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Articles by David Reutter

1st Circuit: No Protective Sweep Where Identified Suspects Already in Custody at Time of Warrantless Search

by David Reutter

The United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit reversed the armed bank-robbery conviction of Virgilio Diaz-Jimenez (“Diaz”), holding the warrantless search of Diaz’s home did not fit within the protective sweep or voluntary consent exceptions under the Fourth Amendment and was thus unconstitutional.

Diaz and ...

11th Circuit Rules Immigration Judges are United States Judges for Purposes of 18 U.S.C. § 115(a)(1)(B)

by David Reutter

In an issue of first impression nationally, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit held that an immigration judge is a “United States judge” within the meaning of 18 U.S.C. § 115 (a)(1)(B), which makes it a crime to, among other things, assault, kidnap, or ...

Archaic Disciplinary System Allows Chicago Police to Delay Punishment

by David Reutter

The Chicago Police Department (“CPD”) has endured criticism for officer misconduct. An investigation by ProPublica Illinois and the Chicago Tribune found that the city’s archaic system for disciplining officers allows it to avoid or long delay discipline, allowing officers who should be off the streets to be ...

10th Circuit: Oklahoma’s Second-Degree Burglary Not an ACCA Qualifying Offense

by David Reutter

The Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals held convictions for burglary under Oklahoma law do not qualify as violent felonies for sentence enhancement under the federal Armed Career Criminal Act (“ACCA”).

Raymond Hamilton was convicted of possession of a firearm after a felony conviction. He was sentenced to ...

New Jersey Appellate Division Extends Urbina Self-Defense Rule to Defense of Others in Plea Allocution

by David Reutter

The Superior Court of New Jersey Appellate Division held that a defendant was entitled to post-conviction relief (“PCR”) based on his claim that his guilty plea was involuntary due to his counsel’s failure to explore the defense of others.

Anwar H. Belton appealed the denial of his ...

First Circuit Holds Appeal Not Barred by Plea Agreement Waiver Provision When Sentence Exceeds Agreement

by David Reutter

The United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit held a plea agreement’s appellate waiver provision did not bar an appeal where the district court imposed a home confinement provision that was not set forth in the agreement.

Jose Luis Lopez-Pastrana entered into a plea agreement ...

Mississippi Supreme Court Clarifies that Appellate Courts Never Serve as ‘13th Juror’ for Motion for New Trial

by David Reutter

The Supreme Court of Mississippi held that neither it nor an appellate court sits as a “thirteenth juror” when reviewing a motion for new trial. The Court clarified that in a court’s appellate capacity it does not reweigh evidence, assess witness creditability, or resolve conflicts between evidence. ...

Utah Supreme Court: Procedural Due Process Violated Where Failure to Participate in Sex Offender Treatment Program Used to Deny Parole to Prisoner Not Convicted of Sex Offense

by David Reutter

The Supreme Court of Utah held that the Board of Pardons and Parole (“Parole Board”) violated a prisoner’s due process rights by adjudicating him a sex offender. The designation as a sex offender was based on unproven allegations in a police report and a mistrial without conviction ...

Vermont Supreme Court: Defendant Cannot be Compelled to Submit to Competency Evaluation by State’s Expert

by David Reutter

The Supreme Court of Vermont held that the State may not compel a defendant to submit to a competency evaluation conducted by a mental-health expert of the State’s choosing after a court-ordered competency evaluation by a neutral mental-health expert.

Following his arrest for second-degree murder, Christopher Sharrow’s ...

Iowa Supreme Court Rules District Courts Have Authority to Hear Postconviction Relief Actions Involving Deprivation of Liberty or Property Interest

by David Reutter

The Supreme Court of Iowa held that a motion for postconviction relief is the proper vehicle to challenge a substantial deprivation of liberty or property interest in certain Iowa Department of Corrections (“IDOC”) administrative actions.

In 1990, Kevin Franklin pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and second-degree sexual ...



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