed Procedural Error by Impermissibly Ceding Its Discretion to Congress to Determine Guidelines’ Crack-to-Powder Ratio at Sentencing

by David M. Reutter

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit held a District Court commits “procedural error by failing to appreciate the scope of its discretion” and by indicating that policy “disagreements are not a proper basis to vary” from the Sentencing Guidelines. The Court also found ...

‘Criminal Courteaucracy’: Understanding the Unique Role of Criminal Court Administrators in Implementing Social Con-troll

by David M. Reutter

This Paper “is the first to provide an in-depth analysis of the role criminal court administrators have played in the shift from criminal courts as sites of adjudication to criminal courts as sites of social control,” contributes to the conversations “about the failure of criminal courts ...

Maine Supreme Judicial Court Announces Clarification of Test for Violation of Right to Speedy Trial Under Maine Constitu-tion

by David M. Reutter

The Supreme Judicial Court of Maine concluded a post-conviction review (“PCR”) court misconstrued aspects of relevant law concerning a claim that counsel’s failure to assert the right to a speedy trial constituted ineffective assistance of counsel.

The Court’s opinion was issued in an appeal brought by ...

Michigan Supreme Court Holds Guilty Plea Cannot Be ‘Voluntary and Knowing’ When Induced by Inaccurate Understanding of Minimum and Maximum Prison Sentence

by David M. Reutter

The Supreme Court of Michigan held that a guilty plea cannot be understandingly or knowingly entered into when it was, in significant part, induced on the basis of an inaccurate understanding of the minimum and maximum possible prison sentence. It was error, therefore, to deny ...



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