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Articles by David Reutter

Alford Pleas: Prosecutors’ Choice for the Wrongfully Convicted

by David M. Reutter

When confronted with wrongful convictions, many prosecutors are forcing the exonerated on remand to make a Hobson’s choice: risk another trial or enter an Alford plea and go home. Faced with the uncertainties of a retrial and a desire to be free after years of wrongful ...

Eleventh Circuit Holds Defendants Voluntarily Consented to Search in Police Ruse to Search Home Purportedly to Investigate Burglary

by David Reutter

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit upheld a warrantless home search that was consented to as a result of a ruse by law enforcement to obtain evidence of credit card fraud under the guise of investigating a burglary of the home.

On two occasions, ...

Pennsylvania Supreme Court Rules State Sex Offender Registration Law Violates Ex Post Facto Clause

by David Reutter

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court held that the registration sections of Pennsylvania’s Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (“SORNA”) are punitive and thus cannot be applied retroactively. The Court concluded that applying SORNA’s registration requirements to a defendant convicted of offenses prior to SORNA’s effective date but sentenced ...

Proof of Law Enforcement Duty Is Primary Job to Establish Peace Officer Status

by David Reutter

The California Supreme Court reversed a conviction of misdemeanor battery upon a peace officer because the prosecution failed to prove harbor officers’ primary duty was law enforcement.

Bryan Pennington was not authorized to enter the Santa Barbara Marina. The manager witnessed his unauthorized entry and called the ...

U.S. Court of Appeals for D.C. Circuit Holds Waiver of FOIA Rights in Plea Agreement Unenforceable

by David Reutter

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit held that a Freedom of Information Act (“FOIA”) waiver as part of a plea agreement is unenforceable on public policy grounds. The Court emphasized it was not holding that FOIA waivers in plea agreements are always unenforceable, but ...

$1.1 Million False Arrest Award Affirmed

by David Reutter

A federal jury’s $1.1 million awardin a false arrest claim was affirmed by the U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals.

This case stemmed from the arrest of Richard Wesley, a counselor and intervention specialist at Sixth District Elementary School in Covington, Kentucky. Wesley was informed on February ...



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