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Articles by David Reutter

Illinois Supreme Court: Warrantless Dog Sniff of Apartment Front Door in Locked Building Violates Fourth Amendment

by David Reutter

Physically intruding on the cutilage of an apartment to conduct a dog sniff of the threshold is a violation of the Fourth Amendment, the Illinois Supreme Court held. The court’s holding expanded its precedent to include an unlocked apartment building.

Acting on a tip, East Molina ...

Fourth Circuit Announces Reasonably Foreseeable Acts of Co-Conspirators Not Sufficient for Fleeing Sentence Enhancement Under U.S.S.G. § 3C1.2

by David Reutter

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit ruled that to impose an offense level enhancement on grounds that the defendant “recklessly created a substantial risk of death or serious bodily injury to another person in the course of fleeing from a law enforcement officer” requires ...

California Supreme Court: Competence Hearing Required When Formerly Incompetent Defendant Quits Taking Psychotropic Medication and Exhibits Signs of Incompetence

by David Reutter

The Supreme Court of California ruled that “when a formerly incompetent defendant has been restored to competence solely or primarily through administration of medication, evidence that the defendant is no longer taking his medication and is again exhibiting signs of incompetence” a “formal investigation before a trial ...

Plea Bargaining: Prosecutors Leave Trail of Injustice When Playing Hardball with Defendants

by David Reutter

To fight against government tyranny in the criminal justice system, America’s Founding Fathers enshrined into the Constitution the “right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury.” Plea bargains, however, have become, as the Supreme Court of the United States (“SCOTUS”) said, “not only ...

Fourth Circuit Rules 3 Marijuana Stems Discovered in Single Trash Pull Insufficient for Search Warrant, Suppresses Evidence Found in Residence

by David Reutter

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit affirmed the suppression of evidence obtained while executing a search warrant based on the discovery of three marijuana stems in a trash pull.  Prince George Police found the phone number of Tyrone Lyles in the cellphone of a homicide ...

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 ...

 

 

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