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Articles by David Reutter

Fourth Circuit Grants Habeas Relief for Death Row Prisoner Because Trial Court Excluded Expert Testimony Defendant Represents Low Risk of Violence in Prison

by David Reutter

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit reversed the denial of habeas corpus relief to a death row prisoner. The Court held that where the jury’s only choices were life in prison without parole or death, the exclusion of expert testimony that the defendant “represents ...

Fifth Circuit Holds Special Conditions in PSR Appendix but Not Orally Pronounced by District Court Must Be Removed From Sentence Where Conflict With Written Judgment

by David Reutter

The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals held that where a defendant did not have an opportunity to object to special sentencing conditions because they were not announced at sentencing, it conducts an abuse of discretion review and any “unpronounced” special conditions must be stricken from the ...

Eighth Circuit Rules Search Warrant Based on Affidavit That Failed to Link Target to Criminal Activity Lacked Probable Cause, Not Saved by Good-Faith Exception

by David Reutter

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit held that two state court warrants to place a GPS tracker on the vehicle of Juan Lopez-Zuniga lacked sufficient indicia of probable cause and could not be saved by the good-faith exception. The Court, however, found two other ...

Tracking the Prevalence of Police Crime

by David Reutter

“Americans actually have no idea” how often police use force, former FBI director James Comey said in 2016. They also have no inkling how often police officers commit a crime. The reason for that is the federal government does not track such activity.

The Department of Justice ...

Georgia Supreme Court: Asportation Required to Support Kidnapping Conviction

by David Reutter

The Supreme Court of Georgia granted a habeas corpus petition and held there was insufficient evidence of asportation to support the kidnapping charges of appellant Jessie Mercer.

Mercer was convicted in 2004 of kidnapping Richard and Parchando Love. He also was convicted of armed robbery and two ...

Ninth Circuit Holds Undisclosed Relationship Between Murdered FBI Agent and Presiding Judge in Capital Case Created Intolerable Risk of Judicial Bias, Warranting Habeas Relief

by David Reutter

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit held that an undisclosed connection between an FBI agent and a judge entitled a death row prisoner to the grant of habeas corpus relief. The Court found there was a constitutionally intolerable risk of judicial bias.

Jose Echavarria ...

Ninth Circuit Rules California Robbery Not a ‘Crime of Violence’ in Light of Dimaya and Allows Withdrawal of Guilty Plea

by David Reutter

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit held a defendant was entitled to withdraw his guilty plea to a charge of illegally reentering the United States in light of the decision in Sessions v. Dimaya, 138 S.Ct. 1204 (2018), together with its own recent case ...

Seventh Circuit: Procedural Error Occurs When Miscount of Prior Convictions Basis for Sentence, Resentencing Required

by David Reutter

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit held that an Indiana federal district court committed a procedural error in selecting a sentence based on a miscounting of the defendant’s prior felony conviction.

Before the Court was the appeal of Tyrone Miller. He was arrested after ...

First Circuit Orders Resentencing Where Trial Counsel Failed to Secure Three-Level Reduction Under Sentencing Guidelines

by David Reutter

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit ruled a defendant was entitled to be resentenced where trial counsel failed to secure a three-level reduction under the federal sentencing guidelines for acceptance of responsibility.

Following a December 17, 2015, search by federal agents of a home ...

Snarky Facebook Post Not True Threat; Officers Denied Qualified Immunity

by David Reutter

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit reversed a grant of summary judgment to police officers who arrested a man for a snarky Facebook post without conducting even a minimal investigation.

James Ross, 20, is an active user of Facebook. One of Ross’ Facebook friends ...



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